“… Every day, we witness the positive, transformative effects of, ‘restoring women to ceremony’…another reason it is vital that we continue our work…”
–D’vorah Grenn (Stepping into Ourselves, p. 56)
“The Goddess is not only for the temple, she must be carried out into the world to wherever she is needed…” –Vivianne Crowley (in Voices of the Goddess edited by Caitlin Matthews)
When I became ordained as a priestess with Global Goddess in July of 2012, one of the commitments I made as part of ordination was to be of service in some way to the organization and to document my service to my community through the year. So, in keeping with that commitment, I made a year-end summary post at the end of 2012 and at the end of 2013 and 2014. It is helpful to me personally to see everything grouped together in one post and see that I’m truly doing this work. I enjoy sharing my post each year with the rest of the GG community in hopes of encouraging others to keep a record of their own. To continue this commitment, I again kept a list during 2015 and here it is!
January: family full moon ritual (1/5), beta test priestess class based on Stepping Into Ourselves (they also offer a free intro to priestessing course). Reprinted Womanrunes book with a few revisions and updates.
February: family Brigid Day/Imbolc + baby feet on ground ceremony (2/1. Post regarding is here)
March: full moon ritual (3/7), Sacred Year manifestation ritual (3/8). Family Spring ritual (3/14). Red Tent (3/21).
Also: published Restoring Women to Ceremony: The Red Tent Resource Kit
April: full moon ritual (4/5). Red Tent (4/17). Spring women’s retreat (4/25).
May: Family Beltane (5/3). Red Tent (5/15)
June: Red Tent
July: group summer ritual for whole families (7/1), New Moon ritual (7/15), Red Tent (7/17), Blue Moon ritual (7/31)
Also: Womanrunes Immersion ecourse began
August: Red Tent, Family abundance + gratitude + harvest + full moon ritual
Also: Red Tent Initiation began online
September: Red Tent (9/11). Interview during virtual Red Tent for Journey of Young Women twice. Interview on Goddess Alive radio. Autumn family drum circle. Mini full moon/eclipse ritual. Went to Gaea Goddess Gathering as vendor and participant.
October: Red Tent, mother blessing ceremony (10/22), Family Halloween ritual, family full moon ritual
November: Pink Tent ceremony for mothers and daughters (11/6). Family full moon ritual.
December: Family solstice (12/21), Family full moon (12/25), Yuletide ceremony (12/28)
Completely unanticipated for 2015 was my “raising” of my own tiny Goddess temple in the woods in which I have happily worked for the last two months and in which I plan to hold small rituals and celebrations throughout 2016.
My tiny temple!
I wrote 179 posts here in 2015, which was a dramatic increase from previous years, primarily because I took four different 30 Days seasonal ecourses from Joanna Powell Colbert and posted almost every day during those courses.
We published two new books: The Red Tent Resource Kit and Earthprayer, Birthprayer as well as updated and made minor revisions to the Womanrunes book. We also put together a 340 page workbook for the Divination Practicum course. I sculpted six new designs for pewter pendants and 13 for resin goddess sculptures and created our line of beautiful ceremony kits and blessing pouches (and we fulfilled more than 1300 orders for these items, particularly our wildly popular goddess holiday ornaments!)
I continued to host a Priestess Path group on Facebook and began doing dissertation research in this group over the course of the entire year, eventually collecting more than 100 pages of original research thanks to the thoughtful and generous contributions of the practicing priestessing in the group. I started a new Facebook group for Brigid’s Grove: Creative Spirit Circle, as well as maintaining the Brigid’s Grove and Woodspriestess Facebook pages.
In keeping with the commitment I made upon my ordination, I contributed articles to 7 issues of The Oracle, the online journal of Global Goddess: Imbolc, Beltane, Summer Solstice, First Harvest, Samhaim, Fall Equinox, Winter Solstice.
I wrote 6 posts for Feminism and Religion:
I also wrote 23 posts for my blog at SageWoman magazine.
And, I wrote two articles for Motherhouse of the Goddess:
and for the Rhythms of the Goddess journal: Rhythms of the Goddess – Seasonal Journal | The Motherhouse of the Goddess
I moved some of my blog writing to Brigid’s Grove, creating 86 posts there in 2015, and I will continue to do more and more of this as I phase out some of my other blog commitments.
(I also wrote 100 posts at my birth/motherhood blog and taught ten college classes, but those don’t directly connect to my priestess year in review theme!)
One of my biggest goals for 2015 was to finish my last two D.Min classes (which I did) and my dissertation (which I didn’t).
My relevant 2016 goals include:
- Finish usable draft of dissertation by February
- Continue hosting monthly Red Tent Circles
- Continue having family full moon rituals
- Have at least one community family ritual
- Participate fully in the Lunar Priestess course I registered for at the beginning of this year
- Hold a monthly study circle with a few friends
- Finish writing practical priestessing manual and perhaps convert dissertation into a new book
- Write the book for the Shekhinah Tarot project
- Facilitate two new sections of the Red Tent Initiation course as well as the very new Womanspirit Initiation course as well as continue to offer the Divination Practicum and the Womanrunes Immersion
- Gestate and birth and delight in a new Goddess Magic study circle online
As occurs each year, when I write my year-in-review post, when I read this over, it comes up for me to wonder if writing a post like this looks “smug” and self-congratulatory in some way. Am I too focused on numbers and hours and quantifying something instead of presence? Too much do-ing and not enough be-ing? But, in truth, the intention with which each year’s list is created is simply as an accountability thing—both in terms of the vows I made to my community as well as to myself. It is so I can see, collected in one place, what I’ve offered as a priestess this year. It is to allow me a moment of pause, reflection, review, and a sensation of a job well done, rather than immediately rushing off to the next thing, as I tend to do. In reviewing the past year, I am able to see that yes, I am doing this work. I am not just talking about it or imagining it, I am walking the path. I also have to shake my head with some self-compassion and a smile when I recall all the times I worried that I haven’t been doing “enough” or everything that I’d like to do and offer to my community.
It was a beautiful year!