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.”
New Moon Ritual
Dance in a circle of moonlight
Make a web of life
Hold me as I spiral and spin
Make a web of my life…
–modified from Dance in a Circle of Women by Marie Summerwood
Prepare an outdoor or indoor altar containing a candle in each of the four directions, North, West, South, and East, as well as one in the center. You may wish to have symbols present for each direction as well as items of personal significance. If you are having a group ritual, have a candle for each participant as well.
- Participants circle up and place hands on each other’s backs and hum three times in unison (this literally “harmonizes” you). If you are alone, close your eyes, place one hand on your belly and the other on your heart and hum three times.
- The invocation chosen acknowledges the power of each phase of the moon as the candles are lit in the appropriate directions (modified by a sun invocation by Luisah Teish in Jump Up):
East: In the East we call upon the power of the New Moon, the bright sliver of renewal. Here we ask for new beginnings and we commit to renewing ourselves.
South: In the South, we call upon the power of the Full Moon, the steady, energetic light that illuminates the world. Here we ask for strength to be with us, and we commit to using our strength for the good of the community.
West: In the West, we call upon the power of the Waning Moon, the deep light that calms the mind at the end of the day. Here we ask for a sense of satisfaction, and we pledge to take care of ourselves.
North: In the North we call upon the power of the Dark Moon and Night Sky, the time of incubation that permits us to rest. Here we ask for the vision of dreams, and we agree to meet our inner wisdom in that place.
- Each participant takes a turn lighting their personal candle and sharing something they’re thankful for from the past moon cycle and naming something they’d like to bring into this energy of new beginnings (if you are alone, speak or write these). This is also a good time to do divination readings using Womanrunes, Tarot, or other oracle systems.
- Sing or listen to: Air My Breath, Fire My Spirit, Earth My Body, Water My Blood (one version available here, and another here, and another variation here.)
- If circling with your family or friends join hands again and say a closing prayer (if alone, place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly):
We honor the new moon and her blessings.
Letting go, releasing, shedding.
That which no longer serves is gently released
That which is desired, slips out into the crack of possibility
And takes root
Preparing to grow.
But, for now a moment to rest.
To keep silent peace
To soak in the dark of the moon
And her promise of quiet
We also have a Womanrunes layout for the Crescent Moon rune. It may be used with any cards you like, though naturally, it is particularly well-suited to Womanrunes. The worksheet is available as full page or as a half-page (for tucking easily in a journal).
(Note regarding layout: I am aware that the Crescent Moon rune image is technically a waning crescent moon, but for this layout and this work, it works well with new moon energy and intent!)
And, our free Creative Spirit Circle is always open!
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