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 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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Don’t mind me,

I’m out getting lost

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Loved the poem! Thanks for sharing the "May Magic" prayerbook with us, great stuff as always.

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It is April and Earth’s Mystery School
is in session.
The dogwoods are preparingMay be an image of flower and outdoors
to hold council,
draped in white
as they line the corridors
of discovery.
Chickweed has already been
holding a party in the front yard,
scattering the grass with stars.
The violets are keeping company
with dandelion,
trading tips on how to best enjoy the sun,
while waiting for bees
to waltz over from the plums.
Speaking of plums,
they’ve got a lot to say,
bursting with enthusiasm
and excitement to share
all they’ve brought to offer
and arraying their teachings
before you with a delicately irrepressible
and intoxicating air.
Dialogues with daisies will be
beginning just down the way
and there is much to learn
from elderberry
as it stretches tall
and prepares for an audience
capable of patience and possibility.
Lillies and iris are considering
options for collaboration
and preparing a display,
but they will be waiting a bit longer
for just the right moment to speak.
Hyacinth is feeling shy,
but has a small class to offer
on tapping into delight
and touching deep secrets
and long memories.
It is a fine time to divine with witchhazel
along the way
and choose recipes with maple No photo description available.
and morel,
time to talk tea and tinctures
with toothwort and trillium
and to learn sweet secrets from
redbud and lilac.
Raspberry and blackberry
are getting ready for a team effort,
teaching about the sweetness of boundaries and about
holding space.
Rose will be a guest lecturer
as she knows a lot about balancing
bounteous blooming
with assertive limits.
Wild cherry has been wondering
what to share
and soon she’ll spread her
graceful arms
to welcome you when summer school begins.
Leave behind your computer,
you won’t need it.
Lessons are free and open 24 hours,
broadcast live even from
sidewalk cracks and roadsides
and vacant lots.
You’re welcome to study
as long as you like
as long as you’re open
to the schedule
of what is now.
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“No longer am I only hearing my own voice
but instead I co-exist in a world where
No photo description available.everything speaks with  its own unique, quirky, gorgeous personality. Every berry has a little  voice, every grass stalk makes itself known. I become surrounded by a  community of living Earth, and this entire community is willing to play  with me in this changing game of life.”

—Day Schildkret (Morning Altars, @morningaltars)  

What is waiting for you to notice it?

Do you have time to play in this changing game of life?
  

As we enter the flourishing of spring, I have a practice-based audio meditation to share based on Day Schildkret's book Morning Altars. It is a Place Meditation.

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It was mist this morning
that lured me away,

May be an image of naturestraight out of bed and into the trees
to see the glow lifting
from the valley and sliding through
the rising sun,
particles of water vapor
drifting sideways through the air
so that it looks like the woods
are breathing.
I almost think I hear the fairies
of the land whispering
as the rays of sunshine
lay down enchanted paths
between tree trunks,
unmapped lines of discovery
that are only revealed
with the light is just so
and a crow zips silently by
carrying something mysterious
in its beak.
I see why we are warned about the mist,
pathways that are shrouded and uncertain.
After all, if you step into the mist
how will you know
what to buy or what to feel
bad about.
How can anyone capture
and sell your attention
if you’ve reclaimed it
and let it settle into the mist
instead of into a screen.
If you are focused
instead of fractured,
if you are no longer listening
to how it has to be,
or what to think,
or where to look,
or what to buy,
perhaps it is you
who becomes dangerous,
free as you now are
to slip away
into the mist,
into the real and pulsing
world,
breath from cedar trunks
rising up to meet you
where you are. 

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Solid gold! That poem makes you a dangerous rebel, in all the right ways.
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Thank you so much!

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I carried lemon balm
and sweet almond oil with me
into the woods
and sat on a stone.

May be an image of natureI saw three vultures rising and falling
wheeling and whirling
gracefully above the valley
and a single black crow zip busily
along the horizon
as its kin called raucously
from unseen trees.
A neat triangle of nine geese
passed above my head,
close enough for a change
to hear the rhythmic sounds
of their wings moving the air
as they passed me by.
I encircled myself with lemon balm,
scattering it loosely
on the leaves around my rock.
I anointed my body with sweet drops
of scented oil
and whispered some wishes to the wind.
These, my own spontaneous
and solitary
rites of spring.
Suddenly, the slowly coasting vultures
changed course
and angled across the blue sky above me.
I felt the shadows of their long wings
gently cross me
as I sat silent in my circle
and felt tears rise into my eyes
and laughter rise to my lips
at the exact same moment
as I recognized the feeling
of Persephone’s return. 

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“Let us hold hands with the woman who cooks,
with the woman who builds,
with the woman who cries,
with the woman who laughs,
with the woman who heals,
with the woman who prays,
with the woman who plants,
with the woman who harvests,
with the woman who sings,
with the woman whose spirits rise.”

Pat Mora, Let Us Hold Hands
(in Auga Santa, reprinted in the UU Service Committee’s Gender Justice curriculum)

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Note: originally published at Feminism and Religion.

This morning,https://feminismandreligion.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/natural-ceremony-photo-of-goddess-on-mushroom-2.jpg
I walked around the field
and discovered

three soft white breast feathers
of an unknown bird,
two earthstar mushrooms,
sinking quietly back into the soil,
one tiny snail shell,
curled in spiral perfection,
and the fire of my own spirit
burning in my belly,
rekindled by elemental magic
of the everyday kind,
the small and precious gifts
of an ordinary day.

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