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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Molly

Molly

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 The Red Tent Resource Kit. 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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 I believe that these circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we’re weak and sing with us when we’re strong.”

–SARK, Succulent Wild Woman
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Seven years ago, a small postcard at the local Unitarian Universalist church caught my eye. It was for a Cakes for the Queen of Heaven facilitator training at Eliot Chapel in St. Louis. I registered for the training and went, driving alone into an unknown neighborhood. There, I circled in ceremony and sisterhood with women I’d never met, exploring an area that was new for me, and yet that felt so right and so familiar. I’d left my two young sons home for the day with my husband and it was the first time in what felt like a long time that I’d been on my own, as a woman and not someone’s mother. At the end of the day, each of us draped in beautiful fabric and sitting in a circle around a lovely altar covered with goddess art and symbols of personal empowerment, I looked around at the circle of women and I knew: THIS is what else there is for me.

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"Just as the acorn holds limitless oaks, the Self has limitless potential. Expanding, contracting, opening, closing, leaping, pausing, watching, knowing, asking questions…" --Womanrunes, The Rune of Self

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To be a human being sitting on a rock, in the sun, feeling wind, breathing in and out, reaching. This very moment, this very experience, this very capacity to sit and see and wonder, is the soul of life.

Today is my grandma's birthday. She passed away two years ago after a short and brutal bout with aggressive pancreatic cancer. After she died, my mom and I spoke briefly about whether or not my grandma's spirit is still present with us. I’ve noticed I don’t really get the kinds of “messages” that other people seem to experience after the loss of someone important to them and my mom feels pretty certain that life is over when it is over.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely, thank you for your wise words.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thank you!

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“Moontime opens up our intuition.
By allowing ourselves to honour this time,
we can eliminate premenstrual tendencies…
Moontime is a sacred passage leading
to a greater awareness of self.”

–Veronika Robinson, Cycle to the Moon (p. 142)
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One evening as I prepared for a Red Tent Circle, a package arrived for me from the UK. In it was the beautiful book by Veronika Robinson: Cycle to the Moon.

Cycle to the Moon is a quick read and an inspiring one. The line illustrations are beautiful and the combination of journal pages/prompts and text is nice.

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Interdependence. This topic is often on my mind as we approach U.S. Independence Day. There is so much strength in interdependence or being in-dependence together.

According to one of my favorite Goddess scholars, Carol Christ, the central ethical vision of Goddess religion is that all beings are embedded in a web of interconnected relatedness. All beings are part of the web of life. Everything is in relation—indeed it is possible to have relationships with the sun, sky, wind, and rainbow, as well as to other people, animals, plants, and the Divine. Everything is interconnected and does not exist without connection, relationship. Connection is strength, not weakness, and it is central.

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    Too busy. Too buzzy. Not enough time. 11227964_10207110812918713_5387391899479469362_n
    To do. To do. To do.
    Scramble. Hurry.
    Tight chest
    Tight breath
    Tight heart
    WAIT!
    Listen to Summer.
    Languid. Warm. Sweaty. Hot.
    Petals soften
    Juice drips
    Kissed by sunlight
    Bathed with rain
    Sweet stickiness.
    Passion.
    Summer is heavy.
    Hot and ready.
    Blooming and dripping.
    Unfolding. Becoming. Ripening.
    Sweet. Tangy. Biting.
    Feel it in the air.
    Greet it at sunset.
    Throw your arms around it.
    Dig in. Hang on. This is IT.
    Taste it. Hold it. Enfold it. Be it.
    Lick it. Know it. Be it. Embrace it.
    This is your life.
    This is your life.
    Do you love it?

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Summer's bounty b2ap3_thumbnail_June-2015-060.JPG
both sweet and spiky
sun-kissed and thorny
able to draw blood
and to cause you to smile
as you taste the juices of life.

I find it interesting to observe how the wheel of the year is reflected within my own mind and thought processes. In the late fall, I turn inward and feel like retreating and pulling away from commitments. In the winter, I incubate and make plans. In the spring, I emerge again and feel enthused with new ideas. In the summer, I start to make decisions about what to keep and what to prune away. I find that summer is a perfect time to see what is growing well and what needs to be yanked out by the roots.

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 …The spirit of adventure b2ap3_thumbnail_June-2015-067.JPG
    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.

June brings out the hunter in me. The mission: wild raspberries.* A friend once laughed to hear me describe picking raspberries as a "holy task," but it is. A task earthy, embodied, mundane, and miraculous at once.

Two of June's treasures each year for me are the roses and the raspberries. This week, I sweated and struggled and was scratched and stung, but I returned home once again with my bounty.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Our blackberries will ripen next month! I look forward to them also.
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely - in my part of the world it is blackberry brambles - there is something so precious about fruit gathered at a bit of a cos

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