#30Daysof May

Birth flower…(#30DaysofMay

Goddess is my name for

that which holds the whole

that which weaves the all

that which knows the story of the ages…

via Woodspriestess: Pelvic Cradle | WoodsPriestess.

I’ve taken a lot of pictures of flowers for 30 Days of May already, so today I took the prompt in a slightly different direction. The prompt was to find a yoni-like flower. I won this tapestry in a contest from Orgasmic Birth a couple of years ago and it hangs in my bedroom. Today, while thinking over what to photograph for the prompt, I looked up and saw the tapestry and knew I had my pic!

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A flower’s fragrance (30DaysofMay)



The wild raspberries are covered with blooms already. The fragrance of these flowers is of…cobbler, tea, sisterhood, conversation, community, inspiration, and wild, natural magic. 

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Nine powers of nine flowers (#30DaysofMay) 

Nine powers of nine flowers

About me this day…

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Sweetness of strawberry
Smile of sorrel
Tang of oxalis
Health of kale
Wildness of geranium
Surprise of star grass
Love of dianthus
Practicality of Brussels sprout
Sisterhood of raspberry.

Today while I was outside with my kids, I made it a personal challenge to find nine different flowers to photograph in that moment, rather than using pictures I’ve taken on other days. While briefly stalling out at five, I eventually ended up with 11 different flowers in the space of about thirty minutes. 🙂

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Flowering tree* (#30DaysofMay)



“Walk softly, walk lightly, the Earth is sleeping. Walk softly, walk lightly, She is pregnant with dreams.”

–Mary Mackey (The Year the Horses Came)

(*actually a gigantic snowball bush the size of a tree at my mom’s house)


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Beautiful birds (#30DaysofMay)

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

–Mary Oliver



When I took Ecology of the Sacred at OSC, I wrote about my chickens so often that I joked about writing a book called A Thealogy of Chickens. Seems fitting that they should finally make a 30 Days appearance. 

Today was a long day with lots of work! I’m off to bed!

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Green Man (#30DaysofMay)

Today is my birthday and the prompt was about sensory images of May. Based on this post, tonight at dusk we made a Green Man in the field by our greenhouse. It was quite lively and fun. 



As we finished his beard, we looked up and the full moon was rising beautifully over the trees. It was one of those moments of natural magic that was really potent.



Whippoorwills were singing, dogs were barking, fireflies were twinkling, and frogs were calling and we drummed and danced together in the moonlight. 



Now let the song begin! Let us sing together!

Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather,

Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather,

Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather,

Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water.

Tom Bombadil’s Song, Lord of the Rings (via Beltane Ritual)



Categories: #30Daysof May, family, holidays, nature, night, ritual, seasons, spirituality | 2 Comments

Friends (#30DaysofMay)

I’m off the actual theme for today, but I’m delighted to be home again! Tomorrow is my birthday. When we visited friends on the way to our mini-vacation, my friend surprised me with this beautiful print of one of her paintings! In the painting are several sculptures I made. I love it so much and I was very touched to receive it. Then, on the way back home today, we stopped to visit a different friend who made us lunch and then had surprise birthday cupcakes for me. It was nice to be remembered. 🙂

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May Morning (#30DaysofMay)



Happy May Day! Apparently, I’m not going to give up on my post-a-day commitment even while on vacation! While I’m enjoying our trip, the city atmosphere is really difficult for me energetically. I don’t feel like myself here. I read today’s prompt and was thinking about how disconnected I feel from my spiritual grounding while surrounded by the city noise and environment. I really wanted to take a picture of a dewy flower and instead have a hotel room view of the interstate and industrial hotel heating/cooling equipment! So, I re-focused on what is actually here in front of me and that was my baby peeking out the sunny window and being delighted by the difference between closed and open curtains. He played and played, seeming surprised anew and blinking rapidly in the brightness each time he opened the curtain. Like peekaboo with the sun. 

I drew a Womanrunes card then and wasn’t surprised when it was The Tree:



These cards know me well!

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Loving myself (#30DaysofMay)



I puzzled over today’s prompt for a long time…what to choose, what to choose. But, in that synchronistic process that I’ve mentioned with this class, it finally hit me. What is actually most loving to myself in the next few days is to release myself from my commitment to my daily blog post while I am out of town on vacation with my family! 😉 So, while I will likely still do my Instagram picture and possibly a mini blog post to go with it, it is okay if I don’t. 

The other “loving myself” piece represented in this picture from this afternoon is letting go and enjoying a very needed time out from my usual routine and responsibilities for the next couple of days. 

Also, who says you can’t nurse a baby on top of a huge chain of buoys!

I swooned over this wonderful pink dogwood at my friend’s house this afternoon as well. 





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The singer and the silence (#30DaysofMay)

IMG_4600I am the blossom, I am the bee
I am the branch, I am the squirrel

I am the acorn, I am the oak
I am the breath, I am the words
I am the space, I am the fullness
I am the song of the May.

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An offering for the Fae (#30DaysofMay)

IMG_4547Something that keeps coming up for me lately is the concept of creating a container for an experience. I feel like this is what I do with my women’s circle and Red Tents and also what I do with my students. And, this is what taking the 30 Days and my Sacred Year class does for me. Today, it was taking an “offering for the Fae” down to the woods. This is not something I would have done on my own, but I’ve made a commitment to responding to the prompts, so by golly, I did it! It was a very sweet experience. My little girl and I went out and searched out some tiny flowers and put them in a blue glass bottle. She was so cute talking about the fairies and picking flowers:

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We took our little offering down to the woods and placed it on the rock and then said a blessing together.

IMG_4549IMG_4548When I was a little girl myself, I remember often feeling like I could see glimpses of or feel the presence of fairies in the woods—like if I could just be still enough and look hard enough, I would be able to interact with them. It was fun to bring a little bit of that magic back into our lives together today.

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Temple of love (#30DaysofMay)

This wild life is ours IMG_4447
I am within you and around you
I hold and enfold you
My promises
Are the colors of green leaves
Blue sky
Red berries.

My potential is in your hands.
Incubating
Stretching
Stirring
Dreaming
Becoming

I love my daughters
And their sons and daughters
I hold your souls…*

I read today’s prompts this morning, as I usually do, and then reflected on the themes all day. One of the most magical things about these 30 Days courses is how very many connections and synchronicities emerge during the day that bring the themes to life. It is really powerful to observe. As soon as I read the theme, a quote came floating back to me and it remained in my head throughout the day, like a refrain in the background of the rest of my thoughts: This is my body; this is the temple of light. This is my heart; this is the altar of love (Sufi song, quoted in Birthrites). Altar of love. Temple of light. Over and over today these words replayed in my mind. I’ve shared the quote here before, but it felt like it wanted to come back again today. At the same time, I was turning over some scheduling details and a few stresses about fitting everything in that I want to do during the coming months. I turned my We’Moon wall calendar over to May to check some dates for classes and this was the quote opening the month:

love these Earthlings every day
bird, insect, cloud
listen, stop, watch
sorrow for species lost
Earth will feel your love
giving you back
every day.

(Carole Gale)

My husband and kids are participating in the 30 Days of Bringing in the May course with me. As I have made a commitment to take a photo and to write a blog post each day (however short or simple!) related to the themes of the course prompts or materials, my husband has committed to drawing a picture and my kids to making a video. This afternoon, my husband took his picture:

IMG_4445And, this evening I served as a “videographer” as my kids danced in the living to drum music in the costumes they selected for themselves to represent spring and the temple of love (turtle, mermaid, and king were the selected costumes tonight).

(*poem originally published as part of a post at SageWoman)

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Waning Dogwood (#30DaysofMay)

Each day IMG_2439
offers new gifts
new mysteries
new discoveries
new promises
kissed with rain
and garnished
with dogwood blossoms…

via Woodspriestess: Real Magic

I happily anticipate the dogwoods each year. Today, the 30 Days* photo prompt was to photograph a blooming tree. The dogwoods are already waning, the edges of the flowers browning a little, spots on the petals, the centers yellow instead of green. Looking back at previous years’ posts shows me that this happened earlier this year than the two prior years, with early May sometimes holding the full splendor of the dogwoods. We’ve had a warm spring so far and that must be why.

I spent today at an all-day spring retreat with my women’s circle. It was just what I needed. While I was feeling rushed packing everything up to bring and lamenting about my to-do list and upcoming busy week, I really enjoyed myself and felt like it ended up being really important to have given ourselves this time together.

 “The tools are unimportant; we have all we need to make magic: our bodies, our breath, our voices, each other.”

Starhawk

“Individually, and in like-spirited groups, we and our culture can be healed; we can come fully alive, and recognize ourselves and others as deeply holy.”

–Seena B. Frost, SoulCollage

(*In case anyone is wondering, the Thirty Days of May class is about ushering in the May, which is why it began prior to May 1st!)

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Discernment (#30DaysofMay)

IMG_4416In direct contrast to the sweet contentment I felt on Earth Day, today I have felt tense, taut, stressed, unhappy, unsettled, depressed and discouraged. Yesterday was a hard day for a variety of reasons (primary being a baby that doesn’t like car travel + a long day in town with much ins and outs of the car). The Judgmental Committee in my head not only decreed that I’m a bad mother, but also a bad friend, wife, daughter, and overall person.  I feel pulled between the needs of my older children, my baby, my work, and my business and end up feeling like I’m not doing a good job with anything. Today, I returned to an old conclusion/realization: much of life about discernment. I have a tendency to become dualistic in my thinking, either I DO IT or I QUIT IT FOREVER. At the same time, I am very harsh with myself at my perceived inability to “flow” and surrender (even though, when I look at my life objectively, I see that every single day, I actually demonstrate great capacity to adjust and adapt and be flexible).

This morning, I woke up remembering that today is the second anniversary of my grandmother’s death. No wonder I feel a little “off,” sad, and out of sorts. I also was harping at myself about not being able to “unclench my life” and just be with it. Why must I always push and force? Why don’t I know when to stop pushing or grasping? But, then the image of a seed came to me, pushing its way out of the shell and up through the soil. Life, Nature, pushes all the time. And, she refuses to give up. One of the daily miracles I witness in the forest is life’s refusal to quit. The refusal to give up, the tenacity of trying again, even when the ground is rocky and the wind blows fiercely. So, in response to the first prompt for 30 Days of May today, I realized the call of the “May Queen,” to me is of discernment. To find the balance between when to hold, when to fold. When to yield, when to resist. When to coast and when to swim against the current. When to push and when to pull. When to rest and when to keep going. When to laugh and when to cry. When to (temporarily) surrender and when to fight. When to soften and when to contract.

Pushing is not wrong. Sometimes it is exactly what is called for. 

These are not unique or amazing revelations, but I needed the reminders anyway. The prompt for today also suggested pulling a tarot card and so I drew a Womanrunes card and it was The Cauldron. In a sweet synchronicity, it reminds me: something is waiting to be blended. 

IMG_4412Coincidentally, I had a post from Jennifer Louden starred in my inbox as well about cycles of expansion and contraction:

…Be alert for feeling like a stubborn child, who feels cheated because the perfect day at the park is over and digs in her heels, stubbornly turning away from the cool glass of water and the freshly made bed. In other words, continue to give yourself what you most desire – the time to meditate or write, the time to hike in the patch of forest by your house – even if it isn’t the hours you would have on retreat or the pristine wilderness hundreds of miles from humans. Because to follow your desire, to tend them with care, is both the path home and a wonderful place to be right now.

Be alert to telling yourself, “Well that was pointless, why give myself _____ again?” Retreats and deep dives and walkabouts are precious. Period.

When I first led retreats, I used to feel like a charlatan because after the retreat was over, in a few weeks, people were back to regular life. It took me years to understand that’s normal! It’s okay. It is what we do with what we experienced and how we generously share that matters…

via newsletter

I’ve had this feeling before about our women’s retreats—how to “carry over” our sense of centeredness and connection and sisterhood and positivity. Or, how to maintain and hold the sense of personal equilibrium, stillness, connection, and understanding that I feel while sitting along on a rock into the chaotic noise of life with four kids. Maybe it is fine simply to sometimes feel it and sometimes not.

This tree took root over a slab of stone in the woods. At some point it tipped over, pulling the rock up with it. It continues to grow from a prone position along the forest floor. Its huge, strong roots stretch out on either side and you can peek right under it…

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And, nearby, redbud flowers bloom directly from the partially split trunk of a storm-damaged redbud tree.

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