chants

Flower Prayers

“We may need to be cured by flowers. 

We may need to strip naked and let the petals fall on our shoulders, down our bellies, against our thighs. We may need to lie naked in fields of wildflowers. We may need to walk naked through beauty. We may need to walk naked through color. We may need to walk naked through scent. We may need to walk naked through sex and death. We may need to feel beauty on our skin. We may need to walk the pollen path, among the flowers that are everywhere. 

We can still smell our grandmother’s garden. Our grandmother is still alive.”

–Sharman Apt Russell, in Sisters of the Earth

This month, this beautiful rose made me drop to my knees with delight on my way out to my tiny temple. I drew my Womanrunes card and got the Sun and Moon, rune of laughter. Yes. This right here. This is a beautiful moment. As I knelt beside the rose, the Body Prayer song* welled out of me until I had tears in my eyes.

september-2016-077When I at last went inside, I opened a book I’m currently reading to this very quote:

“The frailest of nature’s objects, these most female of emblems, have staying power. Staying power has healing power, too. You can stand in front of flowers and look them in their many eyes and see just them, and for a moment you are doing only one thing fully, being in the presence of their tart soil and tender personalities, and connecting with the tart and tender within yourself.”

–Molly Peacock in Sisters of the Earth

Then, later in the week, I was surprised by the gift of another flower outside my tiny temple. This one a volunteer pumpkin blossom, a little too late in the game to succeed this year, but still feeling like a blessing of the season to be graced with. My Womanrunes card that day was the Pentacle which makes me think about my responsibility to protect my own energy and boundaries even when so much clamors to be done. It is more vital than ever to just sit for a minute and admire a flower.  That same afternoon, when I returned to the tiny temple to collect my laptop, I noticed that the pumpkin blossom has closed back up or fallen off. If I hadn’t taken that very moment to appreciate it, I may never have even known it was there.

october-2016-046It wasn’t until I looked at the photo later that I noticed that the blossom is also a five-pointed star…

In the anthology Sisters of the Earth, Sharman Apt Russell muses:

All around me are plants that heal and connect to the human body. The yucca spiking above is a steroid. Mullein acts as a mild sedative. Mullein root increases the tone of the bladder. Juniper is used for cystitis. Yarrow clots blood.

My body is interwoven into the chemistry of juniper and yarrow. The tone of my bladder is related to mullein root.

How can we doubt our place in the natural world?flowers

Several years ago I wrote a poem called Body Prayer, which is included in the Girl God’s Mother Earth book as well as in my own Earthprayer poetry collection. I was so touched when Goddess Magic Circle sister Angelique (Deb) shared a chant she created from the last stanza this poem. I’ve been waking up in the mornings singing it, or sitting by flowers and singing it, and it delights me. It also brings my mind back to self-care, an ever-present issue it feels like for women.

At our most recent small study group in my tiny temple, we also sang it:

My body is my altar
my body is my temple
my living presence on this earth my prayer…

May we each be healed by flowers, time to ourselves to sit on the earth and sing, and the simple, every day beauties and miracles that surround us each day.october-2016-137

“The autumn woman moves towards dreamtime. Though she knows her limits, she has also felt limitless. She has known the ineffable. She wakes at night from dreams of high windy places where small blue flowers bloom, and she knows in her bones that such places exist. Luminous beings appear in her dreams and pull her towards them. She recognizes the dust of infinity in a windstorm, the fragrance of timelessness in a fire…”

– Patricia Monaghan, excerpted from Seasons of the Witch

Side note: I created a Samhain ritual recipe kit that is currently free in our October issue of the Creative Spirit Circle Journal. Enjoy!

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Categories: blessings, ceremony, chants, earthprayer, embodiment, Flowers, meditations, nature, practices, prayers, priestess, ritual, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, spirituality, woodspriestess | 4 Comments

Facing the moon alone…

February 2016 030When all is said and done I think every Witch should, at some time, face the moon alone, feet planted on the ground, with only his or her voice chanting in the starry night.

–Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch

I will never forget the first time I heard someone recite the Charge of the Goddess from memory. Bare-breasted, she strode around the fire in sacred circle at a large goddess festival in Kansas, delivering the words with power, grace, and confident resonance. I thought: I will do that someday.

In February of this year, we took a family trip to Dauphin Island. While there, the afternoon of the full moon, I February 2016 148decided that the time had come. I was going to memorize the Charge of the Goddess. First, I thought I would only memorize it a piece at a time. It seemed “too big” to do in a single sitting. I had it printed out on a piece of paper that rapidly became damp with the salty sea air. I drew a labyrinth in the sand with my toes, set one of my goddess sculptures at its entrance, and drew a Womanrunes card.

One stanza at a time, slowly I began to repeat the poem* aloud:

hear ye, the words of the star goddess
the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven..
.

Over and over, I said the words, letting them twine around my tongue and in the air, experimenting with cadence and rhythm. After I could reliably repeat one section, I’d move to the next, letting it build in my memory until I could put the two together confidently and then moving to the next.

I am the beauty of the green earth
the white moon amongst the stars..

I stared into the waves, listening to them rise and fall along with my words. My three older children dug in the sand. My husband fished. My toddler toddled around and then came to sit on my lap and nursed to sleep for nap time:February 2016 073

before my face
beloved of all…

I whispered into his damp hair. I felt in an altered state of consciousness. The words began to wind their way through me, becoming a part of me, embedded in me. I danced with them as I have never danced with another piece of writing. I felt them merging with me. I sang them aloud. I stated them fast and slow and I built, adding the next line and then the next…

for behold, all acts of love and pleasure
all my rituals.

I turned over hard thealogical questions as the words spun their magic through the air. What does it really mean that “all your learning and seeking shall avail you not, lest your know the mystery.” Do I really feel the goddess within? Do I find her within myself or is she only outside and if she is only outside, does she really exist at all? Tears came to my eyes: do I even like myself?

Two hours passed. My baby awoke and returned to digging in the sand. My husband packed up his fishing gear. The sky began to darken and spit rain. I stood and danced the words into the sand with my feet.

let your divine innermost self
be enfolded
in the rapture
of the infinite

I felt rapturous. I felt triumphant. I had done it. Faster and faster my feet stamped the sand as I called the words into the waves. I spun in circles with my toddler chanting and laughing and offering my devotion before the sea, beneath the moon.

the mystery of the waters
the desire in human hearts…

February 2016 179*I used Shekhinah Mountainwater’s adaptation of the Charge, originally by Doreen Valiente, as included in the book Ariadne’s Thread.

Categories: blessings, ceremony, chants, Goddess, invocations, liturgy, moon wisdom, nature, poems, practices, prayers, priestess, resources, ritual, sacred pause, spirituality, womanspirit, woodspriestess | 2 Comments

Day 18: Rebirth, Renewal

Molly Remer's photo.We spent the day at an Ostara festival yesterday. I went to an enCHANTment workshop in which I learned some new chants and “workshopped” an old one into something fresh.

I have many skills as a priestess-ritualist, but leading people in songs/chants is not one of them! I introduced a song to this group (originally by Shawna Carol and beautiful, but slow paced) that I keep wanting to use to open rituals with in my own circle. I can’t “get it right,” so I asked them for help in creating something new with it that I could bring back to my own community to use. Anyway, this is what we did. Enjoy!

Categories: #30daysofspring, chants, collaboration, community, holidays, practices, priestess, resources, seasons | Leave a comment

Day 6: Birth/Death/Rebirth (#30daysofspring)

Scatter my ashes on the tree covered hills March 2016 022
Let my bones come to rest on these stones
Raindrops will come to carry me away
Back to the Fire of All.*

At sunset, I headed to the woods with my drum. I had been thinking about the course prompts for day 6 and found myself singing the little song above. On the way, I stopped to look at the magnolia tree that we planted in memory of my third baby, who died in my second trimester of pregnancy. His death-birth, my hemorrhage and hospital transfer after his birth, and the intense walk through grief that followed, was my death-life-rebirth experience that I’ve written about before–as well as a shamanic initiation into my priestess path and my dedication to the Goddess. His memorial tree is beginning to bud.

After my drum time in the woods, I turned to go back in and looked up to see many buds on the wild plum that was damaged last year and that I feared would not survive. Through its branches, the bright crescent return of the moon…March 2016 023

Unfathomable eons
Glacier time
I am just a blink of an eye
But I can sit, and watch, and wonder.

(*I realized the next morning that my little tune was similar to Kellianna’s Warrior Queen song. **This is actually my writing from March 14)

Categories: #30daysofspring, ceremony, chants, death, drums, endarkenment, moon wisdom, music, nature, night, poems, practices, prayers, pregnancy loss, priestess, sacred pause, self-care, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 17: Holy darkness (#30daysofyule)

 

 I’ve been feeling rushed for several days so late yesterday afternoon I went and sat on the back porch with my two youngest kids and my drum. We admired the nearly full moon and my daughter said, “let’s make up a new goddess song.” So, we sang and drummed:

I see the goddess in the moon

I feel the goddess in the earth

I taste the goddess in the wind

I hear the goddess in my heart

I touch the goddess in your hand. 

We drew oracle cards and inked them on our wrists. Then, she went in and I took the baby down to the woods where we sang and drummed as the sun went down and darkness fell. We sang:

Moon wise woman*

Moon wise baby

We are moon wise

We are moon wise.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

 

(*”Moon wise” from a new program being launched by a long distance priestess friend and for which I will be guest teaching in the spring.)

Categories: #30daysofyule, chants, drums, family, moon wisdom, nature, night, parenting, priestess, ritual, sacred pause, self-care, spirituality, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Resources for Writing Rituals (#30daysofdissertation)

IMG_9805Today, I finally got down to the nitty-gritty and tackled something that I’ve been having a lot of trouble with on this dissertation: cutting out content. I’ve noticed that my first response with my fifteen minutes each day is to add content and so far, that’s what I’ve done almost every day this month. However, since my 320 pages is mainly a compilation of all kinds of past writing, papers, and articles, there is quite a bit of repetition in it–quotes I’ve used in multiple articles, long sections of text from articles that either isn’t relevant or is simply too long of a quote, etc. So, today, I set my timer for fifteen minutes and cut out twenty pages of content. I then kept working and ended up posing a new demographic question in my research group (I suddenly realized I’d completely left out race) as well as making some edits and about five pages of deletions from my document of raw research results (the date/time stamps and disclaimer that carried over when I copied and pasted. Boring and tedious to do, but necessary. I finally had to stop myself, because I’m certain I’ll need something to do with my fifteen minutes tomorrow…)

In the course of my cutting down, my attention was drawn to several useful resources for creating rituals. The first is a very comprehensive look at the structure of creating a ritual. It has a lot of sub-pages and lots of detail: RITUAL: Purpose & Format of Ritual

The same website also has an index of ceremony outlines (they follow a more typically Wiccan outline than I personally connect with, but a useful resource nonetheless!): RITUAL: Index

I chopped out a bunch of saved stuff from a really wonderful article about using chants during rituals: Chants & Enchantment | M. Macha NightMare, Priestess & Witch. I’m saving this information for our personal study group rather than trying to include it in a dissertation format.

I followed a link from the two ritual pages to this interesting sounding book: The Ritual Magic Workbook: A Practical Course of Self-Initiation. I then ordered a copy, but I vow not to try to add anything from it into the dissertation. 😉

I also added some links to my own resources page: Ceremony Resources – Brigid’s Grove

Categories: 30daysofdissertation, chants, dissertation, priestess, resources, ritual, writing | 4 Comments

All you need to make magic…

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

–Starhawk

12273734_10208257980397183_3464865230043116217_oWe had a small family full moon ritual last night and incorporated a simple gratitude ritual into it. The sky was overcast so we couldn’t actually see the moon, but my four-year-old daughter wanted to get out glow sticks left over from Halloween. We had SO much fun dancing around with them and making patterns in the dark night! We sang a chant I recently made up:

Hallowed evening
Hallowed night
We dance in the shadows
We offer our light.

We did a simple gratitude practice by placing corn kernels in a jar, one for each thing we are grateful for from the past month. We started out slowly and taking turns and then we sped up and the gratitude offerings came tumbling out, over one another. Even the one-year-old added corn, rapidly yet with great concentration to make it actually go in the jar. We drummed and called out, “We are ALIVE! We are GRATEFUL! We are POWERFUL! We are CREATIVE!” When we finally decided to close our ritual and go back inside, the moon peeked out from behind the clouds to briefly say hello and it felt like a blessing on the magic we’d just created together.

As we went back inside, I felt relaxed, happy, and connected. For being something very simple, not particularly pre-planned, and semi-chaotic, it felt like one of our deepest and most connected personal family rituals. The quote above from Starhawk floated back into my mind and I reflected that when I try “too hard” to get things ready for a perfect ritual, I often end up feeling a little disappointed. Things might not work out as I envision or my kids might be as cooperative as I hope and it often takes longer than I expect. While I do enjoy getting some ambiance set up with candles, an altar, a mandala, or a fire, running outside with our glow sticks and spinning around together under the cloudy sky was more than enough to create a sense of magic.

I then stayed up too late coloring mandalas with my daughter from our new free goddess greeting card set. I’ve only recently discovered the magic of sparkly gel pens. Such delight!

12291710_10208257978597138_8682294194396026468_oSource for corn ritual: Some Quick Thanksgiving Magic – Jess Carlson

Another great offering from Jess, a free gratitude journal: End the Year with Gratitude! – Jess Carlson

A full moon ritual outline: Creative Ceremony Academy: Simple Family Full Moon Ritual – Brigid’s Grove

A gratitude ritual outline: Autumn Bounty Ritual Recipe (Fall Equinox Ceremony for Families) – Brigid’s Grove

New moon calendar offering: Free Calamoondala Class with Womanrunes Book Purchase

Come Join the Circle! – Brigid’s Grove

Categories: chants, family, holidays, moon wisdom, night, parenting, priestess | 1 Comment

Day 30: Song in the Dark (#30DaysofHecate)

November 2015 050

New priestess robes hand-dyed by my dear friend are coming to the etsy shop this week!

Darkness falls
Darkness enfolds
Darkness calls
Darkness holds

Hallowed evening
Hallowed night
We rest in the shadows
We offer our light.

30 Days of Hecate was the first 30 days class that I haven’t kept up with in terms of taking a daily picture and making a daily post. This is partially because the heavier themes required more thought and a certain amount of vulnerability that I wasn’t always prepared to take time for. And, perhaps silly, but since I usually share the photo of the day on Instagram, which I also use for business, there were many prompts that didn’t fit with the overall mood and feel of my Instagram page. Also, this was the first class for which there was a Facebook group, so even though I didn’t post on my own blog every day, I read other people’s posts and reflections and thought about their pictures and insights each day, meaning that all things considered I may have spent more time involved in this course than ever before, even though my visible output and personal work was lower. This was more of a communal experience for me than a solitary one, which is interesting both in considering the themes (which I should maybe have taken more personal time for) and also because of how much I’ve valued the personal practice of the previous 30 days courses. I look forward to having that again, though I also wouldn’t trade the communal experience, which has been much bigger and more beautiful than I imagined it could be. I’ve already signed up for the next offering: 30 Days of Yule ~ A Daily Sacred Pause to Welcome the Return of the Sun

And, finally, in more practical terms, we were overwhelmed with Christmas ornament orders, which pared most of my personal practices and personal time down to almost nothing, by necessity. There were many nights where I fell asleep with my phone in my hand, after packing orders until 11:00, blog screen open, but untyped in….

Something I am left with after this course is the amazing Hecate chant I learned about via the 30 Days Facebook group. It is really powerful: For Tara – Hecate Chant | Sharon Knight

Categories: #30daysofHecate, blessings, chants, community, endarkenment, music, nature, night, poems, practices, sacred pause, seasons, spirituality | Leave a comment

Crescent Moon Song

I walk the crescent moon
Plant the seeds and wait to bloom.

I dance the crescent moon
Change is coming, making room.

I sing the crescent moon
Weave intention with her loom.

Tonight I was out walking with my baby and the crescent moon was bright in the sky. I found myself singing a song to him as he fell asleep and so I thought I’d share it here too.

Lots of good things happening this week. The workbook that we prepared to go with my upcoming Divination Practicum course turned into a gigantic, 340-page tome and so we’re having it shipped directly to the class participants. I’m thrilled with it and I hope they all will be too. It is important to me in my classes to go beyond pdfs and actually provide tangible materials.

workbook-cover-for-web-smallI also have big news in that we now have a dedicated portal for online classes at Mystery School of the Goddess! Even though it is really close to the start date, Divination Practicum Registration is live there now as our first official class. I’m in the process of developing several more classes (some with fees and some free!) that will have longer lead-in times. Taking the leap and signing up under Mystery School is a brand new decision and we moved the existing class (which was scheduled months ago to start on October 27th) to the new class platform, even though there isn’t really much time left to promote the offering. I also developed a Womanrunes 101 mini-class there that is totally free!

I reworked my Harvest Queen post into a new post at my SageWoman magazine blog and included a honey-roasted autumn veggies recipe: Blessing from the Harvest Queen (+ Roasted Autumn Vegetables Recipe)

And, I wanted to share that if you’ve ever wanted a priestess robe like mine, you can get one of your own from my friend’s etsy shop during her fall special (make sure to read the shop note for a discount code!). She is a real-life friend of mine and she is immensely talented. Priestess robes are available here: Goddess Garb by GoddessRobes on Etsy

Her new art prints and products are available here: Mother’s Mark Goddess Art Prints, Tees, Cards, & Gifts

Goddessgarb 035Enjoy!

 

Categories: chants, friends, moon wisdom, night, priestess, ritual | Leave a comment

Day 8: Healing the land (#30DaysofHarvest)

Harvest Chant 
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.

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

Offering…

Breathing in, singing out
Birth of new we bring about
Singing out, breathing in
Live the dream, let change begin.

–Jane Meredith

I’ve been reading one of my new books, Rituals of Celebration by Jane Meredith. It is really, really good. I have a lot of books about ritual planning and there is something beautifully, qualitatively different about this one. I think it is the stories with which she opens each section of the book (which is organized around a seasonal wheel of the year type of pagan calendar). She includes these beautifully evocative, very sensory and complete descriptions of rituals and their impact on participants/priestesses. I’ve felt tears come to my eyes multiple times as I read and for things I wouldn’t necessarily have expected—like the description of her son at thirteen challenging another man for the role of the God in their Beltane ritual. Her writing really touches something deep and brings her group’s rituals to life vibrantly. As I read the book, especially in combination with planning a ritual for our winter women’s retreat this weekend, I’ve noticed some insecurity come up (again!) about my own skills as a ritualist because I do not offer the type of elaborate pageant/performance type rituals that the author of this book offers. However, as I’ve been working on my Amazing Year workbook, I’ve also been thinking about a little sculpture that I bought to resell/give as a gift. She’s titled “Offering,” though to me she looks like she is about both receiving and giving. This afternoon, I decided that maybe she wants to stay with me for a while on my Amazing Year altar space-intention space and I’ve been thinking: what am I offering? I posted my thoughts to my Priestess Path group and asked, how about you? What are you offering right now?

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We have a lot of snow here and the temperatures have been below zero. Since my official year of my woodspriestess experiment is over, even though I have no plans to stop going to the woods, I’ve given myself permission not to go right now in the freezing, freezing cold and deep snow. However, with two days of not going, I’m recognizing what feels like a literal sense of being ungrounded. I’m also noticing I have a sense of confusion about what to do with this blog now that I’ve finished my year in the woods. I started the blog before I started my experiment, but then it’s identity (and my own) became very deeply entwined with my time in the woods and the “woodspriestess” that they named me…

Categories: blessings, chants, priestess, ritual, sculpture, women's circle, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Gratitude’s Song

Thank you sacred one December 2013 026
thank you sacred ground
thank you Ancient Mother
thank you sacred womb

Thank you loving family
thank you sacred ground
thank you sacred body
thank you healing sound

Thank you sacred one
thank you sacred ground
thank you Ancient Mother
thank you sacred womb

Thank you loving family
thank you solid ground
thank you sacred body
thank you shining moon

Thank you solid stone December 2013 016
thank you sacred oak
thank you ancient wisdom
thank you sacred hope

Thank you ancient rhythm
thank you song of blood
thank you holy hour
thank you holy wood

Thank you sacred one
thank you sacred ground
thank you Ancient Mother
thank you the world around…

The day after Christmas I took some of the books I’d received as gifts down to the woods. I laid them out the rocks and felt so appreciative of having a family who cares about me and what I’m interested in. I got a selection of priestess books, other books from my Amazon wishlist, and the Amazing Year workbook from my friend. I felt so grateful to have a mom who looked at the picture of the pottery elemental altar I showed her in a magazine at some point this year and then worked and worked to make one for me as a surprise. I felt grateful that she comes to my rituals and reads my blog. I felt grateful for other family members and friends who read my blogs and cheer me on when I make new things and try new avenues. I felt grateful for parents who will hold candles in the darkness on solstice night with me, for a husband who will make a drum and cast pewter with me, for friends who support and encourage me and are able to accept when I need to make changes or let go of things. I felt grateful that I live in a beautiful place and that I have woods to go to and rocks to sit on. I felt grateful for the small adventures of the past year and even for the losses and the lessons of grief and change. Then, I picked up my drum and I sang a song. I feel like acknowledging that yes, I can see there are flaws in my lyrics in that they are perhaps roughly patterned and could be reworked into something smoother, but when I listened to the recording of it again I heard something authentic and something that worked for what it was, when it was. And, I decided I like it just the way it is.

And, then, just now as I type…I felt grateful for myself-–that I will sit in the woods with a drum and sing spontaneous things and write blog posts about it even though maybe I could be embarrassed or self-conscious instead and hide my song away instead of posting it for people to read and possibly feel critical and judgmental of, but I do it anyway and I own it and I keep trying…

(and that is a run-on sentence and I’m not going to edit it either)

Today, I hung up the new goddess-ful Good Karma flags that my mom gave me for Christmas. They’re gorgeous and I loves ’em!

December 2013 034 I’m working on making a “Temple” workspace for myself instead of just huddling in a corner with my computer…

December 2013 035

(my new little altar goes in front of the Cretan priestess figure here, but it is still on the living room floor waiting for me to finish my life-and-biz-planning session)

BOOKS! Oh my first love, I will never forsake you!

 

Categories: blessings, chants, family, friends, holidays, moontime, music, nature, poems, prayers, readings, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Winter Solstice Playlist

December 2013 064

I was trying to take a different picture in the woods tonight and I believe this is actually a picture of my hair? Thought it seemed oddly suitable for tonight’s post.

Recently I told this little story on my Facebook page about my toddler daughter—I have a Goddess playlist that I usually listen to when I take a shower (among other times). A couple of weeks ago when I got out, the song playing was The Dark by Mary Grigolia from the Rise Up and Call Her Name CD. I really took comfort from this song during my miscarriages and it still feels meaningful to me. The refrain is: “it is dark, dark, dark inside.” My little girl came in and listened for a minute and said: “why her not turn lights on her house? Her say it dark inside!” Anyway, I got a comment asking me to please share my playlist. That is definitely on my to-do list, but tonight I feel like sharing my winter solstice playlist instead! We have a lot of plans and activities coming up in the next couple of weeks and it is time to break out my winter solstice playlist rather than my goddess playlist. A couple of years ago after one too many renditions of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, I decided I had to locate some holiday music that was more in keeping with our family’s own spirituality. So, I searched and I looked and I found the Dolmen’s Winter Solstice album on Amazon music as well as Jaiya’s Winter Solstice album. Some I like a lot better than others (I like upbeat things better than soulful wailing, generally), but here they all are anyway:

My favorite ones are definitely those by the Dolmen, especially Golden Sickel Sunrise, Frosty Solstice Morn, and Bringing the Outside In. The Jaiya ones are more wail-y as well as more traditional (i.e. “God send ye a happy new year”). Invocation to Mother Holle by Ruth Barrett is more of a chant and so might work for a group.

As I was typing this I decided to buy Kellianna’s song Brighid’s Flame on itunes. It isn’t quite a solstice song, but it is about winter and so I’m adding it to my playlist! 🙂

Other suggestions gratefully welcomed. This is all I have!

Categories: chants, family, music, resources, spirituality | 2 Comments

Woodspriestess: Nature’s Blessings

Blessed by wind 20130403-162339.jpg
and blessed by rain
blessed by love
and blessed by pain.

Blessed by tree
and blessed by land
open heart
and open hand.

Hopeful spirit
drawing near
Goddess presence
is felt here.

Open up
open wide
rest with courage
peace inside. 20130403-162408.jpg

Breathe in deep
feel heart beat
blessed stone
beneath feet.

Listen, watch
learn and more
today, tomorrow,
from the core.

Blessings of the earth
and soul
Nature’s blessings
keep us whole.

I’m not usually a rhyming type (at least in the woods. I have a tendency to annoy my kids by singing a little ditty at home that includes the phrase, “and it was rhyming time!”), but sometimes things surprise me and rhymes emerge after all! I’ve been missing my daily writing practice a lot. I hadn’t realized in full what it had added to my daily woodspractice. I’m writing more about this for my post for tomorrow. Today, I’m taking a day off from class work and I’m doing the other things that I want to do. I read to my kids, I played with my toddler, I packed for a trip, and got dinner started. I planned a gazillion blog post ideas. I made a baked sweet potato for my lunch. I haven’t checked in with my classes once and I think that is okay. Surely I deserve a day off from classwork, right?!

I also walked my labyrinth…

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Visited my baby’s memorial tree:

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Noticed the tulips’ progress:

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And, I’ve been working on a little travel altar to take on my trip. (no picture yet)

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Categories: blessings, chants, nature, poems, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess | 2 Comments

Book Review: Living Goddess Spirituality, a Feminine Divine Priestessing Handbook

A woman who connects with Goddess, connects with a most vital, ancient, powerful inner part of herself and she is awakened. It is this awakened state that is so empowering to women and downright frightening and dangerous to a patriarchal society.” –B. Melusine Mihaltses

Living Goddess Spirituality: A Feminine Divine Priestessing Handbook is a wonderful book! Containing lots of good resources and thoughtful commentary, the book explores twelve goddesses and associated rituals and workshop ideas for women’s spirituality circles. It also includes a chapter on priestess initiation and guidelines for starting a Goddess study circle.

I have a couple of small critiques in that some of the print is extremely tiny, some material is repeated from the author’s previous book, there is quite a bit of repetitiveness in general, and not all suggestions are fully developed (i.e. for each goddess there are multiple “workshops” suggested which include things like making various items. However, no further information or instructions for most of these things are included).

I don’t usually connect strongly with individual goddess imagery, but the way in which Living Goddess Spirituality is written brought in the significance of many different goddess images and I found myself learning and thinking about specific goddesses in different ways. I also loved all the different chants, ritual outlines, and invocations included. Really great pictures and some beautiful art enhance the book.

Great circle resource and a good resource for Goddess Priestesses!

Two chants I particularly enjoyed and that were new to me:

Eight Beads Chant
Girlseed
Bloodflower
Fruitmother
Spinmother
Midwoman
Earthcrone
Stonecrone
Bone…

Earth, Moon, Magick…
In the Earth, deep within
There is a Magick, I draw it in.
In her Caves, in the Trees
Hear her Heartbeat, Pulsing through me.
When I Rise, I feel her Love
with feet Grounded, I’m soaring high above,
In the Earth, deep within
There is a Magick, I draw it in
Ancient Moon, my Soul reveres
With my Singing, I call you here.
When this flame, ignites tonight,
Priestess dancing, Under the moonlit night…
In the Earth, deep within
There is a Magick
I draw it in…
There is a Magick, I draw it in (3x)

Additional lines for a familiar, favorite drum circle song:

Mother I Feel You…

Mother I feel you under my feet,
Mother I hear your heartbeat
Mother I feel you under my feet,
Mother I hear your heartbeat

heya heya heya yah heya heya ho
heya heya heya heya heya ho

Mother I hear you in the River song,
eternal waters flowing on and on.
Mother I hear you in the River song,
eternal waters flowing on and on

heya heya heya yah heya heya ho
heya heya heya heya heya ho

Mother I see you when the Eagles fly,
Flight of the Spirit gonna take us higher
Mother I see you when the Eagles fly,
Flight of the Spirit gonna take us higher

heya heya heya yah heya heya ho
heya heya heya heya heya ho

(Adapted from my quick review on Goodreads)

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links in image/book title.

Categories: chants, Goddess, poems, priestess, readings, resources, reviews, ritual, spirituality, womanspirit, women's circle | Leave a comment

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