“Women united in close circles can awaken the wisdom in each other’s hearts.” ~The 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (via The Girl God)
When I became ordained as a priestess with Global Goddess in July of 2012, one of the commitments I made as part of ordination was to be of service in some way to the organization and to document my service to my community through the year. So, in keeping with that commitment, I made a year-end summary post at the end of 2012. It was helpful to me personally to see everything grouped together in one post and see that I’m truly doing this work. I enjoy sharing my post with the rest of the GG community in hopes of encouraging others to keep a record of their own. To continue this commitment, I also kept a list during 2013 and here it is!
January: facilitated winter women’s retreat and first session of the Rise Up curriculum. Simple family full moon ritual.
February: One Billion Rising event hostess/speaker, second Rise Up class, family full moon ritual, personal week-long retreat with private creativity ritual.
March: Spirit in Practice presentation at UU church. Ovary ritual for pregnant friend. Third Rise Up class.
May: Spring women’s retreat/healing ceremony/maiden ceremony. Family memorial ceremony for my grandma on Mother’s Day.
June: Officiant at my grandma’s committal service and one speaker at her celebration luncheon (this was actually at the close of May, but for some reason it was on my June list). Miscarriage presentation and Moontime presentation at LLL conference (June 15th). Rise Up class times two on June 28.
August: spontaneous family full moon ritual (kid directed. 8/18), poem reading at Day of Hope ceremony. (8/19), Sixth Rise Up class (8/30). Ordained by American Priestess Council.
September: Gaea Goddess Gathering. Walked as one of the Mothers in main ritual. Volunteer as temple priestess. Booth in marketplace (9/21).
October: candlelight vigil for pregnancy loss (10/12), family harvest full moon ritual (10/16), officiant at wedding (10/27)
November: fall retreat (double ritual. 11/9), full moon family ritual, 11/17)
December: mini-date-night full moon ritual, family winter solstice ritual (12/21). Mini-New-Year-Greeting ritual planned for evening of 12/31.
Throughout the year I kept my commitment to contribute something for each of the eight issues of The Oracle (publication of Global Goddess). I also wrote one post a month for my SageWoman blog as well as one post every other month for the Feminism and Religion project. And, I wrote 39 posts for Pagan Families on my own somewhat haphazard schedule. This was in addition to the 188 posts published on this blog. (And, not theme-of-this-post related, but writing-related, I also wrote 160 posts on my birth blog!) I finished five classes at Ocean Seminary College and am extremely close to completing two more. I decided to finish my M.Div degree and completed my thesis prospectus twice as I settled on my topic. I also refined my dissertation topic for my D.Min degree. I created a priestess work study group on Facebook. And, I created art whenever I got the chance!
My Woodspriestess experiment was a deep personal success for me that created a lot of change, opportunity, reflection, and healing. I didn’t keep an exact count of the days I was “off” because of travel, but I estimate that I visited the woods on 334 days, as I’d committed to do on a daily basis during 2013.
As I read this over, some things are coming up for me—-does this look “smug” and self-congratulatory in some way? Am I too focused on numbers and hours and quantifying something instead of presence? Too much do-ing and not enough be-ing? Cue minimal cognitive dissonance and do-I-post-it-like-this-or-not conundrum…but, the intention with which my list was created was simply as an accountability thing—both in terms of the vows I made to my community as well as to myself. And, so that I can see, collected in one place, what I’ve offered as a priestess this year. I am also reminded of some things I originally planned to do and then didn’t and I also note the obliteration of April on my “service” list (that was the month my grandma was sick). However, this post isn’t about what I didn’t get done, it is accounting of what I did actually offer.
Last year I included a list of plans for the coming year. Part of me would like to just remain open to what comes in 2014, but I do have a couple of relevant goals (many of which are similar to last year’s):
- Finish thesis project
- Finish 5-6 more classes at OSC and make good progress on dissertation project
- Finish Rise Up class curriculum and perhaps do some other classes/workshops
- Continue to plan and priestess quarterly women’s retreats
- Family full moon ritual each month
- Host public Red Tent event
- Present about Womanrunes at next GGG (also create little booklet)
- Go to Goddess Weekend in St. Louis
- Booth with goddess jewelry and pewter figurines at least three events
- Embark on new Mamapriestess daily experiment (more about this later)
- Listen to myself, check in with my heart, and rest when I need to.
Happy New Year!