I'll be reading a paper again at the annual Conference on Pagan Studies at Claremont School of Theology in January - I always leave so inspired by the people I meet there.  I wish that the Pagan movement was not so marginalized by our society, because every time I go, I remember how very urgent the work of re-weaving our spiritual identity back into not only human community, but the  community of Gaia, Mother Earth, really is. When I think of it, most of my numinous and magical experiences happened in the wild, within the Great Conversation.


Stone, rounded in my hand
tell me your story - the secret waters
that shaped you,
veining and coursing into darkness
humming their songs
of bones, pottery shards,
stones smoothed past memory or telling  
be my teacher.
Hawk,  tell me what you see. 
Small on the ground, I am blind. 
In widening circles you write an
incantation for the far journey
in the sky.  Be my teacher.
Fire, speak, if you will.
Illuminate the shadows
filling this careful house of sticks
I have built.  Burn me empty and full,
teach my feet to dance.
Fire, you be my teacher.

Rain, tell me.  I am listening.
Your voice is a multitude, 
your story grows
in the telling.  Into the mouth
the mouth of the ocean,
this song you sing. 
Rain, you will be my teacher.

    ~My help is in the mountain~

    Where I take myself to heal
    The earthly wounds
    That people give to me.
    I find a rock with sun on it
    And a stream where the water runs gentle
    And the trees which one by one give me company
    And so I must stay for a time
    Until I have grown from the rock
    And the stream is running through me
    And I cannot tell myself from one lone tree.
    Then I will know that nothing touches me
    Nor makes me run away.
    My help is in the mountain
    That I take away with me.

    Earth cure me.  Earth receive my woe.
    Rock strengthen me.  Rock receive my weakness.
    Rain wash away my sadness.  Rain receive my doubt.
    Sun make sweet my song.
      ~Nancy Wood~