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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The Fourth Candle: Earth

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

“May you experience each day as a sacred gift wrapped around the heart of wonder.”

–John O’Donohue

The fourth candle is lit. The element is Earth, the theme is Love. May we each be exquisitely conscious of how inextricably linked our lives december-2016-041are with the Earth in this web of life.

This Sunday was a “snow day.” It also marked the end of my last session teaching college. Our etsy shop is shut off. No one had anywhere to be or anything specific to do. It felt like this broad, expansive of possibility and the quote above came to my head. Today is a gift wrapped around the heart of wonder! I announced to the kids. They looked at me strangely, but I kept saying it throughout the day. We made a fun breakfast and ate an assortment of strange goodies for lunch. That night, we lit the fourth candle our our Solstice Prayer Wheel. Our family Solstice Prayer Wreath practice is based on the one described by Beth OwlsDaughter in this post (and shared by her currently in a series of weekly facebook events).

We chose a family theme for this season (harmony) and intention to carry us through each of the four Sundays leading up to Solstice: “our family img_9564aworks in harmony to meet each member’s needs.” Each week, we reaffirm this intention as well as reflect on the element and quality of the week. The fourth week is Earth and Love so we each shared something we can do to help love be at the center of our choices (mine was to take breaks and work less as an act of love towards myself. So far, I have not honored this commitment and feel a bit disappointed in myself!). We talked about listening to the earth. We marveled about how everything in our lives comes from the Earth, even things that don’t look like it, like computers. We stamped our feet on the ground and marveled at the size of the planet and how many people live on it and how much we depend on the resources of the planet and each other. We cannot live without Her and yet so often the population completely ignores that fundamental truth. We talked about the Earth as Goddess, right here beneath our feet, sustaining our every breath and movement. We talked about the land in our lives and our appreciation for the opportunity to connect with it, live on it, and learn from it.

Then, we sang I am Earth several times all the way through and, holding hands, reaffirmed our family intention: our family works in harmony to meet each member’s needs.

Then, we got up and all danced again together in a raucous circle singing We Are Circling and We Are a Circle. The kids especially like it when we draw back our circle to arms length and then bring ourselves back into the center and make the circle little as we dance, so we did that repeatedly until we were all laughing and out of breath. We were going to make Yule tree ornaments together then, but it had gotten late, so we saved them for another day.

I’m glad we listened to the heart of wonder.

These are the themes/topics for each candle: november-2016-003

  • Candle 1: hope (air)
  • Candle 2: peace (fire)
  • Candle 3: joy (water)
  • Candle 4: love (earth)
  • Candle 5: center (spirit, solstice night)

Brigid’s Grove offered a Worldwide Solstice Circle event online this year. Companion resources, journal prompts, a detailed free ritual packet as well as a collection of digital gifts are still available in our free Creative Spirit Circle companion classroom

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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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