Nature, Poetry

Meeting Resistance

Tree limbs reach over the fence,
swaying, beckoning,
asking why I’m over here
on the other side
of a man-made barrier.

Not woman-made.

A woman
would not make
a defense
against
all that is natural
and wild.
She sees herself
in the tangled vines
and gnarled roots—
meeting resistance,
growing around it
anyway.

The trees lean,
stretch,
ask me to step over the line
into their dark, umbrous world.

Come home, they sigh.
Come home.

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved.

Goddess, Poetry

Cauldron of Cerridwen

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“Cerridwen” from Fées et Déesses, by Erlé Ferronnière

I am at ease in your velvety darkness
that covers and heals me
in places the light cannot reach,
because I am much too weary now
for all that blinding brightness.

Under the supple, lustrous rays of the moon,
I stare into the swirling black void
of the cauldron that you stir and stir,
seeing the eons pass behind and before me,
giving myself, once again,
to your magick of transformation.

I have died so many times,
so many lives, so many selves,
eternally decaying and rebirthing,
as the never-ending spiral
pulls inward and spins outward.

What shall we create this time, Dark Mother?
What shall bubble up from the detritus?

I hold nothing back from you,
White Sow, Shape-shifter,
Keeper of Knowledge and Inspiration.
All that I am is yours,
as it ever has been
and ever shall be.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved.

Nature, Poetry, Seasons

Gaia and the North Wind

Adirondack Mountains, Photo Credit: Stacy Mojica

How can we not be moved by the changing seasons? I’m sharing a lovely, inspiring poem from a friend and guest poet, who is enjoying the fall foliage of upstate New York.

The Engagement of Gaia and the North Wind by a Maple Tree

by Stacy Mojica

Dawn awakens the world with a now muted glow,
announcing an alliance made in nocturnal repose
between Mother Earth and the North Wind who doth blow.
Half frozen dew coats her fingers and toes.
She knows how this is going to go.
So she blushes.
Scarlet red, orange, and gold.
Frost will be her petticoat.
Her gown will be snow.

Her marriage will be a magnificent affair
with gold ribbons dancing
through crisp, chilly air,
and a pulse keeping up the tempo of Fall
with the drop-drop of acorns
and a goose’s farewell call.

It’s a time to prepare
a time to wind down
a time for hickory nuts to be found
brought as wedding gifts, offerings to her knees
hid in the ground with the burrows of bees.

Some will be forgotten
and grow into trees.

She readies.
She drapes
her autumnal cloak
upon the glittering hills.
Shedding every vestige
of the year her mem’ry fills
with color and with life that’s always there
hidden ‘neath a green campaign of Summer’s gentle care.

Like Persephone she chose
to descend into the heart
but this isn’t the end-
it’s the start.

Like a curtain the white blanket falls upon her now.
Bare and dormant in the nuptial bed,
does she fear what lies ahead?

The energy of autumn surrenders to the cold.
Today a beauty to behold;
Tomorrow gone, its story told.

 

Goddess, Nature, Poetry, Sabbats

Invitation to the Wild Man

 

I have written quite a bit on the Wild Woman, as many of us are reclaiming our wildness in the truest definition of the word: living in a state of nature; not tamed or domesticated. Now that we are on the astrological date of Beltane, my thoughts turned more toward Wild Woman’s counterpart, the Wild Man. I felt that if she were extending an invitation for revelry and ecstasy on this ancient festival of flames and fertility, it might go something like this…

I want all of your wildness,
your gritty, earthy rawness,
your unleashed primal howl.

I want the sharp, muskiness of your sweat,
the sweetness of honey wine on your lips,
the smell of forest and loam in your unkempt hair.

I want the roughness of your sundrenched skin,
the sound of your heart like a ritual drum,
the heat of your body like a blazing torch.

I want the dark, unexplored depths of your eyes,
the hard sinuous muscle encasing your bones,
the blood rushing through every vein and artery.

I want all of your wildness,
your gritty, earthy rawness,
your unleashed primal howl.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved. 

Goddess, Nature, Poetry

Descent to the Underworld

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Little did I know that moving to Savannah five years ago would be like Persephone’s descent into the Underworld. It’s a path I believe she chose, rather than being snatched unwilling into that cavernous void. She wanted to learn about herself, and there was only one way to accomplish that task. She had to face her fears and integrate her shadow self in a place that was far from everything and everyone she knew. Although she left Demeter’s side as an innocent girl, she returned as a powerful queen in her own right. I relate to her journey, and I’m beginning to understand why that is so.

Ted Andrews, author of Animal Speak, says that landscapes have their own symbology and that marshlands in particular represent emotional stages of life, decomposition and new growth. Take a look around the Lowcountry, and you will see miles of tidal salt marshes. Almost a third of the Atlantic’s marshes are right here in Georgia’s lower coastal plain.

So there is a lot of breaking down and rebuilding that happens here, both in the environment and in people’s lives. I have spoken with many transplants, and they all confirmed that something about this place filters out whatever isn’t needed, just like a saltwater marsh. The process can be painful, since we humans are masters at resisting change. It’s also illuminating, humbling, and mysterious. Savannah works on you like no place else. I’ve had my deepest heartbreaks here, right along with my most profound breakthroughs and creative inspirations. I don’t know if the swamp is quite through with me yet, but I’ve reached a point where I can appreciate what she teaches.

This is my poetic tribute to a place that has mystified me, changed me, shaped me, and in a strange way…loved me more than any other.

I place my coin firmly in Charon’s icy hand
and pull my cloak about me,
as he ferries me deep into the heart of the Lowcountry.

The sucking black mud on the riverbank threatens to swallow me whole.
An alligator smiles and disappears into coffee-colored water.
Marsh grasses whisper and sigh,
as the boat drifts silently through a cypress maze.

A host of restless spirits wanders about
with their tragic stories and plots left unresolved.
You don’t belong here, child. This is a land of secrets.

Ah, but it’s too late, I tell them. I have eaten the pomegranate seed.

I fall hard and fast for live oaks and Spanish moss,
changing tides and driftwood beaches,
decaying cemeteries and a history steeped in blood.

It is deliciously dark and seductive,
this Scorpionic underworld
that lies so very still beneath the antebellum façade.
When the swamp is through with you, my pretty,
you won’t ever be the same.

I laugh as we glide past the relics of my youth,
faded images of a girl I used to be,
rusting trophies and shredded ribbons.
I don’t want to be the same.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved. 

Empowerment, Goddess, Healing, Poetry

The Art of Receptivity

 

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“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Oh, you learned that verse too well, my sister.

That’s what they expect, after all.

Be a nurturer, a supporter, a giver.

It’s your holy calling. It’s what women do.

Give until your creative well is empty,
until your back is broken,
until you are crawling on your hands and knees,
eating dust from a trail
that someone blazed before you.

Go ahead.

Lick some more of that dust, dearest one,
until it chokes the music and the poetry right out of you.

No one taught you how to receive, of course.

Why would they?

You are so tame now,
so much easier to control
when you’re half-starved
and bleeding from wounds
that never heal.

Receiving…yes…that dirty little word,
that unblessed state of being,
on the opposite shore from giving
where they don’t want you to be.

Get in the boat,
take the oars,
go anyway.

It is lush and wanton there,
where the Wild Woman lives in the trees,
feasting on mangoes
with sweet succulence dribbling down her chin.

It is velvety and halcyonic there,
where the Wild Woman lies naked in the sand,
as the foamy waves kiss her feet
and the stars become jewels in her crown.

How do you receive?

Through eyes that see the resplendent beauty of the world
or through filters that render it all in sepia and gray?
Through a mouth that tastes the pungency of life
or one that craves insipidness?
Through a heart that beats with joy
or one that hardly beats at all?
Through a stomach that fuels your sacred calling
or one that rejects vitality?
Through a yoni that glistens as a gateway to the cosmos
or one that has fallen asleep?

Listen, my sister, and I shall write you a new verse.

It is blessed to give, and it is blessed to receive.

It is time you learned how.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved. 

Empowerment, Goddess, Nature, Poetry

Veneration of the Wild Witch

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There are two witches living inside of me…one wild, one tame.

I won’t deny that I love the wild one most—

she who resists order and structure,
she who prefers the loamy smell of woodlands and the sand of untrodden shores,
she who calls the lightning bolt down to shatter the tower,
she who gives not a single flying fuck about your opinions.

The wild witch knew magic long before it was sifted down and spread categorically into the pages of dusty books and grimoires. She knew it well before the Golden Dawn, before Gardner, before Cunningham, before replicated lists and correspondence tables. She knew the Goddess before they gave her names and the Horned Hunter before they demonized him.

The wild witch walked in the forest, lifted her hands to the sky and felt the radiance of the noonday sun pulsing through her veins. She pulled the power of rocks and soil and gnarly roots up through her bare feet into the core of her being, renewing her connection to the Earth Mother. She waded into the stream, and the water swirling about her calves and thighs was her very first lover.

The trees spoke to her in every season, bearing the changes of growth and dormancy in equal measure; so she learned to do the same, dropping her leaves like the oak in autumn…blooming like the hawthorn in spring. The flowers and herbs beckoned to her, revealing all of their secrets one by one, and they became her strongest allies. Rosemary grew tall and strong at her door. Artemisia graced the entry to her garden. Primrose danced between the stones of her walkway.

The wild witch attended the university of the winged ones, the four-leggeds, and the creepy crawlies. Lessons arrived daily. She listened to the hawk’s piercing cry and reveled in the raucous laughter of crows…caught a glimpse of the elusive fox and the owl’s golden eyes at dusk…watched the shy, gentle deer and the steely serpent shedding its skin.

The moon waxes and wanes, and so does the wild witch.

The cycle of

intentions

expansions

culminations

reflections

releasings

replays over and over again with the ebb and flow of Luna.

Her world is fearless inspiration…blood and fire of creation…bitter ashes of death and destruction.

She recoils from domestication.

Don’t try to “save” her, please. You will find her in the deepest of caves, drawing portraits of her yoni on the walls with red ochre.

The wild witch loves as only feral beings can love…completely but without attachment, deeply but without anchors.

There are two witches living inside of me…one wild, one tame…and how fiercely I love the wild one.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved. 

Goddess, Healing, Poetry

A Poem for the Priestess in Service

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I’ve spent the past several weeks thinking about all the women in my circle who are in the midst of deep healing work, women who are called to be the priestesses of a new age. This poem is for you, all of you, who are feeling this energy right now and answering that call to service. Every step you take on the path to integration and wholeness is a step forward for humanity. Don’t give up. Much love and support to you all, as we move closer to the illumination of Solstice. Blessed Be

Now You Know

No one told you of Her sacredness,
of Her exquisite beauty,
of the primordial power She embodies,
did they?

So much strength
couched within layers of softness—
and yet, that wild, feral, earthiness
was never celebrated,
never honored by anyone—
not by mothers or fathers,
not by lovers or friends,
not by tribe or nation.

How could you have known?
How could you have recognized
the Goddess
in something so reviled,
so mocked,
so abused,
so denigrated?

How could you have felt Her stirring
within the wells and caverns of your soul?

How could you have heard
those subtle whispers,
urging you to WAKE UP,
to know yourself,
to claim that most holy birthright
as Her priestess?

Listen now, Wild Woman,
daughter of the crescent moon,
dancer among the radiant stars,
because the world needs you.

Yes, you.

It needs your light and your wisdom,
your healing hands and your open heart.
It needs your truth and your mercy,
your dignity and your grace.

Heal those torn, bleeding places inside of you;
then help your sisters do the same.
Let the tiniest spark within you
become a blazing torch
that lights the way for peace.

You can do this.
You were born to do this.

And now you know.

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer R. Miller. All rights reserved.