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Where I am and what I’m doing!

August 2016 128Over the last year as more and more of my time, focus, and attention have shifted to Brigid’s Grove, my posts here at Woodspriestess have become more sporadic and it has finally become clear to me that I am “retiring” from my commitment to regularly maintaining this blog. I’ve increasingly found my voice at our Brigid’s Grove blog and that is where I am currently posting updates and sharing information. I miss the more personal flavor and personal insights and “small” moments/everyday miracles that I’ve explored here at Woodspriestess over the years, so I’m not completely retiring it, but rather acknowledging the reality that I am just not using it as a writing environment much this year. I’m also interested to note that the feeling of “completion” here and reduction of writing coincides with the completion of my dissertation. I have blogged here throughout my studies at OSC and now those studies are officially complete.

The time has come for me to lay aside this means of expression and to continue to pour my heart into what I offer through Brigid’s Grove. Feel free to join me there! In fact, I have a free Introduction to Thealogy class going on right now! And, my next section of our Goddess Magic Circle begins on September 5.

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Categories: art, community, creativity, nature, priestess, seasons, self-care, spirituality, womanspirit, women, woodspriestess, writing | Leave a comment

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 3: Edges (#30daysofspring)

March 2016 096I took this photo at tonight’s* Pink Tent Circle and then laughed to see how it literally portrays an edge between winter and spring–the feet with socks and the bare feet!

Not a lot of time to write. Feeling the tug of springtime and bird song and yet feel I’m spending too much time indoors, when my soul longs for the peace of my cherished woods. Had a long conversation with my husband tonight about restructuring our schedule and boundaries to allow me some more time off for renewal and self-care. I know from past experience that it is ME who has to make my woodstime a priority. The whole family, and my work, benefit from the solace and wisdom I find there and yet…I keep holding it away from myself like a carrot on a stick…my reward that I have to earn each day and sometimes don’t get around to. That changes NOW. I tried to change it last month, but dissertation writing and business preparation before going on vacation precluded the reinstating of my woodspractice as a daily priority rather than a scrap at the end. My self-care feels like it has really suffered in the last month and I’m really feeling the emotional impact of that neglect tonight.

So, I’m recommitting here and now! Thanks for witnessing me.

(*actually March 11. And, yes, I know I also said several months ago that I was recommitting to my daily practices. Took a while for my promise to actually catch up with me!)

Categories: #30daysofspring, ceremony, community, practices, priestess, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Goddess Greeting Card Bundle

November 2015 042Happy Holidays from Brigid’s Grove! We’ve created a fun, free bundle of Goddess Greeting Cards for you to use this year. Your download includes:

  • Black and white and color versions of two different card designs
  • A black and white Celtic Roots card specifically for winter (this is my favorite!)
  • Three coloring pages to offer you a sacred pause in the midst of holiday hubbub.
  • You can also download a goddess mandala desktop background

The cards are laid out to print two to a sheet. Simply cut the pages in half and then fold and, voilà, you have nifty greeting cards ready to send or give to friends. You may color the designs or leave them in simple black and white. Or, print out the already colored versions.

DOWNLOAD YOUR BUNDLE

Other ideas:

  • Cut out the circles on the cards, color them, and make them into bookmarks for your women’s circle or to have an easily mailable, simple, cost-effective tiny present for the holidays. After coloring, mount the circle onto a bookmark length piece of cardstock and laminate (or, simply cover on both sides with clear conNovember 2015 086tact paper). You can also embellish with stickers, affirming messages, and additional drawing, doodling, or collage. Gel pens are amazing for coloring these, but regular markers or colored pencils also work. I incorporated Womanrunes into some of my bookmarks.
  • Have coloring pages or cards available at your holiday event and encourage people to take some time to relax and enjoy coloring together.
  • Print a batch of cards out in black and white and have them available for quick notes of affirmation, greeting, or inspiration, and tuck them in with other mail that goes out for the holidays.
  • A doula friend is printing the “Peace on Earth” birth goddess mandala cards to send out to local hospital staff as her holiday greeting this year. If you’re a doula or childbirth educator, you may wish to do this too!12291710_10208257978597138_8682294194396026468_o
  • Let your kids color pages or cards to give to others as simple gifts (my daughter has been making bookmarks with me).
  • Feel free to share your finished designs with us on Instagram using #brigidsgrove or #creativespiritcircle

 Membership in our Creative Spirit Circle is FREE and packed with beautiful, bountiful resources, including a free Womanrunes e-course, a private Facebook group, Red Tent materials, birth blessing posters, access to Divine Imperfections sculptures at up to 50% off, and more. It also includes our weekly newsletter filled with tidbits from our shop, family, and life as well as ceremony outlines, articles, sneak peeks, coupons, and special freebies.

Categories: art, blessings, community, Goddess, sacred pause, seasons | Leave a comment

Day 1: Stillness, Quiet (#30daysofyule, #30daysofdissertation)

IMG_968430 Days of Yule began today. I deeply connect with Joanna’s description of the twin moods of this season: “The deepest gifts of the midwinter holiday season are the twin companions of Solitude and Community. We need both.”

I feel these twin companion keenly at this time of year. My picture for today is also part of my 30 Days of Dissertation, because I’ve decided I’m raising a Goddess Temple here in the woods. For real! I’ve commandeered my children’s unused clubhouse (with their blessing/permission) and it is becoming beautiful, sacred space. I spent way more than 15 minutes yesterday working on the inside of it and I had such a wonderful time. I will write more about it soon.

Today, the day was actually anything but still and quiet. We went to St. Louis for a homeschool field trip to the history museum and were gone all day (I did manage to move some quotes from three different saved pdfs into my dissertation document). We were in need of a small adventure for our family after all of the busy-ness November held and so I have no regrets about being in the hustle and bustle of the city rather than the peace of the woods. However, I now seek the quiet of my bed, my thoughts, and the restoration of sleep…

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Carriage ride at the museum (with merry jingle bells on the large draft horses).

Categories: #30daysofyule, 30daysofdissertation, community, family, parenting, priestess, retreat, sacred pause, self-care, spirituality, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Ritual energy (#30daysofdissertation)

November 2015 059“Personally, what I have noticed most often about the level of energy in the many rituals I have experienced has far more to do with my mood and personal energy level in solitary rites, and the personalities and personal connections of the people involved in the group rites I’ve experienced than with any external factor, from clothing or lack thereof, to male-female alternation around the circle, to tradition or jewelry or hairstyle, or whatever. Are the people happy to be there? Do they genuinely like each other? Do they believe in the work they’re doing? These are the things I’ve noticing affecting magic’s potency for me.” (Thuri Calafia, Dedicant, p. 159)

I didn’t feel like I had a lot of generative, creative energy for dissertation work today, so I decided to spend my fifteen minutes finishing typing up some quotes from the book Dedicant, by Thuri Calafia. It was a smart way to spend my time, made me think of a new question to pose in my Priestess Path study group, and “decluttered” my research desk by moving the book from the stack on the desk to back on the bookshelf!

This quote caught my eye because I’ve written before that I find it easier to have spiritual experiences on my own rather than in a group, even though I deeply value and enjoy working with groups. Working with groups of people has a lot of power by their own right, but for divine connection, give me solitude in the woods!

That reflection brought me to a quote I’d used in a past blog post:

Ritual Priestessing is not for the faint of heart. If you fear chaos, the unexpected, or the unforeseen, choose another vocation. A ritual facilitator regularly finds herself in challenging situations that are not at all what she originally planned. In order to facilitate others, you first need to know how to be a good participant. I don’t believe that it is possible for a woman to priestess/facilitate a ritual effectively until she first knows how to truly participate in one…

Source: Dance in a circle of women… | WoodsPriestess

And, considering the why of doing this 30 Days project now. Why expect this daily dissertation work during the holiday season, when business is booming, my kids need me, etc.? Can’t I just wait to work on the dissertation until January? Well…first of all, I said I’d do it this year and I feel like I’d like to honor myself by giving it the best effort I can during what is left of the year!  Second though, I realized with the “fifteen minutes” tip from my friend that I routinely spend way more than fifteen minutes scrolling through my instagram or facebook feeds, so it really isn’t too much to expect of myself to redirect that energy into #30daysofdissertation. So, appropriately, this afternoon I also typed this quote I’d marked down months ago from Dedicant: As it is with our gardens, so it is with life. We sometimes can have too many choices, too many things that pull us in too many directions. There comes a time when we must decide what we will keep putting our energy into, and what we will let go of, even if only for a while…Be gentle with yourself, as you need to nurture your own growth…” (Calafia, p. 202-203)

I don’t know that I’ll actually make a companion blog post each day, but so far I am enjoying the accountability factor in doing so.

Now to turn my attention back to my Feminism and Religion blog post!

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Categories: 30daysofdissertation, books, community, dissertation, Goddess, introversion, practices, priestess, quotes, resources, spirituality, woodspriestess, writing | Leave a comment

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

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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

Day 12: Waiting for Guidance (#30DaysofHecate)

“If a woman stays at the crossroads until she knows intuitively which direction to take, she emerges renewed and replenished.”
— Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Older Women

 

Our community’s first ever Pink Tent in the herstory of the world was held tonight. This photo is one of my favorites from the event and it felt like a beautiful evocation of today’s prompt. 

After talking to some of my friends tonight, I also realized that I feel at a personal crossroads of sorts regarding where I want to take my work in the coming year…

Categories: #30daysofHecate, community, friends, priestess, red tent, ritual, womanspirit, women's circle | Leave a comment

Day 11: Daughters of Hecate (#30daysofHecate)

  
Maybe this picture seems a little “bright” for our themes, but I realized it is actually perfect for the photo prompt today! I’m getting ready for our first mother-daughter Pink Tent event tomorrow night. My husband made the new sculpture in the center of the photo especially for our circle. ❤️ The Womanrunes card I drew this morning was the The Dancing Women (rune of celebration), which felt very appropriate too. 

Mamapriestessing. 🌀

Categories: #30daysofHecate, community, family, parenting, priestess, red tent, ritual, women's circle | Leave a comment

Day 10: Old Woman (#30DaysofHecate)

“May you be kept safe. May you be watched over. May all the good you are seeking, seek you as well. And may you know that everything you need, is given to you in the proportion you need it. And may you see the signs everywhere that help you to understand who you are, why you are and most of all that you belong to us, the tribe of the sacred heart. ”

–Clarissa Pinkola Estes, from The Dangerous Old Woman

  
At our Red Tent a couple of months ago, we did an “inner mentor” meditation that took us twenty or thirty years into the future to meet our wise future self. Mine was in a red tent yurt built in the woods to the side of my current house. She had herbs hanging all around the yurt and a neat fireplace and she was very calm and welcoming. I think of her often, actually. She was more centered and calm and soothing than I currently feel, but I can see her as my future self.

When I read today’s prompts, I immediately thought of this meditation and I also thought of the card above. I’m not sure who the artist is, because I cut it off of the front of a greeting card to make a personal oracle card with. 

Categories: #30daysofHecate, ancestors, blessings, community, sacred pause | 2 Comments

Day 5: Communal Creativity (#30DaysofHarvest)

  
“…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. 

Whew! 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, community, family, GGG, nature, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 4: An altar for Autumn Equinox (#30DaysofHarvest)

 
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. 

  

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, community, GGG, night, sacred pause, seasons, womanspirit, women's circle | 2 Comments

Day 2: My Personal Harvest (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

 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! ❤️

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, community, GGG, night, sacred pause, seasons, womanspirit | 1 Comment

Call for Contributions: Practical Priestessing

July 2015 001I am in the process of finishing my dissertation project about contemporary priestesses in the U.S. The working title of my dissertation is “Practical Priestessing.” As I’ve collected data and dialogued with practicing priestesses throughout the U.S. and in four additional countries, I have been touched, honored, and amazed to see how much deeper, more nuanced, and powerful my work is with the gracious contribution of additional voices. I have always intended to publish my dissertation in book form after I complete my degree, but I now envision including an anthology section in the book about practical priestessing from a variety of perspectives. I gratefully welcome the contribution of your essays (previously published blog posts or articles acceptable) for this project!

Contributions should center around the following themes:

  • Priestess path: how did you become a priestess? How did you hear the call? How do you serve?
  • Practical service + vocational priestessing: what does priestess work look like for you? (Yes, this project is about the DO-ing work of a priestess, rather than the be-ing work.)
  • Community support: how do you work with the community around you? What would it take for the community to support you in vocational priestessing?
  • Nuts and bolts: thoughts, reflections, and suggestions on ritual facilitation, pastoral counseling, teaching, group dynamics, etc.
  • Scraping the candle wax. My dissertation project has its roots in a quote from Ruth Barrett that ends with this thought: “The reality is this: you will be the last one left in the rented hall, scraping candle-wax droppings off the floor with a razor blade…” While it sounds mundane and even a little harsh, at the core, my dissertation research is focused on these Candle Wax Priestesses. Anyone can say, “I’m a priestess,” but when the wax actually hits the floor, who is there?! That’s the crux of it, for me, the differentiation between “title” and practice. The difference between inner activation and outer vocation. I’m not talking about pop culture priestesses or “The High Priestess Nail Your Webinar Manual,” I’m talking about candle wax. I’m talking about toting tubs of supplies, I’m talking about making copies, and picking dates, and writing rituals, and doing this…

You may also include a brief biography as well as links to your own blog or business to be included in the book. Please include your mailing address with your submission if you would like to receive a copy of the book when it is published! 

Submissions should be emailed to Molly: priestessworkbook at gmail dot com. 

Deadline for contributions is February 1, 2016. 

Suggested word count: 500-2000 words. 

“The priestess is worn within the soul, not donned for occasion or kept in a bowl.” (http://schoolofsacredscience.com/Priestess_Training.html)

“The journey to become a priestess…(even of the urban variety) remains a grueling task, not something capable of being conferred by a few weekend workshops or sweat lodges. The glibness with which such terms are used can be infuriating…”

–Vivienne Vernon-Jones (in Voices of the Goddess)

“The Goddess is not only for the temple, she must be carried out into the world to wherever she is needed…”

–Vivianne Crowley (in Voices of the Goddess)

Categories: community, dissertation, priestess, spirituality, woodspriestess, writing | 7 Comments

Red Tent Initiation Program Launch

11692528_1643738219171727_6214351850615964803_nFollowing the spiral path of maiden, mother, and crone…

Do you want to take a journey into a deeper understanding of yourself? Do you wish to unlock insight and understanding? Do you want to reach out to other women in sisterhood and co-create a powerful circle experience?

This new online program is both a powerful, personal experience AND a training in facilitating transformative women’s circles. You will listen to your deep self, access your inner wisdom and prepare to step into circle as guardian and guide for other women who are hungering for depth, connection, restoration, and renewal in today’s busy world.

This intensive course is limited to 15 women, to allow for deep connection and dedicated attention.

August 29-October 12, 2015

Your online experience includes…

  • Asix week immersive journey over the course of the spiral path
    • Knowing Self (Maiden Unit)
    • Might of Creation (Mother Unit)
    • Gathering the Women (Crone Unit)
  • Each unit includes a ceremony, meditations, discussion questions, journaling exercises, projects, and prompts designed to take you deep into the Red Tent process.
  • Live interaction, support, feedback, and conversation via a private Facebook group

With your registration, you will also receive an incredible resource package valued at more than $100 including:

  • 58 page manual: Restoring Women to Ceremony, The Red Tent Resource Kit, written exclusively for our Red Tent redtentkitKit and Initiation Program. In this collection of essays and ritual resources, you will find a complete Red Tent “recipe,” circle leadership basics, moontime musings, and readings, quotes, and poems to help you facilitate a rich, inviting, welcoming, creative space for the women of your community.
  • Womanrunes Book and Card set: used throughout the program for personal guidance and self-development. And, perfect for ongoing use in an inspiration and renewal corner at your Red Tent Circle.
  • Red Tent Goddess Sculpture: symbolic of self-care and of both receiving and giving.
  • Carnelian Pendulum
  • Moontime pendant with silver-tone, solid crescent moon charm
  • Red altar cloth
  • Red organza bag to store your resources
  • Altar Candle
  • Head wreath kit and tutorial
  • Special Red Tent Circle Leader initiation gift (to be opened only upon program completion!)
  • Red silken cord
  • Moon or spiral goddess pendant

After your process is complete you will also receive:

  • Certificate of Completion
  • Ritual Recipe Kit e-book
  • Circle-ready digital files of the rich meditations and insightful readings used in the program
  • Ongoing support and guidance through continued participation in our private Facebook group

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For inspiration on your own path, feel free to listen our local Red Tent Circle singing the beautiful chant Dance in a Circle of Women during our May Circle

Register via our website or check out via Etsy here.

 

Categories: community, Goddess, priestess, programs, red tent, resources, retreat, ritual, sacred pause, spirituality, womanspirit, women, women's circle | Leave a comment

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