It is Sunday morning in Colorado and the sun is spilling over the rockies into my casa and I finally feel some peace. My words and images are pouring themselves onto the pages of my journal like ones that were locked inside a particularly dark crevice in my heart. It feels it will take a lifetime to integrate what I have learned sitting in awe at the hem of Dr. E. and I also know it is not about remembering or integrating everything but just being the being that heard the words and danced the dances and prayed the prayers.
Thirteen years ago I was ordained a Reverend in these Rockies and can you believe I was only 25 or so? We had gone through a 2 year training of an alternative Catholic Church (emphasize alternative here) with many of the same sacraments and rituals – but where the feminine as Sophia and Maria was included, celebrated and taught – and the Tree of Life. This was before is was so popular, before google and we had to go to the library to research the feminine. Our woman Bishop got hate mail and death threats – we were really radical for that time, even in Boulder!
We went through many stages, reader and doorkeeper and scensor and at each stage we learned more and there were more and more responsibilities and sacred rites and learnings and initations. I loved this work and process more than I can say. I did not go on to “Priest-ess” officially as by the time we left Colorado a few days after our ordination, my beloved had renounced many aspects of the church we studied in. I began to have a crack in my heart at that time where I would put the sorrow of not being able to fully express my spirit but turned towards my marriage with absolute open arms anyway.
And so while I kept the name Reverend and performed marriages and rituals, I eventually gave it up at the request of my wasband (short hand for husband before) and the church I was going to. I felt so sad and it was a huge transition but it also felt right to me at the time and did not come without a lot of prayer. Yes I used to do blessings and weddings and communion too, although I was not ordained to do communion, I am after all a rebel and other rebel Pastors and I would serve communion at the church in Oakland I attended and served at for two-three years. I don’t think anyone should be withheld communion, or not be able to give it. That is one of the primary reasons I cannot ‘join’ a church because I cannot follow that rule alone.
Last night, at some point in the evening when it was time for prayer I found myself in the back of the room, laying prostrate in the shape of the cross – which I have not done since my final ordination to Reverend. I realized in that moment that it was 13 years ago I had lain on this same Colorado soil in this same shape and answered my calling to Christ and Mary and to serve. I didn’t know then that my service would be in the sacred art of self expression…but of course we know how the story turns out, I invite others to the altar of sacred art, and sacred self – and all traditions come to pick up to the brush with me and cross into the other world where our treasures have life.
As I lay there I realized how much I missed being my Preistess self, though I am, but do not claim it int the way I used to. I considered picking it up again for the first time in a long time…I realized how much I fit myself into confines that were not my own — but realized how much that was a part of my journey.I so desire to be good and of service, and I so don’t want to get it wrong….which is why I don’t teach more about Jesus and Mary – and also why I started this blog so that I would have someplace where the folks who read it KNOW that is what I MIGHT talk about because it is so easy to offend these days even though we have gotten so much more liberal in so many ways too. I do get comments from those who think me blasphemous but I just tell em’ only Jesus knows and I am His and they don’t really have His permission to say something against me. Then they don’t write me again.
SO the irony, synchronicity, ritual, teachings and the miracle juice finally moved me over…over from where I was, crossed over, I am just on the shore of the terrible longing. Don’t blow too hard or I might fall back in. But for this moment — there is peace, there is gratitude and there is finally, some hope. Hope for me, for my familia, for all of us, and for the tools I have gathered and that we have together, to do the work together of moving from the land of the wounds into the land of what’s possible.
Dr. Estes weaving of Nuestra Senora into all of her work is a giant permission slip of love for me to re-enter my own relationship with them from a new angle….I hope to write more on this later. Her new book, Untie the Strong Woman, dedicated to the Blessed Mother – was put on the press while we were here this week. I have already pre-ordered many copies. Get yours from Sounds True.
Thank you dear ones, for reading. I love you. You have been in my prayers every single day.
Nuestra Senora de La Luna
Nuestra Senora de Las Rosas
Nuestra Senora de La Paz
Your spirit guides us through the dark night
As we walk in bare feet across cool grass
You wrap us in your mantle of loving kindness
Roses embroidered and birds of peace on
shawls of crossing
enclose us in your arms of silken knowingness
We weave in circle
whispering prayers to the moon
For life for love for healing
for health for wellness for creativity
I can tell you are listening to us
and your broken open heart
lets in all all all of us, not just some of us
not just the good ones or worthy ones
all of us broken ones and bad ones
all of us lost ones and sad ones
all of us hopeful beyond reason ones
You give us your milk to drink
milk from the breast of the divine
The chalices are lifted to La Luna
The milk is so that we might survive
have new life and be fruitful
So that we might survive
Your prayer for us:
I need you to survive.
I need you to survive.
I need you to survive.
So you breathe your breath into us
That we are here at all…this is the miracle
That life was given us
when so many have gone and did not see today
This is a big responsibility then and
there is much work to do to even to hear
and answer the call
How do we get underneath our
story and lift it from under the waves?
How do we move our little boats then
safely to shore?
Your child put the seed in our hearts to love
others as we love ourselves
But we do not know
how to love ourselves really, so that
task Jesus gave us is sometimes hard
to sort out and make real
Mi Madre show us the love
that surpasses our own wounds,
the jewel in our own wounds must
shine bright enough for us, and others
to see by, this we know and strive towards
I now that we must gather
Must share our stories, be witnessed
for our suffering
can be released to the next part of our path
when it has been honored
by the tears and prayers of our hermanas and hermanos
the Curanderas and Cantadoras of your blue starry mantle
On this full moon we all were witnessed
We met our destiny
with faces up turned
And you smiled upon us
And so did your little One
Gracias Mi Madre Grande
The beads of prayer pass through
my hands like silk and I know
that you and your Son know me
And I know you
You do not cease to call my name
and I will not cease to call on both of you
and I will not cease to labor in the cause you called me to
and my promesas made so long ago
And I will learn to listen more carefully to my heart
because I know
you hold me in the fire of your bosom
Written in honor of Curandera and Cantadora – Dr Clarrisa Pinkola Estes
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mathew 22
The worlds love your neighbor as yourself were written at least 8 times in scripture.
Consider listening to this wonderful song about the Guadalupe as the Benediction written by Tom Russel and sung gorgeously by Gretchen Peters.