Day 29: Dreaming (#30DaysofHecate)

IMG_7982Tell me about a potent, numinous dream you had, that you have never forgotten. (It does not have to be a recent dream; just one that seems like it was a gift.)

In 2013, I experienced a really profound dream. I was walking down to the woods and in the sky above the priestess rocks, I saw a gigantic, beautiful, pulsating, pink, jeweled rose like flower. I was awe-struck and staring at it. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I became aware that a golden cord stretched from the center of the flower to the top of my head and I became aware that all people were connected to it by these golden cords as well. Then, in that uniquely expansive character of dreams, I somehow traveled through the center of the flower. On the other side was an immense snake of unimaginable proportion, spiraling around “the cosmic egg.” As I looked at it, I became aware that the snake was actually the whole of the universe and that along its body, in the scales, one could perceive not only each galaxy, but also a point for all times and places that ever were or will be. It is hard to describe in writing, but I still deeply remember by feelings of both awe and comprehension and this expansive awareness of reality. It was a gorgeous, trippy, and meaningful dream. I tried to draw something about it, but couldn’t do it. What I was left with is that feeling of majesty, magnitude, and incredible connection.


Categories: #30daysofHecate, divination, dreams, endarkenment, feminist thealogy, Flowers, Goddess, nature, night, sacred pause, spirituality, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 28: Releasing the Beloved Dead (#30DaysofHecate)

IMG_9382When my grandma died in 2013, we first did a family ceremony with sky lanterns in the field by my parents’ house, since her actual service wasn’t held until the following month. Even though it was daylight at the time, we lit a “wish lantern” (paper sort of hot air balloon thing that you release and it floats high into the air until the fuel finally extinguishes). As we watched the lantern sail away on the currents of the breeze and above the green trees, we called out the following as a responsive reading:

Into the freedom of wind and sunshine

Response – We let you go

Into the dance of the stars and the planets

Response – We let you go

Into the wind’s breath and the hands of the stars

Response – We let you go

Tonight, at sunset-moonrise, I took a drawing of her down to the woods and had a little personal ceremony using the elemental release included below that was in Joanna’s prompt for Day 28.

Then, I drummed and sang as night fell.

Last Rites: An Elemental Release
(To be said in ceremony when a loved one has died.)

This is the place we will all one day gather, the place where the Dark Mother waits.
This is the path we must all walk alone, to stand at the quarterly gates.
Here lies what’s left of all that has been, of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Into the cauldron of tears we commit her [him], to change into waters of birth.

We release to the North her [his] flesh and her [his] bones and all that belongs to the Earth.
We release to the East her [his] breath and her [his] voice and all that flies free on the Wind.
To the South we return her [his] passion and Spirit and all that burns pure in the Fire.
To the West we release her [his] blood and her [his] tears and all that’s washed pure in the Water.
To the Center we turn. We let our hearts grieve, seeking comfort of family and friends.

For we know in our hearts we will see her [him] again on a Wheel turning round without end.
Gentle and beloved Spirit of ___________, fly from this place on wings of speed, where gentle breezes blow to a place that has no pain. Have no thought of leaving us. Your work on Earth is done, you ran the race, you loved and were loved, you danced the dance* and won.

We will call your name at Samhain. What is remembered, lives.

— Angie Buchanan, death midwife, founder/director of Earth Traditions.

(*this was actually “fought the fight,” but that didn’t fit to me, so I changed it)





Categories: #30daysofHecate, ancestors, blessings, death, endarkenment, family, night, practices, priestess, readings, ritual, sacred pause, spirituality, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 3: Stirring the Cauldron (#30daysofHecate)

IMG_8787Make for yourself a power spot
Bring you a spoon and a cooking pot
Bring air
Bring fire
Bring water
Bring earth
And you a new universe will birth…

–Shekhinah Mountainwater in The Goddess Celebrates by Diane Stein

Source: Shekhinah Mountainwater | WoodsPriestess

We held our opening ceremony for our Divination Practicum tonight under the full moon. Earlier in the day, in another perfect synchroncity with today’s 30 Days prompt, the Womanrunes card I drew was the Cauldron of Reflection. Perfect for this time of year, but also for me personally. I needed the reminder, and the permission, to rest.

This morning, in the Facebook group for 30 Days of Hecate, the chant above by Shekhinah Mountainwater was suggested as a perfect chant for today. One of her friends recorded herself singing the song as Shekhinah used to sing it and shared it with the group. Someone else found another version online (different tune than Shekhinah’s) and shared the link: Cookingupauniverse.mp3 (it begins at about 1:47). I love it! We sang it over and over tonight during our ritual and it was wonderful.

Shekhinah’s birthday was just four days ago and I wanted to share a couple of things. First, a birthday tribute from the Memorial Fund:

Happy Birthday Shekhinah! | Shekhinah Mountainwater Memorial Fund

And, I wanted to share the news about Shekhinah’s Tarot project.

“At long last, we have pulled together the pieces, the passion and the people to move forward with remastering and publishing Shekhinah’s beautiful Tarot deck. I’m excited to announce this on the night of October 24th, the day Shekhinah was brought into this word and took her first breath.

It has been challenging to get the wheels rolling on this project; no accompanying Tarot book was found when Shekhinah crossed the veil… As well, the cards themselves are worn and need remastering in order to be print-ready. Still, I did not want to give up on it. I know how deeply Shekhinah wanted to publish, and the incredible amount of study, brilliance and magic that went into the creation of her deck. And I also know, even more so now as I have begun the study of the cards, how important this deck is – to all of us… and to future generations…”

Dear Ones: At long last, we have pulled… – Shekhinah Mountainwater

I’ll be working on the book for this project and I look forward to carving out some time and space over the winter to focus on it.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’m offering a free starter class in our new class portal at MotherHouse of the Goddess: Sign Up for Introduction to Womanrunes.

This all feels like stirring the cauldron to me!

Categories: #30daysofHecate, collaboration, divination, moon wisdom, night, sacred pause, self-care, spirituality, Womanrunes, woodspriestess | Leave a comment


She who changes IMG_7770
She who expands and contracts
She who stretches her limits
She who digs deep
She who triumphs and fails
Every day
Sometimes both within a single hour
She who tends her own hearth
She who comforts and connects and enfolds
She who opens wide…

(via my past post: Goddess Mother)

I recently finished reading Under Her Wings: The Making of a Magdalene, by Nicole Christine. A theme running through the book was the concept of “As Above, So Below and As Within, So Without.” I read this book as part of my research for my dissertation about contemporary priestessing. I posed two questions based on this book in my dissertation research study group, but I’d like to invite other responses and experiences as well.

I want to hear from the Mamapriestesses, from the Hearth Priestesses! Where are the other practicing priestesses b2ap3_thumbnail_11209411_1658113891067493_624517776654095662_n.jpgwith children at home? I noticed in Christine’s book that the bulk of her work took place after her children were grown and, to my mind, she also had to distance or separate from her children and her relationships in order to fully embrace her priestess self. How do you balance this? How does it work for you? Parenting, for me, can simultaneously feel as if it is stifling my full expression and yet perhaps as if it holds the greatest lessons and teachers

I notice that many women seem to come to priestess work when the intensive stage of motherhood has passed, or they do not have children. Is there a reason why temple priestesses were “virgins” and village wise women were crones? Where does the Mamapriestess fit?

So, if you have children, I’d love to hear from you about this! If you do not have children by choice, how does that play into your spiritual work? If you do not have children and that is not by choice, how does that play into your spiritual work?

As I read Christine’s book and witnessed her intensive self-exploration, discovery, and personal ceremony and journeys, I realized that in many ways personal exploration feels like a luxury I don’t have at this point in my parenting life (as an example: for an entire month I’ve been dreaming what feel like really powerful and almost revelatory dreams, but I have a night-nursing 11 month old and after multiple night wakings with him, the dreams slip into nothingness and I’m left with a sense of “forgetting” something that is trying to communicate with me or share wisdom).

How do you balance your inner journey with your outer process? Christine references having to step aside and be somewhat aloof or unavailable to let inner processes and understandings develop, since our inner journeys may become significantly bogged down by interpersonal relationships, dramas, venting, chatting, and so forth. Or, as I tend to joke, during a full moon ritual as my two pre-teen sons make fart jokes or the baby has a poopy diaper. For me, this distance for inner process exploration isn’t possible in the immersive stage of life as a mother. And, yet, I also know in my bones that I’m not meant to give it up. How does the As Within and the So Without work together for you?

Several years ago, I was sitting at the table sculpting clay for a new design and my then six-year-old son worked at the table too, finally presenting me with a special gift of his own design:

February 2013 051“This is the Goddess of Everything,” he told me. “See that pink jewel in her belly, that is the WHOLE UNIVERSE, Mom!!”

Categories: dissertation, family, Goddess, OSC, parenting, priestess, self-care, women, woodspriestess, writing | 3 Comments

Day 29: Golden Leaves (#30DaysofHarvest)


 “Some October, when the leaves turn gold, ask me if I’ve done enough to deserve this life I’ve been given. A pile of sorrows, yes, but joy enough to unbalance the equation.”

–Barbara Crooker

Today I spent almost all day working on the modules for my upcoming Divination Practicum course (course supply kits also shipped today!), but I took some time in the afternoon to enjoy the woods and the beautiful patterns of sunshine there. I did a quick Womanrunes reading, while thinking about the Practicum and hoping it goes the way I imagine. I got the Crescent Moon (rune of divination), the Witch’s Hat (rune of magic), and the Heart (rune of passion). Sounds spot-on to me! 😊

And, of course, I was compelled to get a new picture of the roses…


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, classes, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 27: Time is Short (#30DaysofHarvest)


In January of 2014, I sat on the stones in the woods, came face to face with a raccoon in the tree and suddenly knew that I was pregnant again. In October of 2014, I sat on these stones in the woods awaiting the imminent arrival of my new baby boy. Today, I sit on these stones in the woods with a baby boy who is now approaching his first birthday. The wheel spins quickly. 

Today, my mom reminded me that it is the 26th anniversary of her father’s death. 

This tiny boy whose fuzzy blonde head I nuzzle is somebody’s grandpa of the future. 

“Unlimited,” his shirt reminds me and yet I also know that time is short. 

Pay attention and tell about it. ❤️

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, meditations, nature, parenting, practices, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 26: Letting Go (#30DaysofHarvest) 

  Woke this morning thinking of Womanrunes The Winged Circle, rune of freedom, and the sense of lightness and freedom I have as I let go of residual stress, tension, and overwork from grading. As I tried to lay out a lovely, symbolic, “letting go” mandala this afternoon, the cat, the baby, and the little girl all walked on it. The wind blew my leaves out of pattern and scattered my seeds. The blue jay feather I’d synchronistically found kept flipping over. I had to laugh at myself as I kept trying to make it “right.” I get it, I get it. Let go. 🌀❤️🍂 (yes, those are baby toes in the lower left corner). 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, meditations, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, Womanrunes, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 16: Story-ing Up for Winter (#30DaysofHarvest)

I’m playing fast and loose with the 30 Days of Harvest prompt for today, which is really: storing up for winter.* However, I wrote a post today about story and I though, why not, “storying up for winter” instead! One of the things that was really special about GGG this year was having women visit my booth, pick up our goddesses and ask, “what is her story?” Once I told the story for one, they would start asking, “how about this one, what’s the story for it?” And, I even had a woman stop by and say, “I remember you had stories for these last year, can I hear them?”

IMG_7758Yesterday, I went searching for a quote for one of my Red Tent Initiation students. She had shared some powerful reflections about the vulnerability required to reveal our personal stories—there is a lot of risk, sometimes shame, and more, bound up in our ability to uncover ourselves and speak our truth. What I wanted to communicate with her was the idea that in sharing our stories, including the painful pieces, we free other women to do the same. Our courage to be vulnerable, to be naked, to be flawed, to experiment with ideas, concepts, or ways of being gives permission for other women to do the same. I went to a workshop at Gaea Goddess Gathering in 2012 that was about dancing and the facilitator said that when facilitating ritual, you have to be willing to look a little ridiculous yourself, have to be willing to risk going a little “over the top” yourself, because in so doing you liberate the other participants—“if she can take that risk and look a little goofy doing so, maybe it is okay for me to do it too.”

After a lot of digging through old posts on my blog, I found the quote! It is from one of my favorite authors, Carol Christ, who said:

“When one woman puts her experiences into words, another woman who has kept silent, afraid of what others will think, can find validation. And when the second woman says aloud, ‘yes, that was my experience too,’ the first woman loses some of her fear.”

This is part of what makes Red Tent Circles so powerful! It is also part of what makes the Red Tent course itself powerful—when the women in the course are willing to dig into the journal questions, assignments, and processes, to turn them over, to explore how they work in their own lives…they lose some of the fear and they encourage others to lose their fear too.

As I was mining my blog for quotes about the power of story, I came across my older post: I am a Story Woman. In this post, I describe how I was preparing a ritual for New Year’s Eve and planning to include the chant: I am a strong woman, I am a story woman. My husband raised a question about it…

 “I’m not sure about this,” he said, “what is a story woman anyway?” I wasn’t able to give him a solid answer at that moment, but guess what, I am one.

In fact, didn’t I just write earlier this week that story holds the key to the reclamation of power for women? How and why does this work?

Because of these two things:

“The one who tells the stories rules the world.”

–Hopi Indian Proverb

“We feel nameless and empty when we forget our stories, leave our heroes unsung, and ignore the rites of our passage from one stage of life to another.”

–Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox

We need to hear women’s stories. We need to hear each other into speech. We need to witness and be witnessed. We need to be heard…

Source: I am a Story Woman | Talk Birth

Over the summer, I was interviewed by Lucy Pearce for her Be Your Publisher Author Interview series. My interview came out today. Since months have passed since we talked, the details of our conversation have dimmed in my memory. (I’m also noticing that I need to get over my own fear and vulnerability that listening to me talk can somehow be perceived as a “bonus” to anyone!) So, imagine the delight I felt when I saw some of the words she chose to describe our interview conversation:

  • Learn to mine your blog
  • The importance of sharing our stories as we navigate the challenging parts of life.
  • Turning a blog into a book and very wise advice … Don’t die with your music still in you.

Just yesterday, I was mining my own blog as well as musing on the importance and power of sharing our stories.

I am a story woman.

The other quote she mentions, don’t die with your music still in you, has been a guiding philosophy in my life and work for at least twelve years. It comes from the work of Wayne Dyer, who passed away last month. I used this quote to describe my relationship to writing, identity, and wholeness as a person, in a vulnerable post about the power of story in my life in early motherhood:

…I’ve finally realized that maybe it was literally my words dying in me that gave me that feeling and that fretfulness. They needed to get out. I’ve spent a lifetime writing various essays in my head, nearly every day, but those words always “died” in me before they ever got out onto paper. After spending a full three years letting other women’s voices reach me through books and essays, and then six more years birthing the mother-writer within, I continue to feel an almost physical sense of relief and release whenever I sit down to write and to let my own voice be heard.

Source: Birthing the Mother-Writer (or: Playing My Music, or: Postpartum Feelings, Part 1) | Talk Birth

Just this year, we’ve ordered printings of our Womanrunes books four times, published our Red Tent Resource Kit manual then added twenty pages to the second printing and re-released it, and published my new Earthprayer, Birthprayer poetry book. I’m working on my dissertation: 275 pages of past writing (much mined from older blog posts) and 145 pages of data collected from others, as well as a companion book project. I am getting ready to publish a miscarriage support group manual that I wrote for The Amethyst Network a few years ago and I have big plans to significantly expand my Ritual Recipe Kit ebook into a much longer, print, resource manual in 2016.

I am a story woman.


*Actually, I see now it was really “STOCKING up for winter,” but too late, I’m going with it! Really fast and loose with this prompt! ;)

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Cross posted at Talk Birth and Brigid’s Grove.

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, art, GGG, practices, priestess, programs, quotes, red tent, sacred pause, spirituality, women, women's circle, woodspriestess, writing | Leave a comment

Day 15: Savoring autumn fruits (#30daysofharvest)

Nine fruits and nine flavors to preserve my soul

in peace this day.

— Caitlín Matthews

I took today’s prompt metaphorically and went on a walk with my baby to identify nine “flavors” of autumn from my own back yard.

Persimmon for patience
raspberry for reflection,
dogwood for dreams,
rose for enchantment,
aster for starshine,
polk for color,
oak for mystery,
and cucumber for salad.

Okay, so that’s only eight, because the ninth is those cuties in the middle who have been wanting to buy boxes of international snacks online. My husband went to Big Lots today and got them a box of snacks from Germany, Italy, Peru, China, Turkey, England, and the U.S. I think we’re also going to call this a homeschooling win!

For my pictures today, the persimmon is what I went after first, remembering how this time last year I was very pregnant and climbed around in ditches and over fences collecting them in my quest for persimmon cookies. My husband said the other day, “the way to know persimmons are ripe is when they’re all gone.” There is stiff competition from the animals for these little fruits.

Today brought to mind the “nine powers of nine flowers” prompt from 30 Days of May. I can hardly believe it is already fall. I also feel like in September and October I should apparently change my name to “Rosepriestess,” because I cannot stop taking pictures of them!


This is the real color! I don’t do anything to the pictures to get this day-glo look.


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, Flowers, nature, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 3 Comments

Day 13: Autumn Colors (#30DaysofHarvest)

I boldly take up
the shadows,
wear them
like midnight silk,
honor them
for their part in me

excerpt © Nell Aurelia 2013

via We’Moon Lunar News

My little girl has been craving attention and special time lately. Today, we took some time to make this colorful fall mandala down in the woods.


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, art, family, nature, parenting, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 10: Kissing the Earth (#30DaysofHarvest)

“Let the beauty we love

Be what we do

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Earth.”

— Rumi

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, GGG, nature, quotes, sacred pause, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Divination Practicum Course Announcement!

September 2015 0099I’m excited to announce my newest online class!

Listening to the Deep Self, a six-week divination practicum for women begins online on October 27.

This course is designed to help you flex your intuitive and oracular muscles. It will help you become confident in drawing upon your own wisdom and what you have to teach and source from this wisdom

In this practicum you will learn:

  • How to work intensively with Womanrunes
  • How to make, cast, and interpret Goddess Runes
  • How to use women’s divination resources as guidance for other women
  • How to use a pendulum for yourself and with others
  • How to create personal oracle cards
  • How to create a trinket oracle
  • How to lead a Womanrunes divination workshop for other women

You will gain:

  • Practical experience in giving readings for others
  • Confidence in the resources of your own intuition and the womanspirit guidance surrounding you
  • An opportunity to create income for yourself using your gifts, skills, and resources
  • The ability to speak in the language of the runes
  • The ability to reliably and regularly connect to womanspirit wisdom, the Goddess, the Earth, your spiritual guides, and your own deep self

Womanrunes in use in the Red Tent in Pembrokeshire

Your Practicum Kit Includes*:

  • Free shipping!
  • Womanrunes book and cards
  • Professionally printed practicum workbook
  • Goddess pendulum
  • Trinket oracle starter kit
  • Gemstone heart palm stone (we will intuitively choose the stone for you)
  • Amethyst gemstone point
  • Amethyst bracelet
  • Purple cloth upon which to do readings smallMay 2015 057
  • Purple bag to store your resources
  • Certificate of completion in Readings for Womanspirit
  • Complete workshop outline and handouts for you to lead a Womanrunes class with other women at festivals, circles, conferences, or events (plus an opportunity to purchase books wholesale to have available to sell to others!)
  • Live interaction, support, and feedback via a private Facebook group
  • Optional add-on: goddess pendant or inner wisdom goddess sculpture

(*contents subject to slight changes depending on availability)

Early bird registration pricing ends September 25th! Register via our Brigid’s Grove website.

Goddessgarb 223

Categories: classes, embodiment, practices, resources, Womanrunes, womanspirit, women, women's circle, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 5: Communal Creativity (#30DaysofHarvest)

“…When we work together cooperatively, the final product is one of synergy — it is more than each of its separate parts. The pleasure we take in each other’s company finds its way into the medicine we create.”

— Joanna Powell Colbert, The Gaian Tarot

Today was the final day of Gaea Goddess Gathering and my sister-in-law took this picture of me by the lake. It was a re-creation of a similar picture she took two years ago that now graces the back cover of my new Earthprayer, Birthprayer book (published just last week and still waiting for me to write some launch posts about it!) 

I’m feeling relieved to be home now from Kansas after five days away. Gaea Goddess Gathering was a multifaceted experience as always. Vending was so rewarding with lots of lovely connections woven and stories shared. Many other elements felt like something we survived! It is quite physically taxing to be there–not enough food, water, or sleep, too much climbing up seventy steps up a steep hillside while breastfeeding + babywearing! And, this year there were weather extremes–first, 90+ degrees, follows by rain and wind, then cool. I couldn’t have done it without my mom’s help with my daughter and with the help of my SIL and my mom with set up/take down of the booth. 


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, community, family, GGG, nature, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Ritual Recipe: Fall Equinox Gratitude Ceremony


  • Items from nature for a collaborative nature mandala: leaves, stones, acorns, seeds, twigs, feathers, and other items from nature (mindfully collected and ideally found on ground). If a group ritual, ask each person to bring a quantity of something to add to the mandala. If it is a family ritual, go out together before moonrise to collect your items. Note: Depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.
  • Paper leaves (can be simply cut out ovals using scrap paper) or dry, fallen leaves + markers to write on them.
  • Optional: drums, rattles, or bells
  • Optional: a candles for each participant (place around outer edge of nature mandala)

Before the ritual: ask each person to respond to the prompt: “my bounty is” and collate the responses into a collaborative bounty poem. If you are working alone, respond to this prompt on your own and form a poem for yourself (example poem)

1. Body Invocation (inspired by one in Gathering for Goddess by Melusine Mihaltses):

  • South:
    I welcome Fire with my body. (We welcome Fire with our bodies [group repeats])
    Rub your hands together, feel the heat you generate. Now place your hands upon your chest. Feel the heat upon your heart.
    Fire lives within me (us).
    I (we) have invoked the powers of Fire. August 2015 145
    Welcome Fire!
  • West:
    I welcome Water with my body. (We welcome Water with our bodies [group repeats])
    Lick your lips, wet them with your tongue.
    Water lives within me (us).
    I (we) have invoked the powers of Water.
    Welcome Water!
  • North:
    I welcome Earth with my body. (We welcome Earth with our bodies [group repeats])
    Give yourself (or the person next to you) a hug or place your hands upon your thighs and then your upper arms. Feel the solidness of your body.
    Earth lives within me (us).
    I (we) have invoked the powers of Earth.
    Welcome Earth!
  • East:
    I welcome Air with my own breath. (We welcome Air with our bodies [group repeats])
    Inhale and exhale. Breathe audibly in a deep sigh.
    Air lives within me (us).
    I (we) have invoked the powers of Air
    Welcome Air!

Optional variation: sing or listen to Circle Casting Song as the invocation.

2. All sing (and dance and drum!): August 2015 119

Dance in a Circle of Moonlight
Make a web of my life
Hold me as I spiral and spin
Make a web of my life

(modified from Marie Summerwood’s chant, Dance in a Circle of Women)

3. Mindfully create your beautiful nature mandala—depending on size, composition, energy, and patience of the group, you may wish to create the mandala together first before beginning the rest of the ritual and then gather around it for the rest of the ritual itself.

4. Gratitude and abundance leaves (pre-written on if working with children or for faster-paced ritual). Reflect on theAugust 2015 131 bounty of the year and write down things you are grateful for on leaves (dry, fallen leaves or on paper leaves). Read aloud (size permitting—multiple people can speak at same time) and then scatter the leaves around in the nature mandala.

5. Read your collaborative bounty poem: “my bounty is…”

6. Sing: Autumn is Here (modified from Gathered Here in Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition)

Gathered here in the mystery of the hour
Gathered here in one strong body
Gathered here in the struggle and the power
Autumn is here
Autumn is here

(repeat several times)

7. Finish with more drumming and dancing. We usually join hands and end with the prayer: “May Goddess bless and keep us. May wisdom dwell within us. May we create peace.”

August 2015 109

An easily printable version of this ritual recipe is included as the freebie with the fall issue of our newsletter. Sign up available via Brigid’s Grove.

Categories: family, holidays, liturgy, nature, practices, priestess, resources, ritual, seasons, spirituality, woodspriestess | 4 Comments


My bounty is in reflection August 2015 106
and story-telling
and deep spaces.

My bounty is in dreams and plans
and refusing to quit.

My bounty wells up from within and
spills over with gusto
and irrepressible hope for
and plans,
and endless newness
bright within each morning.

My bounty is in blooms and clay
and gemstones and gravel
in dirt and weeds
raspberries and blood.

My bounty brings the women.
Energy feeds the land.

Words spill forth onto

My bounty is in what I holdAugust 2015 119
and release.

What I won’t give up on
and what I set free.

My bounty is milky.
Curled eyelashes,
blonde head,
sturdy legs.

My bounty is in conversation
circling the veranda in
steady, strong loops
of raw possibility
hope and wonder.

My bounty is in moments of despair and hopelessness
that break like waves on the shore
and make way for sunrise.

My bounty gathers together broken pieces
and tries again.

My bounty moves quickly
fluttering like a butterfly
and traversing continents of desire
before alighting on a thistle
and beautiful.

As the wheel of the year turns towards fall, what is your bounty? What have you harvested or are waiting until the time is right to pick? What have you created, birthed, sweated over, discovered, or enjoyed?

There has been a crispness to the evening air and the hint of color in the trees that makes me reflect on the passage of another year. It feels like a time to wrap up projects, enjoy results, and to begin another time of turning inward, moving toward the cocoon-call of winter.

Last night my family held an abundance and gratitude ritual (+ harvest + autumn + full moon). I had a wonderful time setting up a mandala on our back deck, which we have recently taken to calling the veranda. Life is much nicer with a veranda in it and we regularly make time to sit out there in the morning as well as walk there at night. I got the term “verandahing” from Leonie Dawson and I highly recommend this practice of making time daily to sit outside on your veranda (deck, porch, front stoop, stair, whatever you’ve got, just try it!).

In the mandala, I set gourds and sage that we grew, harvested, and dried. I also used rose petals and hydrangea blooms that are still currently blooming. I picked dittany, sumac, and dogwood leaves from the forest. After the moon rose, we drummed, sang, danced, wrote what we are grateful for on paper leaves and added them to the mandala. Earlier in the day, I followed a prompt from my Sacred Year class to reflect on my “bounty,” as we approach the harvest season. I expected to write more literally about the things I’ve created and harvested this year, but a bountiful, bounty poem emerged instead.

I registered for Joanna Powell Colbert’s upcoming ecourse: 30 Days of Harvest ~ A Daily Sacred Pause of Welcoming Autumn. I look forward to another experience of daily practice with her.

My own Red Tent class began on the full moon, the birthing of the “seed dream” I planted in February, and another Womanrunes Immersion as well as a Divination Practicum begin in October. A bountiful culmination of the year’s work. I am amazed to see what can be generated and grown over the course of a year.

This month has been a busy one for me and I’ve felt emotionally erratic—vacillating between a boundless enthusiasm and a sort of trapped, snappy despair (as I re-read past blog posts, I recognize this as a feature of having a toddler, disrupted sleep, and an unpredictable “schedule”). Last week, I felt moved and very reassured by a quote I read via a post on Changing by Trista of the Girl God:

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”

-Alice Walker, Living by the Word

August 2015 089

Categories: art, nature, poems, practices, ritual, sacred pause, seasons, spirituality, woodspriestess | 5 Comments

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