Return to the Grandmothers and 2 Other Poems by Annelinde Metzner

 This past summer, my family and I lovingly carried my brother’s ashes to a favorite spot of his, in the woods at our grandparents’ Catskill farm.  My mind was on the simple, beautiful ritual, each of us stating memories and scattering some of the ashes around the tree, and singing a few songs. It had slipped my mind that this tree grew at the entrance of the very meadow where, at age 11, I felt urgently compelled to create a ritual for myself, just at puberty, where I connected with the Grandmothers of the four directions. No one had taught me this, and I am still in wonder at what we carry with us, undoubtedly from prior lives. I feel that this poem was my self initiating myself into the world of the Goddess, and preparing for my own future.

In this poem, the Grandmothers are speaking to me, with a bit of disdain and fond teasing.

Continue reading “Return to the Grandmothers and 2 Other Poems by Annelinde Metzner”

Deluge by Sara Wright

It’s time to submit another post to FAR, the only blog site I follow, and a place where I have found genuine support and even a sense of community, which for me is a great gift. Mostly, I experience myself as an outsider.

Lately though, I have found myself struggling to stay with  feminist issues. As a naturalist and lover of the earth I am continuously overwhelmed by more bad news and the apparent indifference of so many to what’s happening to people and this planet. Writers on this blog do address how these times are affecting women but less frequently how our issues are intimately related to what’s happening to the earth. Personally I am obsessed, and can’t seem to focus or write about any topic that doesn’t address these issues or how I feel about what’s happening here – climate change is catastrophic, as is the loss of non – human species. The poem/prose that follows is the kind of writing that rises out of some dark place inside me where much of time I feel like I am drowning.

Continue reading “Deluge by Sara Wright”

Navajo Night Chant – Part 2 by Sara Wright

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in natureRead Part 1 here:

The original Night Chant involved four teams who danced twelve times each with half-hour intervals in between-a total of ten hours. The dance movements involve two lines facing each other. Each of the six male dancers takes his female partner, dances with her to the end of the line, drops her there, and moves back to his own side. The chant itself is performed without variation and has a hypnotic effect on the listeners. The only relief is provided by the rainmaker-clown named Tonenili, who sprinkles water around and engages in other playful antics.

The medicine men who supervise the Night Chant insist that everything-each dot and line in every sand painting, each verse in every song, each feather on each mask-be arranged in exactly the same way each time the curing ceremony is performed or it will not bring about the desired result. There are probably as many active Night Chant medicine men today as at any time in Navajo history, due to the general increase in the Navajo population, the popularity of the ceremony, and the central role it plays in Navajo life and health. Continue reading “Navajo Night Chant – Part 2 by Sara Wright”

 Navajo Night Chant – Part 1 by Sara Wright

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in natureWith the Winter Moon waxing on nights when stars are falling from the sky and the winter solstice passage, I am much aware of the healing and dwelling place that I inhabit that also characterizes these dark months of the year.

Unfortunately, even those who acknowledge our seasonal turnings rarely honor the dark as sacred. At the winter solstice the emphasis is still on light.

As Carol Christ writes so succinctly we manage to celebrate light at both solstices – at its apex and as its return. Continue reading ” Navajo Night Chant – Part 1 by Sara Wright”

“It Came Upon a Solstice Morn” by Carol P. Christ

It came upon a Solstice morn,

that glorious song of old,

with angels bending near the earth,

to touch their harps of gold.

“Peace on the earth.

good will to all,”

from heaven’s all glorious realm.

The world in silent stillness waits,

to hear the angels sing.

 

I wake in the dark of Solstice morn.

Mountains shrouded in clouds,

cold wind blowing,

light dawns.

 

My mother heard

the angels sing,

on Solstice eve,

calling me to life,

her Christmas Carol.

 

Blessed Mother Always With Us.

 

Longing for my beloved,

on Solstice morn,

I heard Sappho sing:

Thank you, my dear

You came and you did

well to come: I needed

you. You have made

love blaze up in

my breast–bless you!

Bless you as often

as the hours have

been endless to me

when you were gone.

 

Cold tiles,

bare feet,

coffee brewing,

elderly dog stirring,

I open the garden door.

 

And there it is.

Solstice miracle.

Three purple irises.

blooming in the cold.

Life triumphing over death,

every time.

New words to the traditional carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” by Carol P. Christ.

Sappho translated by Mary Barnard.

Thanks to Miriam Robbins Dexter for the digging iris bulbs from her garden for me to plant in mine.

My mother promised my father to name me Susan or Peter but when she heard carolers in the hospital, she changed her mind.

 

* * *

a-serpentine-path-amazon-coverGoddess and God in the World final cover designCarol’s new book written with Judith Plaskow, is  Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology.

FAR Press recently released A Serpentine Path: Mysteries of the Goddess.

Join Carol  on the life-transforming and mind-blowing Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. It could change your life! Spring tour filled, sign up now for Fall 2018.

Carol’s photo by Michael Honegger

 

The Halcyon Days by Deanne Quarrie

Deanne QuarrieThere is a Greek myth that tells there were fourteen “halcyon days” in every year, seven of which fell before the winter solstice, seven after; peaceful days when the sea was smooth as a pond and the hen-halcyon built a floating nest and hatched out for her young.

The halcyon is also known as the kingfisher. The kingfisher is associated in Greek myth with the Winter Solstice. She also had another habit, that of carrying her dead mate on her back over the sea and mourning him with a plaintive cry. Pliny reported that the halcyon was rarely seen and then only at the winter and summer solstices and at the setting of the Pleiades. She was therefore, a manifestation of the Moon-Goddess who was worshipped at the two solstices as the Goddess of Life in Death and Death in Life and, when the Pleiades set, she sent the sacred king his summons for death. Continue reading “The Halcyon Days by Deanne Quarrie”

Epona – Goddess of the Land by Deanne Quarrie

celtic-horseDeanne QuarrieThis week I bought a pendant that caught my attention.  It is Celtic knot work of horses, meant to represent Epona.  This triggered my interest in Epona and off I went to learn more.

Epona is a goddess from Gaul.  Sadly, any information about her from those early days of worship are lost to us. This is the case of the most ancient deities from that region and time in history. It is thought that she was picked up in Gaul by the conscripted soldiers of the Roman Army who saw a depiction of her upon her horse and they adopted her. Since this army rode across the land on horseback, she was the perfect deity to pay homage to and so, she traveled with them. She soon made it to Rome and is one of only a few deities, not originally Roman, to be worshiped in the Roman Empire. Continue reading “Epona – Goddess of the Land by Deanne Quarrie”

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