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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Tag: Poetry

The Belfire burns hot...

Katie Gordon

Can you feel the fire building, dear Wild One? The Sun + Moon have both entered Aries, the first fire sign of the year, and it's revealing new aspects of our Selves we either haven't seen before, or have long since been forgotten. The element of Fire is that which burns away the "impurities', the old patterns, identities, and stories which no longer serve this new version of ourselves that was birthed at the Spring Equinox. 

image from Pinterest

image from Pinterest

In the last month I've been in transition. Not only in physical transition (I've now moved twice), but even more profoundly, transitions in relation to relating. Who I choose to be relating to and how. How I relate to myself. How I actively choose to speak and love. I've been choosing out of living and relating situations that aren't in alignment anymore. Yes, transition is scary. AND it's often where we discover our hidden power. We discover facets of ourselves, beautiful, mysterious + brilliant, that we'd never known before. And we learn to fall in love. We learn about the sacred marriage within each of us that joins our own masculine and feminine and reveals our wholeness. 

art by Susan Seddon Boulet

art by Susan Seddon Boulet

At it's core, Beltane is about unity and how fire, in its myriad manifestations, burns away (often not so gently) the stuff that keeps us from union/communion with our Selves. I've been sinking into my soft, powerful, vulnerable, open heart to more deeply honor the sacred inner marriage contained within her, and this Beltane Wild Medicine Bundle is an invitation for you to do the same. Hawthorn, Elder, and Vanilla teach us about the relationship between heart, our inner fire, and the process of stepping further into our own light.*

A friend sent me this poem the other day, and it seems appropriate for this time of fiery transformation.

Bones and Flowers

There is something
flowing inside of you,
growing, rooting from your bones.

I know you do not know what it is.
Neither do I,
but I know there is something there

It is fucking beautiful.
It does not leave you alone.
It follows you, trailing
behind you like a comet.

Burning and stretching.
Lighting the sky, haunting it.

I can see you in the darkness.
I can see it moving.

No matter how far you go.
It is there.

Do not fear the things inside you, my love.

It is beyond the dirt.

Bloom like the flower
you were born to be.
- Robert M. Drake


From my Wild Heart to Yours,
Katie

*While available to purchase until April 20, it will sell out, so I suggest getting it sooner rather than later.

Paws

Katie Gordon

I've been craving the wild, deep forest.
Past the edge,
the point where you question continuing on.
The point when you begin to feel deeply the beat of your heart...
in rhythm with your feet.
Your feet turn to paws.
Ears prick up.
The outer sensory layer of your body softens to take. in. everything.
Through the threshold of maybe, potentially turning back.
Deeper and deeper until you are safe once again because you are at home.
At center.
At core.
And you find your howl once again.
Your body hasn't forgotten how to move, run, hunt.
You just had to re-member. To come back home.
Return.

On Nourishment + Creative Inspiration (plus a skin care recipe!)

Katie Gordon

I made it to Oregon! I'm getting settled in and loving the Pacific Northwest. I knew being in a new environment like this would have a huge impact on my physical & mental health. Already my body feels different, my hair feels different, my sleep is noticeably better, and I'm allowing myself time to process, shift, and integrate.

The thing I noticed immediately was...I'm exhausted. When you spend so long burning the candle at both ends and surrounding yourself with stimulants (caffeine, people, noise, traffic, Netflix binges, a general addiction to busy-ness) and not nourishing yourself properly (with sleep, tonifying foods, time in nature) you don't even realize how tired you are. Slowly I was losing my creative fire because my nervous system was so depleted, running purely on coffee and external stimuli.

So many of us live with that as our reality. We don't think it can be any other way. But it can. And on my first full day here that I spent on my own, all I wanted to do was sleep, read, make tea, and sit. It was strange (yet comfortable) how quiet it was, and even though I kept feeling like I should be doing something or listening to something or watching something, I tried to let that go and just feel what it was like to be quiet. My nervous system took a huge sigh of relief and layers of tension dropped away.

I'm still integrating, but it's amazing how quickly that creative spark comes back. And how much energy is bound up in our bodies in the form of tension, pain, and stagnation. I'm really excited to test new recipes, research, write, blog, and fully dive into Wild Grace! Expect lots of new content and products in the shop...soon. For now, a poem because I'm feeling inspired by all things sea-related & a recipe for a facial mask (or masque if you want to be fancy)...

"Gather a shell from the strewn beach And listen at its lips: they sigh The same desire and mystery, The echo of the whole sea's speech. And all mankind is thus at heart Not anything but what thou art: And Earth, Sea, Man, are all in each. ~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Sea Limits

For this mask/masque I chose ingredients that most people will either have on hand or can find easily in a health food store or even grow in your garden.

Clay + Chamomile Facial Mask

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mason jar, add your essential oils, cap the jar, and shake well. When you're ready to use it, mix 2 teaspoons of the mask with 2 teaspoons of water. You can also use herbal tea (cooled off), milk, or yogurt. Apply to your skin and let it dry. Rinse with warm water and a washcloth and follow with a moisturizer.

Enjoy your potion-crafting!

I have gone a'bone gathering...

Katie Gordon

Dearest souls, I wanted to share a poem with you this week that echoes my own journey, and I imagine the one I share with many of you as well. Especially, the past few weeks, I've been coming back to it a lot as a sort of anthem. If you find Shiloh Sophia's work as inspiring as I do, please check out her website.

Bone Gathering

Returning to one’s self after a long voyage into the desert is the work all beings must do one day. The day will come when the absence of the missing bones and the pieces of your heart that you left on the highway to die after too many mornings waking up alone, in body or spirit or both, will require you to return. For this sacred work, a map for returning will be provided, so you can find the missing persons reports. This map is not in a language you will understand. Are you surprised? With each stop on the quest there may be a sitting-down-hard head-in-hands-wondering-why and even despair you thought you had gone beyond. Grief and wonder are the companions you will find because they are also the way through the hard to see places. Give in to them. You will be okay. I wish I could say it could be easier than this. Hiding, cutting, dismembering ourselves wasn’t so easy, was it? We did it to survive, we thought, and we wrapped up the bloodied limbs and continued on, almost soldier-like in our sacrifice of ourselves. Never mind the blood-loss of not being ourselves. Never mind not even knowing what song belongs to our mouth and what movement our body loves the most. How did we go on this way? All that is done now. No more, we say, and that is how we found ourselves here. This excavation requires specialized tools, if it didn’t bone gathering would have started long before now. Yes I know you have already started. I can see that in your tender eyes. Don’t worry, yes it is scary at first. The tools are intact for excavation and user friendly, you will find they fit your palm just so. The stranger within you knows how to use each one. She was the one yelling at you before, to listen listen listen inside the soul cave, but now that you have listened to her, she will be the one to help you see in the dark. This is the one we call the Muse. Visionary bones are made of stardust and glow in the darkness. Come. You will find them. You have to. I need you to. We need you to find them. I have gone a’ bone gathering and I found this poem here in the wet earth and brought it to you. Dust off the mud and muck and you find words dry enough to light your spark.

-Shiloh Sophia

My War of Art

Katie Gordon

colorsWhen I was young, aside from wanting to be an herbalist and "good witch", I also wanted to be an artist.  My 4th grade class took a field trip one day to an artist's studio and from that day forward I decided that when I grew up I needed to have my own creative "workshop" where I could make art AND potions. As I got older, my ego voice showed up in my head to tell me there was no way I could make a living as an artist.  There were only a select few who could support themselves making art of any kind and I'd probably have to go to art school if I wanted to be any good.  Who was I to think I could spend time and money on something like that??  I should just go to college and major in something useful (BTW, I majored in medieval history).

Fast forward to present day...

In a moment of clarity a couple weeks ago, I had a vision of what I want my life to look like and it dawned on me that I need to be making art.  I feel most grounded, at peace, and in my flow when I'm in my right brain, watching as colors and lines take shape on paper, writing poetry, or even fumbling through chords on a guitar.  My ego wants me to be good at everything before even trying it.  That voice doesn't give me the space to play, experiment, try and fail and try again.  It doesn't allow me to be a beginner, to mess up.

So I've created a new practice for myself.  Every other day I schedule time in my calendar for creating.  I give myself permission to play.  It can be music, painting, poetry, drawing, writing, making vision boards, etc., fully acknowledging that it may not look or sound good at first and that's part of my process.  I'm allowing myself the space to fail.  During this time I can set aside my ego and give myself over to my inner guide, listening to what my HEART wants to be doing right now in this moment.

It's just been a few days but here's what I've noticed so far:

  • I feel more grounded in the moment AND in my body
  • My self-critical ego voice has quieted down
  • In other aspects of my life I'm gentler with myself
  • I approach other tasks with more creativity and mindfulness
  • I actually get more done!!

SO - here is my call to action for you...

Schedule creativity time for yourself.  Write it in your calendar and commit to this practice.  Start with just an hour a week and then gradually give yourself more time.  Give yourself space to mess up.  Notice what starts to shift in other areas of your life.  I hear so many people say they're not creative, but it's because we don't generally give ourselves the time and space to tap into our inner creativity, our own intuitive, artistic brain.  Stop thinking and start doing.  Give your heart a chance to speak to you and really listen to what he or she needs from you today.  Let this be an experiment to just play with your time and let yourself have fun doing it!  I'd love to hear your feedback, ideas, and experiences with this, so please leave comments below or visit my FB page!

So much love to you all! ~ Katie

A Prayer in Spring

Katie Gordon

It's finally starting to feel like spring!  It's been raining for the last few days (with a little snow mixed in), but it feels softer, the air is wetter and it feels easier to breathe.  It makes me want to sit outside under a big tree and just listen to the rain dripping on the leaves.  My body is starting to loosen up and my mind even feels like a block has been lifted.  I love the spring.  It feels so full of possibilities and light.  This year I especially have a sense of renewal.  If I think too hard about what specifically will come about, it slips from my grasp, but if I let it rest, like a bubble, hovering just out of my reach, I can still get a sense of peace from the promises it holds.  I know if I let this new life and potential unfold on it's own time, without the urgency and rush that exists in the rest of the world, wonderful things can come of it.  It reminds me of a poem by Robert Frost, "A Prayer In Spring":

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love, The which it is reserved for God above To sanctify to what far ends He will, But which it only needs that we fulfill.

I love this poem because it reminds me to enjoy the present, to stop and appreciate each moment for the life it holds.  The simple pleasures in life, the feeling of wet grass under bare feet, falling asleep to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the roof, the silence of snowfall, always seem to bring a sense of calm, peace, and clarity.  What are some of the small things that make you smile to yourself?  Once you start thinking of them, you'll notice more and more things in your day-to-day life that you appreciate. 

In a culture that values constant striving for perfection, the natural world brings balance because it reminds us that life will go on at its own pace no matter what we do, and there are forces greater than ourselves at work.  We don't know what will happen in the future, or the "uncertain harvest," all we can worry about is "the flowers to-day," what we know at this moment, and take pleasure in that.