My workload has been significant lately, as it always is as we wrap up another school session. I could really use some rich solitude lately!
One of the best things about verandahing very day is the opportunity to literally stop and smell the roses. This sacred pause feels more vital than ever as I enter the busiest time of the school session. It is interesting that the busier I feel, the more important it is to take some time to go out on sit on the deck. I feel almost compelled to go and so restored and more capable when I come back inside. I rarely take any tech out with me (except when I want to take pictures of roses!) and I often don’t even take a book. I just sit.
September roses are magic.
I boldly take up
like midnight silk,
for their part in me
My little girl has been craving attention and special time lately. Today, we took some time to make this colorful fall mandala down in the woods.
At dusk before the lunar eclipse, I did my final recording for our Red Tent Initiation program. We’re entering Crone territory now. Contemplating shadows, conflict resolution, group dynamics, fears, and doubts…
You are part of the cycle of giving and receiving. You happily exchange your hard-earned cash for goods that will enrich your body and spirit. You present your own gift to the community — the work of your hands and heart — and are pleased to find it so well-received. Your generosity and support of others circles back to you, and increases your own prosperity and health.
– JPC, The Gaian Tarot
I haven’t had as much time as I hoped to write substantive posts in response to the 30 Days of Harvest. We’ve just gotten the first copies of my new book in and so it seemed fitting to have a photo of it in response to “soulful shopping” for today. 😉 Last night, I participated in a really fun call with Kimberly Moore of MotherHouse of the Goddess for Goddess Alive radio. The night before, I was the guest on a virtual Red Tent for mentors with Journey of Young Women. I love collaborating with other people like this. It is so incredible! We’ve got several exciting collaborations in the works too—bulk quantities of our goddess sculptures heading out to other countries and to enrich other women’s projects.
Speaking of soulful shopping, MotherHouse has a very magical etsy shop!
Here are some resources for this weekend’s full moon and lunar eclipse also…
Aspects/qualities of this particular moon:
“Let the beauty we love
Be what we do
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the Earth.”
Resting and rocking and nursing the child. Figuring out enoughness. ❤️
Today’s prompt brought the day in and day out body-based connection of breastfeeding to mind. Inexhaustible. Ongoing. The fibers of life and living. Body and blood into milk, into life. Here’s the clincher though, the more you nurse, the more milk you have—the more you put in, the more there is. It expands. Body generosity…
“I know that for me, writing has something in common with nursing the baby. I can’t do it if I don’t do it all the time. Put it aside to build up strength, the flow will dwindle and finally disappear. When the baby was at my breast ten times a day, I had a rare secret feeling that we were violating a law of nature, defying a form of entropy…One cannot hoard some things. The more I gave the baby, the more I had to give her, and had I tried to conserve myself, I would have found that I conserved nothing.”
Source: Writing and Nursing | Talk Birth
Since I wrote the post below, I’ve re-estimated my total to more like 43,000 times (not kidding):
I calculated that so far in my life I’ve put a baby to my breast more than 12,000 times. Even if I only experienced a single moment of mindful awareness or contemplation or transcendence or sacredness during each of those occasions, that is one heck of a potent, dedicated, and holy practice. In the unique symbiosis of the nursing relationship, I recall a quote from the book The Blue Jay’s Dance (1996) by Louise Erdrich about male writers from the nineteenth century and their longing for an experience of oneness and seeking the mystery of an epiphany. She says: “Perhaps we owe some of our most moving literature to men who didn’t understand that they wanted to be women nursing babies.” (p. 148)
Source: Breastfeeding as a Spiritual Practice | Talk Birth
Our hands will work for peace and justice
Our hands will work to heal the land
Gather round the harvest table
Let us feast and bless the land.
— T. Thorn Coyle & Starhawk
(Listen to this chant here.)
This morning, I strained my kombucha and started a new gallon. While doing so, I drank raspberry and nettle loose leaf tea I blended myself. I also strained my plantain infusion (from front yard) and made three tubs of plantain salve. Then, I strained and bottled my rose elixir made from my beloved back yard roses. I reflected that there is a reciprocity between the healing offered by the land and offering healing to land. World ecology and personal ecology are inseparable. May we find healthy balance.
One of my favorite images from the beautiful Gaian Tarot is the three of Earth. I thought of it today as I mixed up my own healing potions (it showed up in 30 Days of Harvest a couple of days ago as well).
Tonight while we were cooking dinner, our power went out unexpectedly. Luckily, we were grilling dinner, so we stayed outside and ate dinner on the veranda. Then, we went in and had a drum circle. We were laughing and making up songs and the kids said we should sing, “we are powerless,” because of having no electricity. Instead we sang:
We feel the power of our hearts.
We feel the power of our minds.
We feel the power of our bodies.
We feel the power of our family.
We feel the power of our drum.
We feel the power.
We feel the power.
Had a moment of “gratitude for the harvest” today as I was driving home from class. I was feeling tight and stressed about my to-do list and fretting over how hard it feels to get home from being out of town and immediately have to launch into a million other things (like grading papers). Then, I thought: hang on. What a stressful life I have…traveling to a goddess festival to sell our handmade goddess art to interesting goddess women. Making our living with this art. Writing books and teaching about topics I love. Doing original research. Having “too many” good ideas for classes and projects. Spending my days with my family. Woe is me! The stress!
While I don’t discount the fact that even beautiful and fulfilling projects and activities can register in the body as stress, I had to laugh at myself. Perspective.
I honour the beginning of the storytime of the year —
as the spring and summer are for living the stories,
the fall and winter is for the telling of our stories…
I always find The Return after a trip difficult. Today is our oldest son’s birthday and earlier today I took a few minutes to lay on my back on his new trampoline and look at the trees against the sky. Fall’s return is crisp in the air. ❤️ And, I saw a bald eagle fly over!
I can hardly believe my first baby is twelve!
“…When we work together cooperatively, the final product is one of synergy — it is more than each of its separate parts. The pleasure we take in each other’s company finds its way into the medicine we create.”
— Joanna Powell Colbert, The Gaian Tarot
Today was the final day of Gaea Goddess Gathering and my sister-in-law took this picture of me by the lake. It was a re-creation of a similar picture she took two years ago that now graces the back cover of my new Earthprayer, Birthprayer book (published just last week and still waiting for me to write some launch posts about it!)
I’m feeling relieved to be home now from Kansas after five days away. Gaea Goddess Gathering was a multifaceted experience as always. Vending was so rewarding with lots of lovely connections woven and stories shared. Many other elements felt like something we survived! It is quite physically taxing to be there–not enough food, water, or sleep, too much climbing up seventy steps up a steep hillside while breastfeeding + babywearing! And, this year there were weather extremes–first, 90+ degrees, follows by rain and wind, then cool. I couldn’t have done it without my mom’s help with my daughter and with the help of my SIL and my mom with set up/take down of the booth.
Time again to dance in a circle of women! Tonight, the main ritual honored the Morrigan and encouraged us all to rise up. As we chanted, the coyotes howled and the fire rose up in a shower of sparks under the crescent moon.
Sleeping baby in Ergo. Notebook full of amazing possibilities. Feet on the grass in my red tent canopy at Camp Gaea with our goddess art and Womanrunes books on the tables. Surrounded by fascinating women, listening to drums…
We’re at Gaea Goddess Gathering! The Brigid’s Grove booth is almost finished being set up. Very hot today and rain called for tonight. Beautiful evening for the opening ritual though. Crescent moon to the south while the sun was setting in the west as we called in the Morrigan. Now, lightning is sparkling through the dark sky as the bonfire burns.
In my picture for today’s prompt, I set my baby on the table with some of our newest sculptures, plus my brand new Earthprayer book and my two other books. Lots of beautiful harvest to celebrate this year, including my ten month old boy! ❤️
Today is the first day of Joanna Colbert’s new 30 Days of Harvest ecourse. I’m traveling for the rest of the week (Gaea Goddess Gathering in Kansas!) and will have limited to no cell phone access, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with my usual 30 Days practice of blogging every day of the course, but here’s a quick post to start it off anyway!
September roses always feel extra special and beautiful to me, the last roses of the year.