creativity

The Winter Woman’s Soul

october-2016-123“There is magic in all seasons, but winter’s magic is most concise, most dense, most crystalline. It is diamond magic, cool and brilliant, not the fiery magic of coal. It is laser fineness, precise direction…”

–Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch

We are so pleased to unveil this year’s holiday ornaments!

Perfect for goddess-loving women in any stage of life, as well as for priestesses, red tent facilitators, nursing mothers, pregnant women, doulas, midwives, these ornaments are offered in four of our classic designs, one mini-design, and five new Story Goddesses. These are extremely limited edition. We will be making them by hand from November 1-December 1st only. After that, they’re gone! Each of the translucent ornaments is individually hand cast in clear casting resin from our original sculptures. Their beautiful translucency gives them the appearance of being glass or frosted crystal, while still being extremely durable and nearly damage-proof (we have four energetic kids, so our products get a lot of serious product testing to make sure they can hold up to being dropped!).

Each ornament is also freestanding and can also sit on a mantle or table, or can grace your tree with abundance, empowerment, and bountiful blessings throughout the season!

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  • Winter Story Goddess: translucent with a snowflake charm and snowflake obsidian gemstone, she whispers of the spirit of the season.
  • World Peace Story Goddess: in shimmering gold-white, she comes offering blessings for peace on earth
  • Star Goddess: connected to the Charge of the Goddess and the birth of the universe, she is cast in shiny 15039635_1818762091669338_4901288478015916309_oblue-black, one of our unique colors that we created ourselves.
  • Solstice Night/Triple Moon Goddess: cast in soft matte blue-black, a color we hand-blend in small batches, she speaks of the wisdom of endarkenment and the power of the goddess.
  • Winter Gaia: created by popular request using our Gaia mold in a Winter Shimmer White color, she is perfect on a winter altar space.
  • Elen: the British reindeer and woodland goddess cast in red to look beautiful against your winter greenery.
  • Meditation Goddess: our popular, classic meditation goddess in a beautiful glowing translucent version.
  • We’ve also added winter ritual kits and owl rattles (choice of two colors).
  • While our focus has shifted this year to Story Goddesses and the wider Goddess Spirituality Community, we will always have a special place in our hearts for birth and breastfeeding activism and we also have our nursing mamatandem/twins mama, and mini pregnant birth goddess ornaments as well.

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“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces. She refuses all connection, refutes all arguments that she should engage in the world. She may say she is resting, but she is more than resting: She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive.

Winter women are those who bring into the next cycle what should be saved. They are the deep conservators of knowledge and power. Not for nothing did ancient peoples honour the grandmother. In her calm deliberateness, she winters over our truth, she freezes out false-heartedness.

Look into her eyes, this winter woman. In their gray spaciousness you can see the future. Look out of your own winter eyes. You too can see the future.”

–Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch

Categories: art, creativity, Goddess, holidays, resources, seasons, spirituality, womanspirit | 1 Comment
 
 

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 4: Summer Altars (#30daysofmidsummer)

13419258_10209831696659106_9209578587839661705_nI am the fire that burns within your soul
I am the Holy light that fills and makes you whole
I am the Flame within, that never dies
I am the sun that will ever arise.

–Lisa Thiel, Litha (Summer Solstice Song)

I’m enjoying 30 Days of Midsummer with the fabulous Joanna Powell Colbert right now. I am unlikely to manage a daily post during this journey, but I hope to create a few posts as the inspiration and time strikes.

I change my home altar + tiny temple altar spaces regularly and I also set up tiny altars wherever I go (or discover them while I’m out!) The photo to the right is of my living room altar space, freshened up for summer. The one below is my current summer altar in my tiny temple (a small building separate from my home, but only a few feet away, which I use as a dedicated personal work space as well as holding small circles/study groups):

13435563_10209831698659156_7383139005246552031_nThe other photos are all photos I took the day of this prompt, all but one before I read the prompt. After reading it, I then recognized them as summer altars in their own right.

Picking wild raspberries that morning…

13450757_10209831699499177_4513543145098394439_nAdmiring the blooms on the rose bushes we planted in front of my tiny temple…

13466414_10209831700219195_6764482167757669331_nVisiting the Roubidoux Spring that afternoon with my kids (a Trail of Tears historic site)…

13445508_10209831700779209_5802312614193145539_nAt Brigid’s Grove, we are celebrating Summer with a free ritual kit for you! The kit includes:

  • Two ceremony outlines (individual and group)16 goddess mandala
  • Tutorials for two projects
  • Summer poem
  • “Blessing and Blooming” mandala activity
  • Wild berry cobbler recipe

This free ritual kit is included in the June issue of our Creative Spirit Circle Journal. (Make sure to join the circle today. It is free and full of resources!)

Glory of the Day-Star, hail!
Lifter of the Light, Burnisher of the Sky.
Gifts of love to earth are bringing,
Summer’s shimmer, dew’s delight.

Dancing be the heart within us,
Open be our souls to bliss,
Courage vanquish every shadow,
Greet Midsummer with a kiss.

— Caitlin Matthews, The Celtic Devotional

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Categories: #30daysofmidsummer, blessings, creativity, earthprayer, Flowers, Goddess, holidays, liturgy, nature, practices, ritual, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, spirituality, story goddess, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 24: Planting Seeds (#30daysofspring)

12931205_10209251327430238_5463045808457409004_nMy “planted seeds” were our new Story Goddesses out in the wild violets and sunshine.

Yesterday, we went for a walk before dinner and admired my favorite dogwood tree that is getting ready to bloom. It is perfectly shaped like an ornamental tree, but it is wild. That’s my favorite kind of everyday magic.

12439344_10209251326510215_5725357212143025081_nNext free ecourse begins April 10th: Earthprayer.

Categories: #30daysofspring, art, creativity, Flowers, nature, practices, sacred pause, sculpture, seasons, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 23: “Awakening.” (#30daysofspring)

Listen.12801588_10209231288729283_4121319403236202860_n
I tell of prayers strung through oak leaves
Deep wells
Emerald fields
Hot coals
I know the courage it takes
To tend the flame
Of ancient mystery.

The lilac by the garage is huge this year and blanketed with buds. I am looking forward to seeing it!

Free Earthprayer class begins April 10th.

Categories: #30daysofspring, art, blessings, creativity, Flowers, Goddess, nature, poems, practices, prayers, readings, sacred pause, sculpture, seasons, self-care, spirituality, story goddess, theapoetics, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 10: Welcoming Spring (#30daysofspring)

Arise!March 2016 001
Let us greet this morning with smiling faces
Hair unbound
Hearts full of glee
Birdsong in one hand
Roses in the other
Let us dance to River’s music
And Earth’s heartbeat
Under quickening leaves
We are full with the promise of spring.

Happy Spring Equinox! May you be blessed with abundant happiness, joyful song, bright flowers, and steadfast hope.

In case you missed it:

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Categories: #30daysofspring, blessings, creativity, holidays, poems, practices, prayers, priestess, ritual, seasons, theapoetics | Leave a comment

Day 9: Spring Altar (#30daysofspring)

March 2016 032My plans for a spring altar are taking place over the weekend as we celebrate the Spring Equinox, so I don’t have a photo of it yet. I do have many altars around my home though!

This goddess in my photo for the day is one we just made yesterday and is a portable altar of sorts. I carry my little goddesses all over the place with me and set them wherever I am = tiny altars everywhere, all the time.

As you will notice in my pictures and on instagram, I like to use the ‪#‎havegoddesswilltravel‬. 😉 I love to see other people’s pictures of where their little goddesses have gone with them. Our goddesses are very durable and portable. They can accompany you almost anywhere without fear of them being broken (also, since they’re small, they are easy to tuck into pocket, shirt, or purse).

March 2016 008I have a St. Patrick’s Day anecdote to share as well. St. Pat’s is a significant event in my hometown and the college is my alma mater. I don’t feel like I can not do St. Pat’s. It is part of my local “heritage.” Yesterday, I was explaining to my kids though about how St. Patrick perhaps drove the pagans/Goddess out of Ireland and how snakes are a metaphor for that. We went into the skating rink for playgroup and my kids played different arcade games. My daughter won two little prizes totally randomly from two different machine full of all kinds of things and both of them were green snakes! (Different kinds.) Felt somehow symbolic–not driven out after all! 😉

Categories: #30daysofspring, art, creativity, Goddess, sacred pause | 3 Comments

Day 2: Returning from the Land of the Dead (#30daysofspring)

February 2016 055While it isn’t exactly returning from the “land of the dead,” I am still engaged in The Return journey from the vacation we went on at the end of February. It is amazing how long it takes to catch up/return from taking time off. Additionally, it keeps be highlighted for me how often I bargain with myself to “earn” the right to a break–including sometimes eating breakfast! I’m ready to alter this pattern and to honor space and time for rest and renewal in my life regularly, instead of “earning it” by catching up with all my work and doing all my to-dos!

My work, life, and play are so intertwined and interconnected though it can be hard to differentiate “work” from “renewal,” which is a good thing (most of the time). For example, today* I finished packing and shipping kits for my upcoming classes and I love creating and sharing these things with others.

March 2016 065At my baby’s naptime, rather than get out my computer for more “catch up” I got out my clay instead and sat next to him in bed creating some new sculpture prototypes including some meant to be supportive companions for hospice settings.

March 2016 068(*really, March 10)

Categories: #30daysofspring, creativity, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care | 2 Comments

Claypriestess (#30daysofdissertation)

12362679_1685790088299873_4037715236141904055_o“If there is one chant in the universe it is to create.”

–Chris Griscolm quoted in Nicole Christine, p. 25

If you have ever eavesdropped on a conversation between my husband and me around the clamor of our children’s voices, you will hear me making a tired lament: “All I want is a broad swath of uninterrupted time.” I am listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, on audio book from the library right now and she mentions that many creative people lament not having long stretches of uninterrupted time available in which to work. She quotes a letter from Herman Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne, lamenting his lack of time and how he is always pulled “hither and thither by circumstances.” Melville said that he longed for a wide-open stretch of time in which to write. She says he called it, “the calm, the coolness, the silent grass-growing mood in which a man ought always to compose.”

…I do not know of any artist (successful or unsuccessful, amateur or pro) who does not long for that kind of time. I do not know of any creative soul who does not dream of calm, cool, grass-growing days in which to work with- out interruption. Somehow, though, nobody ever seems to achieve it. Or if they do achieve it (through a grant, for in- stance, or a friend’s generosity, or an artist’s residency), that idyll is just temporary—and then life will inevitably rush back in. Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration. Reality’s demands are constantly pounding on the door and disturbing them. On some other planet, in some other lifetime, perhaps that sort of peaceful Edenic work environment does exist, but it rarely exists here on earth. Melville never got that kind of environment, for instance. But he still somehow managed to write Moby-Dick, anyhow.

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB

My little temple space in which to create in uninterrupted time...

My little temple space in which to create in uninterrupted time…

Today I spent almost two hours working on my dissertation (does this take the place of the next several days of 15
minutes, I wonder?!). I decided to take a dramatic step and I opened a fresh document and started over. Well, not started over, exactly, but approached my material in a new way. I had been working within a 300+ page document that was very cumbersome to navigate. I also discovered a huge amount of repetition in the material, thanks to having copied and pasted the same sections into the document multiples times. This morning, while doing yoga, I suddenly realized that rather than try to mine through the 300 pages and delete repetition, I needed to start with a blank document and move relevant pieces from the 300 pages into it, therefore leaving behind that which is not needed, rather than trying to excavate it. So, after my two hours, I now have four documents: 108 pages of research results from my study group (originally 154), 21 pages of additional typed research notes from books I’ve read that haven’t been placed correctly within my dissertation, and 69 pages of “leftover” content from my original 300. That now leaves 113 pages in my “starter” dissertation. This was a difficult process. I got scared that I wasn’t going to have enough. I started to feel panicky that I don’t know what I’m doing and I have nothing good to say. I started to worry that I can’t do this. It became exceedingly clear that it is going to take me a long time to finish and I’m not sure how to put it all together. And, then…glimmers of something coming together. Section titles and opening stories to frame the sections started to come to me and I sense the shape of it emerging. Something worthwhile and valuable is there. I know it. Now, for that broad swath of uninterrupted time…

One of the things that caught my eye again today as I did all this rearranging was a section I typed from Priestess: Woman as Sacred Celebrant by Pamela Eakins about her past life memories of making clay goddess figures as a temple priestess

“…to me it brought a continuation of the energy of the sacred objects of the grandmothers. I contained 12310054_1685134281698787_1950735518948681440_othis energy in a new form in the dolls that would be placed upon the altars and in the graves of the daughters living now and the daughters to come…

I felt this process made my own clay stronger, too. Some of the pieces cracked in the fire because of the added ‘impurities’…but, in this case, I felt the impurities were the purest of pure and I worshipped each crack knowing the crack contained the wisdom of the priestesses who had occupied the doll-making table for more moons than I could even imagine. It contained too, the devotional energy of every grandmother who had held it in her hands or placed it on her altar. Sometimes ‘impurities’ sanctify further that which is holy to begin with.

My hands knew the mind of the clay before they touched it. My designs were fine. My fingers were nimble. I made the same figures over and over. I knew from the start, no matter what shell her outer form took, whether it was black or brown, gray or red, depending on the mix, that her essence was the same…

While I tend to have a knee-jerk skepticism about past-life memories, there is something in Eakins’ words that I know at a bone-deep level as I do my own work with goddesscraft: 12309972_1684185268460355_7337326396732314515_o

…Each goddess was imprinted with the sound of sacred life coursing through the Universe. I changed with the priestesses as the figures came through my hands. Each doll received the sacred vibration of life…For seventy-seven moons I made the dolls at the long table with the young Sisters of Nun. My hands were so fast. I made thousands of figures: beautiful little faces, etched collars of gold plates, pubic hair swirled into tiny rows of connecting spirals. They were so precious. At the end of the day, my baked clay shelves were covered with little women.

The clay goddesses healed…

This is how I apprenticed. I learned, in this manner, the art of healing. I learned that to heal means to make whole, and that becoming whole involves learning many levels of purification, balance, and reformation” (p. 32-33).

In Anne Key’s marvelous priestess memoir, Desert Priestess, she makes this important point: “It is of course no small wonder why graven images are so tightly controlled by religious traditions.” (p. 52) Sometimes I feel like this is what I’m tapping into when I make my own goddess sculptures—a resistance to tight control over graven images and over personalization of divinity as male.

And, I return to Gilbert’s thoughts on creative living as a life path:

Is this the ideal environment in which to create — having to make art out of “things residual” in stolen time? Not really. Or maybe it’s fine. Maybe it doesn’t matter, because that’s how things have always been made. Most individuals have never had enough time, and they’ve never had enough resources, and they’ve never had enough support or patronage or reward … and yet still they persist in creating. They persist because they care. They persist because they are called to be makers, by any means necessary…Which does not mean that creative living is always easy; it merely means that creative living is always possible.

Source: Elizabeth Gilbert On Unlocking Creativity, Ideas As Viruses . News | OPB

In my spare minutes of hither-and-thither creating, I did put together a mini-book of Seasonal Meditations as a solstice gift for newsletter subscribers. If you already subscribe to the Brigid’s Grove newsletter, make sure you’ve checked your email for your mini book. If you don’t you can do so now and it will be sent out again tonight. 🙂

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Categories: 30daysofdissertation, art, creativity, dissertation, Goddess, priestess, quotes, readings, sacred pause, sculpture, self-care, spirituality, woodspriestess, writing | Leave a comment

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