Women’s Mysteries, Women’s Circles

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“Women united in close circles can awaken the wisdom in each other’s hearts.” ~The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (via The Girl God)

“Feminism catches fire when it draws upon its inherent spirituality. When it does not, it is just one more form of politics, and politics never fed our deepest hungers.” –Carol Lee Flinders (in The Millionth Circle)

Show up or choose to be present.
Pay attention to what has heart and meaning.
Tell the truth without blame or judgment.
Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome.

–Angela Arrien (in The Millionth Circle)

“Women’s mysteries, the blood mysteries of the body, are not the same as the physical realities of menstruation, lactation, pregnancy, and menopause; for physiology to become mystery, a mystical affiliation must be made between a woman and the archetypal feminine. A woman must sense, know or imagine herself as Woman, as Goddess, as an embodiment of the feminine principle…Under patriarchy this connection has been suppressed; there are no words or rituals that celebrate the connection between a woman’s physiological initiations and spiritual meaning.”

–Jean Shinoda Bolen

The final quote above comes from a very helpful resource for priestesses, the Women’s Mysteries Teacher’s Journal, which is available for free online!

I read and enjoyed two relevant blog posts this week as well, the first about women’s capacity to push each other’s buttons and how it can be easier to work with “victims” than “leaders.” Important to consider…

The process of working with one’s own buttons can be very useful in feminist life. From my own experience and from following the news in feminist and Goddess movement I know how easily women’s groups can break up, often due to strong women pushing each other’s buttons. Have you noticed how we find it easier working with the victims of patriarchy and patriarchal religions, than with the leaders of feminist groups? How we find it easier to help, than to cooperate? In this we might fall into a trap of patriarchy and assume the role of a patriarch rather then a feminist leader.

via Buttons and Hooks by Oxana Poberejnaia | Feminism and Religion.

And, the second this priestess pep talk:

She supports and believes in you utterly. All you have to do is trust Her, and keep on showing up.

Because You are Enough.



You are born of magic, a daughter of the Goddess.

You are a Priestess charged with sharing Her blessings, Her beauty, Her power with the world as it manifest through you, you unique thing you, and it is your DUTY to get out there and create that vision, that life, she is inspiring you with…”

via The How to Be a Priestess Pep Talk

I’ve mentioned that I’m looking forward to the new anthology coming out from Goddess Ink and I very much enjoy the snippets from the book they shared on their Facebook page (I also pre-ordered the book!)

Goddess Ink
From “The Kohanot: Keepers of the Flame” by D’vorah Grenn: “How do we move forward from here? Being a priestess can be exhausting. Without proper shielding and protection, women can find their precious energies only going out, and too rarely being replenished. We must continually find new and effective ways to guard against becoming depleted. Every day, we witness the positive, transformative effects of “restoring women to ceremony,“ to use Lynn Gottlieb’s phrase, another reason it is vital that we continue our work. But to do so, we must protect our spirits, psyches, hearts and time25; those who have been spiritual leaders for some time are well aware of the pitfalls of not doing so. Since others rely on our strength and clarity, this is not a task to be postponed or ignored. We must carry and pass on the knowledge of how to take better care of ourselves, along with our spiritual teachings.”

How do you replenish yourself and protect your energy? In this last week as I’ve worked to finish all my grading for the end of the school session, I’ve been aware of how I tend to let self-care go first—I haven’t practiced yoga in four days, keep getting to the woods at 11:00 at night instead of in the morning, staying up until 2:00 a.m., etc. I feel okay about the out-of-balance because I know it is a very short term push that will end soon, but I think I/we must be mindful of this not becoming a regular habit or pattern of being.

There is also this good one about the priestess path and the idea of mastery…

Goddess Ink
From “Models of Leadership” by Ruth Barrett: “A woman on the priestess path must be vigilant in examining the unconscious tendencies and unexamined habits she has learned from her culture. Another unexamined tendency, which is crucial to recognize, is that American culture is in all-out war against mastery. I use the word “mastery” as it is used in the martial arts. Mastering the physical, psychological and energetic skills required to achieve, for instance, a black belt in Aikido is a path that requires discipline, openness to learning and the patience and persistence to work through plateaus. The black belt is not a goal, it is a journey. The journey is the destination. A sensei (master) of a martial arts black belt is still a student. Mastery is a path, not a title or a credential. It is the process of recognizing and achieving potential. So it is with the priestess path. The more I know, the more I know there is to learn and I must endeavor to have an open beginner’s mind.”

The snow is finally melting and this afternoon I went on a dinner date with my husband (as well as finished up shopping for stocking stuffers and for our solstice dinner. Lots of plans for fun food!). I didn’t get to the woods until about 9:30 and enjoyed the company of the full moon for a time in a much warmer-today woods. We did a very small mini-ritual on the back deck together as well, just with our candles, checking in on the intentions we set during the last full moon, making new intentions, and closing with a short prayer.
December 2013 022

Categories: community, feminist thealogy, night, priestess, quotes, resources, ritual, self-care, spirituality, women, women's circle, woodspriestess | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Women’s Mysteries, Women’s Circles

  1. Your posts are priceless to one just starting this path. Please don’t stop! Thanks and blessings!

    Sent from my IPad.


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