Goddess

Day 1: A Symbol of the Crone (#30daysofHecate)

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…We arrive at a crossroads on our path through the woods, and we have the choice of three ways to go. Is that a mantled figure with silver hair gleaming in the moonlight we see standing there? Or is it a snag of old twisted deadwood? A bony finger is lifted to point the way. We have heard it said that Hecate, the Great Crone herself, is always found where three paths come together, and always at the crossroads of our lives.

Come, listen closely. Can you hear Hecate’s whispers on the wind?

— JPC, Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices for Hallowmas

I simply can’t resist the 30 Days ecourses from Joanna Powell Colbert and I’ve signed up for 30 Days of Hecate as well! I almost didn’t sign up for it, because Hecate makes me a little nervous—she’s actually one of the first goddesses I have had any contact with or exposure to, but I never pursued the connection. About twelve years ago, when my first child was a baby, I was practicing yoga one morning in the guest room and I “heard” the name Hecate whispered to me. I was only tentatively and tenderly exploring goddess spirituality at that point and had never heard the name Hecate before—I even got up from my yoga mat to look it up on the internet, because I didn’t even know if it was a real goddess name…

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Categories: #30daysofHecate, endarkenment, Goddess, sacred pause, seasons | Leave a comment

Mamapriestess?

She who changes IMG_7770
She who expands and contracts
She who stretches her limits
She who digs deep
She who triumphs and fails
Every day
Sometimes both within a single hour
She who tends her own hearth
She who comforts and connects and enfolds
She who opens wide…

(via my past post: Goddess Mother)

I recently finished reading Under Her Wings: The Making of a Magdalene, by Nicole Christine. A theme running through the book was the concept of “As Above, So Below and As Within, So Without.” I read this book as part of my research for my dissertation about contemporary priestessing. I posed two questions based on this book in my dissertation research study group, but I’d like to invite other responses and experiences as well.

I want to hear from the Mamapriestesses, from the Hearth Priestesses! Where are the other practicing priestesses b2ap3_thumbnail_11209411_1658113891067493_624517776654095662_n.jpgwith children at home? I noticed in Christine’s book that the bulk of her work took place after her children were grown and, to my mind, she also had to distance or separate from her children and her relationships in order to fully embrace her priestess self. How do you balance this? How does it work for you? Parenting, for me, can simultaneously feel as if it is stifling my full expression and yet perhaps as if it holds the greatest lessons and teachers

I notice that many women seem to come to priestess work when the intensive stage of motherhood has passed, or they do not have children. Is there a reason why temple priestesses were “virgins” and village wise women were crones? Where does the Mamapriestess fit?

So, if you have children, I’d love to hear from you about this! If you do not have children by choice, how does that play into your spiritual work? If you do not have children and that is not by choice, how does that play into your spiritual work?

As I read Christine’s book and witnessed her intensive self-exploration, discovery, and personal ceremony and journeys, I realized that in many ways personal exploration feels like a luxury I don’t have at this point in my parenting life (as an example: for an entire month I’ve been dreaming what feel like really powerful and almost revelatory dreams, but I have a night-nursing 11 month old and after multiple night wakings with him, the dreams slip into nothingness and I’m left with a sense of “forgetting” something that is trying to communicate with me or share wisdom).

How do you balance your inner journey with your outer process? Christine references having to step aside and be somewhat aloof or unavailable to let inner processes and understandings develop, since our inner journeys may become significantly bogged down by interpersonal relationships, dramas, venting, chatting, and so forth. Or, as I tend to joke, during a full moon ritual as my two pre-teen sons make fart jokes or the baby has a poopy diaper. For me, this distance for inner process exploration isn’t possible in the immersive stage of life as a mother. And, yet, I also know in my bones that I’m not meant to give it up. How does the As Within and the So Without work together for you?

Several years ago, I was sitting at the table sculpting clay for a new design and my then six-year-old son worked at the table too, finally presenting me with a special gift of his own design:

February 2013 051“This is the Goddess of Everything,” he told me. “See that pink jewel in her belly, that is the WHOLE UNIVERSE, Mom!!”

Categories: dissertation, family, Goddess, OSC, parenting, priestess, self-care, women, woodspriestess, writing | 4 Comments

New Book! Earthprayer, Birthprayer, Lifeprayer, Womanprayer

Earthprayer_Birthpr_Cover_for_KindleThis the wisdom
of woodspaces
this is the meditation
of Earthplaces…

I’m so excited to announce that my third book has been born! Directly sourced from my woodspriestess practice, cropSeptember 2015 025Earthprayer, Birthprayer, Lifeprayer, Womanprayer is a 114 page book of earth-based poetry containing four thematic sections all rooted in connection to the land and to the cycles of life. This poetry collection is one of the results of my committed, devotional, year-long “woodspriestess” practice. I maintained this practice throughout 2013, eventually spending approximately 330 days during the year in the same place in the woods listening to what they had to tell me about life, myself, and the Earth.

When I enter the woods, I often experience what I have termed “theapoetics”–-spontaneous, spoken aloud poetry that brings me into direct connection with that source of life I call the Goddess. These theapoetical explorations form the heart of my book.

A digital version is also available in print-ready pdf. If you previously purchased the 60 page digital version, we are happy to offer you a 20% discount on the newly expanded version of the book. Please contact us for the discount code to use.

The book is also easily available with free Prime shipping from Amazon US and Amazon UK.

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Categories: blessings, books, Goddess | 1 Comment

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

Body to body. The Boat of Heaven. (#30DaysofMay)

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

(quoted in Dedicant)

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

–John Muir

I stand on the body of the Goddess
I sit on her bones
I breathe her breath
Spirit of Life moving through me
Her voice sings in my blood
stars shine in my veins
my heartbeat a drum
tuned to the core of the planet…

via Goddess Body, World Body | WoodsPriestess

Related posts: Woodspriestess: Body Prayer  Woodspriestess: Pelvic Cradle

Categories: #30Daysof May, blessings, embodiment, Goddess, nature, poems, sacred pause, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Womanrunes Immersion eCourse

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I’m excited to take my work into some new areas over the summer. We’ve launched a new branch for our offerings: the Creative Ceremony Academy. A Womanrunes Immersion is the first e-course!

Womanrunes Immersion 41 Day e-Course Experience

Begins June 21, 2015*

Do you want to create a sacred “time out” in your day to listen to yourself and to explore a deeper relationship with the womanrunes course messages of the world around you? Are you looking for a means of experiencing your inner wisdom as well as accessing the flow of womanspirit truths around you? Do you want to tap into Goddess guidance and Earth-based wisdom? Are you hungering for a pathway to your own “truth-sense”? This immersive experience is designed for you! This 41 day e-course will take you on a deep personal journey, uncovering your inner wisdom and deep guidance using Womanrunes, a powerful system of divination and intuitive guidance for personal growth. Used as a dynamic, hands-on, participatory system, Womanrunes become part of your own language of the Divine, the Goddess, your inner wisdom, and womanspirit truths.

Womanrunes are a unique and powerful divination system that use simple, woman-identified symbols to connect deeply with your own inner wisdom as well as the flow of womanspirit knowledge that surrounds you. Used as a personal oracle, they offer spiritual insight, understanding, and guidance as well as calls to action and discovery. Women who use them are amazed to discover how the symbols and interpretations reach out with exactly what you need in that moment. Women’s experiences with Womanrunes are powerful, magical, inspirational, potent, and mystical. The wisdom within them can be drawn upon again and again, often uncovering new information, understanding, and truth with each reading.

Many women are amazed by how these symbols speak to something deep within them. You may have the experience of feeling heard and answered when you choose a card and read its interpretation. Womanrunes provide a pathway to your own “truth-sense.” They open you up to your own internal guidance or to messages and inspiration from the Goddess, the Earth, or your spiritual guides.

There are two registration options for this course.

Immersion Experience Option 1, $62

Includes:

  • Womanrunes book and card set May 2015 033
  • Bonus tree pendant gift
  • Digital starter kit with how to create your own runes + printable rune set
  • Printable journal pages for each rune
  • 41 days of guided rune exploration through art, photo, and journal prompts
  • Full moon and new moon ritual outlines
  • Access to a private Facebook group for sisterhood, sharing, guidance, and support
  • $40 discount on our upcoming Listening to the Deep Self professional divination practicum launching in October.

Immersion Experience Option 2, $40 (includes all digital resources above, no book):

  • Digital starter kit with how to create your own runes + printable rune set
  • Printable journal pages for each rune
  • 41 days of guided rune exploration through art, photo, and journal prompts
  • Full moon and new moon ritual outlines
  • Access to a private Facebook group for sisterhood, sharing, guidance, and support
  • $40 discount on our upcoming Listening to the Deep Self professional divination practicum launching in October.

To register, visit the course page here: Womanrunes Immersion – Brigid’s Grove.

(*Why June 21st? Because it was on the Summer Solstice in 1987 that Shekhinah Mountainwater experienced her “goddess-lightning strike” of inspiration and the Womanrunes were born!)

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Categories: divination, Goddess, priestess, sacred pause, spirituality, Womanrunes, womanspirit, women, women's circle | 4 Comments

Birth flower…(#30DaysofMay

Goddess is my name for

that which holds the whole

that which weaves the all

that which knows the story of the ages…

via Woodspriestess: Pelvic Cradle | WoodsPriestess.

I’ve taken a lot of pictures of flowers for 30 Days of May already, so today I took the prompt in a slightly different direction. The prompt was to find a yoni-like flower. I won this tapestry in a contest from Orgasmic Birth a couple of years ago and it hangs in my bedroom. Today, while thinking over what to photograph for the prompt, I looked up and saw the tapestry and knew I had my pic!

Categories: #30Daysof May, art, Goddess, thealogy | Leave a comment

Goddess Legs!

After posting about the “twisty legs” on some of my goddess designs, it occurred to me to explain the reasons behind the forms of my other designs! Our goddess pendants have several different leg configurations. Each type is chosen to represent a specific energy…

October 2014 054 (2)Seated Mountain Pose

Used for my mama goddess designs, this pose is a grounded, mindful, yoga pose bringing harmony, restoration, and balance. These mama goddesses are centered within themselves. They are focused, intentional, mindful, meditative, and purposeful. They are connected and in flow.

Inhale and repeat silently: “I exist in the here and now….”

Exhale and repeat silently: “The present moment is all I have to be with…”

Continue inhaling and exhaling as you silently and simply repeat: “Here and now…present moment.”

il_570xN.737953003_2586Shakti

The spiral leg form represents the energy of rising. I think of these goddesses as joyfully dancing, twirling, expressing themselves actively and energetically in the world. Indeed, the sensation of moving energy is so palpable through this design, that as a high-energy person, I have to be careful how and where I wear them, because the sense of being activated is so strong with them, that it can be too much for me! However, if you feel in need of activation and mobilization, however, then these dancing, moving, energetic goddess pendants are the designs for you! Any of my pendants with dancing legs represent Shakti rising in an energetic dance of creativity, freedom, and personal power. She is unapologetically fully inhabiting her own personal power and her being is enlivened by an exuberant flow of passionate, inspired energy.

Spin
spin with me now
until we dance shadows into art
hope into being
and pain into power…

Pewter Spiral Goddess Priestess "Initiation" Pendant, Necklace (original sculpture, hand cast, spiral)Priestess

The priestess designs are those with a “dress” bottom (instead of pointy or twisty legs!). This solid foundation represents grounding, while the uplifted arms represent connection and inspiration. These designs draw down energy from the sky and draw up strength from the earth. They represent serving as a conduit of divine energy, flow, and inspiration. Draw it up, draw it down. Let it take root in belly, bones, and blood. Let the mantle settle on your shoulders until you know without a doubt that this is who you really are.

I am committed to this path
With courage, may I walk
With patience, may I love
With strength, may I serve…

February 2015 057Goddess

The pointy legs of this design are a classic goddess form. They form a connection to ancient goddess images  as well as to modern experiences and represent a numinous, everpresent, universal Goddess energy. The holding “web” of energetic, cosmic co-creation. This form makes the as-above, so-below connection with the shape of the arms mirroring the shape of the legs.

Be still and know that I am she

She who kisses your eyelids with sunshine
Blesses your brow with raindrops
Lifts cares from your shoulders

She who rises with the sun
And who holds the night sky
She who holds you firmly
While spinning in space…

Of course, the forms may speak to you in different ways. To call you to different understandings and meanings and to signify something specific in your own life. They have room for that too! 🙂

Categories: art, Goddess, sculpture | Leave a comment

Womanrunes 101

front-coverWhat are Womanrunes and why use them?

Womanrunes are a unique and powerful divination system that use simple, woman-identified symbols to connect deeply with your own inner wisdom as well as the flow of womanspirit knowledge that surrounds you. Used as a personal oracle, they offer spiritual insight, understanding, and guidance as well as calls to action and discovery. Women who use them are amazed to discover how the symbols and interpretations reach out with exactly what you need in that moment. Women’s experiences with Womanrunes are powerful, magical, inspirational, potent, and mystical. The wisdom within them can be drawn upon again and again, often uncovering new information, understanding, and truth with each reading. They amaze me every day!

il_570xN.739519116_otniHerstory

On the Summer Solstice of 1987 after having worked with traditional runes, but sensing “something more” behind them, Shekhinah Mountainwater “fell into a state of enchantment” and in a single day created a 41 symbol woman-identified rune system to be used for divination, self-understanding, guidance, and personal growth.

In 2012, I was reading a back issue of SageWoman magazine from 1988 and stumbled across an article about Womanrunes. I instantly fell in love with them. They issued a powerful call to me. I scoured the internet for more information, where I eventually found a handout and pronunciation guide on an old website. I purchased Shekhinah’s classic book of women’s spirituality, Ariadne’s Thread, and began making Womanrunes sets at women’s spirituality retreats with my friends. After working with the symbols for some time, I began to sense more detailed interpretations for them. I began randomly choosing one each day, going to a sacred place in the woods with it and discovering what it had to tell me. Over the course of 18 months, this powerful practice developed in a complete guidebook to interpreting and using Womanrunes.

il_570xN.739519120_2cycHow to Use

The simplest and most common use for Womanrunes is to draw a card daily or when you feel an intuitive need for guidance. Draw the card and feel into it. What is it sharing with you? Read the companion interpretation and let it soak in. Many women are amazed by how these symbols speak to something deep within them. You may have the experience of feeling heard and answered when you choose a card and read its interpretation. Womanrunes provide a pathway to your own “truth-sense.” They open you up to your own internal guidance or to messages and inspiration from the Goddess, the Earth, or your spiritual guides.

smAugust 2014 055Some introductory layouts are included in the free download “Womanrunes Starter Kit” available via e-newsletter subscription at Brigid’s Grove (see sign-up box on right hand side). Womanrunes may also be used to do guidance readings for friends or clients. Messages from Womanrunes are not prescriptive or directive, instead they serve as a rich conduit to exactly what you need to hear and receive in that moment.

Many women have found that Womanrunes make an excellent addition to their Red Tent work. For Red Tent Circles with others, the Womanrunes book and cards can be available in a divination, guidance, or inspiration corner. Create a quiet, nurturing nook in your Red Tent space where the women can sit with the cards, drop into their own heartspace, and receive the message they need.

January 2015 001

Womanrunes in use in the Red Tent, in Lawrence, KS

There are many additional uses for Womanrunes, including creating bindrunes, runewriting, runespells. Many women also find them satisfying to draw or carve onto art, calendars, sculptures and more. Used in this way, the Womanrunes can attract their messages deeply into your life or can serve as potent declarations of intention.

Why Such Simple Images?

Many divination and oracle systems include beautiful artwork on the cards. Womanrunes are simple symbols and are, in fact, a type of symbol “writing” that speaks to a deep part of the soul. The clean focus and simplicity of the Womanrunes symbols evoke rich messages and soul guidance in their own special way that differs from the image-rich paintings of other systems. They are also very easy to use directly yourself—including them in your own art, drawing or etching them onto objects, and thereby writing them into your consciousness in a living manner. Used as a dynamic, hands-on, participatory system, Womanrunes become part of your own language of the Divine, the Goddess, your inner wisdom, and womanspirit truths.

What People Are Saying…

“I have never had a deck be so right from the first draw – in tune and intuitive. Molly’s insight and interpretations only add to the experience. Using my Womanrunes deck makes me excited for my daily centering.”

–B

“Great item for gatherings of women!”

–B.F.

“This set is great, high quality and user friendly.”

–E.R.

“Powerful, beautiful, inspiring! I am so looking forward to diving deeper into this, but am already seeing benefits from the wisdom in these pages, and I appreciate everything about this set.”

–S.B.

“Wonderful deck and guidebook, and so easy to use but with great depth. Thank you kindly for manifesting this vision into reality!”

–H.V.

“The cards & books are high quality & the descriptions are very easy to understand while leaving room for your intuition. I also appreciated the tree pendant gift – total & very pleasant surprise!”

–A.A.

“Excellent product! This deck and guide book are fantastic.”

–S.C.

“Beautiful and insightful. Enjoying adding them to my morning practice!”

–L.B.

How to Buy

The book alone is available via Amazon, Amazon UK, CreateSpace, and Etsy. A set including both the book and box of professionally printed Womanrunes cards is available directly from us via our etsy shop and via Amazon.

Book Description front-cover

Womanrunes: A guide to their use and interpretation

From the system by Shekhinah Mountainwater

In 1987, women’s spirituality foremother and wayshower, Shekhinah Mountainwater, experienced a “goddess-lightning” strike of inspiration and created a set of 41 woman-identified rune symbols for divination and personal growth. Twenty-five years later, I discovered Womanrunes and created an expanded means of interpreting, using, and exploring these powerful, magical symbols.Discover and explore…

*the herstory and development of Womanrunes
*how to interpret Womanrunes
*how to make your own Womanrunes
*how to lay out and read Womanrunes

Legacy

Our Womanrunes book was produced in cooperation with Shekhinah Mountainwater’s estate, ShekhinahWorks. Many memorial projects are in the works currently, including the digital publication of Shekhinah’s amazing book, Aridane’s Thread. You can keep up with all the projects and memories via the following sites:

Facebook

Shekhinah Mountainwater Memorial Fund (website)

YouTube

Website (with a planned expansion to http://www.ShekhinahMountainwater.com)

Shekhinah Mountainwater

Categories: books, divination, feminist thealogy, Goddess, readings, resources, reviews, Womanrunes, womanspirit, women, women's circle, writing | 3 Comments

Thursday Thealogy: Interconnectivity, Witches, and Fear

il_570xN.575164324_dpckI had two more quotes that I wanted to share from the new Voices of the Sacred Feminine anthology by Karen Tate. They didn’t fit into my review of the book, so they’re getting their own post!

First, about interconnectivity and the Goddess from professor Andrew Gurevich’s essay, “Gaian Interconnectivity and the Future of Public Myth”

…new findings in neuropsychology, evolutionary biology, hemispheric science and consciousness studies are revealing that the ‘Goddess’ can be understood as an ancient, neuro-spiritual ‘technology.’ The personification of the synergistic union of the brain’s creative and critical faculties, she emerges when we put our logic in service of our intuition. This research suggests that the Goddess represents the reunification of the sensibilities; the visceral, interconnected, energetic web that is the source of thought itself. Our wisdom body, manifest.

I used the web as part of my case for the ontological existence of the Goddess in one of my first Feminism and Religion posts:

Everything is interconnected in a great and ever-changing dance of life. Not as ‘all one,’ but as all interconnected and relating to one another, in an ever-present ground of relationship and relatedness…I imagine the divine as omnipresent (rather than omnipotent).” The Divine is located around and through each living thing as well as the great web of incarnation that holds the whole…

via Who is She? The Existence of an Ontological Goddess

The second is a no-nonsense quote from Starhawk about the power of the word “witch” in her essay “Earth, Spirit, and Action: Letting the Wildness In”

“The word ‘Witch’ has power. If we don’t examine it and counter its negative associations, if we don’t go through that process with it, then it’s like a stick to beat you with.”

This connects to a recent article about young women and women’s spirituality in which we find this wonderful gem:

“the task of reclaiming the witch is a fundamentally poetic one.” –Sady Doyle

In her article, Doyle also quotes Starhawk:

“I think that part of the power of the word is that it refers to a kind of power that is not legitimized by the authorities,” Starhawk says. “Even though not all witches are women, and a lot of men are witches, it seems to connote women’s power in particular. And that’s very scary in a patriarchal world – the kind of power that’s not just coming from the hierarchical structure, but some kind of inner power. And to use it to serve the ends that women have always stood for, like nurturing and caring for the next generation – that, I think, is a wonderfully dangerous prospect.”

via Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft | World news | The Guardian.

I touched on this subject in two past posts. One about fear in which I quoted Chrysalis Woman:

“Immense can be our Fear surrounding ‘coming out’ with our beliefs, our passions, and our ancient wisdom whether to our families or friendships let alone the community at large. Afraid we can be of ‘speaking out’ on behalf of the Feminine…

via Fear | WoodsPriestess.

And the second based on some work from my Stigmatization of the Witch class at OSC:

…when political and religious tides were turning in the ancient world, those who wanted to dominate and control didn’t go for the leaders of countries, for political heads of states, or for those in powerful jobs, they went for the priestesses. They went for women who held the cultural stories and ritual language of the people. They went for the healers and nurturers and those who took care of others. They destroyed temples and sacred images and books. They almost succeeded in total eradication of the role of priestess from the world and worked really hard to take midwives and wisewomen out completely as well…

via Women’s Voices |WoodsPriestess.

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Categories: feminist thealogy, Goddess, priestess, quotes, spirituality, thealogy, Thursday Thealogy, womanspirit | 1 Comment

Day 31: Reflections on 30 Days of Brigid

IMG_2966Today, the snow has finally been melting. I walked out at sunset and took a quick picture thinking about how I will miss taking and sharing a daily picture now that 30 Days of Brigid is over. The most powerful part of this experience was the practice. It felt like showing up for myself. It became a discipline. There was no requirement to write a blog post every day, but I made a commitment to doing so and I did it. 30 posts in 30 days! None of my posts were particularly stunning, though I liked my Hands post a lot and fell in love with the snowflakes from “lovely desire,” but it was powerful to commit to doing something and then doing it! I wanted to work through the course with my husband, but while I read a lot of the daily prompts out loud to him, we didn’t sync up and take the daily “sacred pause” together that I had envisioned. It became kind of my thing, rather than a shared experience. I read the daily emails first thing each morning and often reflected on the content for the remainder of the day.

Anyway, my closing thoughts on the ecourse in general are these…

30 Days of Brigid absolutely delivered on the promise of a sacred pause for each day with art, readings, blessings, meditations and inspiring prompts. The course was well-organized and thematically consistent as well as beautifully gentle in tone and thought-provoking in question. I got out of it what I was willing to put in and it was an investment in myself and my spirituality. It created a container for me that was very valuable, both for personal reflection, spiritual development, and for a daily writing practice. I loved challenging myself to really respond to the message of each day and enjoyed how I spent the day looking for the right moment to capture the spirit of that day’s theme. Great fun, great practice, great connection! Also, the personal interaction with Joanna Colbert via Instagram and Facebook was fun. I love her Gaian Tarot so much and I love how the Internet “smallens” the world and allows direct interactions with artists and authors I admire. At the beginning of the year when I did my annual oracle using the Gaian Tarot I had no idea the gifted woman behind it would be commenting on pictures of my cute baby on Instagram just a few weeks later. 🙂

If I was doing it again, I’d stretch myself to dig even deeper and to do art journaling for each prompt as well as move it up in my daily priority list so I could share it with my husband the way I originally planned. 

If you missed 30 Days of Brigid (or even if you didn’t!) you can move into 30 Days of Welcoming Spring and working with Persephone with Joanna’s next ecourse offering:

It’s for those who want to align themselves with the rhythms of nature as we leap into the time of greening and blossoming, and dance with the Maidens of Spring. By the end of the 30 days, you’ll be reconnected to your own creative core, with a daily practice in place for taking in beauty and responding to it in your journal or with your camera or paintbrush. Best of all, you will have taken a divine pause each day to mindfully experience the shift in the seasons as Persephone emerges from the Underworld, and Winter gives way to Spring. 

via 30 Days of Welcoming Spring ~ A Daily Sacred Pause of Creative Inspiration.

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Categories: #30daysofBrigid, Goddess, sacred pause, spirituality, woodspriestess, writing | 2 Comments

Book Review: Voices of the Sacred Feminine

“As I continue writing stories about people who are transforming religion and culture through including the Divine Feminine in sacred rituals, hope stirs within me. As I hear their visions for the future of the Divine Feminine, my vision expands.”

–Jann Aldredge-Clanton, Healing, Freedom, and Transformation through the Sacred Feminine.

“…monotheists have described the divine as ‘Father’ for over 2,000 years. Even if we neutered the God, to be labeled only an ‘It,’ we would still have the masculine echo ringing in our ears for another thousand years. So maybe it would make sense to call her the Goddess for a millennium or so, if only to even things out. Then perhaps we could move on to something more gender inclusive.”

–Tim Ward, Why Would a Man Search for the Goddess

“I don’t believe the Goddess is stupid or suicidal. I believe she evolved human beings for a purpose, to be her healing hands and loving heart. We may be growing into the job.”

–Starhawk, Earth, Spirit, and Action: Letting the Wildness In

91DmgTw498LKaren Tate is masterful at weaving together a diverse tapestry of voices on her weekly radio show, Voices of the Sacred Feminine. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from her new anthology by the same name, but Voices of the Sacred Feminine, the book, is a gorgeous tapestry as well. I was concerned it would consist only of interview style transcripts, and there are a couple of those (still interesting!), but most of the book consists of unique essays written by past guests on Karen’s show. The end result is essentially a textbook of feminist spirituality. As I read, I could easily imagine using this book as the foundation for a class on contemporary goddess spirituality.

Split into four broad thematic sections and one additional short memorial section, the book contains 41 essays from many leaders in their fields and produces a beautiful chorus of voices lifted together in celebration, information, and support of ecofeminism, the Goddess, and sacred feminine liberation thealogy. Addressing themes of sacred activism, sacred values, ritual and healing, and the Goddess as deity, archetype, and ideal, we hear from influential foremothers like Barbara Walker and Starhawk, scholars like Noam Chomsky and Riane Eisler, feminist thealogians like Charlene Spretnak and Shirley Ranck, practicing priestesses and clergy like Candace Kant, Patrick McCollum, Donna Henes, and Selena Fox. A number of the essays are by men, reminding us that Goddess has a significant place in the lives of many people and is not limited in gender-specific ways.

Karen’s gift in her radio program is in bringing people together to share their voices and her new book draws on this same strength. In a world that can sometimes feel fragmented, violent, apathetic, and distressing, the voices lifted in this book combine to offer an optimistic, hopeful, collaborative prayer for a just, care-based, earth-centered, cooperative way of living together.

Categories: books, feminist thealogy, Goddess, readings, resources, reviews, spirituality, thealogy | 2 Comments

Day 26: Shield (#30DaysofBrigid)

IMG_2855What does a sleeping nursling have to do with a shield? Well, I’m his. When I read the prompt for today, I was thinking literally, like a sword and shield. However, when I sat down to nurse my baby for his nap, I looked down at his face and realized that I am his shield. Not only is my milk his shield against infection, and so forth, but my actual self is his shield—the lens and medium through which his world is interpreted, felt, and experienced. One of my favorite things about having a baby is how they look right into my eyes to assess a situation. Let’s say a loud noise happens: The baby’s eyes come to mine to see how to gauge, interpret, and react to the situation. If I am happy and calm and smile reassuringly, the baby is no longer alarmed by the noise and resumes kicking and looking around. If I was to express horror and shock at the noise, the baby would cry and be distressed. Not only do I hold him and feed him and get him when he needs me, I show him with my eyes and face what the world is like—safe or scary, comforting or isolating. While he will go on to forget what this intense mother-baby symbiosis feels like, it will still be there at some level, forming his basis for understanding the world around him. And, I will never forget what it is was like to have his eyes meet mine in this way. His shield.

The journal prompt was about experiencing the protection and companionship of Brigid. While I do not usually encounter Brigid in a literal way, one day last year when I was in the woods, I did a recording that felt too personal to share here. In it, I noted that Brigid is not a goddess that you meet while meditating in the forest, she is in the sweat on your face and the heat of metal. She is the goddess who says, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

This morning though, I awoke from a dream about Brigid in which she said, “don’t worry about me, nurse the baby.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but reading the lesson for today, I thought of a past dream I’d blogged about:

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Categories: #30daysofBrigid, Goddess, parenting, sacred pause, thealogy | 1 Comment

Day 7: Praising (#30DaysofBrigid)

IMG_2219Today we had our family Brigid’s Day celebration. Our baby turned three months old on the 30th and so we also had a little three-month birthday ceremony in the woods in which we touched his feet to the earth for the first time.

Here are some pictures from the day (click for captions). We painted prayer flags (based on the “seeking” prompt from an earlier day’s sacred pause email) and then took them down to the woods to tie to the oak. We drummed and sang as the sky spit some freezing rain and a few snowflakes. We wrapped the baby in the silk painted “welcome” banner that we painted for him during the summer. I offered him a blessing and we touched his feet to the rock, to the leaf-strewn Earth, and to a tree. Then we hurried through the cold back to the house where we were cooking “hobo dinners” in the barbecue (I swooped him by the fire briefly to bless him with the flame also, but it was too cold to stay out longer). Inside, we made bread snakes and then enjoyed our dinners. We then had a Brigid/Imbolc ritual with a body blessing, house blessing, and “three blessings of Brigid.” We ate our traditional “fire and ice” trifle and then had a family drum circle! We also experimented with wax divination (dripping wax into water and reading the result). I had hoped to also do metal stamping on copper disks and art journaling, but we ran out of time.

As I’ve mentioned, ritual with kids is a challenge, but I think it is worth it. In case you think I am merrily sitting in the woods with my drum and then effortlessly priestessing my delightful family in harmonious ritual, know that my daughter mixed the sacred salt and sacred water from the body blessing into a paste and spread it all over the kitchen floor. The baby cried when a cold gust of wind caught his face suddenly. The boys made fart jokes at dinner. And, both my husband and I ended up briefly yelling at the kids about various frustrations. (Like doing one-handed cartwheels on the couch and almost kicking over candles, suddenly grabbing iphones and starting to play games, the list goes on!) It is always more wild and discordant and frustrating and stressful than I envision when I’m happily typing up my plans! Guess what? I do it anyway. Therein lies the mamapriestess lesson for me.

Oh! And, today I finished the final two assignments in my final class at OSC. I am now ABD (all but dissertation). I can hardly believe it! I’ve been working on this degree for a long time and I actually expected it to take me several more months from now to finish my final classes. Finishing my dissertation project is one of my biggest goals for the year (I have several others too). Today, I was reminded in multiple ways that I did just have a baby three months ago. It is okay to pace myself and to take my time. So close though! So close.

I have all the time I need.

(right? I made this one of my mottoes for the year in my Shining Year workbook…)

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, blessings, family, Goddess, holidays, nature, parenting, priestess, ritual, spirituality | 2 Comments

Day 4: Heart Shaken with Inspiration (#30DaysofBrigid)

Prayer to Brigid IMG_2093 

Brigid
of the Sacred Oak.
Brigid
of the Sacred Flame.

Sacred smith
shape our lives
in the cauldron of destiny.

Ignite our creativity
forge our passions.

Spill forth
in the language of poetryIMG_2097
falling leaves
and hot metal.

Brigid
Sacred Guardian
Keeper of flame
hope and hearts.

Enliven our work
guide our steps
inspire our message.

Thank you.

(modified from earlier poem: Woodspriestess: Brigid)

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Categories: #30daysofBrigid, art, Goddess, poems, prayers, sacred pause, sculpture, spirituality | Tags: | Leave a comment

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