In November of 2010, I attended at women’s spirituality retreat in St. Louis and we did an exercise in which we each wrote a “gift” on a piece of paper (following a guided meditation) and then put them into a communal bowl and each drew out another’s woman’s gift—like she had passed it to us. I drew out “sacred words.” My friend told me she thought it was perfect for me because talking to me about her own experience of spirituality had been deeply meaningful to her. When I got home, I started looking for study programs/schools online because I knew in my heart that the time had come to deepen my personal study and experiences. I ended up applying to Ocean Seminary College and being accepted into the doctoral program in Thealogy/Goddess studies. This weekend, I finished my eleventh OSC class. I’m almost finished with two more and currently enrolled in another two. After those classes, another 11 classes remain, plus a priestess practicum and my dissertation. I really feel grateful for my experiences and classes at OSC. They have helped me clarify my own vision, purpose, and direction as well as helped me develop skills, rituals, broader understandings, and personal practices. I’ve also branched out as a writer as a direct result of my coursework there. While anchored for several years in being a birth and motherhood writer, my woodspriestess project has its roots in my Ecology and the Sacred class at OSC. Writing this blog, as well as writing for Feminism and Religion and Pagan Families, is a direct result of my work with OSC and the opportunity it has offered me to deepen my own practices and understandings. The decision to apply and then to begin classes represents one of those pivotal life moments for me. It is also entwined with my priestess path, since it was from Global Goddess members that I learned about OSC in the first place and then in doing my work at OSC I gained the confidence to see that I was already functioning in a priestess role in my community and wanted to step more fully into that place, which led me to apply for ordination as a priestess with Global Goddess…it is like a lovely big circle 🙂
I had fun times at Tagxedo making the word cloud above out of my blog and also word clouds for my mom and grandma. And, I learned that this year is the 70th anniversary of the classic Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. I have my online students take this test every session and we compare our results and the overall class dynamic. In celebration of the MBTI birthday, they have cool little wordcloud heads available with your type. Here’s mine!
And, I saw this quote on Facebook and liked it!
And, speaking of words and wordweaving, I enjoyed this article about poetry in the schools:
Poetry builds resilience in kids and adults; it fosters Social and Emotional Learning. A well-crafted phrase or two in a poem can help us see an experience in an entirely new way. We can gain insight that had evaded us many times, that gives us new understanding and strength. William Butler Yeats said this about poetry: “It is blood, imagination, intellect running together…It bids us to touch and taste and hear and see the world, and shrink from all that is of the brain only.” Our schools are places of too much “brain only;” we must find ways to surface other ways of being, other modes of learning. And we must find ways to talk about the difficult and unexplainable things in life — death and suffering and even profound joy and transformation.
I still don’t think of myself as writing poetry and yet there it somehow is on almost every page of my blog… 😉
Beauty surrounds me
I am immersed in beauty
Feeling it fully
Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us! Your blog really helps me focus and imagine and find a calm place. Thank you!