#30DaysofHarvest

Day 30: Gathering and Releasing (#30DaysofHarvest)

Blessing from the Harvest Queen

May the sunset cloak of shorter days enfold you
May you dance with the patterns of crimson and gold leaves
May you sing with owl and coyote in crisp moonlight
May you savor the orangeness of pumpkin and yam
and feel the sweetness of honey on your tongue.
May you listen to the dreams of seed corn
May elderberry strengthen you with stored sunshine
May persimmon grant you a fleeting hello
May the poignant flare of an October rose
kiss you with hope.
May your rooms be wreathed with smiles.
And, may you remember the grace and wisdom
found in both gathering and releasing.

I didn’t expect my last prompt for 30 Days of Harvest to be so literal. I gathered up all of my supplies for a Red Tent call tonight. I was supposed to be the guest speaker for Journey of Young Women talking about Womanrunes and how to make and use them. Tons of technical difficulties and associated confusion meant we had to postpone the call after about twenty minutes of trying to make it work. That would be the releasing part… 

I also did a Womanrunes reading to close out the 30 Days experience. I got the Two Circles (rune of merging), followed by the Dark Moon (rune of wisdom), and then the Wheel…rune of fate. “The wheel turns, life unfolds, your breath moves in and out.” 

 

(My candle is lit for the #waveoflight for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day today.)

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, blessings, divination, night, poems, prayers, sacred pause, seasons, womanspirit | 5 Comments

Day 29: Golden Leaves (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

 “Some October, when the leaves turn gold, ask me if I’ve done enough to deserve this life I’ve been given. A pile of sorrows, yes, but joy enough to unbalance the equation.”

–Barbara Crooker

Today I spent almost all day working on the modules for my upcoming Divination Practicum course (course supply kits also shipped today!), but I took some time in the afternoon to enjoy the woods and the beautiful patterns of sunshine there. I did a quick Womanrunes reading, while thinking about the Practicum and hoping it goes the way I imagine. I got the Crescent Moon (rune of divination), the Witch’s Hat (rune of magic), and the Heart (rune of passion). Sounds spot-on to me! 😊

 
And, of course, I was compelled to get a new picture of the roses…

  


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, classes, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 28: The Singing Dark

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings.

— Wendell Berry

 

The fall nights literally sing here. Walking on the veranda, a chorus of insect song fills the air, owls call, dogs bark, coyotes howl. 

I enjoyed this post which popped up synchronistically today:

But darkness has its place too, especially when we are working to understand ourselves, or to create a shift in our lives, or to transition from one state-of-being to another. These shifts and transitions are dark experiences lacking clarity and structure. And here is this little gland in the body that rides around in our brains with us, helping us perceive whether it is day or night, light or dark, stop or continue, yes or no. I’m inclined to think that this hidden jewel of the brain is not only a night-time regulator but also the source of the deep, overwhelming sense of imbalance and extraordinary “lightness of being” and loss of firmament that we experience when, for instance, we go caving.

Source: Darkness with a Capital D – PaganSquare – PaganSquare

I also read this newsletter from Moontime Rising and appreciated this reminder from Giuliana:

So, dear one, as the sun sets and the dark sky fills with stars…

Harvest what feeds you, and compost the rest.

And welcome the inevitable walk through the dark…

(My photo from tonight is of a planter on the back deck/veranda.)

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, endarkenment, nature, night, practices, sacred pause, seasons | 1 Comment

Day 27: Time is Short (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

In January of 2014, I sat on the stones in the woods, came face to face with a raccoon in the tree and suddenly knew that I was pregnant again. In October of 2014, I sat on these stones in the woods awaiting the imminent arrival of my new baby boy. Today, I sit on these stones in the woods with a baby boy who is now approaching his first birthday. The wheel spins quickly. 

Today, my mom reminded me that it is the 26th anniversary of her father’s death. 

This tiny boy whose fuzzy blonde head I nuzzle is somebody’s grandpa of the future. 

“Unlimited,” his shirt reminds me and yet I also know that time is short. 

Pay attention and tell about it. ❤️

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, meditations, nature, parenting, practices, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 26: Letting Go (#30DaysofHarvest) 

  Woke this morning thinking of Womanrunes The Winged Circle, rune of freedom, and the sense of lightness and freedom I have as I let go of residual stress, tension, and overwork from grading. As I tried to lay out a lovely, symbolic, “letting go” mandala this afternoon, the cat, the baby, and the little girl all walked on it. The wind blew my leaves out of pattern and scattered my seeds. The blue jay feather I’d synchronistically found kept flipping over. I had to laugh at myself as I kept trying to make it “right.” I get it, I get it. Let go. 🌀❤️🍂 (yes, those are baby toes in the lower left corner). 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, meditations, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, Womanrunes, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 25: Sweet Darkness (#30Daysof Harvest)

…Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

— David Whyte

I’ve written several times about the value of Endarkenment. Last night at our Red Tent Circle, we had a seed ceremony and talked about how beautiful things can take root in dark places. Time spent curled up in the dark is necessary before things can bloom. 

 
 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, endarkenment, night, red tent, sacred pause, self-care, women | 2 Comments

Day 24: An Elder (#30DaysofHarvest)


Today, I spoke at the memorial service for a wonderful friend of mine. She was an influential LLL Leader and mentor to many and though she wasn’t an elder in years, she was one in wisdom and guidance. Before leaving for her funeral, I drew a Womanrunes card and got The Dark Moon. This is the crone’s rune. The rune of wisdom and the unknown.

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, friends, sacred pause, Womanrunes | 1 Comment

Day 22: Demeter (#30DaysofHarvest)

IMG_8161Our Women in the Wild inspired photo shoot last weekend thanks to Little Mother Photography felt like a nice response to today’s earth mother prompt.

I actually struggled to come up with a photo today for quite a while. I took a couple at my mom’s house as possibilities. One a palette of fall colors…

IMG_8157And one with my mom herself in it…

IMG_8158Part of the material in today’s prompt included this message:

Give no part of yourself to what does not sustain you.

Given that I’ve spent the last three days doing hard and largely unenjoyable work finishing up my current class, this gave me something to chew over. I start to feel very skewed and off-balance and tense during the end of the session. I start feeling like I’m doing things wrong, that my priorities aren’t in order, and that I don’t have “enough time” for all of my life, and that something needs to change. I get very irritable and strained. It is temporary and subsides when the job is done, but I don’t like experiencing it. This time, not only did I finish my work more quickly, I also became mindful of those old, familiar, unpleasant, exaggerated, feelings in the middle of the downward spiral and kind of laughed at myself about them. Grading papers does not feel like it sustains me. But, teaching does provide more than half of our household income and since grading papers is part of teaching, I guess in their way they do sustain me…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, nature, sacred pause, seasons | 3 Comments

Day 21: Dreaming (#30DaysofHarvest)

A wisdom whispers from the Dreamtime IMG_8151
calling me to ceremony and song
it flickers in the firelight
of ancient memory
rippling along my spine
dancing through my fingertips.

What is it that calls me in the night?
I look up
She’s pouring tea across from me
a patterned rhythm to her movements that speaks
of sacred knowing.

A door opens
She is ready to share
and yet, I slip away
through the undercurrents of time
falling down out of space
out of memory
out of song
and out of touch.

Landing
in a soft bed
my arm curled around my nursling
hearing his breath in the dark
and wondering
what I am missing
what I’m forgetting
and what remembering is right here.

I’ve been craving solitude and time alone to simply think. My dreams have felt very significant and yet skitter away from me during frequent night-wakings with my nursling. They roll just out of my reach and dance at the edges of my consciousness with the promise of something forgotten…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, endarkenment, night, parenting, practices, sacred pause, self-care, theapoetics, womanspirit | Leave a comment

Day 20: Ephemeral


Yes, I know, my subject for today’s photo is a real shocker! I took all of these pictures today on the very same rosebush (no filter or color manipulation). The very epitome of ephemeral. Luckily, also ephemeral is my personal sense of tension and overwhelm at having end of session grading to complete. May I release it with as much grace and beauty as my roses lose their petals…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, Flowers, nature, sacred pause, seasons, self-care | Leave a comment

Day 19: Flowing (#30DaysofHarvest)

  
Today I participated in a Women in the Wild inspired photo shoot. It was held by the river (and I got two pictures taken in the river as well) and as soon as I got there, I knew I had my photo for today! This picture was taken by a friend and is not one of the actual photo shoot pictures. 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, nature, sacred pause | Leave a comment

Day 18: Decisiveness (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

The Labyris from the Womanrunes deck reminds us to make hard choices and firm decisions, keeping enough room around us to swing the blade freely. Look out! She’s chopping there…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, sacred pause, seasons, Womanrunes | Leave a comment

Day 17: Scars (#30DaysofHarvest)

where I find them
the old wounds
the old misdirections
and I lift them
one by one
close to my heart
and I say

holy
holy.

— Pesha Joyce Gertler

 

Creating goddess art that attempts to communicate an experience for another feels like a sacred trust. We have several designs that honor women’s scars. And, their courage. 
(Side note: whenever I type “scared” or “scar” or “scarred,” it always comes out as “sacred” first and I have to correct it. Or, do I?)

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, art, sacred pause, sculpture, seasons, women | 3 Comments

Day 16: Story-ing Up for Winter (#30DaysofHarvest)


I’m playing fast and loose with the 30 Days of Harvest prompt for today, which is really: storing up for winter.* However, I wrote a post today about story and I though, why not, “storying up for winter” instead! One of the things that was really special about GGG this year was having women visit my booth, pick up our goddesses and ask, “what is her story?” Once I told the story for one, they would start asking, “how about this one, what’s the story for it?” And, I even had a woman stop by and say, “I remember you had stories for these last year, can I hear them?”

IMG_7758Yesterday, I went searching for a quote for one of my Red Tent Initiation students. She had shared some powerful reflections about the vulnerability required to reveal our personal stories—there is a lot of risk, sometimes shame, and more, bound up in our ability to uncover ourselves and speak our truth. What I wanted to communicate with her was the idea that in sharing our stories, including the painful pieces, we free other women to do the same. Our courage to be vulnerable, to be naked, to be flawed, to experiment with ideas, concepts, or ways of being gives permission for other women to do the same. I went to a workshop at Gaea Goddess Gathering in 2012 that was about dancing and the facilitator said that when facilitating ritual, you have to be willing to look a little ridiculous yourself, have to be willing to risk going a little “over the top” yourself, because in so doing you liberate the other participants—“if she can take that risk and look a little goofy doing so, maybe it is okay for me to do it too.”

After a lot of digging through old posts on my blog, I found the quote! It is from one of my favorite authors, Carol Christ, who said:

“When one woman puts her experiences into words, another woman who has kept silent, afraid of what others will think, can find validation. And when the second woman says aloud, ‘yes, that was my experience too,’ the first woman loses some of her fear.”

This is part of what makes Red Tent Circles so powerful! It is also part of what makes the Red Tent course itself powerful—when the women in the course are willing to dig into the journal questions, assignments, and processes, to turn them over, to explore how they work in their own lives…they lose some of the fear and they encourage others to lose their fear too.

As I was mining my blog for quotes about the power of story, I came across my older post: I am a Story Woman. In this post, I describe how I was preparing a ritual for New Year’s Eve and planning to include the chant: I am a strong woman, I am a story woman. My husband raised a question about it…

 “I’m not sure about this,” he said, “what is a story woman anyway?” I wasn’t able to give him a solid answer at that moment, but guess what, I am one.

In fact, didn’t I just write earlier this week that story holds the key to the reclamation of power for women? How and why does this work?

Because of these two things:

“The one who tells the stories rules the world.”

–Hopi Indian Proverb

“We feel nameless and empty when we forget our stories, leave our heroes unsung, and ignore the rites of our passage from one stage of life to another.”

–Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox

We need to hear women’s stories. We need to hear each other into speech. We need to witness and be witnessed. We need to be heard…

Source: I am a Story Woman | Talk Birth

Over the summer, I was interviewed by Lucy Pearce for her Be Your Publisher Author Interview series. My interview came out today. Since months have passed since we talked, the details of our conversation have dimmed in my memory. (I’m also noticing that I need to get over my own fear and vulnerability that listening to me talk can somehow be perceived as a “bonus” to anyone!) So, imagine the delight I felt when I saw some of the words she chose to describe our interview conversation:

  • Learn to mine your blog
  • The importance of sharing our stories as we navigate the challenging parts of life.
  • Turning a blog into a book and very wise advice … Don’t die with your music still in you.

Just yesterday, I was mining my own blog as well as musing on the importance and power of sharing our stories.

I am a story woman.

The other quote she mentions, don’t die with your music still in you, has been a guiding philosophy in my life and work for at least twelve years. It comes from the work of Wayne Dyer, who passed away last month. I used this quote to describe my relationship to writing, identity, and wholeness as a person, in a vulnerable post about the power of story in my life in early motherhood:

…I’ve finally realized that maybe it was literally my words dying in me that gave me that feeling and that fretfulness. They needed to get out. I’ve spent a lifetime writing various essays in my head, nearly every day, but those words always “died” in me before they ever got out onto paper. After spending a full three years letting other women’s voices reach me through books and essays, and then six more years birthing the mother-writer within, I continue to feel an almost physical sense of relief and release whenever I sit down to write and to let my own voice be heard.

Source: Birthing the Mother-Writer (or: Playing My Music, or: Postpartum Feelings, Part 1) | Talk Birth

Just this year, we’ve ordered printings of our Womanrunes books four times, published our Red Tent Resource Kit manual then added twenty pages to the second printing and re-released it, and published my new Earthprayer, Birthprayer poetry book. I’m working on my dissertation: 275 pages of past writing (much mined from older blog posts) and 145 pages of data collected from others, as well as a companion book project. I am getting ready to publish a miscarriage support group manual that I wrote for The Amethyst Network a few years ago and I have big plans to significantly expand my Ritual Recipe Kit ebook into a much longer, print, resource manual in 2016.

I am a story woman.

IMG_7770-0

*Actually, I see now it was really “STOCKING up for winter,” but too late, I’m going with it! Really fast and loose with this prompt! 😉

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Cross posted at Talk Birth and Brigid’s Grove.

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, art, GGG, practices, priestess, programs, quotes, red tent, sacred pause, spirituality, women, women's circle, woodspriestess, writing | 1 Comment

Day 15: Savoring autumn fruits (#30daysofharvest)

 
Nine fruits and nine flavors to preserve my soul

in peace this day.

— Caitlín Matthews

I took today’s prompt metaphorically and went on a walk with my baby to identify nine “flavors” of autumn from my own back yard.

Persimmon for patience
raspberry for reflection,
dogwood for dreams,
rose for enchantment,
aster for starshine,
polk for color,
oak for mystery,
and cucumber for salad.

Okay, so that’s only eight, because the ninth is those cuties in the middle who have been wanting to buy boxes of international snacks online. My husband went to Big Lots today and got them a box of snacks from Germany, Italy, Peru, China, Turkey, England, and the U.S. I think we’re also going to call this a homeschooling win!

For my pictures today, the persimmon is what I went after first, remembering how this time last year I was very pregnant and climbed around in ditches and over fences collecting them in my quest for persimmon cookies. My husband said the other day, “the way to know persimmons are ripe is when they’re all gone.” There is stiff competition from the animals for these little fruits.

Today brought to mind the “nine powers of nine flowers” prompt from 30 Days of May. I can hardly believe it is already fall. I also feel like in September and October I should apparently change my name to “Rosepriestess,” because I cannot stop taking pictures of them!

IMG_7984

This is the real color! I don’t do anything to the pictures to get this day-glo look.

 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, Flowers, nature, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 3 Comments

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