Blogging: Where I go when I am off in my writer world – geographically this fictional place is north of Spokane. The goddess songs are not fictional. How do I make that work?
From CH 15, Blessed by Silliness
“The earth is our mother, we must take care of her…” The drumbeat chant rose, as if from the land itself. Across the property, other pagan chants rose, sacred but familiar, swarming chiming rhythms that occasionally broke into the singular notes of individual women’s shouts and laughter. Some of the words, tunes, and rhythms were created by Starhawk, Z. Budapest, or Lisa Thiel; others came from tribes of unknown women from unknown times. Ultimately, they belonged to the Goddess, and the goddess voices of this gathering.
The five acres of sprouting grassland held hundreds of women communing among three large teepees and two banquet tents. Across the greening pasture, another gate adorned the edge of the forest into which the creek ran away. There, according to Sylvia, was the entrance to the hot springs.
“She changes everything she touches, and everything she touches, changes…”
The first change, for Nessa and Sylvia, was the shedding of their unbeautiful clothing. Not far from the forest’s edge, they came upon a yurt dressed in a WELCOME banner. The round shelter served as First-Aid station, dressing room, and organizational hub for the gathering. On its cedar deck, half a dozen women sat in the sunshine, grooming one another. Lotions and flowers, warmth and beauty, smiles and laughter. They joined into this braid of female energy.
Secondary signage pointed them indoors to the “Clothing Exchange,” several tables piled high in colorful scarves, skirts, and tops of all styles, from tank tops to fisher-people sweaters. Utilitarian socks, undergarments, and legged clothing were in the heap as well. Behind a curtain, leaning on Nessa, Sylvia donned a lacy purple robe over a royal blue T-shirt and paisley cotton harem pants. Orph waited on the warm deck, safe in this all-woman world.
Nessa found a well-loved pale blue jersey tank-top dress. She was trying on shawls and scarves when a Native American woman tapped her on the shoulder, introducing herself as “Kerri,” the hearthkeeper of this welcome hut. “The official opening circle is at noon today.”
For an hour, the mass of women prayed and praised the heavens. The Sun was given special thanks, as sweaters and shawls were peeled away. Earth, water, fire, air. Taking care, taking care. The circle within the circle. Earth, sun, moon, turning, returning… Mother Earth, we love you. Mother Earth, you hold us. We pray to you, pray to you…
Earth my body, water my blood, wind my breath, and fire my spirit. Nessa knew this Starhawk chant, and many of the others. The repeating sounds vibrated, bringing the wavelengths in the women’s brains into resonance with the tones of musical prayer. Consciousness shifted, rising to peace, love, and the Be Here Now-ness of it all.
Special blessings were invoked. Two of the youngest women, maids in giggles, came forward to be touched by fingers red with jam, symbolizing the onset of their menses. Pregnant women presented big bellies to be stroked and whispered to. The elders were recognized, introduced to the circle, blessed for their wisdom.