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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Book Review: Walking the Threads of Time

“Let us hold hands with the woman who cooks,
with the woman who builds,
with the woman who cries,
with the woman who laughs,
with the woman who heals,
with the woman who prays,
with the woman who plants,
with the woman who harvests,
with the woman who sings,
with the woman whose spirits rise.”

Pat Mora, Let Us Hold Hands
(in Auga Santa, reprinted in the UU Service Committee’s Gender Justice curriculum)

On this International Women’s Day, I woke up thinking about the threads of time, the relationships and connections we weave with our lives. I’ve been thinking about how we are each ordinary and powerful, complex and commonplace, wondrous and wondering. And, those thoughts brought me to Gina Martin’s book Walking the Threads of Time, which I’ve been meaning to review for a long time! I took this book from Womancraft Publishing to the beach with me in the fall and read its spiraling pages as the waves ebbed and flowed. The bookmark I’d brought with me had this quote on it: “I spent my life  folded between the pages of books” (Taherah Mafi). Walking the Threads is a book about the folding of time and the intersecting of lives. It is complex, visionary, and powerful and in the pages of this story of thirteen women from many times and places, Gina Martin weaves together a potent and enchanting tale of both goddess wisdom and women’s persistence through the ages. In this year of separation, these books remind me of the power of connection.

“In lifetime after lifetime, she who was Atvasfara, High Priestess of Isis, seeks the others of the Thirteen as they appear – and disappear – in different configurations, genders and moments in human history from ancient Egypt and China, through medieval Europe, the Cree community in Canada, via Ghana and the battle fields of the First World War. In this gripping sequel, the thirteen vision carriers first introduced in Sisters of the Solstice Moon face death and danger to serve the Goddess in the times when She is forbidden. Travel with them as they navigate through patriarchal history, seeking to save Her wisdom in the darkest of times.”

This book makes me think of the interweavings of our lives, the persistence of the Goddess through time, and the ways in which we connect and disconnect from other people. It reminds me the whispers of temple sisters that I hear sometimes, drifting across the sands and curling around stones, it reminds me of what was and what can be, folded into and from the pages of time.

Sometimes I can hear them,
temple sisters
from days gone by,
quick footfalls on worn steps,
councils called at twilight
amid twists and and wisps
of smoke and tears,
armfuls of roses,
plumes of incense and song sublime
kneeling beside altars of
cracked stone,
the sound of drums beneath the moon...

I reviewed the first book in the series, Sisters of the Solstice Moon, here.

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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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