Posts Tagged With: #30daysofBrigid

Day 24: Deep Peace (#30DaysofBrigid)

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Deep peace of an open heart to you
Deep peace of a wide smile to you
Deep peace of open hands to you
Deep peace of a quiet space to you
Deep peace of welcoming arms to you
Deep peace of an infinite hope to you
Deep peace of Brigid to you.

The prompt for today’s post was inspired by a classic Celtic blessing. We were asked to use a similar structure to the original to create our own “deep peace” blessing. I was working on getting supplies together for a mother blessing ceremony and the lines above are what came to my mind to offer.

We actually used the original reading at my daughter’s naming ceremony as a baby. 🙂

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, blessings | Tags: | 2 Comments

Day 20: Healing Water (#30DaysofBrigid)

IMG_2650I’ve been feeling a little short on self-care or physical care lately as well as short on relationship care. It feels like we’re constantly “running out of time” for the things we need or want to do in a day and simple things like hugging each other get shuffled aside. My husband has been having a problem with his leg that is making us worried and I feel like I’m so busy with the baby that I have trouble making time for quality time with my other kids. Today, when I read the prompt, I knew I couldn’t work in a full bath, but I thought it would be fun to do footbaths. Following the inspiration (as is one of our year’s mottoes) before dinner, even though it wasn’t particularly good timing and there were other things we could or should have been doing, I set up footbaths for my husband, our daughter, and me. We used salt from the salt bowl ceremony at my mother blessing and “magnify your purpose” essential oil blend. My daughter picked out a crystal to add to each bath—rose quartz for my husband, amethyst for me, and snowflake obsidian for herself. Though I didn’t expect them to be interested, after we settled in, my older boys came running out and said, “hey, we’re doing footbaths!” and so we got one set up for each of them too (using drawers from a little plastic dresser! Another reminder about following the inspiration rather than waiting for “perfect”). We sat there enjoying ourselves even though our rolls for dinner got cold while we were soaking. After the baths, I gave each of the kids and my husband a foot massage and reiki with mandarin orange lotion. I tried to skip my own foot massage because we needed to get back to dinner prep, but my husband did mine and it was lovely. This was a really nice, healing, loving mini-ritual and I’m glad we did it.

As I read today’s lesson, I also thought of two “healing water” experiences I had last year with ceremonial baths:

Sacred Postpartum, Week 2: Ceremonial Bathing | Talk Birth

Ceremonial Bath and Sealing Ceremony | Talk Birth

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, family, parenting, ritual, sacred pause, self-care | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 17: Awen (#30DaysofBrigid)

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This goddess sculpture reminds me of being open to change and to flowing inspiration.

Can I trust the rhythm?
Can I embrace the flow?
Can follow inspiration?
Can I heed when to let go?

I feel like I am in the process of learning, or re-learning something lately. Perhaps it is simply being the mother of a baby again, but perhaps it is something deeper that wants to shift. Either way, when I got the 30 Days prompt this morning, I knew exactly what my response was to the prompt of “flowing inspiration.” One of the mottoes or reminders that I wrote down in our Shining Year workbook this year was to follow the inspiration. Life unfolds much more beautifully, creatively, productively, and powerfully, when I don’t “force it,” but instead sink into my heart space first and feel what it is I wish to do next. I have an ongoing issue with turning every “could do” into “should do,” every fun idea into work, and every possibility into an obligation. That said, I also have been reminded that while I give myself very little credit for being flexible and in fact makes jokes about my lack thereof, but in reality, I demonstrate a lot of flexibility every day–I just don’t always like it and I argue with it, but I flex and bend every. single. day to respond to what is around me and what a situation requires from me.

One of the things I realized recently is that I really shouldn’t have planned to do monthly Red Tent and monthly Full Moon circles throughout the coming year, because planning and facilitating 24 rituals is simply a lot. When I had the idea, I was thinking month by month, instead of realizing that I was committing myself to TWENTY-FOUR rituals. That is simply too much to expect of myself while also mothering a baby (and other kids!). And, it is also too much to expect of those around me. While the only person who would actually have to show up for all 24 would technically be me, that much participation is a lot to ask of my friends as well and a lot of dates to add to their calendars! I’m trying to remember to check in with Future Molly when I make plans for this year and Future Molly predicts that attendance and enthusiasm for either or both events will wane with “too much,” particularly after midsummer when people are traveling and then into fall when they are beginning to switch into holiday mode. So, I’m pledging to myself that I will look at the rhythm of each month as it flows before deciding which/what/when/how many events to plan this year. I wonder why I thought I needed to commit to an entire year of anything, rather than simply seeing what makes sense over time and what I, and those around me, will enjoy? Something like 8 rituals for a year sounds like a much more reasonable and enjoyable general plan! (not including private  family rituals or personal rituals)

Back to flowing inspiration though. This is where I feel it:

IMG_2580And, this is why:

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This weekend, I followed the inspiration when it said SCULPT instead of do class prep and all of these new pendant prototypes were the result! Now, to wait for the time and space and moment in which to mold and cast them…

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you

Are not lost. Where ever you are is called HERE.

And you must treat it as a powerful stranger.

Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,

I have made this place around you.

If you leave it, you may come back again, saying, HERE…

–David Wagoner, in Life Prayers

via Stand Still… | WoodsPriestess.

I’m also reminding myself to flow with milk time…

Give up your calendar and clock,

start flowing with milk time.

via Surrender? | Talk Birth.

Unclench your life.

That’s what I wish to flow with and into.

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Awen symbol pendant Mark carved for me for Solstice.

 

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, nature, quotes, ritual, sacred pause, self-care, woodspriestess | Tags: | 1 Comment

Day 14: Forge (#30DaysofBrigid)

For me, the profound shaping event was the experience postpartum with my first baby. I have never had an experience that shaped me and impacted me and SHOOK me more profoundly than adjusting to life with my newborn son. That was my journey. That was my struggle. That was my challenge. That is what dissolved me and burned me into ashes and let me rise again as someone the same but also brand new—a mother. I was not “born” when my son was born, I was forged. Made, in the intense weeks that followed his birth.

The most important event shaping my life as a mother? | Talk Birth.

The above passage was written about the birth of my first child. Now, my fourth is three months old and I am still being forged. I find each new baby serves as a smith, prompting life changes in the crucible of parenthood. I am better aware now than I used to be about the swift passage of time and how quickly the baby-season of life passes and winds into something new. As such, I made some decisions today to postpone some of my ideas for 2015 into next year instead. I realized I need to underplan for this year and be pleasantly surprised by bonus pockets of time as they arise, rather than overplan as I chronically do and then be distressed and upset when my equilibrium and delicate balance of tasks for the day is thrown off by my little babysmith. In the sacred pause from 30 Days of Brigid today was a quote from a forthcoming book by Lunaea Weatherstone:

The blade is put through fire, hammered and shaped, then cooled in water. It is the repeated process of stressing and blessing — pushing to the next level of refinement — that creates an excellent blade, strong and flexible, able to withstand resistance.

I thought about it several times today as I thought about how I need to re-shape my life and my plans and expectations for this year. After some intense conversation with my husband today and a “Holy No” meditation in the woods, I realized that if I really tune and listen to what I want and need this year, I actually know exactly what to do.

Returning to the idea of being forged by motherhood as well as to today’s prompt, I share this photo of my brand new pendant cast by my husband after originally being sculpted in clay by me. In her belly is a placenta jewel made using one of the placenta capsules from my youngest baby’s birth.

IMG_0519May I continue to forge and be forged…

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, art, birth, family, parenting | Tags: | 2 Comments

Day 12: Kindling the Candle (#30DaysofBrigid)

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I walk towards it
I feel fear and do it anyway
I fail
And try again
I succeed
And reach higher next time
I stretch my limits
I expand my capacity
I light the fire
And invite others to join me.

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, sacred pause, women's circle | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 11: Hands (#30DaysofBrigid)

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Mother blessing ceremony, Sept. 2014.

In my college classes, I often tell my students that in working with people, we need to learn to think in circles, rather than in lines. Circles are strong. Circles are steady. Circles hold the space, circles make a place for others. Circles can expand or contract as needed. Circles can be permeable and yet have a strong boundary. Linked arms in a circle can keep things out and show solidarity. Linked energy in a circle can transform the ordinary into sacred space. Hands at each other’s backs, facing each other, eye level. Working together in a circle for a ritual, change is birthed, friendships are strengthened, and love is visible.

Ritual Recipe Kit for Women’s Ceremonies digital by BrigidsGrove.

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Salt bowl ceremony at my mother blessing.

Recently I have noticed a lot of offerings for sacred circles and sacred temples and councils of women that are all online or virtual. The websites advertising such programs often have beautiful photos of firesides and dancing and I find myself thinking, where is the REAL fire? If we spend all of our time at computers enjoying virtual sisterhoods and looking at pictures of fires, where are our real opportunities to dance by the fire hand in hand? Today, against all odds, I managed to have a meaningful conversation with friends at the skating rink. We talked about the difference between online and face-to-face connection and why online connections can feel “cleaner” and less messy or complicated than face-to-face. It reminds me of my experiences in creating rituals for my family. In the books it looks so easy and fun. In real life, babies have poopy diapers and my sons make fart jokes and my papers blow away and I speak in a snappy tone of voice and things take longer than I expect. It is same with women’s circles. Online, we can look at pretty pictures of flower crowns and crystal grids and flower mandalas and daydream how wonderful it would be to have a real women’s circle, but in real life people don’t always like each other, we interrupt each other, we talk too much or not enough or about the “wrong” things. As the facilitator of a ceremony in real life, portions might lag, people laugh at the wrong times, guided meditations might bring up painful experiences, people stop listening to each other, or they might forget something they were asked to bring. I might lose my place, sing off-key, or get distracted when someone is sharing something important.

As a priestess, I have to engage in what is called a process of “self-facing” that can be uncomfortable and sometimes stressful—the looking at my own shadows and shortcomings and then doing it anyway. Because it matters. Because it is real. I’m not saying that online connections aren’t real or valuable, they can be tremendously so. And, I love that in writing I can carry my thoughts all the way through and develop an idea completely.* What I am saying is that there is simply no substitute for standing hand in hand with flesh and blood women in a sacred circle. (Even if someone makes a fart joke.) Our hands matter. Real hands. Reaching out to one another. Our fingers may be too long, too short, too wrinkly, too skinny, too fat. Our hands may be too cold or too sweaty. We may be too loud, too quiet, too anxious, too confident, too self-conscious, too distracted, too intense. But…we can show up.  We can offer what we offer and give what we give. Our whole, actual selves. Separated from the screens and other shields. Touching each other’s actual hands and offering actual hugs rather than (((hugs))).

My plans for a Red Tent Circle later this month have been on my mind lately and I’ve been feeling a little insecure about my plans for our first event, primarily because I’m hoping to attract a broader group of women than the women who regularly circle with me. As I explained to a friend, I want it to be nurturing, and celebratory, and fun and contemplative…somehow all at once! Oh, and not alienate anyone. And, not have it be lightweight chatty OR heavy and tearful. Serious, but not too serious. No pressure!

What I forgot until I got home is that I’m pretty good at doing this. I’ve been working with women and priestessing women’s circles for a long time, not to mention having trained and studied and read and written and studied and trained.  However, I’m also real. And, in the end, that is what I have to offer. There is a vulnerability and risk there as well as a courage.

Here’s my hand.

—-

(*All this said, our hands can also reach out virtually via typing blog posts or sending supportive Facebook messages too. I’m not discounting the role and value of using our hands for that connection. I love that a post that I wrote 3 years ago can still reach 300 people a day, that my other blog can speak in some way to 700 people a day, and that my book can essentially last “forever.” That feels like a magical power of my hands and words!)

Related past post: Do Women’s Circles Actually Matter?

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, community, friends, priestess, ritual, spirituality, womanspirit, women, women's circle | Tags: | 3 Comments

Day 8: Weather Divination (#30DaysofBrigid)

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Cats on the furnace.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again…

(Traditional rhyme)

It snowed overnight. Just a dusting, but snow. So, according to the rhyme, it looks like winter is on its way out. However, it feels almost as if winter hasn’t come yet this year. We’ve had some starts, some early snow, and also a handful of several-day strings of bitter cold, but we’ve also had many that are in the 60’s. It is hard to read the mood of the season and while I enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures, I find that warm winter days bring a certain sense of unease with them—it isn’t really supposed to be warm in January! So, despite the fact that I now wish I was wearing a much warmer sweater this evening, there is something reassuring about seeing snow again this year. I also find that I feel a sense of peace inside now that the calendar has turned to February. I entered January feeling “revved up” and almost panicky. I spent a lot of the month feeling overwhelmed and like I had too much to do. I felt like I’d sped up again somewhat abruptly after my babymoon with my baby and I placed very high expectations on myself in terms of what I would accomplish in January (I actually met or exceeded all my January goals too, so I guess it wasn’t too much to expect!). After the holiday season, January felt like “catch up” month and I didn’t enjoy the feeling of a sort of desperation and franticness that accompanied it. After we set our goals for 2015, I wanted them all done NOW and it was like I couldn’t rest—too much to do and good things to work on. I feel more calm and peaceful going into February, as if I can unclench a little more and enjoy some new projects and partnerships as they unfold, without pushing and rushing them or myself too much. Finishing that last class at OSC was huge for me. I can hardly believe I did it!

A few other notes for today:

I forgot to mention earlier that the Imbolc issue of The Oracle, the online journal of Global Goddess, is available here: imbolc_2015.pdf.

Also, if you’re interested in a free handout on how to draw a Calamoondala, make sure you’re signed up for our Brigid’s Grove newsletter! The handout is included in our February newsletter. 🙂

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Four years of Calamoondalas!

I also want to share that I’m excited to have won a scholarship to the Gypsy Priestess’s 13 Moons & 13 Faces of the Goddess course. I won with my Outraged Ancestral Mother poem. 🙂

And, we’ve contributed a Womanrunes set to this Red Tent fundraiser event coming up in the UK. Rachael of MoonTimes is building a Red Tent yurt for the women of her community and I’m pleased to be a tiny part of helping to make that happen.

 

 

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, nature, seasons | Tags: | Leave a comment

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

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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

Day 3: This is My News (#30DaysofBrigid)

I have news for you. IMG_0160
The sun sets every day
The hollow tree is beginning to tip over
Wind chimes sing
Bushy tailed squirrels sit on rocks
Deer have walked in the driveway
There are bluebirds in the vineyard.
I step from stone to stone
To keep my baby happy.
His head smells like vanilla.
The woods are brown and skeletal
There is a sound in the branches,
And a taste in the air
That dreams of spring.
Babies can drum with the forest.
This is my news.

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, drums, family, Goddess, nature, poems, spirituality, woodspriestess | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 2: Bud (#30DaysofBrigid)

January 2015 125Lilac buds await spring.

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, Goddess, sacred pause, spirituality, woodspriestess | Tags: | Leave a comment

Day 1: Offering (#30DaysofBrigid)

IMG_2057This is our freshly rearranged sacred space with our annual intention candles. This is by the front door and I think it is the perfect place because it means the welcome to our home is sacred space. Enter or leave with beauty and connection! And, it forms a visual sacred touchpoint throughout the day since I can see it from my nursing chair and from everywhere in the living room and kitchen. It says…be here. Every day sacred. Every day holy. Feel it. Embody it.
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30 Days of Brigid

I love Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot deck. It is one of my top favorites for morning inspiration and intuitive guidance. It is also the deck we used to do our annual oracle this year. So, when I got an email about her simple ecourse, 30 Days of Brigid, I was intrigued! This is the description:

30 Days of Brigid is an ecourse for those who want a daily inspirational touchstone during Brigid’s season of the Prelude-to-Spring (known as Imbolc or Candlemas).

On the surface, it’s about beautiful photos, art, quotes, and journal/photo prompts landing in your inbox every day for 30 days.

But really? It’s about connecting more deeply with the creative fire of the Celtic Goddess Brigid as she begins to awaken the land from its winter sleep.

The course is designed for people who don’t have much time, but still want to take a sacred pause each day to find a fresh breeze of nature, art, and poetry wafting into their inboxes.

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

I signed up for multiple reasons. The first is because Brigid is our business namesake. We celebrate the anniversary of Brigid’s Grove in February and doing this course felt like a wonderful way to honor that connection. The second is because of the “don’t have much time, but want to take a sacred pause,” part. With adding a new baby to our family and the increase in our business activity, I feel like some of my spiritual practices and sacred pauses have fallen away. In 2015, we would like to take more sacred pauses and spend more focused energy on spiritual development and connection. So, taking this course felt like a great way to begin the year–building intentional pauses and sacred connection into the daily round, rather than only on “special occasions.” After doing the first two days of the course, I realized that this course could also neatly tie back into my (near) daily Woodspriestess time, since most of the pictures I take for the ecourse are taken in the woods. So, I plan to share a quick post here every day, usually photo only, as we move through 30 Days of Brigid. I really like the integrated feeling I have with this plan!

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Brigid altar (GGG 2013)

Edited to add: This is my 300th blog post on this blog! So, that also feels like an auspicious connection/beginning to this new sacred pause project.

Categories: #30daysofBrigid, Goddess, retreat, ritual, spirituality, woodspriestess | Tags: | 1 Comment

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