Gaia's Daughter

heather self working in the yard novemeber © heather rhodes.jpg

ma gaia…

here I stand,
upon your generous,
relentless beauty…

your soft, thick grass
beneath my feet,

your crisp, autumn air filling
my lungs,

your rich scents
permeating my being;

I sense your vastness, 
and achingly, 
your finiteness…

I bow to you;

mother, 
midwife, 
death doula…

may I learn 

from your intelligence
of simplicity,

creative collaboration
of usefulness toward evolution,

the practice of
unqualified reverence…

may my attention be drawn
naturally more toward you;

that my daily actions and rituals
emerge from an attitude
of this heartfelt consideration…

resting in deep gratitude today
for the bounty you lay before us;

may we all rise to
know you and treat you
as the beloved home you are…

[gaia's daughter]
thanksgiving day 2017
sacred thread word prayer © Heather Rhodes
image: self on gaia

 

Do You Hear Her Call?

emily savasana © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

systems are failing,
structures collapsing,
everything is unraveling…

inside,
outside,
a sense of tether-lessness;

there is no neat & tidy manual,
no quick remedy
no matter how bitter,
to bypass this discomfort;

this urgency
that points to itself as
an irrelevant, sickening, lethal fullness;

that cries out
for
purging,
emptiness, 
stillness,
an honest pause;

for
deep
active
listening...

make keen your eyes,
your ears,
your gifts of discernment
and unlimited grace;

make ready
for a new paradigm
of healing;

and although action may be required,
action for action’s sake is futile…

hold steady the ground for radical
disintegration,
dissolution,
indigenous reclamation,
& regeneration…

from the void of not-yet-knowing,
something extraordinarily worthy
seeks to arise…

beneath the high pitched whine of toxic ignorance,
there is a low, steady, resounding hum…

mother earth herself;
wise
impartial
generous
intelligent
powerful
uncorrupt
honest
trustworthy

listen there.

do you hear her call?

how does the flame ignite your heart, sister?
we are all in this together...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com

 

I Will Meet You

emily meet me here 5 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg


I will meet you;

as an early autumn field; wide and flung open in surrender
to its imminent desaturation and decomposition…

as an undiscovered galaxy; entertaining itself
by endlessly rebirthing its own being and becoming…

as the succumbing flora; crushing under the warm weight
of the doe seeking refuge in the thicket…

as twigs and leaves; dislodged from the river’s edge,
let loose like a handful of regrets into the cool, rushing waters…

as the earthy roots of the ancient felled tree; offering sanctuary
to the seeds of forgiveness that lie in wait…

as the warm sun; caressing the skin of the earth
as I inhabit this present moment…

as the sharp sting of the thorn's puncture
in the flesh of my tender foot, complete with crimson release...

as this emptiness; which secretly waits for the intrusion
of your loving footsteps…

will you know me
as this, too...?

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com

 

Reignite the Flame

emily beavertail rocks 10 v2  © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

I answer to

the wave as it kisses the shoreline,
the keen twitch of the mountain hare’s ear,
the moon's innate audacity to expose herself in all phases,
the rumble of thunder rolling over the austere, grey tundra...

I am
 
daughter
to the fecund earth beneath my feet

sister
to the primordial longing in every beating heart

lover
to the pendulous stars in the dark velvet sky

mother
to the belly of creation...

I pledge allegiance to

that which
summoned the whisper in Hildegard’s ear,
galvanized the courage in Jeanne d’Arc’s chest,
stitched the moxie into Frida’s shattered spine...
permeates my being with ceaseless elemental wonder...

I will not stifle.
I will not shrink.

I will reignite,
again and again
the flame of my heart;

remaining soft,
and ever fluid....

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes
model: emily
studiopetronella.com


Equinox

emily beavertail relaxed © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg
 

oh, autumn...

you infuse your rich, warm, honey light
straight into my marrow;
stoking an inner fire that sustains
until winter has had her way with me...

your golden harvest nourishes and delights
my every sense...

your winds sweep the chambers of my heart;
making room for more of you
to kindle my devotion...

I will walk with you;
cloaked in surrender, 
through your honest crucible of permutation...

autumn equinox 2017
sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily

A Love That Can Hold it All

i believe in a love jane 2 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

oh, beloved…

I still believe in a love
that can hold it all;

weight of grief,

disruption of chaos,

rapture of ecstasy,

mystery of the sacred,

quiet of solitude,
 

here I am...
 

darkness of the unknown,

depths of longing,

equalizer of humility,

splendor of union,

lusciousness of soma,
 

here I am...
 

portal of illness,

spark of the divine creative,

alchemical tangle of masculine & feminine,

pinnacle of joy,

transcendence of communion,
 

here I am...
 

wonder of innocence,

tension of the opposites,

holiness of the ordinary,

spaciousness of time,

river of tenderness…

I can only offer to meet you here
In this field of possibility,
wearing naught but the skin of my vulnerability…

whether you step forward to meet me, 
I cannot say…

here I am;
my sacred self my offering…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: jane

 

The Flame

emily red shawl 1 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.jpg

I love when
you lie fallow, too;

when your wilderness aches
to feel the footsteps of the beloved
upon its forest floors...

when the nest of you is empty;
woven with expectancy
of the mystery to come…

when you become
a parched vernal pool,
laying quietly in wait
for the gush of spring rains…

when you tenderly hold
the holiness of your question;
without want
of answer…

when the sound of your heartbeat
is consciously imperceptible...

when I am  
the flame of your candle
in the darkness...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily

 

Turned On

emily beavertail ocean spray 1 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved .jpg

Oh…
this light within me;

shines a thousand times brighter
in the midst of darkness…

I have turned myself on,
dismantled the off switch…

from this point of light
within my heart,
everything is possible;

this indigenous web of love
knows no borders,
no boundaries…

come join me,
turn yourself on…

sacred thread words & image Heather Rhodes
studiopetronella.com
model: emily, catching the sea spray on the cliffs at beavertail

 

Notes to the Beloved

 

[ notes to the beloved ]

I love it when
your edges are soft…

when you are
fluid and open;
like the mouth
of my river…

when our not-knowing
is an offering;
an honest prayer…

when your gorgeous depths
are visible, and they are
singing my name…

when your beauty is so loud
that I can barely hear
my own heart beating
wildly in my chest…

when the scent of you
is my favorite incense…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
at studiopetronella.com
model: emily

Let the Stars Kiss You

slip out
of your skin,

let the stars
kiss you…

run through the forest;
a wild, hot mess
of burning aliveness…

lay down on the altar
of the mystery;
yield to
the great unfolding…

you are

the flower girl,
scattering the
fresh
plucked
blossoms;

their omnipotent fragrance
permeating the marrow
of your lovely bones...

you are

the bride,
taking a vow
to your self;

to listen
to the great cosmic whisper
that lands
in the sanctuary
of your heart;

shifting shape
and form,
through its own
being and becoming…

you are

the groom inside yourself,
the banks of the
river shakti,

the strong roots
that welcome the sway
of your untamed branches…

you are

the children
in myriad form
spilling forth
from this union;

their only purpose
to sing life’s song…

you are

the chapel
of the body
in which the miracle
is manifest...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
at studiopetronella.com
model: jane

 

A Thousand Suns

deep inside
the rich folds of darkness;

you sit quietly
in the center, 

your light of a thousand suns
radiates from the magnificent
bindu of your heart…

nothing

no one

can resist you…

here you are, 
inside, 
right where you have always been;

and now,
a thousand flaming birds
fly in and out
of the window of my heart

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes at Studio Petronella
durga sadhana
model: ofelia

Wave of Love

wave of love © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved

lean in…

kiss the ground
of your own wilderness…

offer your forests,
as sanctuary
to passing birds in flight,

marry the medicine
of their nesting
in your strong branches…

and when the night comes;

sleep in the deserts of your body,
caressed by the sweeping sands
of four-billion-year-old stardust,

open your soft mouth skyward,
catching the rain of wisdom
that falls like liquid diamonds upon your tongue...

parched prayers
drenched
in the honey of communion...

your pale bones resting softly
against the skin of the earth,

eyes awake,
bathed in the honest moonlight…

listen...

to the song that rises from the deep;
reaching upward,
through the crust of your inner soil;

invoking,
evoking,
a sonorous remembering;

a rewilding
of your holy fire…

whisper or roar;

now is the time,

nothing is missing...

unleash your
mighty
wave
of love...
 

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: elena

The Invitation

 


this is the invitation.

it didn’t come in the package
we imagined,

it isn’t tied up
with a pretty bow
or jazzy pantsuit…

the masks are off,
our eyes are open,

we see
exactly
what is before us.

after the disbelief,
the gasps
and guttural howls,

there is nothing left to do
except open to the invitation;

to dig down,
beneath the din of distraction,

to stand together, 
with roots that go
deeper than fear;

into the very matrix,
the mighty heart of love,

hip to hip
heart to heart,

yes, we were
made for these times,

and we are held by something
so much greater than this single moment

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily

Communion with Parvati

 

ohhhhhhh...

so deep,
so soon...

down
down
and
in,

sliding to the bottom
in this warm jar
of honey
that is her
teaching ground...

I am bathed
in my sankalpa,
in undulating waves...

"stay soft"

"remain a traveler in the landscape of wonder"

"forget everything you think you know"

"open the eyes of your heart; you are ready to see"

yes.

yes.

yes.

yes.

I am ready, show me.

I am in the field so deep with you, sisters;
sometimes I cannot see you,
but I can hear you breathing...

I bow, humbly at the feet of the mystery of the great union…

words & image © Heather Rhodes at Studio Petronella
day three parvati sadhana
model: emily

Entering the Field

 


I am here,
quietly
slipping in; 
by the glow
of candlelight…

her parfum is heavy,
the air is thick with
her…

every cell of my body
is vibrating with
her potent invitation…

she whispers
in my ear,
"shhhhhhhhhhhhh..."

her soft breath,
warm on my neck,

"I am here
inside you…"

forehead to the floor, sisters, so grateful to be here…
jai parvati shakti ma

words & image © Heather Rhodes at Studio Petronella
day one parvati sadhana
altar by candlelight as I enter parvati sadhana