Aging and Kinship by Sara Wright

When I moved to the mountains my children were grown and gone…

Finally I had land of ‘my’ own with a brook and mountains that was surrounded by forests. I felt protected by something I could not name. I was living on the edge of wilderness and a hunger I had been carrying for all of my adult life was finally appeased.

Although I had a vegetable and flower garden I felt a deep reluctance to cut trees and eventually lost most of my field to pines. When I finally built my log cabin, I did plant fruit trees, but every action was predicated on my need to give back to nature what she had given to me.

Continue reading “Aging and Kinship by Sara Wright”

Elf and Seed Woman Stories by Sara Wright

Elf House

The older I get the more important the forest becomes to me because it is a place where I find inspiration and peace. I also play in the woods! During the month of October and what I call the “Witching Moon” that has just passed I think of all the women healers that lived alone in the forests with their animal and plant ‘familiars’. These women learned that nature instructs those who apprentice themselves to her. Animals and plants spoke to these women through intuition, sensing, feeling, or through their dreams because these women listened to them. Did these women play too? Westerners fear nature because they are so separate from her. Unable to imagine conversation (let alone play) occurring between women animals and plants, even today women who live close to nature are viewed with suspicion. I know because I am one of them.

I spend a lot of time in a 12,300 acre wood that one family has preserved for perpetuity. Recently these generous people have leased the land to the local land trust so it is getting more attention. I am not sure that this is a good thing. I note the amount of motorcycle and four wheeler use has increased dramatically on the roads that run parallel with the forest; some of the once quiet woodland paths are either echoing or  saturated with sound.

Continue reading “Elf and Seed Woman Stories by Sara Wright”

Equinox amongst the Stones

A Modern Pilgrimage to the Isle of Lewis & Harris, Part 2

In the previous post of October 14th, I introduced my recent pilgrimage to meet the Goddess, honour the physical and psychological changes that have happened inside me recently. I described the different mountain ranges that resembles the bodies of sleeping women, and an ancient well dedicated to the Celtic goddess Brighde. 

If I was traveling over the body of the goddess, the Callanish Standing Stones would be her navel. It seems as if energy is flowing out from there to all edges of the island. The shape of the site resembles a Celtic cross. Unusual is that the site consists of one large, central standing stone, surrounded by 13 stones, and with stone avenues to the cardinal directions. With its solar alignment, paraphrasing Jill Smith, the configuration looks like a cosmic dancer who juggles the sun from east to west. The “arms” are aligned exactly with the sunrise and sunset at this time of year. 

Model of the Standing Stones as seen from above, in Callanish Visitor Centre

Callanish 1, the main stone circle, is connected to 11 other sites across the island, some circles, some solitary standing stones. Together they are called the Callanish Complex. I visited Callanish 1 many times that week, and I was lucky to spend the Autumn Equinox there. 

I’ve never come across stones that were so alive and expressive. Light would bounce off differently at different times of the day, accentuating irregularities, dulling, or sharpening edges, emphasising different aspects. I saw lion and wolf heads, young maidens, hooded wanders, gargoyle and dragon-like creatures, dolphins and even a Horned Dancer… Most importantly, it felt like in each of the stone circles in the area (Callanish 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8), there was at least one stone resembling a woman’s body, and I came to think of them as the Grandmother Guardians. They had a real living presence, that became even stronger as the day-visitors disappeared.

Usually there were 2-5 people there, sometimes I found myself alone. The sunset of the Equinox, however, drew many more people. There were about twenty tourists, who were taking snapshots of this magnificent light show, leaning, or pushing against the stones, talking, and giggling. Several professional photographers tried to capture a magical moment. And there were 5-7 fellow pilgrims, whom, like me, would stay long into the night. Everyone was so focused on the sunset, was I the only one who noted the rainbow in the east? 

The below images were literally taken a minute apart – rainbow to the east, sunset and silhouettes to the west.

Rainbow during the Sunset at Callanish 1, on the Autumn Equinox, September 22, 2022
Sunset at Callanish 1, on the Autumn Equinox, September 22, 2022

Eventually the tourists and photographers disappeared, and the rest of us gathered at the heart of the circle, in the remains of an ancient burial mound. With African and shamanic drums, a whistle, a singing bowl, an old man tapping his walking stick to the bottom of his tin mug, and some rattles, we improvised a rhythmic invocation to the spirits of the stones. With the rain becoming heavier, I soon found myself alone with the stones. Now I could finally sing, dance, weave between the stones without disrupting anyone, lean into the stones, close my eyes, and pray.

I felt very aware of the ‘balance’ in the year, the point of equally long days and nights. I asked for guidance on balance in my own life: between work and leisure, between doing and resting, between the first and second half of my life, between gathering wood for the fire and sharing it, between birth and death, and how I can better look after my body and energy living with an invisible auto-immune condition in these fast and demanding times.

After the rain departed, the clouds tore open, revealing the clearest and most brilliant night sky I’ve ever seen. The silhouettes of the stones reaching up into the night was truly magnificent. Moving, weaving, pausing, I made my way clockwise around all the 13 stones in the circle. I stood at either side of the stones, outer and inner, and took my place in between them, as if I was a moving stone myself. I reflected on centre and circumference, on axis, on direction, on the wheel of life, turning, turning, turning, turning… and felt connected to similar circles across Europe lighting up in the darkness, as a radiant hub of energy-places.

Photo Collage: Impression of Night Sky, by Eline Kieft October 1, 2022

After having completed my weaving of the circle, by which time I had enjoyed half of my ginger tea for a warm kick, I decided to return to our cottage – also an act of balance. Having a cold already, I did not quite have the proper gear to stay out in the windy and rainy night. My lovely bed was calling! On my way home I saw three deer next to the road. I stopped the car and could be with them for several moments before they wandered off.

I had been so attuned to the rhythms that I woke up well before the alarm. I laid in the comfortable darkness, until it was time to return to the stones to witness the sunrise. My mom came along this time. Again, there were several photographers ready for ‘the moment’ (no tourists at this hour!). I just HAD to dance, and chose my spot at the far western end, out of line of any cameras. A dance of ground, earth, mountain, honouring the mother and my mother, weaving the light, the turn of seasons, changing, praying, calling, giving thanks, celebrating, welcoming, and letting go. Strong, soft, vibrant, still… 

Both Images of Sunrise at Callanish 1, on the Autumn Equinox, September 23, 2022

Standing against the central menhir, looking east, we finished the last of the ginger tea. So special to be able to share this together. Mother and daughter in a circle of ancient Grandmother Guardians, witnessing the sun rise on a new day. Sacred land, ongoing cycles of time, and a modern-ancient pilgrimage… 

It will take many moons to fully digest and integrate the richness of this journey, but I already know this precious experience seeped deep into my bones. 

May the magic of the land touch you too, wherever you are.

Mother and Daughter – this photo was in fact taken at another moment, against another stone, mid-afternoon on 22nd

I’d love to invite you for my series of Embodied Spirituality Masterclasses that are going to start today, 21st October! Have a look if you’re interested in reconnecting body and spirit, re-anointing the body as sacred, nature as a temple, contemporary ceremony and much more… You can still join until Christmas, so don’t worry if you can’t make the first session live, it will be available in replay!

Jill Smith is a deep well of goddess lore on Lewis:

  • Mother of the Isles (2003)
  • The Callanish Dance (2000)


Eline Kieft danced from a young age, including rigorous classical and contemporary training to become a professional dancer. She then studied anthropology, deepening her fascination with worldwide similarities between indigenous traditions regarding intangible aspects of reality and other ways of knowing, including embodied epistemologies and shamanic techniques. 

She completed her PhD in dance anthropology at Roehampton University, trained in depth with the Scandinavian Centre for Shamanic Studies and the School of Movement Medicine. Eline worked at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University for five years, where she created a Somatics Toolkit for Ethnographers, and pioneered soulful academic pedagogy. Her recent book Dancing in the Muddy Temple: A Moving Spirituality of Land and Body was well received as a unique blend of theory and practice and a medicine for our times. 

She is now a full-time change-maker and facilitates deep transformation through coaching and courses both online and in person. Her approach The Way of the Wild Soul offers a set of embodied, creative, and spiritual tools to re-connect with inner strength and navigate life’s challenges with confidence. 


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Witches Butter by Sara Wright

The other day I found the most beautiful fungus on an aging white pine set against deep green moss that was almost arcing over the brook. When I looked up Dacrymyces palmatis I discovered that it’s common name was “Witches Butter.” That figures I thought – this must mean that this plant has medicinal qualities, and of course it does along with the fact that the fungus is edible.

Any time I see the word witch associated with a plant if I am not familiar with it I start digging into research inevitably coming up with the same kind of information – the plant/ tree/ fungus/slime mold is edible and has medicinal value.

The word witch as many of us know has at its root to bend or shape. Shape -shifting by non –ordinary means.

Continue reading “Witches Butter by Sara Wright”

Sky Woman comes to Earth by Sara Wright

Every twig

is singing

a song of thanksgiving

to Sky Woman

who gifts

steady rain


earth’s parched body.

Cracked ground


 soaks in minerals

and scent

 sensing wonder.

Continue reading “Sky Woman comes to Earth by Sara Wright”

Rocked Back on Our Heels in Awe by Beth Bartlett

I wanted to know . . . why the most ordinary scrap of meadow

can rock us back on our heels in awe.[i]

– Robin Wall Kimmerer

Along the roadside, broad swaths of Queen Anne’s lace and chicory grace the landscape as far as I can see.  They take my breath away with their exquisite beauty. The delicate white petals of the Queen Anne’s lace paired with extraordinary blue of the chicory evoke not only awe, but tenderness, gratitude, and memories of my mother pointing out these favorite flowers every year as they came into their full flowering in the heart of summer in northern Michigan. How she loved the blue and white, made even more beautiful by their contrast with each other.

In a recent FAR post, Sara quoted Janet quoting Teresa of Avila: “If we learn to love the earth, we will find labyrinths, gardens, fountains and precious jewels! A whole new world will open itself to us. We will discover what it means to be truly alive.” My mother opened that world to us, teaching us to love and appreciate each wildflower as it came into its season. She taught us to love them as friends who came to live among us at different times of year, each with its special gifts. 

Continue reading “Rocked Back on Our Heels in Awe by Beth Bartlett”

Time of the Goddess by Sara Wright

Apple trees have always been dear to my heart and of course, they are associated with the goddess. What follows is a little story where the goddess is made manifest.

Torn Apple Heart

Three years ago I had a beloved apple pruned – I do not normally prune trees, believing that to do so may harm them, but because I once trusted a young boy who also loved trees, I allowed him to make a few cuts that spring.  

Last year my apple struggled and dropped her apples too soon.

I worried.

This year rain has been scarce except for monsoons that first drown the trees, leave roots barren, with most of the moisture rushing down the hill to the brook. When I noticed so many many apples on too thin young branches I became uneasy….

It’s almost mid August; since mid July we have experienced the hottest summer I have ever endured.

Continue reading “Time of the Goddess by Sara Wright”

Peaceful Winding Endurance Road by Sara Wright

I personally think the quality of endurance is underrated. Remember Celie in The Color Purple?  After living through hell this woman became who she was meant to be. Sometimes endurance does seem to be the way through. Just now the Woman’s Movement seems to be quite dead, but perhaps if we can just endure in time this situation may shift. That at least is my fervent hope.

Endurance and the Long Winding Road

From the day I bought this property almost 40 years ago I walked down this lovely road with a sense of the deepest pleasure. The trees were young then. In spring wild cherries burst with pure white or rosy pink blossoms, the bark of each a different hue, emerald pines bore startling white candles, chattering poplars multiplied, pale gray and pearl white birches leaned in for intimate conversation, smooth barked red maples graced open spaces all lemony lime in spring – leaves and needles etched against cobalt blue. The trees were healthy then.

Continue reading “Peaceful Winding Endurance Road by Sara Wright”

Mystic Musings in Late July by Sara Wright

Intolerable temperatures, the air dripping with humidity, unable to sweat, my body catches fire. My aging mind shuts down.

How to find hope in the ruins, not just personally but all around me in dying leaves rife with holes or chewed to bits in late July, flowers shriveling under a merciless sun. A solitary frog croaks from somewhere inside a garden gone wild. Silver swords create an impenetrable bower protecting toads and frogs from within. The scent of bittersweet butterfly weed draws in flaming orange fritillaries, monarchs, bees, a silvery white butterfly with two spots on her wings. A few spikes of scarlet bee balm burst. Flames erupt, crimson, salmon, lemony lilies and golden nasturtiums seduce with sweet nectar. Hummingbirds hover, chirping madly between these and red mint…my breathing is labored – shallow – my body waterlogged and swollen.  Together the dogs and I doze lazily, our bodies aching for

Continue reading “Mystic Musings in Late July by Sara Wright”

Seeding up at the Turning By Sara Wright

The forest is bursting with berries, blue lily beads are just one of a multitude of seeds…Astonishing pearl bells adorn mounds of shining wintergreen that shimmer across the forest floor. Soon those berries will blush, bead up, cry scarlet. Three leaved trillium wear peaked red caps. Deep orange bunchberry clusters surprise the unwary -who is expecting this bountiful feast on a woodland floor? Partridgeberry beads are lime green except for those from last year. Soon too these will be adorned in flaming berries that will last all winter… I’m waiting for the cucumber plants to show their colors. Lemon lime whirls catch the slightest breeze. Cattails, and milkweed pods are sending puffs of cotton on the wings of the slightest breeze. Bull frogs call from the rushes; fish intent on the next meal, break the surface of the beaver pond creating a ripple that spreads across the still waters circles upon circles widening into blue glass. Blue headed vireos, red eyed vireos and the hermit thrush sing from green bowers hidden from sight. Hemlock cones have dropped their black microscopic eyes under each parent carrying the knowledge that kin will look after their own. Acorns are dropping a bit too early; their caps still green, but some creature will have a feast, or the microbes will devour these seeds enriching the soil for next year’s sprouting.

Seeding up…. Thousands of years ago women began gathering forest bounty – always asking for permission they took only what they needed. That the forest will return the favor is a given – gratitude the exchange – Seed Saving is an ancient practice that women originally learned from dreams, animals, and the trees that were their neighbors. At that time all were kin….

This year I collect hemlock seeds, the beaked hazelnuts that edge the forest are ripening – almost ready to split…I rattle wild columbine spires releasing the seeds, collect salmon rose hips for a nourishing tea… scatter wild poppy seeds. I am still waiting for elderberry to grace the ditches with deep purple berries. The birds and I keep an eye on ripening clusters and share the bounty between us.

My cultivated garden takes care of itself these days…. Planting vegetables gives me no pleasure – too many years of work, giving to others – too much work that restricted my freedom to come and go. The forest floor is medicine now. Appreciation of every gift grieved or given never goes unnoticed…but it is the joy of watching each plant offer its prayer for the future that keeps me returning … home.

Continue reading “Seeding up at the Turning By Sara Wright”

Three poems by Sara Wright

Spirits of the Forest

In Forest Presence

I listen,


and needles rustle


Hum inside

Hemlock bark


if only humans

 would listen


 erupt beneath

the forest floor


in a tapestry of threads

millions of miles

of white

 cottony intentions


made manifest

by Raven and


Continue reading “Three poems by Sara Wright”


I’ve been told that most children in the United States learn to write haiku in third grade. At the very least they learn that haiku is a traditional poetic art form using  seventeen syllables divided into lines of 5 – 7 – 5. The idea is to capture a moment in time. The famous Japanese poet/priest, Issa (1763-1828), focused on creating haiku using his love for nature in the process.

I did not grow up in the American school system, so it wasn’t until I took an undergraduate Zen Buddhism course that I learned to appreciate and have fun with creating this particular kind of poetry.

In the following haiku, I try to capture the moment I experienced the natural scene in front of me. Taking a photograph and then writing an accompanying haiku can be a meditative exercise. I keep striving to make that exercise a daily happening.

Ominous dark clouds
Follow me around the lake
Pushed by a brisk wind
Continue reading “SNAPSHOTS FROM SUMMER by Esther Nelson”

The Ugly “Neighbor” and The Power of Evil by Sara Wright

What follows is yet another story of how patriarchy is destroying our culture through the lens of personal narrative. This is a pattern we must uncover, reveal for what it is and refuse to participate. As bell hooks once said, “your silence will not protect you”. Especially from insanity.

I was gone when the U-Haul moved out.

 For almost 19 years Ugly neighbor lied, manipulated, tried to steal land, stole my young balsam trees, ignored covenants on our deeds and most recently started to set off explosives.

Six months after moving in here this guy cut down my trees and built a bridge over the brook on my land. It never occurred to me that he did it. Oh, I wasn’t accustomed to this sophisticated level of manipulation. When I approached Ugly neighbor (alias ‘nice guy’ with a fake halloween pumpkin smile) to tell him what I believed someone else had done, I discovered he built the bridge; he cut down my trees. Stunned, it barely registered when he said “I did it for you.” WHAT???

Accustomed to the old fashioned ‘respect your neighbor policy’ I had no frame of reference for the hell that was coming my way.

Continue reading “The Ugly “Neighbor” and The Power of Evil by Sara Wright”

Shifting Sands Tilting Floor by Caryn MacGrandle

First bought land

I have this image in my mind of standing on one of those moving floors at the carnival.  It is hard to get your balance because it is constantly shifting.

The world is constantly shifting at the moment.

It is unsettling.

You think you have found your equilibrium, and then the next experience or conversation occurs.  Financial upheaval.  Health concerns.  People dying.

The fear calls.

Three months officially out of my second marriage, I am still in a transitory period.  Juggling as I normally do so many things and people.  Which ones will I catch?  Which ones will I let go?

Every morning I wake up and stand on my deck with my arms thrown up to the sky in gratitude.  I love my deck and my old 1961 home.  The deck needs care.  I have replaced a couple of boards, but there are many more in need.  I wonder if it is even savable at this point. 

I let that thought come and go.  It is okay for now.  It holds my weight. 

Nothing lasts forever, and this does not make my top ten list.

The client that I had for seven years on and off is now gone.  With my veteran husband gone and now that we have moved to Alabama, I am officially no longer a small Illinois Veteran Owned Business so I will officially no longer be part of their budget. 

My main priority right now is finding a job and income.  It can be overwhelming.  I do not want to sell myself short as I have done the large majority of my life.  I also do not want to be in a job that I am struggling.  I want to find, like the new relationships in my life, ones that are just the right blend of challenging, interesting and rewarding:  ones that fit into the puzzle of my life.  The adventure.

At times it seems a high order:  especially in the shifting sands of the world at the moment.

Every morning after greeting the sun on my deck, I go into my sunroom and meditate. 

The view out of my back window is of crepe myrtles, pines, a maple tree and a corn field.  Birds fly past.  My cats lie lazily on the chairs.  My stones and statues and other precious items surround me.

Isn’t this moment enough?

Isn’t it enough to be happy in this moment?

I start to stress about money or people, overthinking, analyzing and panicking as I am wont to do and then I stop myself. 

I remind myself.

It is already here.

The people I want in my life.   Who truly see me.   Who I see.  The ones where we support each other.  Allow each other.  Touch each other physically and mentally.

They are already here.

The means to pay my bills in ways that fill and align with my soul.

It is already here.

They both just need to catch up with me.  Turn a corner, and they will be there.  All I need to do is ‘encourage’ the things I want in my life, and let go of the rest. 

Step by step.  Breath by breath.

The future is already here.

Yesterday I returned from my Land in Appalachian mountains of North Carolina:  ten acres of unrestricted land with a bog and a creek on one side and a mountain on the other.  

A few days ago, I bought the land.  When the check cleared, I was left with $20 in my bank account.  I had a momentary panic wondering what I am doing. 

But then I left that thought behind as well.

It is the third time that I have been there.  It is the first time that I went alone.

I sat.  I listened.  I meditated.  I got lost in the woods climbing up the small hill and forest that is already beginning to feel like home.  I napped in my hammock, took off my clothes, sang, danced, cried, touched myself.   Said hello and thank you and I will take care of you.  Take care of me. 

Almost half of my land on the right side is bog or a wetland: nature protecting itself, impassable and overgrown by invasive porcelain berry plants.  The last time I came my friend tried to get to the creek and did not even get close: his feet sinking into the earth a foot, a huge smelly fly ridden animal bed, plants everywhere.  The real estate description suggested putting in a pond to drain the bog so that you can use the land.

No.  Protect the bog.  Protect our earth.  I deeply respect that side of my land knowing that it is cradling precious carbon needed to maintain the balance of life.  I talk to it and tell it that I just need a small way in to get to the creek so that I can have water and a shower.   A small path. 

I find another way down a road to the creek.  A snake scurries away in the water.   The neighbor says good, I see that you have a machete.  You will need it.  I would suggest a firearm as well.

We shall see.  I feel the fear and respect that I carry. 

This is the Wild.  She is often unforgiving.  I get that.

But I believe that we can come to an agreement and a relationship.

It is one of the balls that I am juggling at the moment.  To get to the land from Alabama, I drive along the Ocoee River, rushing water and rocks, majestic steep mountains forming a gorge.  It leads to my land, out of the gorge, up a small highway, past buildings that nature has reclaimed, no chains, few stores and onto a dirt road.

‘Home’ pops into my mind several times.


BIO: Caryn MacGrandle is the creator behind the Divine Feminine App which has been connecting and inspiring women [and other genders too] throughout the world since 2016 as a directory to find Sacred Circles, events and resources.  Women find the app each and every day, and it currently has almost 8000 users from around the world.  Caryn has also hosted Sacred Circles and events for the past nine years and is passionate about the power of a Circle to heal individuals and the world.  She has participated in numerous online and location events such as the World Parliament of Religions in September of 2021 in which she presented a workshop on Embodying the Goddess:  Creating Rituals with Mind, Body and Soul and just recently a webinar/panel with Dale Allen presenting Dale’s Indie film award winning “In Our Right Minds:  Leading Women to Strength as Leaders and Men to Strength without Armor.”  Each and every day, Caryn (aka Karen Moon) works tirelessly towards her belief that the most important area to first find equality and balance is the divinity found within yourself.

Refuge Bombing – 5 pieces by Sara Wright

In Maine the 4th of July…The bottom line is that women don’t create the chaos and unbearable noise that men do. It comes to a ‘head on the 4th – a time to create misery for all people who are peace loving – just more indication of the breakdown of our culture… I fear that patriarchy may live on until it destroys all we know.

Refuge (before bombing)

A symphony
of phoebe song
a river of stone
blessed by rain….
 Beech leaves beckon,

 crystal waters soothe

Hemlocks hum
I am part of

all there is…

Powers that harm

live just next door.
Leaning into Presence

Continue reading “Refuge Bombing – 5 pieces by Sara Wright”

Waxing Moon at Refuge by Sara Wright

Waxing moon
fringed Hemlocks
blink in and out
Owls converse
from Needled Crowns
bathed in
Air and Light.
Refuge Tree
soothed by
Familiar calls
sighs deeply,
In the Night.

Refuge incarnates as Aphrodite… 

In the forest I slip into a lime green skin with the help of one hemlock, under whose feathery wings this transformation takes place. I breathe her sweet scent through my supple membrane.  Standing beneath Refuge, whose roots claw the edge of a steep slope that bows to the river, I can barely see the crown of the tree, maybe 150 feet in the air. This hemlock towers over the rest. Moss and lichen adorn her limbs and the tree’s deeply ribbed reddish brown bark is an invitation to touch that I can never resist. Scrambling down the slope with care I lean against the tree and listen, always hoping… sometimes I think I hear a low hum if the wind is still. Perhaps I’m imagining.

Continue reading “Waxing Moon at Refuge by Sara Wright”

Three Poems by Annelinde Metzner

  To spend time in nature and deeply connect with Her is to allow enough time for Her surprising wisdom and dreamlike insights to open up for me.  I call this “Plein Air Poetry.”  It’s a joy to wait in nature and see who connects with me on any given day.

     These poems come with the gratitude of very early Spring when Her first shoots and flowers, such as the weeping cherry which birds have planted all over my yard, begin to appear like mysterious veils over winter’s greyness.

Deb Pollard Greening

Greening              April 6, 2022

Suddenly I awaken, early April,
and a diaphanous green veil
has draped over the weeping cherries,
the first to bloom with delicate, drooping grace.

Continue reading “Three Poems by Annelinde Metzner”

The Bang Bang Boys by Sara Wright

Mad wolf boys bay
a waxing solstice moon 
to Bloom

is the Gateway
Nowhere to hide

Bang Bang

Warblers sing on

Nerves strung too tight
Guns batter
Forest Peace

Bang Bang

Continue reading “The Bang Bang Boys by Sara Wright”

Fern Hollow by Sara Wright

I awaken to the common yellowthroat warbler’s song. A light breeze wafts through the open window intensifying the scent of wild honeysuckle. Phoebe chimes in followed by Ovenbird, another warbler. Mama phoebe takes flight from her nest as I open the door. I peer out into emerald green – sweetly scented hay ferns define the edges of the mixed conifer and deciduous forest that overlooks a mountain brook. My home. A canopy of leafy limed branches protects the house from what will become fierce heat from the noonday star… summer is almost upon us. But not just yet. For now I am still living in the space in between. Fern hollow is an edge place, etched out of olive and jade.

Seduced by moist air, stillness and dove gray cloud cover I follow my Forest Muse wandering down to the protected field through the pines. The mountains are still shrouded in mist. Lupine spires and lemon lilies peek out above a raft of sensitive ferns. Deep blue iris startle sensitive eyes. I breathe in the intoxicating aroma of the last flowering crabapple as I examine unfurling ostrich ferns. Always the spiral. The Wild Goddess lives here. Once, just after I moved here, She rose up out of the field to embrace me, told me that I was loved… She spoke through pure feeling in that place beneath words. Now She comes to me through the trees…

Continue reading “Fern Hollow by Sara Wright”

Crowning the Mother Tree by Sara Wright

Crown the trees

that feed

the bees,

 one more

keystone species.

Crown the trees

 that purify  

 poisoned air,

  ground, water,

create clouds

for rain,

return fish

 to streams…

Crown trees

that shelter birds

as they turn

light to sugar

releasing oxygen

so that we may


Abundant Greening.

During this month

of her Crowning

let us gather round

The Mother Tree

 to accept communion.

 at gnarled old feet.

Continue reading “Crowning the Mother Tree by Sara Wright”

May: A Reflection on Time and Trillium by Sara Wright

With May coming to a close in a few days, I am feeling nostalgia. This month is both elusive and dramatic – from bare trees to lime green, and now lilacs so heavily laden with blooms that some are bowed as if in prayer.  Wood frogs and peepers bring in the night and the first toads are hopping around my overgrown flower garden; in the forests I surprise them when peering closely at small flowers. Gray tree frogs trill at dusk. Violets of every hue grace the earth outside my door along with robust dandelions, forget – nots, rafts of deep blue ajuga, delicate bells of solomons seal, mayapple umbrellas, false solomon’s seal, wild columbine and golden celandine all nestled in long grasses and moss. No mowing happens here!

On my woodland paths starflowers and Canada mayflowers are now so thick I fear treading on even one, as if one foot could destroy the whole. Down by the brook white trillium bloom on, both painted and purple are setting seed, while bloodroot, arbutus trumpets and delicate anemones have transformed into leafy memory. Ostrich and hay ferns are unfurling, creeping blue phlox and dames rocket are budded or blooming; pink and white lady slippers are beckoning both here and in the woods. June is in the air.

Continue reading “May: A Reflection on Time and Trillium by Sara Wright”

Winter Turns the Tide by Sara Wright

This winter has been most challenging on every level.

 I am exhausted, emotionally and physically. Most of my hair has turned gray. I have become an old woman who needs to be in touch with her limitations.

 On December 31st I broke my foot at three in the morning when a horrible crash awakened me to a blocked front door. I shoveled pure ice for an hour. Frantic with anxiety, I didn’t even realize that I had broken my foot until the crisis was over and the door could be opened again.

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Mycelial Madness by Sara Wright

For those of us who are dedicated to feminism and to the sanctity of nature here is one more way to understand the earth as our goddess. Her mysterious veil is the source of all life. Immanence is sacred.

The last winter I spent in New Mexico I walked to the river every morning in the pre-dawn hour. No matter how much the wind would howl later on, at this time of the day nothing stirred besides the birds. Because I traveled the same path every morning circling round one wetland listening to river songs I would find myself slipping into a light trance as my feet hit the hard unforgiving ground. Every bush, cottonwood, russian olive, juniper was familiar, each was a friend. Although this wetland had been trimmed and paths mowed (parching open ground), the majority of trees, plants and grasses had been left intact and the river was nearby. During these light trance states I sensed that the ground beneath my feet was pulsing with some kind of light; that the earth was trying to communicate with me.

At that time I didn’t know that I was walking over of miles of mycelium, because I didn’t know whether these networks extended throughout the desert although I assumed they did. But I felt or sensed something. I knew from trying to garden in NM that the surface of most of the ground seemed quite barren except for the piles of decaying cottonwood bark that I used as mulch, so where was the rest of the mycelium?

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Reflection: Winter Light by Sara Wright

Norfolk Pine

What does this little narrative have to do with feminism you ask? Why everything! It speaks to the journey of one woman from young adulthood into old age, a woman who learns along the way that Nature/ Earth/Immanence is also the Way of the Goddess, and that living a life of meaning (in a finite loving body) is the path the goddess set her upon at birth…

It is the day before thanksgiving. For too many years, this was a time of great sorrowing – a day on which a young motherless woman said goodbye to her grandmother… a grandmother she couldn’t afford to lose, and later, much later, a grandmother she couldn’t become….

Continue reading “Reflection: Winter Light by Sara Wright”

Autumn Equinox with the Ancestors, or after ecstasy indeed the laundry*) Eline Kieft

As I hang the laundry back home, I remember how just 24 hours earlier I arrived back on the beach after an incredible time at the ancestral burial mound where I spend the night in ceremony at the Autumn Equinox.

Ile Carn is a neolithic passage grave on a small tidal island in Finisterre, Brittany. I had visited there the summer before, and found that the other world was strongly accessible. When places become very touristy, like Stonehenge or Mont St. Michel, it sometimes appears as if the spirits retreat and the potency of the place thins. I asked them then if I could come back for ceremony, and when the answer was yes, I promised to return.

So here I was, on the Autumn Equinox, or Mabon. This is a time of balance, when the days and nights are equally long. A time in which the harvest has been gathered and we can start to prepare for a time of gestation and growing in the dark womb of winter, before the light is reborn again next year. My personal aim was three fold: I wanted to celebrate this year, especially to give thanks for my life, which had been on a precarious knife-edge earlier in May. I also wanted to ask for guidance for both my budding business and for my academic work in terms of re-discovering our own indigeneity in the west.

Continue reading “Autumn Equinox with the Ancestors, or after ecstasy indeed the laundry*) Eline Kieft”

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