SageWoman Blogs

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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Raspberry Warrior

    Goddess of green spaces
    and deep places
    cleanse my soul.

    Anoint my spirit
    with peace
    and remind me
    to let go.

    Remind me
    of the power
    of appreciating
    that which I have.

    May I inhale
    and exhale
    with release
    and freedom.

    The spirit of adventure
    runs through my veins
    with the rich color
    of crushed raspberry

    May it always run so free
    may it be blessed
    and may I be reminded
    of the courage and love
    shown in small, wild adventures.

Wild black raspberries are ripe at my Missouri homestead again. Last year, I went on an expedition with my three children to gather what we could. As I returned, red-faced, sweating, and after having yelled much more than I should and having said several things I instantly regretted, I was reminded of something that I manage to forget every year: one definition of insanity is picking wild berries with a toddler. In fact, the closest I ever came to spanking one of my kids was during one of these idyllic romps through the brambles when my second son was three. While still involving some suffering, this ramble was easier since I had a nine and a half year old as well as the toddler. This time, my oldest son took my toddler daughter back inside and gave her a bath and put her in new clothes while I was still outside crawling under the deck in an effort to retrieve the shoes and the tiny ceramic bluebird I’ve had since I was ten that my girl tossed over the railing and into the thorns “for mama.”

While under the deck, I successfully fished out the shoes (could not find the tiny bird) and I found one more small handful of raspberries. Since the kids were all safely indoors, I took my sweaty and scratched up and irritable self and ran down to my sacred sanctuary in the woods.  I was thinking about how I was hot, tired, sweaty, sore, scratched, bloody, worn, and stained from what “should” have been a simple, fun little outing with my children and the above prayer came to my lips. I felt inspired by the idea that parenting involves uncountable numbers of small, wild adventures. I was no longer “just” a mom trying to find raspberries with her kids, I was a raspberry warrior. I braved brambles, swallowed irritations, battled bugs, sweated, swore, argued, struggled, crawled into scary spaces and over rough terrain, lost possessions and let go of the need to find them, and served as a rescuer of others. I gave my blood and body over to the task.

Like Inanna, I faced thorny gates and descended into darkness, crawled on my knees, and gave up things that I cherished, and in the process discovering things about myself, and then returned with a renewed sense of purpose and an awareness of my own strengths.

--

This Earthprayer poem was originally published last year on Pagan Families and is excerpted from my recently published free gift offering for newsletter subscribers at Brigid’s Grove (if you aren’t signed up yet, fill in your email on the right hand side of the screen at the BG website and you will receive the free book within 24 hours). This freebie is a 56 page book of earth-based poetry. Most of the poems were originally published on my Woodspriestess blog, but there are several first released in this book.

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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, seasonal retreats and rituals, mother-daughter circles, family ceremonies, and red tent circles in rural Missouri. She is an ordained priestess who holds MSW and M.Div degrees and she is currently writing her dissertation about contemporary priestessing in the U.S. Molly’s roots are in birth work and in domestic violence activism.

Molly is author of Womanrunes: a guide to their use and interpretation (based on the work of Shekhinah Mountainwater), as well as three social service oriented booklets and a miscarriage memoir. She writes about thealogy, nature, practical priestessing, and the goddess at her http://goddesspriestess.com. Molly and and her husband Mark co-create original birth art jewelry, figurines, and goddess pendants at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com).

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