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, 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 original goddess sculptures, pendants, and ceremony kits at Brigid’s Grove (http://brigidsgrove.com), where they also publish Womanrunes book and deck sets.

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I am powerful  b2ap3_thumbnail_June-2017-001.JPG
I am magical
I am healthy
I am free…

You may wish to place one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly and hum gently to center yourself in this time and in space. Call yourself in, feeling yourself present in your body, on this earth, breathing in and out, in and out.

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“The ears of this language do not often hear the songs of the white egrets, the rain falling into stone bowls. So we make our own songs to contain these things, make ceremonies and poems, searching for a new way to speak, to say we want a new way to live in the world, to say that wilderness and water, blue herons and orange newts are invaluable not just to us, but in themselves…”
 
--Linda Hogan in  Sisters of the Earth
 
You may wish to place one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly and hum gently to center yourself in this time and in space. Call yourself in, feeling yourself present in your body, on this earth, breathing in and out, in and out.
 
This past weekend I priestessed an overnight Red Tent Retreat. As part of the retreat experience, we went on a pilgrimage through the woods to a nearby spring on my parents' property. For our Creative Spirit Circle mini ritual this week, I made an audio recording describing the experience of this pilgrimage as an everyday heroine's journey, an Inanna's descent into the underworld and her return, bearing lessons for her people. The recording is available here.
 
In the recording, I also explore the cards I chose for the week ahead and also share a poem, a quote, and some additional reflections on being an “everyday Inanna.” 
 
Our card for the week from Womanrunes, was The Circle, rune of self, beginnings, and potential. How are you tending to yourself? What is beginning for you? What potential feels like it is ready for you to tap into? This card reminds us to pay attention to the everyday miracles around us, including our own breaths. Pause and witness the miracle.
 
From the Goddess Guidance Oracle, we received Abundantia, the goddess of prosperity. This card reminds us to be open to receiving. And, she reminds us of the power of visualizing and affirming our own capacity for abundance, remembering that abundance may come in many ways including time, support, and ideas. Where have you experienced abundance lately? To what abundance are you open? What types of prosperity are you experiencing? There are many ways to prosper!
 
Take a deep breath and smile. Feel yourself expand into spacious possibility and the energy of creation. Reach down and touch the earth. Open your arms to the sky. Bring your hands back to your heart and belly, centered right here on this beautiful Earth. Feel aware of the cycle of life into which we are all woven. 
 
May you make ceremonies and poems, witness many miracles, and receive abundantly. 
 
Affirmation for the week: I welcome new beginnings and I prosper.
 
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I am the blossom, I am the beemay-2017-124
I am the branch, I am the squirrel
I am the acorn, I am the oak
I am the breath, I am the words
I am the space, I am the fullness
I am the song of the May.

Happy Beltane to all! We brought in the May by the wild, flooded creek and river. I have never seen the water so high and intense! We offered our flower blessings to the churning, deep water, and sang together as we faced the wildly swirling torrents of water, accompanied by its music, awe-inspired at how quickly a landscape can change after several days of heavy rain.

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This review was first published in the April 2017 issue of SageWoman Magazine (issue #91)

The newly re-released Barbara Walker Tarot is rich with dedicated, attentive symbolism. A very no-nonsense deck, the suite cards as well as the court cards are b2ap3_thumbnail_April-2017-046.JPGillustrated with multilayered and complex images. This deck is an intense one. The images are bold and striking, even stark and harsh in presentation. They clearly draw inspiration from classic medieval images and styles, though blend many myths and themes within that artistic style. If you want an inspiring, comforting, and pretty deck, this deck will not be the one for you. Many of the cards are ominous in presentation and vaguely (or directly) threatening in imagery and theme.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_September-2015-083.JPG

“Let the beauty we love 
Be what we do
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Earth.”

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  • Deb
    Deb says #
    Wonderful post Molly, you captured the essence of water rising from the ground, the spirit of the cave and nature unfolding before

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"Human beings are ritual-making creatures. We might not build them consciously, but form them we will. We honor the goddess most effectively when we create rituals that express the best of ourselves and our intentions toward the earth, our mother."

--Patricia Monaghan, The Goddess Companion

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 “Loving, knowing, and respecting our bodies is a powerful and invincible act of rebellion in this society.”
~ Inga Muscio

A fun self-nurturing activity with many applications is a sacred bath. This can be used as a group with footbaths, instead of full baths and it can also be used for a postpartum sealing ceremony. A simple ritual is for each participant to bring something to add to the bath mix. As they add their contribution, have them choose one word to represent the contribution and sing it in Call Down a Blessing to bless the full mixture.

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