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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Welcoming the Spring: A Ceremony Outline

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I offer what I offer fire
I give what I give
I share what I share
I am who I am…

When planning a ritual involving children, I always have to remind myself to keep it short and simple! This simple ritual of spring welcome is perfect for family or a small group of friends. It can also be adapted to enjoy alone. This ritual is designed to be done at night around a campfire and to be followed by a drum circle, but can easily be adapted to day time (perhaps with a fresh flower mandala to gather around instead of a fire). It can take place anytime between March 21 and mid-May and still feel seasonally appropriate.

Spring Family Ritual

•   Optional: Before the ritual itself, make manifestation/intention/commitment bracelets together setting one creative goal to accomplish by July. March 2016 024We used Job’s Tears seeds, puka shells, and watermelon quartz strung on elastic cord. If you don’t have the supplies to make bracelets, ask each person to think of or write down one creative goal to accomplish by July.

•    Practice song, Gathered Here*, together until participants feel comfortable.

•    Go outside to fire circle

•    Group hum—this is our community’s usual means of casting a circle. We stand together in a circle and place our hands on each other’s backs. Then, we hum in unison at least three times to pull our personal vibrations and rhythms into a sense of physical and literal harmony. If you are alone, put one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart, close your eyes, and hum to yourself until you feel centered in your body.

•    Call and response reading (modified from one in The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith). Children respond well to calling the lines back, rather than just listening to someone talk.

We are here to awaken with the spring (group repeats)b2ap3_thumbnail_11043209_1600409706837912_5690695544076436482_n.jpg
Here in front of us, the fire leaps up
Reaching from us up to the sky
Up to sun, up to the moon
The sky looking down
Looking down to where our fire is burning
Fire of the Sun
Burn in our midst (group repeats)
Fire of our Spirit
Burn in our midst (group repeats)
Fire of the Spring
Burn in our midst (group repeats)
Warm us and the world
As the season turns to spring
We awaken with the Earth! (said loudly and energetically together!)

•    Group sharing of creative goals

•    Sing Gathered Here*

Gathered here
in the mystery of the hourb2ap3_thumbnail_February-2016-022.JPG
gathered here
in one strong body
gathered here
in the struggle and the power
spring time is here
spring time is here.

I suggest singing the song multiple times through, because the group tends to increase in enthusiasm, confidence, and skill with repetition!

*I have adapted this song from one in the UU Hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition. A recording of the original is here, but I recommend speeding the tempo up significantly for energy/enthusiasm/mood purposes. We also end with raised notes on the final two lines, rather than dropping an octave as the original seems to do. A tutorial version that includes a circle dance is here. We have been dancing to this recently in our Red Tent. Another good song choice which can be substituted is: We are Circling  from Nina Lee’s Deep Drink CD. Listen online to Nina here or to our local group here

Arise! b2ap3_thumbnail_March-2017-306.JPG
Let us greet this morning with smiling faces
Hair unbound
Hearts full of glee
Birdsong in one hand
Roses in the other
Let us dance to River’s music
And Earth’s heartbeat
Under quickening leaves
We are full with the promise of spring.

We've also created a free Dream Blossoms Mandala Kit that you may wish to incorporate into your personal ceremonies or group rituals.

This kit includes two editions of our unique Dream Blossoms mandala and also a set of affirmation cards based on our weekly free mini ritual in the free Creative Spirit Circle. Enjoy!

As the wheel of the year continues to turn, may you be blessed with abundant happiness, joyful song, bright flowers, and steadfast hope!

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

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