“There is also another mother….You walk upon her body. Her breasts grow your food. Her spirit is Nature. If you listen, you can hear her words carried by the wind. She says, ‘You are my daughter. You live with me.’ She spreads a cape of ferns, primroses and daisies around your shoulders. Your wounds suck healing salve from her cape. She is patient. She turns anger into poetry and grief into song. She is an alchemist of ages, wiser with each passing. She does not demand conformity. This mother is always tending and teaching you.”~ Louise M. Wisechild
“Trees are great teachers. The trees are great listeners. That is why we should meditate in their presence. The Great spirit is in every rock, every animal, every human being and in every tree. The Great Spirit has been in some trees for hundreds of years. Therefore, the trees have witnessed and heard much. The trees are the Elders of the Elders. Their spirits are strong and very healing.” —Mary Hayes, Clayoqout
Last week my long-awaited copy of Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Writings on Priestesses arrived in the mail! I’ve had a lot going on personally, some very stressful, and so I’ve only gotten to read a little bit of it so far, but I’m enjoying it very much. Here are some wonderful quotes from the book:
The work of a priestess is to create and keep open a channel between the seen and seldom seen realms in which we live, in relationship and in service to a community. It is not enough for the priestess to be able to contact spirit and travel in that dimension herself: a trained and experienced priestess can create a doorway between the worlds that is wide enough for others to join her there and those people, by joining, expand the opening still further so that the flow of power is strong and transformative for all present.
From “I am the Earth: The Priestess in Service to Community” by Deidre Pulgram Arthen
On a very primal level, seeing women hold power in the public spiritual sphere stimulates people’s belief and trust that women can therefore be an authority in other places, as in political office, or corporations. The impact of the symbolic role of the priestess in public ritual reaches into our psyche; this is why it’s important that priestesses be seen performing public rituals and openly invoking the Goddess.
There is no one way to be a priestess; each of us, as a unique individual with her unique connection to the Goddess, can bring her own vision into the role. The Goddess of many faces is enriched by priestesses with different understandings of the part.
From “Reclaiming Adam and Eve: The work of a Priestess in Israel” by Hava Montauriano.
She who is priestess experiences the calling to hold the whole of the cosmos in reverence, to observe the tides and seasons and to immerse in marking the life of the cosmos through spiritual celebration.
From “Priestess: Born Unto Herself’ by Pamela Eakins.
“A facilitator is a woman who makes the way easier; as an act of service, she assists in creating the experience of the participants. Like a guide on a journey, the facilitator’s responsibility is to hold the vision, the purpose; to keep the compass, to know what the ultimate destination of the ritual journey is, and help everyone get there and back safely.”
From “Priestessing Ritual” by Ruth Barrett
This post today is basically a potpourri post of other posts that have caught my attention!
Posted via Lucy at Dreaming Aloud on Facebook:
Just the other day, talking to a dear friend I realised out loud that my books are my biggest prayers, blessings from my soul to those yet unknown souls who dream the same dreams, worry the same worries. So I loved this quote from best selling author John Green: “Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts. Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.”
This is how I feel also—that when I create my pieces or when I plan a ritual, I’m offering a gift to others (even though I do still charge for my artwork!). I wrote about the connection I feel through my sculptures in the post that went up on Feminism and Religion this morning (based on one originally published here):
On a related note, we’re having a giveaway on the Brigid’s Grove FB page of one of our new womb labyrinth pendants. BONUS: if you also “like” the Brigid’s Grove Facebook page itself (not just the picture), you will be entered to win a bonus giveaway for one of our basic Brigid’s Sacred Oak/tree of life pendants. Make sure to leave a comment on this post letting me know that you did so though!
At the end of January, I had a guest post on a lovely blog by a woman in South Africa whose work focuses on the healing energy of Gaia:
I think not
I am the ebb and pulse of all existence
of all life
the invisible web
weaving its way
throughout you and around you every day
I wanted sisters who were sowing the seeds of their intentions to have a chance share what has come to fruition. I also wanted sisters to be able to focus on the blessings they did have and open up the space for more abundance. With these thoughts in mind, I created the Full Moon Gratitude Circles because I believe that…
..the act of gratitude focuses us on the abundance in our lives—welcoming even more abundance in! Gratitude is a practice that can benefit you at all levels- physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Will you join us experiencing the beauty of following the lunar cycle and acknowledging the power of manifesting the life you love? ♥
And, I’ve been steadily listening to the worldwide presentations organized by DeAnna L’am and offered as the Red Tent World Summit: DeAnnaLam | Coming of Age Made Easy, Womanhood Made Richer, Red Tent in every neighborhood.
All of these experiences bring me to this delicious quote:
“[For centuries women have] had to withdraw their power – withdraw their energetic movement and flow. It had to be protected and hidden as the chalice of the woman had to survive.
Now it is time for all to bring out their chalice – to gather their “tribe” – to radiate their energetic flow. Now it is time to find the “especial genius” that is intuitively woman. It is time for women to openly exhibit their power, their knowledge, and their leadership. The ancient symbol of unity is the circle. It is the sacred hoop of wholeness and female power. It represents the feminine spirit in a sacred space that is unbreakable. It is time to bring the circle – the hoop – to its power.
It is time to restore the balance of the energies. For this to happen, you must first restore your own power – restore your own energies so that the balance of the humanity “tribe” can be restored and all be lifted in the eternal flame of love. It is time to celebrate all of woman, in all of her beauty.”
This past weekend, we had our seventh Rise Up class at my home. A friend that I haven’t seen in a very long time came to the class along with another dear out-of-town friend and it made my heart sing to see them both. It was such a deep delight to have them there, it is hard to even explain it. Before the rest of the participants arrived, one of these friends, my mom and I practiced the circle dance (from Dances of Universal Peace) that we would later use during the class section on Kwan Yin. As I looked across at their faces and the reality of dancing together there in my living room hit me, I said, “I love us!” And, I do. I feel very fortunate to have these women in my life.
During the class, one of the concepts was referenced that in working with Tara, we have the opportunity to create a ritual that is in itself a sort of “mandala of the whole universe”—the ritual is then like a miniature version, a microcosm, of that pattern which is expressed at a larger level. In Stepping Into Ourselves, D’vorah Grenn writes about Jewish priestesses (Kohanot) and says: “Being a priestess can be exhausting. Without proper shielding and protection, women can find their precious energies only going out, and too rarely being 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’…another reason it is vital that we continue our work…” (p. 56).
Restoring women to ceremony. I absolutely loved this. Priestess work occurs in the context of community. I so value the women who show up to do this work with me.