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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Divination Layout for Halloween

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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The wheel turns. Our youngest son turned one yesterday. His pregnancy and birth was so closely aligned with the wheel of the year and my pregnancy with him was an incredibly generative time for our business (I wrote and published the Womanrunes book as well as sculpted more than twenty of our sculpture and pendant designs while pregnant with him). I can hardly believe he is one now! Instead of leaping right into my to-do list when he was napping, I sat with my cards and my Divination Practicum workbook. I’m really enjoying the many ways the course I am currently teaching dovetails with the prompts in the 30 Days of Hecate course I am currently taking. Yesterday's assignment was to do a tarot reading using Joanna’s “Elder of Fire” layout. I did it with the Gaian Tarot combined with Womanrunes. I  felt like doing this layout was exactly what I needed. I’ve been feeling scattered, drained, touched out, and stressed lately. My kids are all sick and we’ve been what feels like nonstop busy and I’ve been craving down time, solitude, and space to think. My list is a mile long, but I made space for this work first instead of saving it for the oft-elusive “later.” This Elder of Fire layout feels like a really, really powerful layout to do at this time of year and I encourage you to try it yourself this weekend! I was also very interested to see that the rune of the day for me was The Cauldron and then The Cauldron was also the first card for my Elder spread. That is very Hecate-riffic.

For this layout, five cards are used:

1. Offering: What or who is dead or dying, that you need to honor?

2. Challenge: What task does the Elder of Fire ask of you?

3. Center: Where do you find your center of power? 

4. Opening: What new sweetness is wafting in on the scent of burning herbs?

5. Wisdom: What secrets do the ancestors whisper to you this All Hallows Eve? (Source: Elder of Fire: A Tarot Spread for All Hallow’s Eve)

The results of the layout for me were as follows, combining Womanrunes with The Gaian Tarot:IMG_8817 1. Offering: What or who is dead or dying, that you need to honor? The reversed Awakening tarot card indicates that what is “dying” is being controlling and rigid, unwilling to hear the call of spirit. The Cauldron reminds me that something is waiting to be stirred–to be brewed up–and that what is passing away is a time of confusion or not knowing.

2. Challenge: What task does the Elder of Fire ask of you? The Elder of Earth here asks me “to be deeply content within” while the Flying Woman serenades me with her call to action and transformation. Interestingly, I’d already inked her on my wrist this morning holding the Cauldron. Even more interesting is that the takeaway part of her message in the Womanrunes book is to spin, spin together in the dance of life. And…look what she is paired with…the Elder of Earth spinning on her wheel!

3. Center: Where do you find your center of power? This one was a little more confusing because The Canoe in the tarot is reversed, which doesn’t feel very center of power-y. However, I read the description and actually laughed because it says, “perhaps you are pushing too hard and have lost the pleasure of the project.” I have been complaining all week of feeling too pushy and like I’m “revving” too hard trying to keep up. So, The Canoe reminds me to paddle and float and steer with focus rather than drive, per se. I’m not surprised to see The Winged Circle show up here—I’ve been tight and closed in and need to remember to spread my wings and to shake things off, opening to possibility.

4. Opening: What new sweetness is wafting in on the scent of burning herbs? Justice showing up here makes sense too, reminding me of balance. So, what better pairing to balance out my sense of tight, driven pushiness than the Womanrunes card, The Yoni: Rune of Pleasure. This rune relates to creativity and joy. Yes, please.

5. Wisdom: What secrets do the ancestors whisper to you this All Hallows Eve? The Two of Air shows up here telling me to make time for silence and to listen to the whispers of my deep self. And, to “move at the pace of guidance.” In a funny, literal twist, something that I keep snapping about this work is that I need quiet. I crave silence, I have said multiple times over the last few days. The Rune of Prosperity shows up here, connecting beautifully to the tree imagery in the tarot card and whispering to me to rest and let sunlight kiss my branches. After laying out the cards and journaling about them, I let myself page through the notes from my friends at my mother blessing last year as I prepared for my baby’s birth. It felt sweet and tender to allow myself that pleasure as I sat next to my napping now-one-year-old boy.

May you rest when you need to. May you embrace joy with creative abandon. May you welcome sweetness. May you listen to ancient wisdom. May you step into your center of power.

Happy Halloween!

--

P.S. As a Halloween "treat" for you, feel free to take the free Introduction to Womanrunes class I am teaching at Mystery School of the Goddess.

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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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