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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October Magic

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs


Listen.
The veil is thin. 

I spin the web.
I call the circle.
I honor the ancestors.
I am she who
weaves the whole
She who
holds the all
She who
knows the pattern of the ages.

A companion recording that goes with this post is available here. I also created a free October Magic kit that is available here.

 This October, my thoughts have turned to claiming our magic. In the audio I share some quotes and resources around the word magic as well as about creating strong ritual “baskets” that carry us when we need them to. I also share some personal reflections about creating a family memorial ceremony for my grandma who died last week.

“We can think of ritual as the container we weave in which we can be carried away by magic and ecstasy.”

—Starhawk and Valentine, The Twelve Wild Swans

In Womanrunes, The Witch’s Hat is the rune of magic, spells, and enchantment.

What IS your magic? What are you afraid of? What wants to ripple through you and out your fingertips? What are you naming and claiming and dancing with and sharing with others? That pointed hat is YOURS!

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David Abram in The Spell of the Sensuous explains an embodied, earthy type of magic that is an alternative to the popular definition of magic as “the art of transforming consciousness at will.”:

In keeping with the popular view of shamanism as a tool for personal transcendence, the most sophisticated definition of “magic” that now circulates through the American counterculture is “the ability or power to alter one’s consciousness at will.” There is no mention made of any reason for altering one’s state of consciousness. Yet in tribal cultures that which we call “magic” takes all of its meaning from the fact that, in an indigenous and oral context, humans experience their own intelligence as simply one form of awareness among many others. 

The traditional magician cultivates an ability to shift out of his or her common state of consciousness precisely in order to make contact with other species on their own terms. Only by temporarily shedding the accepted perceptual logic of his or her culture can the shaman hope to enter into a rapport with the multiple nonhuman sensibilities that animate the local landscape. It is this, we might say, that defines a shaman: the ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular culture-boundaries reinforced by social customs, taboos, and, most important, the common speech or language-in order to make contact with, and learn from, the other powers in the land. Shamanic magic is precisely this heightened receptivity to the meaningful solicitations–songs, cries, and gestures–of the larger, more-than-human field…

I find that the experience of listening both within and without and then stepping out of oneself to connect deeply with the world around is magic. This is what I mean, I believe, when I reference, as I often do, everyday magic.22499341_1985494764996069_6060706210616543568_o

And, in the book The Twelve Wild Swans, Starhawk and Valentine  write:

“Everyone can do the life-changing, world-renewing work of magic…the Dalai Lama said, ‘It’s not enough to pray and meditate; you must act if you want to see results.’ We are called to offer real service to others, to the Goddess. That service may take many forms: mopping the floor after the party, priestessing rituals, healing, planning, teaching, carrying the heavy cauldron from the car, sitting with a dying friend, writing up the minutes for a neighborhood meeting, organizing a protest to protect a sacred place from development, writing letters to Congress, training others in nonviolent civil disobedience, growing food, or changing the baby’s diapers. All of these can be life-changing, world-renewing acts of magic…”

What are your life-changing, world renewing acts of magic?

As we enter deep autumn and winter, may you take time to cultivate your magic and to create meaningful ceremonies that weave a strong and supple basket to carry you to magical shores.

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(If you’re not a member of the Creative Spirit Circle yet, we welcome you to join us! It is free and fabulous!)

 

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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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