Invocation for The Beauty Makers

emily beavertail light 12 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

devotion rides on the breath of creativity...

wherein every place I rest my eyes,
I find a temple with an open door,

where ordinary living is the altar
upon which I offer myself
to each new day…

take us in, great mother;
to the cradle of your heart,

our cheeks pressed close against your soft breast;
that we might emerge renewed,
full of your sustenance;

eager to pour our healing honey
upon the wounds of the world
through our prayerful beauty-making…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: emily

 

Thin is the Veil

samhain all hallows eve claire © heather rhodes studio petronells all rights reserved.png


listen…

to the primordial canticle 
that weaves itself
like a desert wind

through the 
falling leaves 
and yielding branches 
of your soul...

inhale…

this 
living
haunting
incantation;

on this 
hallowed eve,
when the veil 
is stretched so thin;

all is made to glisten,
to glow...

all is made to speak
in dark whispers...

shhhhhhhhh…

sip the liquid moonlight,

claim your crown of stars,

feel the earth breathe beneath your feet...

the river is your mirror;
what do you see?

on this 
dark night, 

in this sleepy 
midnight 
hollow…

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
model: claire, in the new hampshire forest 
studiopetronella.com

 

Luminous Dharmic Seeds

makenzy lights 11 dharma threads © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png


I was born pregnant…

with strands of luminous
dharmic seeds
woven deep inside me…

my mother sang to me in the womb,
the cosmos softly whispered my name,
a flock of tender birds heralded my birth...

my dharma courted me;
brought me to rest in the temple,
and made enduring love to me…

my devotion forged
in the depths of the deep, dark forest
and the light of heaven's chandelier...

I was 
a virgin child
giving birth to endless forms of beauty…

I was
a woman whose creative belly 
was always full and bursting,

lovingly nursing the many 
babes at her breast …

I am
an elderwoman who 
listens and weaves
the wisdom of the void;

nurturing my strands,
nourishing my seeds;

knowing full well
that I may continue birthing
shimmering beauty
until I take my last beloved breath…

sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes
written during shakti dharma immersion
model: makenzy
studiopetronella.com

 

The Alchemy of Listening

heather+self+i+am+that+which+i+know+myself+to+be+%C2%A9+heather+rhodes+studio+petronella+all+rights+reserved.jpg

the tender beauty
of sinking into my dharma
as an elder… 

more soft
less sharp

more slow
less frenetic

more inner
less outer

more listening
less noise

more allowing
less striving

more mutable
less fixed

more organic
less calculation

more compassion
less comparison

more knowing
less doubting…

quietly listening
in the depths;

each breath leads
the wild horse of my heart

into wider 
fields of beauty…

I bow.

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
image: self portrait today in the studio
studiopetronella.com

 

Another Dance Around the Sun

heather birth day 2019 enders island ritual.png

Thank you all so much for your well wishes, love, flowers, thoughtful gifts, phone calls and messages on my birthday (Tuesday, September 24th)… I am so appreciative, and received your wave of love with a soft, grateful heart.

I became very ill with a mysterious virus on the Saturday preceding my birthday and ended up in emergency room on Sunday with high fever, where I proceeded to pass out in the waiting room ~ most likely from dehydration…I felt like I was fading away... I am just now beginning to venture out a bit, and am still taking it very slow in resuming my normal activity… Thank you all who came to my aid; my angel helper Mackenzy, my precious son and his beloved (who postponed their return cross country adventure to make sure I was out of the woods)… Thank you: Holly for arranging my getting to the ER, the gentle, caring and capable medical staff at Pequot, Grace Z for the chicken soup, Tiffany for the grocery run, Pam & Cathy for the flowers, Maria and Sandy for your enduring sister love… so many of you ~ for your love and nurturing presence…. It means so much.

I had a slight reprieve on my birthday, and asked my young helper to take me out to Ender’s Island, where every year I perform a simple gratitude ritual by the chapel on the water; I give thanks for the precious gift of this life and deeply connect with that which calls me as its own… I receive the sacred salty waters on my body, sing the Gayatri Mantra over the ocean, and recommit to listening even deeper to the whisper of my dharma thread’s calling…that I may be an instrument of love and awakening… It was unseasonably warm when we went in the early evening, making it possible for me to be there in comfort. I am so happy that I had this tiny window in which I could get myself, with assistance, to this sacred spot, for this anchoring, galvanizing, renewing experience…

The very next day, the virus turned into a severe head and chest cold, which I am just getting slowly over now…

This is the beauty I would like to share: 

As I lay in bed day after day, feeling so pulled out of life; cocooning deep within as my body dealt with the virus ~ my son and his beloved were on their cross country adventure CT to Los Angeles… So, all through my fevers and chills and altered states of mind, they wove a thread of beauty, connection, and their love of their adventure… They face-timed me from Memphis, where I asked them to stop and write on the wall at Graceland for me (an infinity symbol with my name for Elvis)… Then they took me into a blues club on Beale Street with them… The sweetest vintage trailer air bnb in El Paso… happy, glowing polaroids and snapshots of their fast moving trip along the way, the wide open desert, the magic of White Sands, and a video of them dancing to my favorite country song (Amarillo by Morning, by George Straight) at a rodeo in Arizona… 

I could surrender more deeply, as I felt so held by this loving, steadfast connection...

So, through their love and adventurous spirits, LIFE was woven through my time of illness; anchoring me in their love and zest for life… It was the most magnificent medicine I could ever hope to receive and I am unfathomably grateful…

As I lay like a wilted flower, they watered me with their love; for me, for each other, for freedom, life and a grand adventure… 

Life is so mysterious and beautiful… I feel so grateful to be here, alive in this gift of a body; ready to start this new year of living… 

Thank you all for holding the ground beneath my feet.
I bow to the medicine of love in all forms.

image: photo of me at the end of my 62nd birth day ritual at Ender's Island, taken by my helper Mackenzy on September 24, 2019

 

My Beloved Son

ivan and carley avalonia post swim © heather rhodes.jpg

such a lovely day spent with my beloved son Ivan and his delightful companion Carley yesterday... kombucha on the patio, lobster rolls and salty swim at avalonia, naps, then dinner at Olympia Tea Room... mmmmmm... summer and the company of these two beautiful souls; fills my mama's heart to the brim  <3

image: snapshot after their swim

 

She Fell From the Stars

makenzy stay close to the earth © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

she fell
from the stars
without a sound,

into a cradle of pungent moss
in the belly of the forest...

the great horned owl
witnessed,

the lucent moon gazed
upon this new and tender child
with quiet wonder
and
hope...

she fed on the
symphony of
primordial sights
and sounds
around her,

she spoke in a feathered language,
layered with a revelatory vision
that kept Hildegard
awake at night...

her faithful, pale-eyed dove
sat sentinel
through the ripening
of her wild and starlit heart... 

her purpose clear,
tethered by
the silver strands of
her grandmother’s hair,
infused with
indigenous stories
and secrets
and healing;

carried by the winds;

and woven
into the warbler’s nest
that shimmered like silk-spun platinum
in the morning sun...

and through it all
she paused
frequently,
attuning herself
to the song
that travels
between the worlds....

seraph
brilliant oriole
humming bird
jet black crow
winged extra terrestrial

and now
she sees
a thousand brilliant sparrows dive
into the crust of the earth;

weaving
threads of compassion
deep into the core;

harkening
the great and holy mending...

birds
are
visible
prayers;

singing us,
weaving us
home,

with our own
forgotten song
of indigenous connection...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes at studio petronella
model: makenzy
studiopetronella.com

 

June's Entrance

peony 4 2019 june is here © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

song birds 
outside my window

frogs serenading
at dusk

the warm sun
kissing my skin

steel grey cat bird
perched upon
the white picket fence

wild hare
delivering other-worldly messages
from my beloved Mother

salty air
from the cove
enlivening my breath

hydrangeas'
early promise
of their burst of blue
to come

great horned owl 
hoo-hooing from deep
in the forest

peonies and irises
dancing with wild abandon
in the garden

june is here;
parading her full,
almost-summer 
splendor…

sacred thread musing & image © heather rhodes
image: peony in my garden yesterday
studiopetronella.com

 

Risk Kindness

peony 1 2019 this saced earth © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved .png

risk kindness
at every turn…

this quiet necessity,
this simple response;

seeded inside us 
long before we landed
upon this moist, green earth,
under a shimmering canopy of stars...

in every circumstance;

let the warm honey of compassion
be your guide;

the beloved beholding 
the beloved...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
image: peony in my garden yesterday 
studiopetronella.com

 

Aspects in Practice

jane water ritual maya sadhana © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

Exploring and giving voice to a few of the aspects of the divine feminine that have been very active in my field of practice:

: :

I am the Feminine Portal of Cosmic Listening

I am loyal to that from which all form flows. I am the sound emanating from the cradle of life, the song of the original blueprint; reminding you of your place in the cosmic plan, aligning you with your dharmic thread.  

I am a relentless whisperer of truth in your ear.

I am the eternal nudge toward your own heart’s longing.

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of Ephemerality & Fluidity 

I am the mystery of life and death and the rushing, nuance-layered waters of the river in between.

I am the beauty of the changing forms; the alchemy of the formless into form and back into formlessness.  

I am the matrix of transition, the doula at the portals of the alpha & the omega.

I baptize you in the holy waters of transiency.

I am both the sting and the comfort of impermanence.

In me you are home; wherever you find yourself on the arc of creation.

I am relentless in my appeal for your humble heart and deep surrender…

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of Sorrow & Loss

I am the tender yearning and fortitude to enter the palace of grief, to navigate the depths of its chambers, and the willingness to wear the cloak of loss.

I am the courage to dive deep for the key that sits in the heart of sorrow; the key that sets the bird of your heart free to soar once again…

I insist on becoming your beloved companion.

I am permission to take your time on this holy ground in this fertile darkness.

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of Discernment & Synthesis

I am the intelligence of connectedness ~ in the unseen realms, the framework for the seen world. 

I bow to the sacred architecture, to the flawless joining of this to that.

I sort the essential from the unessential; creating space for clear vision and inspired action to birth itself…

I initiate you in the sheer awe of the plan.

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of Compassion & Forgiveness

I am the softness that invites you in, no matter what is happening. I am the ability to rest in the heart in the quiet center; of the paradox, in the tension of opposites; in seemingly colliding energies…

I am the invitation to embrace, kiss and relinquish the wounds that hinder your ability to be present in the cathedral of your heart.

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of Not Diminishing My Light

I am the celebration of the raw beauty of the child who fell from the stars streaming her creativity from the center of her heart. I am the gentle peace and relaxation that comes from your authentic expression in all ways.

I call you out of hiding, I dissipate the fog of doubt.

I am the knowingness that you are eternally, perpetually in your seat, wherein there is no need to withhold the divine fruits of your communion, no matter what.

: : 

I am the Feminine Portal of The Phases of Womanhood

I hold deep honor and reverence for your girl-child, your maiden, your mother, your elderwoman. Although you now chronologically reside and have been crowned as elderwoman, I celebrate all aspects of your womanhood, and keep them each alive and well nourished.

I ask you to take your seat in the sacred tapestry of the feminine; to delve with abandon into the initiation you find yourself in; to practice for the ancient circle of women who have come before you, and the future lineage of women to come.

I am the totality of womanhood; they all live in harmony within me, within you...

: : 

written during maya sadhana immersion
sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
model: jane

 

Communion with Maya

communion with maha maya © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 


following the 
luminous thread

through the dark,

into the heart of you…

no words spoken.

undulating
energetic field;

inside 
the sound
that has no sound,

inside
the space 
that knows no edges;

primordial mother.

indigenous home.

unfettered.
undistracted.
untamed.

lover of

the decrepit
and the shiny

the confusion
and the clarity

the hesitation
and the rush…

resting inside
this vista,
this merging,
this alchemy

of you;
as me,

me;
as you...

as easy
as my breath;

drenched 
in
radical 
presence; 

quenching 
my thirst
in the fountain
of you...

jai maha maya ma.

may I carry
the fruits 
of our communion
forward;

in deeper

curiosity
wakefulness
awareness
willingness
remembrance
revelation
reparation
kindness
service…

hreeeeemmm

hreeeeemmm

hreeeeemmm

written during maya sadhana • maya devi yoga
sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella

Refuge in Dhumavati

ofelia maya sadhana dhumavatii © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 


in the chamber of my heart
with Dhumavati... 

sans resistance;

a long river;
a plethora of offerings
from the marrow of my bones…

her eyes are the gateway 
to her benevolent heart;

and mine meet hers,
and hold her gaze
without hesitation,
without regret...

gentle tears.

no words.

beloved dark mother.

she drinks in each relinquishment,
every dark orphan;

so completely,
so lovingly;
like babes to her breast...

the fire behind her
blazes higher
with her every reception...

holy space.

I remember her.
as me.
as us.

something breaks 
wide open
inside me;

like I’ve never seen 
the nighttime sky,

or the depth 
of the forest,

or the purpose
in the weaving 
of our strands...

so quiet.

such deep peace.

such sublime comfort.

staying here
in her loving embrace;

in this dark beauty
where everything
belongs…

written during may sadhana
sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
model: ofelia at diana's pool

Beloved Bhuveneswari

clouds maya sadhana © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png

beloved MahaMaya
beloved Bhuvaneswari

your utter vastness
is a honeyed balm 
of comfort…

tasting upon my tongue
your infinite form and formlessness,
your inherent, generous inclusion; 

every cell
every breath
every shimmering, etheric strand;

is infused
with the flavor of you…

bird
bark
stream
doe 
thunder
mother
clenched fist
gentle breeze
stranger’s smile
blackened night
forgiveness
verdant sprout
blazing fire
tender bee
feathered wing 
first breath
aching bones
fragile shell
beloved
storm clouds
moist moss
fruit
fetid decay
gentle mountain
regret
quiet mouse
belly laughter
ocean depths
resistance
precious child
compassion
broken promises
hidden treasure
blossom
mighty lion
fretful worrier
warm lap
last breath
kindling
tenacious weed
grace
excruciating longing
somatic union
surrender
ice
earth
vulnerable heart
shadow
shooting star
gushing fountain

you are the breath inside the all in all,
the great cosmic dancer;

the matrix of 
galaxies,
wonder inside chaos,
limitless possibility,
disintegrating boundaries…

fleetingly merging
with the edges your immensity,
diminutive delicacy,
holistic beauty,
mesmerizing mystery;

sensing you breathing me,
weaving me 
into the fabric 
of the consciousness 
of evolution;

in breath
out breath
one breath...

written during maya sadhana
sacred thread words & image © heather rhodes at studio petronella
image: napatree sky

 

Waiting for the Pink Moon

elena waiting for the pink moon © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 


even before I see you;

I sense your pale, rose edges
pulling me closer…

my heart space expands
just speaking your name:

p i n k m o o n . . . 

you brush against my skin
like a waterfall of silken petals,

your vibration 
re-tunes me,
attunes me;

to the tone of
my original blueprint…

tonight I shall dance
with you;

in the glow of your
tender, pink light,

deep in your embrace,

listening to your
sweet whispers 
in my receptive ear…

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

The Tender Void

makenzy lights the womb of what is becoming © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 


let the space of the in-between
have its way with you…

surrender to the holiness
of the undefined;

the liminal portal
of cosmic intelligence…

place a flower 
on the altar 
of the womb 
of what is now becoming…

the more we relinquish the reins,
yielding to 
the tender void;
the honey of the pause;

the more clearly 
we will hear the call
to resume riding 
the wild horse of action
when the time is ripe…

such a practice; 
attuning to the primordial cycles:

ebb and flow,
stillness and movement,
praying and dancing, 
gestation and birth;

the rhythm of spanda...

honoring the space 
of not-knowing,

an ear to the ground, 
listening to the whispers 
in the numinous quiet...

let’s get deliciously lost
in this slack tide;

trusting that we 
ride on the breath
inside the very heart 
of the universe… 

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes at studio petronella
all rights reserved
model: makenzy
studiopetronella.com

Wings of Grace

wings of grace 2 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png


when I am quiet enough
I can hear the wings of grace…

dressed
in soft hues,
and silken textures;

appearing when
I least expect her…

tenderly whispering 
in my ear,

placing her hand
upon my heart;

birthing me anew 
from her gentle vastness…

her wings are feathered
with mirrors 
of divine imperfection...

coming closer,
into the dance
of life;

brushing the edges,
and returning to the center;

how easily we find our way
to the altar

again
and again
and again...

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes
image: self portrait, hands
studiopetronella.com

 

A note to My Sister

heather prayer hands holly © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 

my sweet sister...

there can be no words
to describe your place
in my heart;

such an inexplicable, indelible treasure...

let us remember the rushing brooks,
the sun dancing on the weeping willow,
the cold winter air permeating the horses' manes at gallop,
the katydids serenading us in the hot summer evenings,
the lightning bugs in glass jars,
the red poppies swaying in the garden breeze,
the fragrant scent of saddle soap and fresh-cut hay,
the sublime tenderness at the center of the impasse;

let this be the beauty that dwells in your heart,
let this be the elixir that permeates your cells,
let this be the medicine that heals...

a note to my sister, february 1, 2019
image: self, hands in prayer
sacred thread words & image: © heather rhodes & studio petronella

Inner Compass

heather self feather over eyes inner compass v2 © heather rhodes studio petronella all rights reserved.png
 


deep in the slipstream
of liminal space…

trusting the 
supreme navigator;

the sacred intelligence
of not-knowing,

the somatic wisdom
that dwells in the marrow 
of my bones…

we are mere visitors
traveling through;

may we be gracious guests;

learning 
the language 
that is without words,

coming to know
the song that rests silently
in the chamber of our hearts; 

embracing the edges
of the unfathomable
with 
holy
wild 
abandon….

sacred thread words & image © Heather Rhodes 
image: self portrait with feather
studiopetronella.com