nature

Day 21: Time out of time (#30daysofyule + #30daysofdissertation)


I have trouble expressing how significant it has been for me to claim this “room of my own” in which to work, dream, contemplate, and enjoy solitude. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d converted my kids’ former clubhouse into a tiny goddess temple. I’ve been working on my dissertation project in there and it feels so peaceful and quiet. Like it brings out my own best self. It is hard to separate out from my family to go out to the temple on my own, lots of demands pull at me, but it benefits everyone when I take the time to do so. Yesterday, I spent almost two hours working only on my dissertation–devoting time is the only way to bring this into being and it is amazing how much more “flow” developed with focused energy spent on it. I never even opened a single other computer window as I worked and the single-tasking allowed for big steps! I feel it being born…

Yesterday afternoon, I also started working on our Shining Year workbooks for 2016. These liminal days between years feel perfect for it.

In the photo with the candle above, I see my first augur/omen for a “12 days of Christmas” divination exercise that Joanna shared with our class: Soundings: The Omen Days: The Twelve Days of Christmas. In the knot in the wood next to the candle, I see The Flying Woman (rune of transformation) in the center–a little figure with arms raised. ❤️

On Christmas evening, I used my new camera to take some pictures of the beautiful full moon. We also drummed and danced on the deck.

I’m getting ready for the next Womanrunes Immersion ecourse and I’m looking forward to connecting and centering in the energy of the new year. This 41 day ecourse explores each one of the runes in depth, allowing you time to practice with and learn from that rune in your own life. The course includes journal and photo prompts, journal pages, full and new moon ritual outlines, and a private facebook for interaction, support, and shared learning.

You can register for the course here: Womanrunes Immersion – Brigid’s Grove

 

Categories: #30daysofyule, 30daysofdissertation, divination, holidays, introversion, moon wisdom, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, writing | Leave a comment

Day 17: Holy darkness (#30daysofyule)

 

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

I see the goddess in the moon

I feel the goddess in the earth

I taste the goddess in the wind

I hear the goddess in my heart

I touch the goddess in your hand. 

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

Moon wise woman*

Moon wise baby

We are moon wise

We are moon wise.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

 

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

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

Day 13: Shimmering Solstice Silence (#30daysofyule)

We lit the fourth candle on our Yule log tonight.* I am finding it difficult to feel very festive because we’ve got a stomach bug moving through our house. So far it has missed me and I’m worried about succumbing tomorrow in the midst of all of the solstice plans we’ve made for our family ceremony tomorrow!

I read the kids The Shortest Night at bedtime and then stayed up with my little girl to do a Solstice Tree divination layout I just read about  in the book I just referenced earlier today, Yule, by Susan Pesznecker. Nice, shimmering solstice silence at last!

In this layout, the trunk is you (or the person being read for). The lower left = your ideas. Middle =  inspiration. Lower right = plans. Upper left = process. Upper right = obstacle. Top of the tree = the realization of your plans. The gift. 

Rooted in power, I draw from laughter to embrace the Mystery and to guide initiation. I strive for connection, am challenged by passion, and emerge into ecstatic bliss and freedom. 

(*I wrote this post on Dec. 20th and scheduled it to post, but apparently it never did!)

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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

Day 29: Dreaming (#30DaysofHecate)

IMG_7982Tell me about a potent, numinous dream you had, that you have never forgotten. (It does not have to be a recent dream; just one that seems like it was a gift.)

In 2013, I experienced a really profound dream. I was walking down to the woods and in the sky above the priestess rocks, I saw a gigantic, beautiful, pulsating, pink, jeweled rose like flower. I was awe-struck and staring at it. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I became aware that a golden cord stretched from the center of the flower to the top of my head and I became aware that all people were connected to it by these golden cords as well. Then, in that uniquely expansive character of dreams, I somehow traveled through the center of the flower. On the other side was an immense snake of unimaginable proportion, spiraling around “the cosmic egg.” As I looked at it, I became aware that the snake was actually the whole of the universe and that along its body, in the scales, one could perceive not only each galaxy, but also a point for all times and places that ever were or will be. It is hard to describe in writing, but I still deeply remember by feelings of both awe and comprehension and this expansive awareness of reality. It was a gorgeous, trippy, and meaningful dream. I tried to draw something about it, but couldn’t do it. What I was left with is that feeling of majesty, magnitude, and incredible connection.

 

Categories: #30daysofHecate, divination, dreams, endarkenment, feminist thealogy, Flowers, Goddess, nature, night, sacred pause, spirituality, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 29: Golden Leaves (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

 “Some October, when the leaves turn gold, ask me if I’ve done enough to deserve this life I’ve been given. A pile of sorrows, yes, but joy enough to unbalance the equation.”

–Barbara Crooker

Today I spent almost all day working on the modules for my upcoming Divination Practicum course (course supply kits also shipped today!), but I took some time in the afternoon to enjoy the woods and the beautiful patterns of sunshine there. I did a quick Womanrunes reading, while thinking about the Practicum and hoping it goes the way I imagine. I got the Crescent Moon (rune of divination), the Witch’s Hat (rune of magic), and the Heart (rune of passion). Sounds spot-on to me! 😊

 
And, of course, I was compelled to get a new picture of the roses…

  


Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, classes, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 28: The Singing Dark

To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings.

— Wendell Berry

 

The fall nights literally sing here. Walking on the veranda, a chorus of insect song fills the air, owls call, dogs bark, coyotes howl. 

I enjoyed this post which popped up synchronistically today:

But darkness has its place too, especially when we are working to understand ourselves, or to create a shift in our lives, or to transition from one state-of-being to another. These shifts and transitions are dark experiences lacking clarity and structure. And here is this little gland in the body that rides around in our brains with us, helping us perceive whether it is day or night, light or dark, stop or continue, yes or no. I’m inclined to think that this hidden jewel of the brain is not only a night-time regulator but also the source of the deep, overwhelming sense of imbalance and extraordinary “lightness of being” and loss of firmament that we experience when, for instance, we go caving.

Source: Darkness with a Capital D – PaganSquare – PaganSquare

I also read this newsletter from Moontime Rising and appreciated this reminder from Giuliana:

So, dear one, as the sun sets and the dark sky fills with stars…

Harvest what feeds you, and compost the rest.

And welcome the inevitable walk through the dark…

(My photo from tonight is of a planter on the back deck/veranda.)

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, endarkenment, nature, night, practices, sacred pause, seasons | 1 Comment

Day 27: Time is Short (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

In January of 2014, I sat on the stones in the woods, came face to face with a raccoon in the tree and suddenly knew that I was pregnant again. In October of 2014, I sat on these stones in the woods awaiting the imminent arrival of my new baby boy. Today, I sit on these stones in the woods with a baby boy who is now approaching his first birthday. The wheel spins quickly. 

Today, my mom reminded me that it is the 26th anniversary of her father’s death. 

This tiny boy whose fuzzy blonde head I nuzzle is somebody’s grandpa of the future. 

“Unlimited,” his shirt reminds me and yet I also know that time is short. 

Pay attention and tell about it. ❤️

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, meditations, nature, parenting, practices, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 26: Letting Go (#30DaysofHarvest) 

  Woke this morning thinking of Womanrunes The Winged Circle, rune of freedom, and the sense of lightness and freedom I have as I let go of residual stress, tension, and overwork from grading. As I tried to lay out a lovely, symbolic, “letting go” mandala this afternoon, the cat, the baby, and the little girl all walked on it. The wind blew my leaves out of pattern and scattered my seeds. The blue jay feather I’d synchronistically found kept flipping over. I had to laugh at myself as I kept trying to make it “right.” I get it, I get it. Let go. 🌀❤️🍂 (yes, those are baby toes in the lower left corner). 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, meditations, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, Womanrunes, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 23: Deepening (#30DaysofHarvest)

 
Today’s photo prompt was about deepening into the season. We’re definitely moving into fall. We went on our annual pumpkin patch visit today (can you see my little baby peeking down the slide at me?). Then, sorting and sizing winter clothes tonight (no small task for six people). Three garbage bags full of outgrown clothes are now waiting by the door for their new homes. Perhaps mundane, but these are the signs of the changing seasons and the dropping into the home-centered mood of fall. 

Clothes sorting can be like a hero’s journey. The descent. The stripping away and leaving behind. And, the weary, triumphant return. 

It feels hard to believe that just last year I was very pregnant at the pumpkin patch! The year before, I brought one of our first ever pewter goddess pendants for “show and tell” to my friends. The Wheel keeps on turning…

  

Categories: nature | Leave a comment

Day 22: Demeter (#30DaysofHarvest)

IMG_8161Our Women in the Wild inspired photo shoot last weekend thanks to Little Mother Photography felt like a nice response to today’s earth mother prompt.

I actually struggled to come up with a photo today for quite a while. I took a couple at my mom’s house as possibilities. One a palette of fall colors…

IMG_8157And one with my mom herself in it…

IMG_8158Part of the material in today’s prompt included this message:

Give no part of yourself to what does not sustain you.

Given that I’ve spent the last three days doing hard and largely unenjoyable work finishing up my current class, this gave me something to chew over. I start to feel very skewed and off-balance and tense during the end of the session. I start feeling like I’m doing things wrong, that my priorities aren’t in order, and that I don’t have “enough time” for all of my life, and that something needs to change. I get very irritable and strained. It is temporary and subsides when the job is done, but I don’t like experiencing it. This time, not only did I finish my work more quickly, I also became mindful of those old, familiar, unpleasant, exaggerated, feelings in the middle of the downward spiral and kind of laughed at myself about them. Grading papers does not feel like it sustains me. But, teaching does provide more than half of our household income and since grading papers is part of teaching, I guess in their way they do sustain me…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, nature, sacred pause, seasons | 3 Comments

Day 20: Ephemeral


Yes, I know, my subject for today’s photo is a real shocker! I took all of these pictures today on the very same rosebush (no filter or color manipulation). The very epitome of ephemeral. Luckily, also ephemeral is my personal sense of tension and overwhelm at having end of session grading to complete. May I release it with as much grace and beauty as my roses lose their petals…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, Flowers, nature, sacred pause, seasons, self-care | Leave a comment

Day 19: Flowing (#30DaysofHarvest)

  
Today I participated in a Women in the Wild inspired photo shoot. It was held by the river (and I got two pictures taken in the river as well) and as soon as I got there, I knew I had my photo for today! This picture was taken by a friend and is not one of the actual photo shoot pictures. 

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

Day 15: Savoring autumn fruits (#30daysofharvest)

 
Nine fruits and nine flavors to preserve my soul

in peace this day.

— Caitlín Matthews

I took today’s prompt metaphorically and went on a walk with my baby to identify nine “flavors” of autumn from my own back yard.

Persimmon for patience
raspberry for reflection,
dogwood for dreams,
rose for enchantment,
aster for starshine,
polk for color,
oak for mystery,
and cucumber for salad.

Okay, so that’s only eight, because the ninth is those cuties in the middle who have been wanting to buy boxes of international snacks online. My husband went to Big Lots today and got them a box of snacks from Germany, Italy, Peru, China, Turkey, England, and the U.S. I think we’re also going to call this a homeschooling win!

For my pictures today, the persimmon is what I went after first, remembering how this time last year I was very pregnant and climbed around in ditches and over fences collecting them in my quest for persimmon cookies. My husband said the other day, “the way to know persimmons are ripe is when they’re all gone.” There is stiff competition from the animals for these little fruits.

Today brought to mind the “nine powers of nine flowers” prompt from 30 Days of May. I can hardly believe it is already fall. I also feel like in September and October I should apparently change my name to “Rosepriestess,” because I cannot stop taking pictures of them!

IMG_7984

This is the real color! I don’t do anything to the pictures to get this day-glo look.

 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, family, Flowers, nature, sacred pause, seasons, woodspriestess | 3 Comments

Day 14: the riches of solitude (#30DaysofHarvest)

 

My workload has been significant lately, as it always is as we wrap up another school session. I could really use some rich solitude lately! 

One of the best things about verandahing very day is the opportunity to literally stop and smell the roses. This sacred pause feels more vital than ever as I enter the busiest time of the school session. It is interesting that the busier I feel, the more important it is to take some time to go out on sit on the deck. I feel almost compelled to go and so restored and more capable when I come back inside. I rarely take any tech out with me (except when I want to take pictures of roses!) and I often don’t even take a book. I just sit. 

September roses are magic. 

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, Flowers, nature, practices, sacred pause, seasons, self-care | Leave a comment

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