theapoetics

Dogwood Song (#Earthprayer)

Standing on steep hillsides April 2016 016
Leaning from rocky patches of ground
Roots feeling deep in the dark
Searching for the nourishment
That is only possible in shadowed places
Raindrop blessing
Petal and leaf
Sunlight filtered through a canopy of oaks
Branches spreading graciously
A living love song
Strung through the woods like lace.

In my current Earthprayer class, I can’t stop talking about and sharing pictures of the dogwood trees, which are the current love song being sung by the Earth in my corner of the world.

April 2016 019We discovered one tree with pink tinged flowers for the first time near my tiny temple and then another in the woods by the driveway. I love how this same patch of land can continue to surprise me day after day, as long as I pay attention. I also love that the “grand show” goes on without me in countless ways, whether I notice it or not.

April 2016 008

 

Categories: art, birth, blessings, earthprayer, Flowers, nature, poems, sacred pause, seasons, theapoetics, woodspriestess | 1 Comment

Day 30: A Springtime Woman (#30daysofspring)

12973526_1727730594105822_4384843242005172628_oListen.
I tend the mothers.
I tell of the magic found
In baby’s laughter
The power of blood
The quiet wisdom
Of rising again
Small footprints imprinted on my heart
Guide my way…

Thirty Days of Persephone’s Return has now ended and it was a great experience for me overall. It involved an interesting juxtaposition of feelings and experiences as I’ve alternated between feeling renewed and disheartened, energetic and depleted, as we’ve moved through this course. I feel like I recommitted to myself and my spiritual practices in several ways thanks to my participation here.

Based on quotes I’d read in previous 30 Days classes from Seasons of the Witch by Patricia Monaghan, I bought a used copy and was struck by this quote about spring and our relationship to it as women:

But when growth begins, things break. Shells and bud casings, those intact perfections, fall away. What is revealed is unprotected tenderness. It is no illusion, this fragility. A fierce storm can shred the new leaf, a cat consume the tiny bird, a hapless word pierce the young woman’s heart.

To the beholder, there is only beauty: the frail green hue that rivals all of autumn’s glory, the soft maiden gaze with its vulnerable longing. Springtime empowers its witnesses. And the woman gazing back may feel, indeed, the riveting power of her growth and potential. Or she may feel only the pain of new skin against cold wind, of exposed flesh against cruel stares.

There are times the hatchling yearns for the shell, the woman for her girlhood. There are times the new body seems alien and ill-formed, the new skills awkward and mistaken, the new knowledge not power but frailty. Growth may be exhilarating, but it is never easy.

And it is costly. Just as the bulb devours itself in order to burst above the soil, just as the hatchling digests its egg’s world, the woman tears springtime out of herself. She has little time for generosity, for she is focused on herself, on her deepest movements, her pain, her hopefulness. She is all stunned inwardness.

She is one, alone, unique. She is pierced with wonder at her existence.

Patricia Monaghan, Seasons of the Witch

Then, I was getting ready for Red Tent tonight and I drew a Womanrunes‬ card to set the tone. The Tool dropped out of the deck first, which felt a little disappointing…the Rune of Labor…but then I picked another and got The Flying Woman, Rune of Transformation and reflected that transforming, becoming, unfolding, uncovering, can be quite hard work. And, the work of priestessing, which is what I’m pouring my heart into exploring with my current group of Practical Priestessing students, while transformative and liberating and powerful, is also quite a lot of hard work! So, they’re perfect cards after all…

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Categories: #30daysofspring, quotes, readings, red tent, resources, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, spirituality, theapoetics, womanspirit, woodspriestess | Leave a comment

Day 29: Flowers appearing on the earth (#30daysofspring)

Listen 12983343_1727956937416521_4785497175588520928_o
I dance within the web of life
I will tell you of the Wild
Of land, sea, and sky
The magic of the everyday
I speak of ancient oaks
Sacred groves
And an endless current of mystery.

Oh my heart! Our lilac by the garage is beautiful this year. It has had a hard life and usually ends up losing most flowers to frost before blooming. But, this year!

12931105_10209282533250364_682342399724750129_nThe dogwoods are also in full bloom. I love them too.

The free Earthprayer class begins tomorrow! http://eepurl.com/bEvrVv

Categories: #30daysofspring, theapoetics | 1 Comment

Day 26: A Spring Self Blessing

May you know the tenacity of serviceberry April 2016 027
The grace of dogwood
The heart of plum
And the ferocity of raspberry.

May you have the wisdom to know
When to flow like the river
When to stand like the mountain
May you dance with the rain
Allow your thunder to be heard
Smile with the radiance of the sun
And may you know you walk in the hand of the goddess…

I was entranced by this early-morning tulip today. Grown from a random bag of bulbs from an Earth Day event at the university several years ago, I love its sunset colors.

And, then just a few hours later, my precious tulip looked like this!

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(Tulips are extra special everyday magic to me because they usually don’t make it this far with the chickens and the kids.)

Categories: #30daysofspring, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, spirituality, theapoetics, 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:

March 2016 023

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

Day 10: Maiden of Spring (#30daysofspring)

Arise! March 2016 029
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.


When I saw the prompt and painting for today, I instantly had this poem pop into mind!

Categories: #30daysofspring, blessings, invocations, poems, priestess, sacred pause, theapoetics | Leave a comment

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 21: Dreaming (#30DaysofHarvest)

A wisdom whispers from the Dreamtime IMG_8151
calling me to ceremony and song
it flickers in the firelight
of ancient memory
rippling along my spine
dancing through my fingertips.

What is it that calls me in the night?
I look up
She’s pouring tea across from me
a patterned rhythm to her movements that speaks
of sacred knowing.

A door opens
She is ready to share
and yet, I slip away
through the undercurrents of time
falling down out of space
out of memory
out of song
and out of touch.

Landing
in a soft bed
my arm curled around my nursling
hearing his breath in the dark
and wondering
what I am missing
what I’m forgetting
and what remembering is right here.

I’ve been craving solitude and time alone to simply think. My dreams have felt very significant and yet skitter away from me during frequent night-wakings with my nursling. They roll just out of my reach and dance at the edges of my consciousness with the promise of something forgotten…

Categories: #30DaysofHarvest, endarkenment, night, parenting, practices, sacred pause, self-care, theapoetics, womanspirit | 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

Fruit that is sweet. (#30DaysofMay)

“Let my lover come into my garden,
and taste its delicious fruits.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth:
for thy love is better than wine…”

— Song of Solomon, King James Version

We discovered this strawberry in the central pole at Woodhenge on our visit to Cahokia Mounds. While I usually try to post a picture I took the same day in response to the 30 Days prompt of the day, today’s themes based on The Song of Solomon and the eroticism of divine relationship, brought this photo back to mind. I feel like it was perfectly intended for today’s reading and theme. ❤️

Categories: #30Daysof May, theapoetics | Leave a comment

Love charm (#30DaysofMay)

Oh, my love come to me.
Love me as the earth loves me,
Gentle and firm beneath me
Broad hands, strong arms.
Love me as the earth loves me.

Oh, my love come to me.
Love me as the air loves me,
Sweet kisses on neck and eyelids,
Rising and falling.
Love me as the air loves me.

Oh, my love come to me.
Love me as the water loves me,
Nourishing me, filling me.
Quenching my thirst.
Love me as the water loves me.

Oh, my love come to me.
Love me as the fire loves me,
Hot and fierce and fast.
Able to bend metal with passion.
Love me as the fire loves me.

I’m not really a “love charm” type of writer, so this prompt was quite a stretch for me. I was thinking about it and looking at the vase a good friend brought me for my birthday this year. As I looked at the exuberance of the dance and the movement expressed, bits of a charm came to mind. I pictured her dancing and singing the words above, calling her love to her through her rhythm…

As wing takes to air
As hoof drums the ground
As fire lights the night
As water bathes my brow
Oh, my love come to me.
Love me as the world loves me.
Forever and ever and always*.

(*The cadence with which I spoke it and the phrasing of the charm are actually similar to the book Mama, Do You Love Me?, which all of my kids have liked me to read to them.)

 

Categories: #30Daysof May, blessings, nature, poems, prayers, theapoetics | 2 Comments

Dandelion Hymn (#30DaysofMay)

Dandelion lesson
Summer’s herald

Smells like rain
And honey
And hope
Blood tonic
Liver support
Dance of determination
And refusal.
Listen.
She whispers of the hive, of humbleness, and healing.

Categories: #30Daysof May, nature, poems, theapoetics | 3 Comments

The singer and the silence (#30DaysofMay)

IMG_4600I am the blossom, I am the bee
I am the branch, I am the squirrel

I am the acorn, I am the oak
I am the breath, I am the words
I am the space, I am the fullness
I am the song of the May.

Categories: #30Daysof May, blessings, nature, theapoetics, woodspriestess | Tags: | Leave a comment

Spring Flowers

Tiny flowers
Spring’s resurrection
No bloodshed required.

Categories: feminist thealogy, nature, poems, seasons, spirituality, theapoetics | Leave a comment

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