Woodspriestess: Exploring the intersection between Nature, the Goddess, art, and poetry.

Listening to the woods, to the stones, to Gaia, and to women...

In the woods behind my house rest a collection of nine large flat rocks. Daily, I walk down to these “priestess rocks” for some sacred time alone to pray, meditate, consider, and be. Often, while in this space, I open my mouth and poetry comes out. I’ve come to see this experience as "theapoetics"—experiencing the Goddess through direct “revelation,” framed in language. As Stanley Hopper originally described in the 1970’s, it is possible to “…replace theology, the rationalistic interpretation of belief, with theopoetics, finding God[dess] through poetry and fiction, which neither wither before modern science nor conflict with the complexity of what we know now to be the self.” Theapoetics might also be described, “as a means of engaging language and perception in such a way that one enters into a radical relation with the divine, the other, and the creation in which all occurs.”

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Molly

Molly

Molly has been “gathering the women” to circle, sing, celebrate, and share since 2008. She plans and facilitates women’s circles, Red Tents, seasonal retreats and rituals, Pink Tent mother-daughter circles, and family ceremonies from her tiny temple space in rural Missouri and teaches online courses in Red Tent facilitation and Practical Priestessing.

Molly is a priestess who holds MSW, M.Div, and D.Min degrees. She finished her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. She is the author of Womanrunes, Earthprayer, and The Red Tent Resource Kit. Molly and and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses, original goddess sculptures, mini goddesses, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.

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Here we are at the edge of fall, b2ap3_thumbnail_fall-persephone-mandala.jpg
looking at the world and at our lives.
May learn from Squirrel
and gather up our resources
to store for future days.
May we learn from Persimmon
and allow ourselves
to ripen patiently
until we recognize
the perfect time to let go,
savoring the sweetness
and delicacy of our own best timing.
May we learn from Oak
knowing we belong to a
great, grand cycle
of generativity and renewal,
drawing up strength
from the earth beneath us,
stretching our roots deep,
and exhaling as we allow
the unneeded to fall lightly away.
May we pause at the turning point,
this hinge of change and choice,
to savor the good work
of this year,
to celebrate
what we have learned and made,
to honor what we've loved
and labored over.
May we open our arms in gratitude
and then wrap them
around ourselves
with compassion.
May we turn our faces to the sun,
feel the wind curl around us,
lay our hands on our hearts
and feel the connection
we always carry within.
May we set our feet to the spiral,
as the deep and powerful mystery
of being continues to unfurl.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, That was great! It's nicely written, and at the same it challenges the reader to contemplate and be better.

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Book Review: We'Moon Datebook 2022!

By Molly Remer

I read my first book about Goddess herstory in 2001. I bought my first copy of the We’Moon datebook two years later, my first infant son slung across my chest in a baby sling. I picked this colorful, woman-honoring, b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_5113.JPGgoddess-worshipping, spiral-bound form out of the stacks of lesbian, feminist, witch, and anarchist literature piled in untidy heaps on a table in the small radical bookstore located below street level in the liberal college town where I’d attended graduate school. I felt as if I was doing something risky, forbidden, possibly even dangerous and I still remember how to felt to carry my datebook up to the dim counter to make my purchase, the smell of patchouli drifting in the air as I ascended the stairs back to street level, now with both hidden knowledge and a baby carried in my arms. Perhaps it was my upbringing within the subculture of religious fundamentalism—not my own family, we were agnostic—but the culture of my peers, which had taught me that to name the body as sacred, to explore one’s own wisdom and self-authority, to partake in magic, to embody and envision the divine as feminine, are all dangerous acts. In some way, somehow, I absorbed that these are the realms that are restricted and denied and with that datebook in my hands, I was daring to break beyond those rules and taste the unknown, the mysterious, the magical, the powerful. There was something here for me. Something that would last forever.

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In the evening we prepare for a very simple family Lammas ritual. I don’t feel inspired to do anything elaborate, so we cut our loaf of special bread,  prepared earlier by my sister-in-law and delivered warm. We add blackberry jelly to our slices and leave one slice for our offering.  We step out together onto the deck and set the bread, a candle, and a garnet-colored meditation goddess onto the center of the deck. We speak aloud of our gratitude for the changes, blessings, and creations of the last few weeks and of the months since Imbolc. Then, we each tear off a piece of bread from the extra piece and speak aloud what we will be sacrificing, what we are willing to change in the new season. a pattern emerges from our words, that of a family-wide wish for a better and healthier schedule, earlier dinner-times and bed-times, more opportunities to play together.
b2ap3_thumbnail_persephone-mandala.jpg

We join hands and close our micro-ritual with our favorite blessing:

"May goddess bless and keep us, may wisdom dwell within us, may we create peace."
—Carol P. Christ

I feel warm and satisfied with this tiny ritual, this simple observance of the season, this connection between the elements to those I love best.

Image and words from my new book, Walking with Persephone: a journey of midlife descent and renewal forthcoming from Womancraft Publishing (now available for pre-order with bonuses!) This book is a walk through the changing cycles of the year and nature with me as I learn to let my steps be guided by Persephone. 

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We have come from beyond the garden,b2ap3_thumbnail_ooak-meditation-goddess-in-the-surprise-lily.jpg
stories both old and new in our hands.
Our breasts are bare our hips are heavy,
and we are willing to show  our incisors.
Centuries of silencing and suppression
have been unable to stick to our skins,
our lapis beads rest easy across our throats,
and red crescent moons shine upon our brows.
No longer willing to settle for giving birth
to demons or destroyers,
we bleed all over the pages  of history,
eat all the apples we please,
carve stone into shapes that tell our hearts
to remember,
and sing of the forgotten things,
untamed, unbound.
Our most reliable sacred text
is the one we write each day,
shard by shard,
step by step,
bone by bone,
breath by breath,
side by side. 

Priestessing during a pandemic has not been easy! The past nearly two years have forced a serious assessment of where I currently am in my work and my willingness to offer what I can offer and to withdraw from what I cannot.

After careful consideration, I have been working in person with a very small group this summer every week, using the Lilith Circle Guide that accompanies the anthology Original Resistance. While I do not feel ready to branch back out into larger, more public group work again, it has been a really nourishing and rewarding experience to gather in a very small group. I encourage you to consider ways in which you might set your feet to the spiral once more and to reach back out to your own community in face-to-face connection with a circle that feels nurturing, safe, and enriching to you.
b2ap3_thumbnail_Beyond-the-Garden-Card.png
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Mythic Moons of Avalon
by Jhenah Telyndru
Llewellyn Books, 2019b2ap3_thumbnail_mythic-moons-cover.jpg
(www.ynysafallon.com)
Reviewed by Molly Remer,
brigidsgrove.com

Rich with insight and lore from Celtic myth and legend, while also steeped in a steady structure of contemporary spirituality, Mythic Moons of Avalon is best for people with a specific interest in lunar workings, lunar magic, and Celtic traditions, and specifically, the stories of Avalon. It makes no pretense at being an authoritative historical compendium and is clear that this is a specific and modern approach with some ancient, historical roots and a deep connection to the physical landscape and terrain of the mystery, culture, and spirit of Avalon and Arthurian Britain (for a modern age).

The book is organized in month by month sections, some of which can feel repetitive, though the workings do build on one another as the book progresses. I did find it somewhat easy to inadvertently start to skim parts of the book due to repetition.

Excellent for a small group study as well as a personal journey of devotion and exploration, Mythic Moons of Avalon is definitely best suited to serious practice rather than casual curiosity. This is a book that is meant to be working into and through. It is meant to be treated respectfully and approached with dedication by someone serious about journeying into the depths of Avalonian mystery and tradition as well as into their own psyches and souls, applying the stories, wisdom, lunar phases, and herbal correspondences to their own lives.

 

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Thanks for sharing the review! A few of the deities I worship are Celtic, so even as a Platonist and Hellenist the godlore
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I've not read that one! I do like Caitlin Matthews' writing a lot though!

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Sometimes you may feel dull

and worn,

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Thanks for sharing! It succeeds both as poetry and self-help literature. The imagery is beautiful and worth pondering.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thank you! Glad you liked it!

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Don’t mind me,

I’m out getting lost

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Loved the poem! Thanks for sharing the "May Magic" prayerbook with us, great stuff as always.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thank you so much! I didn't see your comment until today.

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