Wounded Warrior

For all those times when we need to be tended.

ancient medical centre in Pergamum

ancient medical centre in Pergamum

Wounded Warrior
You are not less
powerful for your
pain.

Time, for a while to lay
down your sword
of light and awareness.
Time to rest.

Allow us to gather round
and tend to your wounds.
We will pour healing oils
upon you and stroke their warmth
into your skin, into your soul.

We will watch over you
and keep out all beings,
all thoughts that would dare
to bring you harm.

We are the Temple Healers
strengthened, imbued
by the love of HER
Be at rest, in our care
none will harm you here.

All your pain, all your distress
we will absorb and return to you
transformed into jewels of amethyst
and pure gold.

Wounded Warrior
rest now, release into our care
all that does not bring you peace
You will rise again, flooding over
with strength and power.

~Joss Burnel / She Who Walks in Beauty

If God Was a Woman

If God Was a Woman…what would SHE look like, be like, feel like? This past winter, while staying in a wee house by the English Channel, between walks on the beach to breathe in the salt air, I was glued to my keyboard and my journal: writing like a mad woman. Because the image, the reality of God being feminine, female, woman was being birthed in my heart.

I grew up in a home filled with turmoil and the one place I could go where no one shouted at me or hit me was church each Sunday. We moved often, as in every five or six months, but no matter where we moved to, there was always a church of some kind, within walking distance. So I went, I sat, I sang, I soaked in the quietness, the peace. Did I have a relationship, an awareness of God during my childhood? I don’t remember that. My teen years found me living a bit more stable life: having left home at the age of fourteen I had a bit more say in where I lived and how often I pulled up stakes. I remember one stormy night, standing outside begging God to speak to me, to fill me but that kind of ecstatic experience was not to be mine back then. I also remember watching sunlight filtering through clouds and feeling that I was standing in the presence of God; that somehow whoever had created all that is, was present still.

Through a series of events, during my teenage years, there was born in me the knowing that I would need to figure out for myself what I believed, what I knew to be true about God. Whether attending Bible College, being a pastor’s wife, reading and learning on my own, or mentoring and teaching, I was always questioning what others said or taught as truth. There were those who affirmed me as long as I walked the path of enlightenment according to their ideas, their values. There were those who turned their back on me when I said or did things that they chose not to approve of.

I have much to say about organized religion, about Biblical interpretations, about a society, particularly in North America that has presented, to us, a God who is male, dominant, masculine, overbearing and unforgiving. But today is not that day and that day may only come in dribs and drabs of moments when it seems appropriate to enter into such a discussion. My experience is that those conversations rarely lead to heart expansion and rather to discord and self-righteousness, on both sides.

“If God was a Woman
SHE would teach me
the way of kindness
and that it is always
and ever the best response
to my own self
to my world
and all those within my circle”

I know who I am. A woman whose heart, whose soul has always found God in the forest, by the sea, on the wings of a heron or the print of a bobcat. The morning dew, the brilliant sunset, the stillness of the land at sunrise, all these move within me as the energy of God. We speak of Mother Nature, of the Divine Mother, the Feminine Divine in many places and ways in today’s world and each one of these “names” resonates within me in some way.

“If God was a Woman
SHE would ask me to
move into my discomfort
and acknowledge that
knowing comes in many forms
and that being aware
involves all of my life
and who I am”

And so, these past few years, there has grown in me an awareness of God way beyond that which has been taught and presented to me, to us. A God whose qualities, whose definitions can best be expressed in the cloak of the feminine, the female, the woman aspect of creation.

Last winter, as I sat in that little house in Normandy, I discovered that at the beginning of World War II, a German archeologist uncovered, at the bottom of a well in the village, a statue of Mother Goddess which dates back to the late first century. There is a replica of the statue at the tourist bureau in town. How lovely to be in a place, surrounded by this ancient holy energy. SHE has a tremendous sense of humour and blesses us in small and huge ways like this. I was definitely in the right place to be allowing the words to flow through me that speak of God in ways we often know, deep in our heart, and yet rarely hear expressed.

Mother Goddess at St Aubin sur mer

Mother Goddess at St Aubin sur mer

 

“If God was a Woman
SHE would plant the seeds
of my longing
my wishes
deep in the fertile soil
of her love for me
SHE would tend to me
and nurture me
and SHE would see
in me
the fulfillment of her grace
and courage”

Is God a Woman – or a Man, male or female? To enter into conversation about this is to completely miss the mystery, the absolutely Divine awareness of God who is present in every place at every moment, who revels in us along with all of creation.

“If God was a Woman
SHE would show me her face
and when I learn to see
that each
is her
that each one
is held in her heart
SHE would remind me
to treat everyone
as though I was
in her presence
because I am”

 ifgodwasawoman cover

I am thrilled to announce that my book “If God Was a Woman” (sections in italics above are excerpts) will be available for purchase through Amazon as of November 1st. A deep bow of appreciation to Starfield Press for believing in me and in this project along with special mention to the beautiful Catherine Forsley who provided the art work for the cover.  I am an author, blessed beyond measure.

 

Starfield Press, over at Goodreads are running a contest for two free copies – names to be drawn before November 1st release – and if you live in North America, you can go to their page and enter your name to win. Just click here to go to contest page on Goodreads.

 

 

 

May I be like a guard…

dreamy woods 3

“May I be like a guard for those who are protectorless,
A guide for those who journey on the road.
For those who wish to go across the water,
May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.”

“Examine thus yourself from every side.
Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.
Thus it is that heroes in the bodhisattva path
Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.”

“Take advantage of this human boat;
Free yourself from sorrow’s mighty stream!
This vessel will be later hard to find.
The time that you have now, you fool, is not for sleep!”

Shantideva

Tree Spirit

There are people who cross your path and whose creativity becomes a part of your own journey. Such has been the case with the gifted artist, Jeanette Amlie.  I am the proud home of one of Jeanette’s paintings although that painting is not the subject of today’s post.

Recently Jeanette posted a new painting on Facebook and offered for me to tell “her” story.  I have sat with this image for a couple of weeks now, allowing her presence to become part of my inner world, waiting for her to reveal to me who she is.  I humbly share my words along with Jeanette’s painting here today.

tree spirit jeanette

They think they know me
those who see me, all dressed up,
in my early Spring blossoms.
They come by to smell,
to take pictures,
to oooh and ahh and pose beside me.
Standing beneath my early growth
they exclaim and are convinced
they know my purpose.

They think they know me
those who notice me
covered in Summer’s greenery
They talk about me
as though I am not even here
while climbing my branches
they take no notice
of the scratches and scars
they leave behind.
They act as though I am here
for them, only for them
and they are sure I serve
their purpose.

They think they know me
and that I am thrilled to
have them praise my beauty
during the peak of Autumn
My colours enchant them and
each year they notice whether
the reds and oranges are deeper
or lighter than the year before
and they are sure I spread out
all of my glory to please them
that my purpose here is
to bless them at each turning
of the wheel.

They think they know me
and yet they turn away from
who I truly am
My strength and endurance
are of little interest to them
the twists and turns that
the winds have wrought mean
nothing in their world
When I am bowed down by rain
when hail beats upon my door
when illness comes
they are too busy to care for me
thinking always that I am
here for them
but only when it serves their purpose.

I am this
rooted in the dark damp soil
of HER creation
I am strong and supple
and every curve
every joint tells the story
of my being here
there have been times
of quick growth when
all the elements seemed
to celebrate my being here
and there have been the
dark times of storms
that whipped about my body
and caused me to tremble
at their passing

I am this
from blossom
to leaf
to wild colour
and being bare
I am one who stands
in praise of life
who watches over
those gifted to share
my space
I have been home
to many
I have fed the soil around
me with riches
with my blood
I have joined the choir song
of life and have listened to stories
while together we
marveled at moon and stars

If you want to know me
you too must learn
to be naked before HER

~Joss Burnel / She Who Walks in Beauty

 

 

 

 

The Circle

book and feather

I have stood outside the circle
throughout my journey here.
Feeling I was different, perhaps
even unacceptable.

I have seen the circle, at times,
the women gathered around the
fire built within the stone hearth.

I have stood apart, watching,
as they held hands
I have listened to their voices
as they raised their hearts in song.

And I have walked on,
satisfied in my aloneness
too busy to allow myself to yearn.

Did I think I was unworthy?
Did I feel I didn’t need them?
That the warmth of the fire,
of the circle was not for me?

And then the women came to me,
appeared in dreams and visions,
calling me to come sit by the fire.

We are less without you,
your presence enriches us.
And so it is that I sit within the circle
being cherished and tended to.

 

~Joss Burnel / She Who Walks in Beauty

Seduced by Love

I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but sometime in the past couple of weeks my amazing friend Jacqueline and I agreed we would share, each from our space on the topic of Seduced by Love. She was to go first and did so, yesterday on her beautiful blog.  You can find her post here and be warned, Jacqueline’s writing is powerful, moving and comes straight from her passionate, sensual soul.  She set the bar high and my response to her was that “I would limbo”.

I had no idea what I would write. Seduced by love doesn’t sound like a topic you would find me writing about, does it? Or does it?  As I’ve sat with this the past couple of weeks and especially after reading Jacqueline’s beautiful post I knew what my heart wanted to say. Somehow I wanted to express the love that blooms between us and the Divine, the love that SHE has for us, the love SHE longs to bathe us in.

Over the winter months as I worked on my book “What if God Was a Woman”, I came to know God as her, to sense the feminine divine energy as one I want more of in my life, an energy I want to merge with. God, the god I know of as sacred feminine awareness has much to share with us. SHE delights in us and longs to be allowed entrance into our deepest places.

I sat outside today, bare feet on the soft green grass, the warm sun at my back and blue jays sitting in the tree nearby. I sat, I breathed, and I allowed HER to flow through and this is what SHE birthed:

???????????????????????????????

Seduced by Love

Welcome me in

SHE whispers

allow me to seduce you

into your senses

open your body

to me

welcome me in.

You think you

know me

your thoughts

lead you to me

down long

winding paths

of memory

and stories

you have heard

or read

or oft times

written

in the deep

dark night.

set your

mind aside

welcome me in

Allow me

to seduce you

feel me

coursing through

your body

the pulse at

your throat

with its steady

beat…

lay your fingers

gently there

feel the energy

the power

of blood moving

through you

feel the softness

of the skin

beneath your

fingertips

close your eyes

and know my

gentle kiss

upon your lips

my breath

upon your face

feel me

allow me

to seduce you

to sink into you

welcome me in

feel the warmth

of the sun

upon your body

as you stretch

out beneath me

the soft gentle

earth receives

your every curve

sink in

allow me to

support you

to hold your

weight in

my welcoming arms

relax into me

breathe in and out

does my scent

entice you

can you feel

the fragrance

of who I am?

allow me to

sprinkle rose petals

on your soft yielding flesh.

As each one lands and

bathes you with my scent

sink ever deeper

and deeper

into me

yield

unclench

unfold

know me

the beauty of your heart

the rise and fall

of your breasts

as you breath me in

know me

welcome me in.

Let us sit here

together

naked

sharing wine

from the same cup

from the same

mouth

taste me

know me

pass the cup

between us

sip gently

from what I offer you

it is myself

hold my

essence

within your

mouth

warm me

welcome me in

Come walk

the beach

with me

my hand in yours

the waves gently lapping

at our feet.

While gulls fly overhead

hear my cry

within your heart

allow my hand

in yours to anchor you

at my side

while we run together

feel the moist air upon

your skin

my pulse rising

with yours

as our hearts

beat faster

faster

faster

fall into my arms

while we catch

our breath

hold me

close

welcome me in

Walk into the

waves with me

at your side

feel the cool silk

of the ocean

as she moves up your body

laps gently

at the apex of your thighs

allow the wet pressure

to surround you

to fill you

and move within you

there

right there

is the beat

the center of creation

oh – feel me

move with me

welcome me in.

allow me

to rinse the

salt and sand

off your trembling body.

let the cool

cloth I hold

be a blessing

as it moves over your

shoulders and down your arms

lean on me

as my hands

my breath

my love

washes away

all that would

have you tighten up

yes – breathe

breathe in my breath

feel me glowing

within your heart

your lungs

let all that

I am

be all of you

as together

we sink down

upon cool clean sheets

your head upon

my shoulder

your hand upon

my hip

as quietly

gently we

drift off to sleep

together

each

seduced by love.

~Joss Burnel / She Who Walks in Beauty