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Stone Bear July 26, 2018

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Story Tellings.
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Did I ever tell you the story about the time I met the stone bear? It happened countless lifetimes ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was on the hill where the old stone circle ruins now stand. Back then, the circle had not been constructed yet, and wouldn’t be for many generations, and the hill was higher, less rounded by time. The surface was covered with dark, jagged rocks and stiff, course grass; it was not the gentle, comfortable place it is now. On one side of the hill there was a very small cave, which was well hidden and said to be unendingly deep. In fact, the ooooold stories said that one could see the other side of the universe from the mouth of that cave. Of course, no one in my lifetime, then … or now, really, had ever seen such a vision, but I decided that I must do just that.

So, one morning in mid-summer, I woke before all the others and crept away from our encampment. We were nomadic, then, remember, but we would be in this place for some time yet, at least another turning of the moon, for food was plentiful and we could fill our bellies and put on necessary fat stores for winter. Though morning had just dawned, the stars still shone overhead as I made my way… they were much closer and brighter back then … and the spiky grass was damp with dew beneath my feet. I knew how to creep as silently as an owl moves in flight, and I am sure I disrupted no living creature’s rest, nor drew the attention of any of the nocturnal predators returning to their lairs with whom we shared the brightening landscape. I had just reached the path that led up the hill, where the cave and its mysteries lay silent and hidden, when I saw the stone bear.

He snuffled in front of me on the path, moving and breathing like any other living creature, but it was obvious his great hulk of a body was created entirely of stone. Even for the time it was back then, so close to the dawn of humanity, as we call it now, I knew that it was not usual for stone objects to move and breathe thus. This was obviously no carven object, such as the mage’s made, but a living creature made of stone.

I followed the creature, fascinated, and it seemed that, a time or two, it turned its great stone head to see if I was still following, as if it expected me to do just that. I seemed now to be captured by its hard, earthen energy, and felt that even if I were compelled to do so … and I was not … I could not have left the beast’s influence.

Of course the stone bear led me directly to the cave, which, from my vantage point a few steps back along the path, appeared gaping and dark, an abyss into which one might be swallowed whole and alive, to live out one’s allotted time in abysmal nothingness. But the stories promised something greater, a wide expanse of universe that would make the magic and majesty of the star-filled sky over my head seem ordinary, mundane. So I stepped closer to the bear, wanting the promise it seemed to offer.

“You must leave them behind,” I thought I heard the bear whisper when I found I could get no closer. There seemed an invisible field of force about the creature that repelled me, not in the sickening way, but in the true physical sense of the word. I simply could not come closer, no matter that I tried.

“You must leave your most precious thoughts, your fears and inhibitions, your expectations and disappointments, all of them. Leave them here. The others will not find them. Strangers will pass by without noticing them. The treasures of the mind are such that they cannot be recognized once abandoned by the thinker. Even you, upon your return, will not be able to pick them up again, not as they are now.” All of this the bear said without words, but I heard the message nonetheless and vow that this is a true telling.

Be this a curse or a gift? I wondered, and got no answer, and so I came to see that it was neither, but rather a choice that hung on the balance point of my desire. For good or ill, if I wished to see the wonders of the cave, all must be left behind, and the leaving must be understood to be undoable.

The great bear turned away and moved toward the dark entrance of the cave as if certain of my decision.

 

 

© 2018 Linda Maree

Please include attribution when sharing. Thank you!

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The Hive of HERstory: Chalice of Fire October 3, 2015

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Workshops.
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LogoThe Hive of HERstory: Chalice of Fire

Intuitive collage workshop for women

Saturday, October 17

She has been gone a long time. But one day she finds her way back, back to the sacred grove and the Great Grandmother Tree. She had spent a lot of time here as a young girl, creating magick and allowing her imagination to run free. She remembers the last time she was here, remembers leaving the cup. She closes her eyes and sees it clearly, a beautiful silver chalice, sitting on an ancient tree stump, and when she opens them, there it is, right where she left it. She reaches for it and it bursts into flames, engulfing her in the fire of creativity, reigniting the magick . . .

Come join us as we use the intuitive collage process and simple writing prompts to make our way back to the sacred grove of imagination where our own Chalice of Fire still burns.

Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota

Saturday, October 17, from 2:00-5:00PM

Open Pricing *   Please pay as generously and joyfully as possible, according to your means.

Advance registration is required.  Let me know if you can attend.

The Hive of HERstory: Women BEEing Wimyn January 3, 2015

Posted by wimynspeak in General, Workshops.
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logoThe Hive of HERstory: Women BEEing Wimyn

Intuitive collage workshop for women, Saturday, January 17, 2015

She is hidden in the depths of the shadow in the dark forgotten hive, where the long-stilled voices of generations of sisters awaken and call to her. “Dig deeper,” they say, “and remember!” She does, her vulnerability baring her heart to the sweet bee medicine of sistership: Women BEEing Wimyn in the cosmic cycle of HERstory. Silent until now, she stands at the edge of the dark, finds her voice, and speaks . . .

Come join us in the hive as we use the intuitive collage process, along with simple creative writing prompts, to connect to our own powerful ancestral wimyn-voices.

Open Pricing * Please pay generously according to your means.

Advance registration is required. Let me know if you can join us!

Date/Time: Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 2:00-5:00PM

Location: Rosemary Court Yoga Studio, 810 Central Avenue, Sarasota, FL

Library Dream December 16, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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(From a six-word prompt: armadillo, cougar, letter, library, splatter, temple)

Library Dream

I sit on the back of an ancient armadillo, who is carrying me to the library. She deposits me at the bottom of the concrete steps saying “This is as far as I go.” I slide off her back and climb the stairs, which grow steeper with every step I take. When I finally reach the top, I turn and look back. The old armadillo is no more than a tiny speck, moving slowly in the direction from which we just came. Turning, I enter the library.

At the desk is a wrinkled woman with wild grey hair and a splatter of glitter on her cheeks. There is a cougar sitting at her feet with an envelope clenched in its jaws. “The letter is for you,” the old lady says. “We’ve been waiting for you.” I reach for the envelope but the cougar snaps at my hand without letting go the letter. “Oh you can’t get it that way,” the woman says, brushing a wisp of grey wildness from her face and getting glitter on her fingers. “Come with me.”

I follow her through row after row of books stacked high on shelves all the way to the ceiling, creating great caverns. At the end of the last row we enter a room that looks like a temple, with lighted candles dripping beeswax on the floor and spicy incense filling the room with pungent aromatic smoke. The cougar is there waiting for us, sitting quietly, the letter still clamped tight in its mouth.

Ah, so this is how it is, I think. Understanding that which cannot be understood, I place my hands together, fingertips pointing upwards, in prayer position, in front of my heart, and bow low to the cougar, imbuing the move with all the respect and dignity I can muster. The cougar drops the letter at my feet, bows in return, and disappears as I pick up the letter from the floor.

The old woman smiles.

The Lake Where the Black Swans Swim December 7, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General, The Hive.
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The names of the ancestors have been lost in the ethers of time, but the blood scent of these women still calls us to cross thresholds and gather in circles, holding hands, raising our voices in boisterous song, dancing to the music of the stars. Women who make lists, follow rules, and set daily goals to be ticked off as completed sometimes find our gatherings to be too loose, too ethereal  . . . at first. But when we finally cross the lake where the black swans swim, taking the Bridge of Light to the isle hidden by the fog of what is called by those who have no sense of its meaning: Truth, always, always, those who leave their shoes and their heavy limiting goals on the shore (where the black swans feast on the discards) step on to the island barefoot and, hand-in-hand, find themselves ready to dance in joy with the rest of us. Once the decision is made, I have never known the transformation to fail and have learned in this way that the only truth worth hanging on to is the belief in magic.

Calling the Teacher April 30, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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When the wolf bones are arranged just so, we are told, on just the right night, at precisely the right time, it is said that the teacher will appear. No one living today has seen the teacher, and I am hoping to be one of the first. Legend says she is both kind and awful, beautiful and hideous, the giver of life and its merciless taker. The ritual for calling her has been passed down — the setting of the circle and the correct arrangement of the bones — but until now, no one could recall the other necessary details: the right night, the right time, the right words for her calling. In a world such as this, I think for one dissentient moment, that values wealth and individual gain at the expense of others, perhaps there is no right night, right time. Perhaps the words have been dissolved and we have been abandoned.

The ancient fathers knew better, we are told, knew to leave this holy communion to the women, the sisters and daughters of Gaia. But the men somehow forgot their own sacred role, and the women’s belief in magick began to fade. And so the world was altered and the secret was left behind to lie dormant in the shadowy vault of irrelevance, where it has remained a misty, ephemeral memory with no more substance than a dream.  Until now . . .

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