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.”
Womanrunes: Rune of Labor...
Womanrunes: The Tool. Rune of Labor. Production. Enterprise.
This is a rune of hard work. Satisfying labor. What are you unearthing? What are you digging up? What are you uncovering? What is causing sweat to drip from your brow, your cheeks to flush, and your heart to beat faster? This work can be dirty. It can be long, it can be hard. But, you can do it. You ARE doing it. Keep digging.
Remember too that others are doing their own hard work, unearthing their own riches, discovering their own treasures. What might you be missing in other people and how can you work side by side, turning over your deepness together?
This rune helps us recognize the ebb and flow and heave and swell of energy. Life energy. Time. Perspective. There is a time and place for production, for being focused on the doing rather than the being. There is a time for rest and a time for stillness and the key is recognizing the differences between these times and not forcing what is not ready to emerge. Then, when the energy peaks, the shovel comes out and the digging starts.
Go with it. Put your back into it, lift with your knees, bend with the wind. And, dig, sister. Dig deeply.
In 2012, I was reading a back issue of SageWoman magazine from 1988. The issue contained a short article by Shekhinah Mountainwater about her Womanrunes system and included several illustrations. I was instantly captivated. I couldn't get enough of them and scoured the internet for more information about these simple, powerful symbols. While I did unearth a few resources, I longed for complete interpretations of each symbol. As part of my year-long woodspriestess practice I began taking one of my homemade Womanrunes down to the woods with me and doing an intuitive, spontaneous reading of the interpretation of the symbol. As I continued to work with the runes over the course of an entire year, I realized I was actually writing a book. And, finally, on August 19th of this year, my Womanrunes book was published! It feels like a fulfillment of a promise to myself as well as a carrying on of Shekhinah's powerful legacy.
While I've been a writer for many years and have published a number of journal articles, magazine articles, countless blog posts, and even three short social service booklets and a miscarriage memoir, I completely underestimated the expenditure of energy required for a book project like Womanrunes. I am still in disbelief that I did it. When the companion decks of Womanrunes cards arrived from the printer this week, I drew one to see what message wanted to come through to me. Fittingly, I received The Tool: Rune of Labor, with the description I've included as an excerpt above.
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