music

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 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

Gourd Drum!

May 2014 067

My birthday was this weekend and my husband gave me some gourds and some goatskin rawhide pieces so we could make a gourd drum! I already have forgotten the exact details, but sometime in March we somehow came across a mention of a gourd drum and were instantly intrigued. We liked the idea of being able to make a drum without having to shape or acquire a wooden circle for the base. We liked how gourds are used throughout the world for musical instruments and how they have a long legacy through history. My husband bought the hides and gourds from two different sellers on etsy. We used instructions from the very helpful Arizona Gourds website (hides are very inexpensive from this site as well). We did use a small wooden embroidery hoop to secure the lacing rather than a metal ring and it worked just fine.

We had tons of fun and felt very successful. We already bought some gourd seeds to plant this year and now we’re even more excited to plant them. In the future, I would like to make one using a bigger gourd. I’d also like to experiment with dyeing the gourd and hide both purple and making an amethyst drum!

May 2014 062May 2014 061

 

Categories: art, drums, family, music | 2 Comments

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

Drum Dedication

May this be the beginning of a beautiful relationshipDecember 2013 011
a harmonious partnership
a potent sense of connection and rhythm
may this drum keep time with the heartbeat of Mother Earth
may it honor, respect, and do justice to the skin of the elk it wears
and may it be tuned to the hoofbeats of the open plains, grassy hills, and deep forests.
may it hold sacred rhythm
may it keep sacred time
may it guard sacred space and ritual energy
and may it dance with joy and wild abandon
may it draw out the wildness of our heartspaces
and may it echo through the woods with its own true song
may I do it justice
may I guard the rhythm
and may I align my own heartbeat
with the pulse of the Mother
of our home, the Earth.

May it be so.
May it be blessed.
With the earth, the trees, the rocks, the sky as my witnesses
I bless, consecrate, dedicate, and honor this instrument of peace, healing, and celebration.

This morning I carried my new drum down to the woods to bless it. I took with me the remaining scraps of rawhide from the lacing to leave in the woods. I became so entranced with drumming there that it was hard to pull myself away to come back to the rest of the busy-ness of the house and holiday preparations (as well as car repairs). The night after we first made the drum, we got a little concerned because the top started to feel kind of wobbly (after having initially felt tight), but by the time it finished drying it had become, well, tight as a drum. It is amazing really to see how this worked. I love it! When I spoke the dedication I offered, I kept my hand on the surface and could feel each word vibrate lightly in the skin.

After I offered my dedication, I intuitively sang a repetitive, wordless tune and was surprised to find tears come to my eyes.

Categories: blessings, music, nature, prayers, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess | Leave a 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

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