Goddess WorksMar 09, 2023
To-do lists and focused truth
“We live on a steady diet of the illusion that when we get everything done, then—and
only then—we will be able to relax and do some of those things we’ve
always wanted to do, both for ourselves and with those we love...”
—Anne Wilson Schaef, Meditations for Living in Balance
Do you feel fuzzy or uncertain? Sometimes it is important to sit with those feelings and sometimes it is important to slice through them, to get clear and focused and to be assertive with your own powers of choice, action, and reasoned decision-making. Where are you having trouble making decisions or taking action? What needs your attention and focus?
This audio was originally created for a class called Everyday Magic and was later used in Living the Questions. I offer it to you now, during this season of going and doing, as an invitation to focus...or...to expand your vision, to let it go a bit fuzzy and uncertain as you pause.
NOTE: this audio was originally recorded in 2020 for our Goddess Magic community.
“It was excruciatingly easy to lose touch with the inner life of the soul. There was such a profusion of demand and complexity, so many to-do lists, the unceasing compulsion to accomplish something. When I read that the Chinese pictograph for busyness is ‘heart-killing,’ I felt the truth of that in my bones. In the midst of this struggle to care for my soul, I read Wordsworth’s poem, ‘The Prelude,’ in which he writes about ‘spots of time’ that nourish and repair the soul. I believe he was referring to brief, concentrated moments—little epiphanies—that inflame us with a sense of the holy. I began to search for spots of time here and there in my day. I found them by stopping. Just stopping....I began to ‘come away’ to a nook somewhere in the house or the yard where I would spend five minutes or less sitting still and receding into the quiet core of myself...caring for my soul turned out to be simply that—spots of time in which to be.”
—Sue Monk Kidd, Firstlight
This brief audio is about simple magic. I hope you find it interesting and supportive! (Note: I accidentally say "summer equinox" at one point instead of "summer solstice.")
I also wanted to share this quote from Yoga for Witches, which I reviewed here.
“In yoga class, I often remind my students that we can be peaceful and powerful, calm yet strong—all in the same breath. I think there is a peace to be found in the acceptance of all of these contradictory powers within us. Finding a way to stand within this unknown and unknowable. We are gloriously complex and contradictory in a world that loves boxes, snap judgments and 100% certainty. People may find this inability to define you uncomfortable, but this is a reminder that you do not owe anyone an explanation. Your rich inner world needn’t mean anything to anyone but yourself. A person can be called a witch for merely knowing, and for owning her knowledge. And to some, for strange reasons that may include fear, power, jealousy, a woman who ‘knows’ is dangerous indeed...Communicating *I am knowledgeable, powerful, and I can make choices about how I use these strengths...can be a real challenge to the status quo!”
—Sarah Robinson, Yoga for Witches (p. 93)
May you feel centered
in your place of power.
May you know you
have this wholeness
to draw upon when needed.
May you remember that sometimes
the taste of tea
is truly what you need.
Goddess Works: Soul Gardens
NOTE: this audio was made in 2021, so still touches on the pandemic experience.
How are you tending to your soul’s garden?
This audio is 26 minutes and is multi-thematic. The first part is a brief check in opportunity about the impact of the pandemic on our lives. Feel free to drop a note below letting me know how you are--how are you feeling, how are you doing, what is your life like? The second part is about tending to your "soul's garden" (additional notes about this below)--kind of a mini-meditation moment. After this meditation is a good stopping point (about 12 minutes in), or you can go on and listen to me muse about current books I'm reading and current things I've been listening to.
Notes about Soul Gardens!
I found a little book at a thrift shop last week called “The Woman’s Book of Soul” which is a page a day meditation book. In one of the early pages I loved this quote/concept and it inspired this month's audio:
“Taking little soul seconds—one small prayer, a few-minute meditation, a short burst of gratitude—helps immeasurably to revive our thirsty spirits. We don’t have to join a convent or live in a cave to attend to our souls, although I admit that it sounds appealing sometimes. Luckily, our souls flower and grow when nurtured with consistent rays of attention interspersed among the busy hours of our days.”
--Sue Patton Thoele, The Woman’s Book of Soul
Affirmation: “I pay attention to the needs of my spirit. I make time to quench my soul’s thirst.”
Note: Good Ancestor podcast mentioned is here.
Freedom and Margin
NOTE: this episode was originally recorded in 2018, so not everything I say is current!
There are deer to your left,
the sun is to your right,
spring is singing to the sky,
it is possible to make good friends with a rock.
There are truths about living
written in the patterns
of leaf shadow upon stone.
Please take a few moments to breathe and pause and call yourself in, into this time and into this space. Into your body and your breath and the beat of your heart. In this recording, I share some thoughts about stillness, about daily practices, about the freedom found in finding your own center, and about white space or the process of creating margin in your days.
“I fear our modern world does not honor our need for stillness in the midst of nonstop busyness. Can we learn to be still enough to embrace the inner self and all it contains? The inner self is calling for balance. Can we practice a wholeness that allows for silence, nature and breath? My hope is yes."
—Genevieve Mitchell (@goddess.ink)
Hungering for your own wisdom and naming it as worthy is a radical and revolutionary act.
Our card of the week from Womanrunes is The Winged Circle. Do you feel free? What color are your wings? Can you expand yourself, stretch your wings, take chances, leap into the unknown? What are you liberating, shaking loose, unfurling?
Where do you need revolution? What IS your revolution?
This rune may emerge in affirmation or encouragement of your own freedom of spirit or it may emerge when you are feeling bound or trapped and desperate to break free, to shake everything off and fly. It may show up when you need to free body, mind, or spirit from something that constricts you. Or, it may show up in celebration of the freedom you have claimed.
May you spread your wings, may you have the courage to be soft and tender, and may you be new in your bones.
And, now the rattle passes to you...
Do you feel free? What is your revolution?
Where do you have white space?
NOTE: additional companion resources for Margin/White Space may be found in this older Goddess Magic post.
Summer Body Wisdom
This audio was originally created for our Goddess Magic community.
May you know a place that holds you, a place that weaves you whole, a place that cradles your body, a place that restores your soul.
Created as a driveway musings, this audio is about listening to what your body is saying:
- What is your body saying to you right now?
- What does your body say to you at this time every year?
These questions were inspired by Tree Newby (@mamatree17)
May you rest well and wisely and rise into your work renewed and restored.
Joy as Resistance
Note: This audio was originally recorded in the fall of 2020 for our Goddess Magic community on Patreon.
“Yoga (and indeed witchcraft) invites us to peel away the layers of life and discover: Who are we when we are not afraid? When we are not stressed? When we are not distracted by concerns of emails, schedules, timetables...? Of course, these layers build up and that’s okay, this is part of being human. But take some time as often as you can to peel away, step out of your layers and reconnect to your essence, energy, magic: your body, breath, and heart.”
—Sarah Robinson, Yoga for Witches (p. 77)
This audio explores the theme of JOY and also rest. I did want to note that I see the irony in how as I was discussing rest, I started to undermine my own self by explaining that I'm not just sitting on the deck "doing nothing," I'm still doing XYZ. I realized it as soon as I stopped the recording and wanted to make sure to acknowledge that! This resistance to rest instead of rest as resistance is very baked in!
Tracee Stanley, Radiant Rest
Karen Brody, Daring to Rest
Inner Field Trip (Leesa Renee Hall)
Feel free to use these to create a deck for yourself or to glue into journals or onto other projects. :)
May you grant yourself
endless moments of joy
and may you delight
in the revolutionary act
May 26th newsletter, audio edition
This is an audio edition of our weekly newsletter. For the text and all of the links to resources mentioned herein, the print newsletter is here.
May 5th Creative Spirit Circle Newsletter, Audio Edition
This is an experimental concept--an audio edition of our weekly newsletter, intended to increase its accessibility while "on the road" or doing other tasks. The written version with all of the relevant links mentioned herein is available for you here: https://mailchi.mp/brigidsgrove/cscmay52023
Normal Days and Blue Skies
Our May podcast episode is from the archives--all the way back to May of 2017! However, I think it still speaks of something of which I continue to write: may we savor normal days and blue skies. This is where the magic is.
"When life feels too big to handle, go outside. Everything looks smaller when you’re standing under the sky."
In the recording, I share a story about Mark and I setting off through the woods to the bigger spring, even though we technically didn't "have time" and "should" have been doing something else. We didn't have anything with us (except for some goddess figures...of course!) and we weren't really prepared for a hike through the woods, but we did it anyway. I am in love with discovery. I love observing the world, feeling it, breathing it, being it. As we walked, the air was literally scented like roses and I was so alive as we explored. THIS is it to me. This is goddess. Life in the palm of her hand.
“Don’t just read about the Goddess, LOVE HER, listen to Her, reflect
Her as the Earth and Moon reflect the Sun. Don’t just study Nature,
put your hands in the dirt, your feet on the forest trail, turn your
face to the wind and breathe Nature in and out of your lungs. Feel the
connection. No books required.”
--Esra Free, Wicca 404: Advanced Goddess Thealogy
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from
you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of
some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not
always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in
the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more
than all the world, your return."
--Mary Jean Iron, in Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much
Affirmation for the week: I am as free as I allow myself to be.
If you believe the world
is made of magic,
you will find it
This audio originally created for our Patreon community (in 2020) focuses on the symbolic and practical use of the wild edible plant Chickweed. The audio includes some musings about what chickweed has to teach us on a spiritual and symbolic level and then discusses awareness and engagement with the "small magic" of the world beneath our feet.
Our good friends Mike and Cara have a botanical education and supplies business: WildWise Botanicals and provided us with this Chickweed Pesto recipe to share with the rest of the community. At our own house, we have been making this almost every night to go with dinner, which is an amazing way to enjoy some fresh greens from the very dirt beneath your feet that otherwise be viewed as "just weeds." Do make sure chickweed grows in your area and that you can identify it before eating any! It is has small starburst like white flowers and often grows near violets and dandelions in front yards as well as beneath trees and in creek-type areas. Chickweed is a sprawling plant with little white flowers that have 5 double-lobed white petals. The stem has one line of hair, when you pluck a piece of the stem from the plant, there is no milky substance.
Chickweed Pesto Recipe
1/2 cup nuts of your choice
(Mike and Cara's note: we like walnuts. Molly and Mark's note: we like pecans!)
3 cloves of garlic
3 cups of chickweed loosely packed
1 TB of lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Make sure to follow WildWise on instagram where they share recipes, videos, and informative posts on foraging and wildcrafting your own remedies.
Additional note from Molly: we have been eating our chickweed pesto on tacos, with pizza (dipped crusts), and even on top of bratwursts!
Sacred Yes and Holy No: Weaving Boundaries and Community
Hear what they say to you
We held out our hands and touched each other
We remembered to laugh
We went to endless meetings
We said no
We put our bodies on the line
We said yes
We invented, we created
We walked straight through our fears
We formed the circle
We spoke the truth
And dared to live it."
—Starhawk (Truth or Dare)
Reminder: join us in community: Goddess Magic
and in daily practice: #30DaysofGoddess
Please take a few moments to breathe and pause and call yourself in.
This month's episode was recording several years ago and draws upon The Box from Womanrunes, rune of boundaries. Where might you need to set firmer boundaries in your life? There are a lot of social messages to think “outside of the box,” but sometimes the Box is exactly what we need! It can also show up for me almost a type of “chastisement”--as in, "girl! you've got to work on those boundaries!"--but more often is a helpful reminder or reinforcement of what I already know needs to happen. This rune may indicate that you need to say "no," but it is also often about discernment: checking in with your center, with your place of power and then wholeheartedly expressing either your Sacred Yes or your Holy No.
May you experience time as dancing, flowing, and sparkling for you this week. May you make time to draw lines when needed. May you be flexible when needed. And, may you check within--into your place of power--for that Sacred Yes and Holy No, and listen to your heart.
Right now, gift yourself with a pause for three breaths.
There really is no place else to be but here.
And now, the rattle passes to you...
Breaks, Breakdowns, and Breakthroughs
the tides will bring it
back to me
as they often do,
the parts of me
I thought were lost.
This month's podcast episode is a musing about taking breaks, particularly in conjunction with self-employment, but I hope applicable in other lifestyle circumstances as well. One of the things I want to emphasize in this idea/message is that sometimes we might feel like we’re having a “breakdown” when we are really on the verge of a breakthrough. Sometimes we might feel it when we really just need to take a break. Taking a break, a temporary unclenching of your life, is not the same as “giving up” nor is it a permanent surrender.
Referenced in the audio is this past audio about Stopping (http://www.brigidsgrove.com/stopping/)
Resource for ongoing support, audios, printables, and practices: Goddess Magic community (http://patreon.com/goddessmagic)
Resource for daily practice (free!): 30daysofgoddess.com
I also had two additional things I want to note about the audio:
1. I spoke in it of my own almost compulsive level of self-motivation and self-direction. I should have acknowledged or spoken to the fact that other people do not feel that way and need ideas, resources, and support for getting motivated rather than "shutting off" motivation for a time. I do have some ideas for how to become more motivated if you struggle with self-motivation and self-direction and I don't mean for this audio to make you feel left out or unheard if my own motivation "overload" is completely different than your own experience (this audio is available for the Goddess Magic community on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/audio-motivation-38272682).
2. I also wanted to add on that when I mention "where might you need to 'take down some chairs'?" you might also want to ask yourself where to want to put up some chairs. Maybe you need to add chairs instead of taking some away.
There are days when the sky
holds its breath
and dreams seep up
from the skin of the world
and into my feet.
Your Own Authority
Happy New Year! This podcast episode includes a companion set of nourishment cards: https://brigidsgrove.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/nourishment-cards.pdf
Resist the fracturing.
Defy the fragmentation.
and embody your joy.
Originally recorded two years ago for the Goddess Magic community, this theme emerged as I was sitting on the back deck thinking about recipes for my kids' homeschool cooking club and about how you have the power to change your own recipes to meet your needs. I then thought about it as a metaphor for life—for being your own authority, for making your own magic—and I ended up spontaneously recording an audio about it. When I re-listened to the audio, I was struck by my own closing words: trust that you know the kind of nourishment you need and from there I spontaneously made a small set of nourishment related affirmation cards as a gift for all of your. Print these on card stock, multiple cards to a page, for best use. :)
Essay referenced: To Bless One Another.
And, remember, you have the power to create your own recipes for living!
Choosing and Working with a Word of the Year
What is a word of the year? How do you find one? How do you know what it is? Many people opt to choose a "Word of the Year" as they enter a new year. This sacred word becomes a touchstone, an affirmation, a statement of values, and a source of strength, encouragement, focus, and direction for the year as a whole. It is a powerful talisman--a vow and a spell all in one single word.
I've created a 30 card sacred word deck for you as a companion to this audio to give you inspiration/ideas and it may be accessed via our newsletter: https://us3.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=4f7233481d8eb86675b7978b6&id=032c8be601
Daily practice home page for everyday enchantment: http://30daysofgoddess.com.
Wise to Your Ways (untamed thoughts on unlocked doors)
is engraved into the chamber
and beyond that lies the temple
filled with ancient whispers
and the stony, determined steps
that lead into the heart of things.
This past Patreon community audio is based on some content from the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle. It is about unlocked doors in our lives, how we might be keep ourselves in knots/trapped/restricted/bound by old habits and patterns.
Here is a quote from Glennon in an interview with Marie Forleo:
"To remember how tricky my ego can be by keeping my brain busy trying to solve the unsolvable puzzle about why I don’t feel worthy and enough and how to feel worthy and enough. My truest and most beautiful story is being in touch with the real me behind the ego, the authentic, real, wild, fierce me. Unlocking the cage and letting myself think the thoughts I am worthy and enough and feel the feelings I am worthy and enough. The cages are real, they are our own making now in our thoughts and remembering that the door is unlocked is powerful! Maybe it comes from survival instinct not to become prey and to belong for safety back in the day. Or maybe it comes from current societal conditioning to be accepted so we go along with conventions to avoid fear and shame and being excluded from the group...."
May you remember that the doors aren't even locked.
ongoing #30DaysofGoddess daily practice: 30daysofgoddess.com
ongoing Goddess Magic community: patreon.com/goddessmagic
Restoration is the antidote to depletion.
This new audio retreat/reflection encourages you to take a pause to consider where you’ve become depleted—this has been a hard year—and where you might need restoration, as well as how you replenish and renew yourself.
A new set of journal cards for the next three weeks is available for you here.
Questions from the audio:
What new leaf do you want to turn over?
Are you wasting the autumn?
What are your authentic wants?
What do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can love the life you're leading?
Are you open to change?
Do you love the life you're leading?
Ongoing daily practice resources: #30DaysofGoddess.
Finding Your Magic
—Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Lore, W. B. Lord 1867
This episode is from the archives and was originally recorded in 2018 (note that not all referenced resources/experiences may be current). This episode is long and covers a lot of ground, from croning ceremonies to finding your magic to working from home. If you are not interested in the section on our personal employment history (totally fine to not be interested!), you can skip ahead after I start talking about it and into the last five minutes or so of the audio, where you will hear the card reading and the closing poem.
For powerful daily practices and everyday magic see: 30daysofgoddess.com and patreon.com/brigidsgrove
Spots of Time
and summer’s fire,
there has been a blooming
and a ripening,
and now a harvesting and a fading,
as the time comes
to turn the page. This audio is a twenty minute mini ritual about finding “spots of time” for devotion, magic, and enchantment. Note: the book I referenced writing, Whole and Holy, was, in fact, published with that name and is available in our Etsy shop. For support materials and resources see: brigidsgrove.Etsy.com and patreon.com/brigidsgrove and 30daysofgoddess.com
Monthly Retreat: Innerstanding
--Judy Grahn in Open Mind
The editor of the anthology I quote from above, Diane Mariechild, adds: "To interstand, we must be in relationship with what is happening." As we've been talking about on this journey together, daily practices and personal ceremonies really matter and it is important to both find ways to deepen our practices, but also showing up for ourselves and doing it anyway, even if it isn’t what you imagined or you don’t have enough time, or it doesn’t feel “big enough” also matters.
Our card for the week from Womanrunes, was The Dancing Woman, rune of power. How are you dancing in your power? Do you feel like a powerful person? Do you know how it feels to stand in your power? Where might you need to more fully inhabit your power?
What are you figuring in?
In the recording, I also share a long story about creating a seashell mandala at the beach during the lunar eclipse and full moon and what I learned from sunlight and shadow that day.
Note: this audio was originally recorded several years ago prior to the spring equinox, so it is a little off schedule for the present season. However, I’ve been thinking about some of its themes recently and felt motivated to make it public now.
Affirmation for the week: I make time to “figure it in” and I dance into my full power.
Audio Retreat: May You Be Green
I'm re-visiting an older audio this week (originally from 2017) themed around "May You Be Green," which was a prompt in our Earthprayer series. I've been trying to decide what to do with some of the archived materials that I had stored in a past classroom space and I decided I'm periodically going to re-share some of them here. Some of them may feel familiar to you, others may feel brand new!
Our card for the week from Womanrunes was The Box, rune of boundaries. Where might you need to set firmer boundaries in your life? There are a lot of social messages to think “outside of the box,” but sometimes the Box is exactly what we need!
From The Goddess Guidance Oracle we received Vesta. Vesta reminds us to tend to our homespaces as expressions of our soul. Is your home nourishing your soul? Is it an outer expression of your inner experience? How about other environments, workplaces, offices, etc.? What is something you might do this week to help your home express the qualities of your soul?
May you be green. May you set boundaries as needed. May you tend your hearth well and wisely.
Affirmation for the week: I draw lines when needed. I create a place of beauty and express my soul.
And, now, dear Circle, the rattle passes to you....
Where might you need to set boundaries? What can you do to more fully express your soul within your environment(s)?
Making choices and living small
Devotional rhythm and “mudrooms.”
"Consider the rhythms of your daily life—what would qualify as your mudrooms? What physical spaces or natural pauses already exist that would allow you to transition more elegantly from one demand or obligation to another? What about the weekly balance of your activities? Are some areas of your life being overrun or overwhelmed by others? You are the architect of your life, so consider your whole house and how to change things so that you can function at your best..."
There is no perfect,
there is no right way,
there is only your life
as you live it,
at a time.
Living the Questions: Divine Discontent
Creative Living and Sacred Listening
A Wondering Exercise
Living the Questions: Wandering and Wondering
Goddess Works: Devotion
Living the Questions: A Place Meditation
Living the Questions, Supplemental: Setting Your Root
Living the Questions Supplemental Practice: Blessing and Releasing
Living the Questions: The Deeper River
Have you stopped listening to yourself?
What do you trust?
Can you hear the deeper river (of your life)?
Welcome to Living the Questions! This year-long series will explore sacred, mindful living.
--Zora Neale Hurston
I feel like this is a year for questions and for living and leaning into our questions. I also think this is a year for listening--to ourselves, to our hearts, to our souls, to the answers that arise from within.
This is our first audio. Feel free to reflect upon it in your own journals and/or in the private Facebook group created for this class.