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.”
Book Review: Natural Born Shamans
“Doing shamanic work with children is magical and luminous, even miraculous…”
As a parent of four, I was thrilled to receive a copy of Natural Born Shamans, a book about using shamanism creatively with people of all ages, particularly children. The book is based on the core belief that children are naturally predisposed to shamanic experiences and that these inherent skills can be enhanced and explored in fulfilling, creative, nurturing ways.
My favorite thing about this book are the practical, usable outlines that can readily be incorporated into your own work with children in a variety of contexts or even into your own family. There are thirty session outlines included in the second half of the book and they follow a progression useful for an ongoing practice group. I was delighted to explore a resource that recognizes the ability of children to be full partners in a ceremonial contexts. I have found that many books or in-person events for pagans/members of “alternative” spiritual groups either assume that children won’t be included, need separate activities, or, most commonly, don’t really acknowledge the presence or existence of children at all. Natural Born Shamans not only includes children, it reminds us of how very much we can learn from children as we explore the natural magic of the world together. It is very practical in the length and attention-span of the activities suggested and the relatively brief content of the suggested session outlines was a helpful personal reminder to me not to over-plan or over-think ceremonies and practices for children. That said, while the focus of the book is on working with children, “it addresses the innate need of all human beings to have a vital lifeline to Spirit,” and can be an enjoyable resource for people who work with other age groups as well.
The book covers all aspects of performing spiritual or shamanic work with children and young people. It is written for at anyone who has an interest in young people and their spiritual journey, and covers all age groups from “in utero” until age 18 and beyond. The book also explains shamanic parenting and describes ways of doing spirit-led work, even with unborn babies and spirit children (such as after miscarriage). The second half of the book is a comprehensive collection of outlines for actually working with shamanic practices with a group of children. I did find that some of the topics are very briefly touched upon and will required additional resources or experience before successfully implementing or understanding them.
Helpful for parents, healers, teachers, priestesses, and more, Natural Born Shamans is a toolkit for exploring the world through the eyes of children. From rites of passage ceremonies, to bullying, to dreamwork, it is fun, serious, practical, and inspirational all bundled up together.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
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