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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The Third Candle: Water

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I find a rock with sun on it b2ap3_thumbnail_December-2016-017.JPG
and a stream where the water runs gentle

and the trees which one by one give me company
so I must stay for a long time.
Until I have grown from the rock
and the stream is running through me
and I cannot tell myself from one tall tree…

–Nancy Wood, in Sisters of the Earth

The third advent candle is lit. The theme is Joy. The element is Water. Family harmony. Balanced emotions. Clear, clean water for all. Spring, creek, river, ocean. May they be healthy, whole, flowing, and well.

We chose a family theme (harmony) and intention to carry us through the four Sundays leading up to Solstice: “our family works in harmony to meet each member’s needs.” Each week, we reaffirm this intention as well as reflect on the element and quality of the week. The third week is Water and Joy so we each shared something december-2016-009we will do that will bring joy in the upcoming week. We talked about the ebb and flow of our emotions and the push-pull of the tides on the shore and one emotion we would like to “balance” within ourselves for more flow. We looked at the tracing of veins on our arms, branching like a network of streams, and felt how Water lives within us. We talked about local waterways and how they all flow to the ocean and also about our upcoming trip to the ocean, as well as our appreciation for the new river land in our family, where we were actually on the same day having family photos taken.

Then, we sang We are Circling and, holding hands, reaffirmed our family intention: our family works in harmony to meet each member’s needs.

Then, we got up and all danced together in a raucous circle singing We Are a Circle. Laughing and out of breath, we then used some of our Divine december-2016-016Imperfections goddess sculptures to make snow globes together. This experience reminded me of the value of consciously planning for family ritual and how it reaffirms and strengthens bonds and connections. We spend a lot of time together, but the time is often fragmented, scattered, or chaotic, or filled with many other tasks and to-dos. On Saturday, we had a mother blessing ceremony for my sister-in-law and I was reminded of the same thing then: shared ritual refills your “cup” and strengthens your connections. It reminds you of the heart of your relationships. It moves you from roteness, flurry, rush habit, and everyday, into a magical dimension in which your communication is deep and authentic and your heart can re-attach to your most valued connections with others.

Our family Solstice Prayer Wreath practice is based on the one described by Beth OwlsDaughter in this post (and shared by her currently in a series of weekly facebook events). november-2016-003

These are the themes/topics for each candle:

  • Candle 1: hope (air)
  • Candle 2: peace (fire)
  • Candle 3: joy (water)
  • Candle 4: love (earth)
  • Candle 5: center (spirit, solstice night)

Brigid’s Grove is offering a Worldwide Solstice Circle event online this year. Companion resources, journal prompts, a detailed free ritual packet as well as a collection of digital gifts will also be available in our new Creative Spirit Circle companion classroom. You are cordially invited to join us!

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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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