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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Ode to Tiny Flowers

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

    Tiny flowers know b2ap3_thumbnail_11156226_1614896435389239_8978558424021472074_n.jpg
    that hope blooms eternal
    pushing the way
    through cracked stone
    rebirthing the Earth

    What is a seed
    but a miracle
    right in front of me

    What am I
    but a miracle
    to be seeing this right now…

Each year, I become embroiled in a passionate love affair with the tiny flowers of springtime. I experience such a thrill of discovery and a sense of tiny, basic miracles when I see what new surprising gifts the land has to offer. Some of the tiny flowers are so small as to be overlooked unless you’re paying attention. And, I love that they’re already there. I don’t have to plant or water them or worry about them, I just get to see them. There is such diversity in the types that bloom and it seems like each month has a new gift to offer and something new to discover. I love watching the spontaneous unfolding of new colors in the field and grasslands, unimpressed with whether they have human observers or not, just doing their tiny flower thing. While I also like seeing things that other people have planted or that I’ve planted myself, there’s really nothing like seeing what the ecosystem has planted on its own.

One of my favorite woodspriestess practices is based on a poem from the book Earth Prayers.

Step out onto the Planet
Draw a circle a hundred feet round
Inside the circle are
300 things nobody understands, and, maybe
nobody’s ever really seen.
How many can you find?

–Lew Welch

This is so simple, so potent, and so powerful that it gives me chills every time I read it. I am stunned by the beauty of living on this planet. When I feel tired, discouraged, or hopeless, I take myself on what I call a "300 Things" walk. One year when the dogwoods were blooming, I went out to admire my favorite tree. After admiring it, I lamented how we don’t have any pretty redbud trees in our woods. But, then, my 300 things eyes snapped like a magnet into the woods beyond the favorite dogwood I was standing right in front of and lo and behold there WAS a redbud there.


The same week of my redbud awareness, I also mentioned how I didn’t have any violets and should dig some up to transplant from my mom’s house. Well, look what happens when you go on a 300 things walk? It turns out there are plenty of wild violets right next to our front porch.

That day, I sat on the rocks and noticed a blue jay flying in the woods. I thought about how many things live their lives in these woods without anyone even noticing. I thought about how there was only one redbud on the whole hillside. Then, looked to my right and suddenly there was another redbud I had overlooked before. And, another blue jay flew above it…

How many can you find?


More earthprayers and messages from the forest are available in my short e-book of poetry.

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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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