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.”

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Family Gratitude Ritual

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_15039635_1818762091669338_4901288478015916309_o.jpg

"There is a fire song in the depths of your soul that makes your heart sing. It doesn't matter if no one else can hear your melody, this is your song, not theirs. So move to your own beat and dance to your own drum. Follow your light and see where it leads. This is your story; this is your dream."

--Ara, The Goddess Circle

Supplies:<

  • Candle for each participant
  • Symbol from each participant of something you are grateful for from the month (or the year) or work that you would like to bless or appreciate
  • Simple altar (if desired)
  • Optional: bowl of water or sage for smudging/cleansing
  • Optional:supplies to create a nature mandala
    • leaves, stones, acorns, seeds, twigs, feathers, and other items from nature (mindfully collected and ideally found on ground). If a group ritual, ask each person to bring a quantity of something to add to the mandala. If it is a family ritual, go out together before moonrise to collect your items. Note: Depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.

Ritual Outline:

  • Group hum (see note below if you are unfamiliar with this) 
  • Sing: I Am Fire for invocation, turning in each direction
  • Optional: recite Charge of the Goddessb2ap3_thumbnail_stargoddess.jpg
  • Share your gratitude items and write a collaborative gratitude list (optional: leave outside under a special jar of water to charge up under the moonlight and then drink the next morning in appreciation. Thanks to Rooted Rhythms for the neat idea! )
  • Optional: create a nature mandala and include each gratitude item written on leaves (paper or real). If your ritual involves children, you may wish to set up the nature mandala together before beginning the rest of the ritual.
  • Sing: Dance in a Circle of Moonlight
  • Optional additional songs:
  • Say a family blessing. You can make this up intuitively and other members of the family can add their own lines or repeat each line after you. For example: May we celebrate each other’s successes. May we communicate with love and compassion. May we see and hear each other. May we work together in harmony. May love be at the center of our choices.
  • Holding hands, offer thanks for participating and a closing prayer. We usually close with this prayer: “may goddess bless and keep us, may wisdom dwell within us, may we create peace.”
  • Optional: Drum!

Words for Songs:

I am fire,
I am Fire.
I am burning like the fire, like the fire,
I am burning like the fire. I am air, b2ap3_thumbnail_November-2016-017.JPG
I am Air.
I am clear like the air, like the air,
I am clear like the air.

I am water,
I am Water.
I am flowing like the water, like the water,
I am flowing like the water.

I am earth,
I am Earth.
I am solid like the Earth, like the Earth,
I am solid like the Earth.

(From the Women’s Drumming Circle CD As the River We Flow)

Dance in a Circle of Moonlight
Make a web of my life
Hold me as I spiral and spin
Make a web of my life

(modified from Marie Summerwood’s chant, Dance in a Circle of Women)

Note regarding humming to cast a circle:

Circle up and place hands on each other’s backs and do a “toning” in which you hum together together to unify your energies and bring you into ritual space. This shared hum quite literally brings you into harmony with one another. We do this at every ritual, red tent, ceremony, and celebration I priestess because it is a very connected way of casting the circle with our own bodies and physical energy. We usually hum in unison three times. With kids, sometimes it is not in unison and my eyes meet my husband’s over their heads in an effort to stifle laughter at the discordant chorus we create. I wrote more about using this process to cast the circle in a past post.

Notes regarding gratitude and abundance leaves:

You may wish to pre-write these if working with children or if a more quickly paced ritual is needed. Reflectb2ap3_thumbnail_October-2016-027_20161114-233141_1.JPG on the bounty of the year (or the month) and write down things you are grateful for on leaves (dry, fallen leaves or on paper leaves). Read aloud (size permitting—multiple people can speak at same time) and then scatter the leaves around in the nature mandala.

Additional resources:

Last modified on
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 original goddess sculptures, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.

Comments

Additional information