Prayer-Book Making, And Update

First, the Update …

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Here’s a brief update on other writing I’ve been doing.

I’m finishing a draft of a children’s fantasy novel called Because Of The Red Fox, and am posting chapters of this work-in-progress on my kids blog, FoxTales. Characters from the book speak about what’s happening in the novel, as well as comment on the goings-on in their lives on an island called Yonder. I invite you to check it, and share it with the kids in your life!

My website Wise Child Learning is devoted to herbal learning and nature’s magic adventures for kids of all ages. I’m posting about plants, my own herbal adventures, sharing herbs and nature with kids, and more on the blog there. If you’re at all interested, check that out too!

… And now, Prayer- Book Making:

Another project that’s up are Prayer-Book Making  workshops that I am presenting with book making artist Julie Shannon.

As part of that project, I’ve decided to dive into an experiment in prayer-book making, which I’ve begun right on this blog.   Prayer-book making can look and feel like anything with which you might experiment with creatively, from your heart.  It is an expression of your journey with the Sacred, and how that looks and feels in your life.  Really, (I’ll repeat!) that can be expressed in anyway you like–as a scrapbook, a journal, a collection of quotes, photos of loved ones, some mix of all of those or none of them!

In upcoming posts I’ll share some past prayer-books I’ve created, and glimpses of prayer-books that speak to me.  But today I’ll just start by inviting you to view my new prayer-book, a web-prayer-book,which I’m calling Jane’s Book Of Deer.

Please don’t think that this web-book is any kind of expression of “how” one should create a prayer-book! It absolutely isn’t. But what I hope it does is invite you to view your life, your imagination, your heart,  through the lens of the Sacred–something more than yourself, however you experience that more/beyond/forever-deepening.

I invite you to step into your conversation with the miracle of existence, and begin crafting your own prayer-book, a whirl of that magic, in whatever form flows from your being. A garden can be a prayer-book. So can a dance. Our lives are prayer-books. How do we celebrate and honor this conversation with the Divine, the Universe, the beyond-ourselves that lies within and around us and includes us? Let your prayer-book be that  curious wandering and wondering!

Prayer Book - art by Jane Valencia (c) 2003

Celebrating Our Spirit Fire: BrightMoon

The moon is at perigee  right now — at its closest to the sun for the year— and so, being a full moon, is at its brightest.   Here in the northern hemisphere we are also at the first cross-quarter of the year, midway in the cycle of the year between the Winter Solstice (longest night, shortest day) and the Spring Equinox (day and night of equal length).

This luminous time of year is celebrated variously as the Celtic festival of Imbolc,  St. Brigid’s Day, or as the Catholic Candlemas or Feast Of The Purification of The Virgin — honoring Mary’s ritual purification after birthing the baby Jesus (celebrated at the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary), and also the Feast Of The Presentation Of Jesus At The Temple.

As an agrarian festival, Imbolc marked the beginning of spring by the lactation of the ewes.  St. Brigid/the Goddess Brighid herself is associated with midwifery, as well as the hearthfire, poetic inspiration, smithcraft, healing, and more.  There’s much lore surrounding all these festivals, and I invite you to explore some of it by following the links.

As I gaze at the BrightMoon rising and engage with that feeling of newest beginnings quickening in the ground of my life I feel a sense of fragility, possibility, and grace.  That the Lady herself (Mary, the Goddess, the Moon, illumination …)  however you understand this warm, pure presence is offering blessing and beautiful promise to all of us, even if the times may still be dark, the buds just beginning to nudge forth, the trees bare.  Mystery lies at this time of year, but also the stirrings of excitement regarding how we will be moving forward in the year.

  • What hopes and wishes are stirring in the rich loam of your heart right now?
  • What inspiration flickers or burns with steady flame as if on a candle sheltered by your hand?  What are you doing to shield this flame from the winds of the world, to safeguard it and hold it sacred?  It is best not to reveal the flame too soon!  Instead, carefully tend your inspirational fire.  Prepare a hearth with all the materials and care it needs to thrive before revealing your ideas, projects, whatever-it-is to the larger world of family, community, colleagues.   The time of public welcome will come soon enough ….
  • How does the BrightMoon reveal something mysterious, whole, and shining in yourself?  How can you coax that hallowed nature into your everyday life — into the way you tend your food, your family, your work?

I offer to you a “Deer Song” to help you in your musing, meditation, reflections.  As always my song is infused with Reiki healing energy and my good wishes.  May it serve you to open a shining place within you so that you may sit by the hearthfire of your heart and discover the warmth and beauty and unique expression that is you, and some possibilities for stepping forth in the coming year as a practical and inspiring herald of something that is very dear to you.

I invite you to write any wishes, visions, intentions, or inspirations in the comment box below.   Envision that each one is a sprig of lavender, rosemary, or cedar, and that you are offering them one by fragrant one into a shared fire of imagination and promise, and that we, as a circle of women and men on the sacred path of our lives, are tending the fire together.

Click here to download or listen to BrightMoon

(This mp3 is 4.30 min. long. Our peninsula rail service offers some lovely counterpoint to the song — listen for it :-)!)


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