29 November 2009

And Hafiz said...

Love is The funeral Pyre Where I have laid my living body. All the false notions of myself That once caused fear, pain, Have turned to ash As I neared God. What has risen From the tangled web of thought and sinew Now shines with jubilation Through the eyes of angels And screams from the guts of Infinite existence Itself. Love is the funeral pyre Where the heart must lay It's body. -Hafiz

26 September 2009

Love this, especially when Jean reads it aloud...

Peace is not
Sterile gauze, a snowflake, an insipid dove
It's feisty and rich

Don't let the war boys hog it all
The spit, the spice and the glamour.

Peace is potency
Reaching and sprouting
Budding and branching

It's lifting things
A good scrap
A hot wrestle and a cool scrub
Cleansing and hope.

Peace is the empowerment of dust
Whispers of the song before origin
As out of seed
The cathedral of the body builds itself

It's spasms and metamorphoses
The vertigo
Of mind dancing
With the fecundator
To the music of need.

Is little orange bees
Spotted ladybugs on white campions
Late June with a stink of linden
Prickles and burrs

It's wild grapes in a bramble
A tough nut
Lovers churning
Throught the night, at noon, in the morning
A juicy comeuppance
For the grim supressors.

Is for the star-biters and the rooted
Don't be dainty
Go at it
Hammer and tong.

Peace is not purity
Limp, neat and dry.
It's sexy.
- Clifford Browder, poet
from, Manual for the Peacemaker- An Iroquois Legend to Heal Self and Society
by Jean Houston, Ph.D., with Margaret Rubin

13 July 2009

Because, This is the Way...

and I
a slow grind.
She is seducing me,
opening me, as She will-
to Her will.

My body softens to the hand She places
at the small of my back-
another to my forehead-
She dips me,
onto this bed of moss
my Clothing-

She is Breathing Me,
so deeply,
I give Her my tongue
like a reclining Lion,
She enters me,
slithers down to sit
in my center.

Impermanence devours me,
like a hungry lover-
I want to beg Her to stop
but I can not breathe on my own.
She is Breathing Me
and I am Cumming
again and again
and weeping without breath
as I slip away....
copyright Rev. Ursula Carrie (Wilkerson)

05 May 2009

Article: Catskill Daily Mail- Thurs. April 23, 2009

CATSKILL — Sheila Dent wore a green blazer Wednesday adorning a yellow, blue and green pin. The blue and green triangles, the Catskill resident said, represent the sky and Earth and the yellow background the sun.

The pin is a memento from the Protect Your Environment — or PYE — group at her Gilboa school that was organized by the State University of New York at Oneonta. The idea of environmental protection fit in with other politically charged issues in the 1960s, including the draft and a fear of nuclear warfare, she said. “It was another thing to care about,” she said. Dent, who calls herself a “true, reformed hippie,” points out that environmental responsibility is as easy as planting a tree or picking up garbage. She remembers one protest her Gilboa group held over the felling of an oak tree near the Gilboa Dam. “We didn’t win, but we were there,” she said.

Dent said her daughter, Rev. Ursula Carrie (Wilkerson), and grandson also recycle and conserve energy.

Carrie started her own church, the Church of the Sacred Earth, in Woodstock, and keeps a religious and environmental blog. She writes that humans need to be aware of what they are doing to the earth if they want their children and grandchildren to have a life of any minute quality. “The act of recycling and composting, and all those things can be utilized as a prayer to the earth,” she said. And, as an herbalist, she said, everything she does is related to the earth. She buys in bulk and recycles whatever she can to minimize her garbage, because there is no way humans can be separated from nature. She said that once people become aware of their impact on the environment, environmentally friendly actions become part of an everyday routine.

“It’s a way of life,” she said, “because there is no life without the earth.”

Winner! Lynn V. Andrews' Joshua Tree 2009 Essay Contest

Rev Ursula and Lynn at the Joshua Tree Gathering
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
Friday evening, May 29, 2009

(cut and pasted from Lynn V. Andrews' website)
We have a Winner!!!
2009 JT Essay Contest

"Calling in the Thunder Beings"
Author of the winning essay in the Joshua Tree Essay Contest is:
Ursula C. of Woodstock, NY.

The author of the winning essay in the Joshua Tree Essay Contest is Ursula C. of Woodstock, NY. She talked about herself and her journey on the phone this week. Here is her interview and winning essay for the Joshua Tree Essay Contest.

About Ursula
Ursula describes herself first as a Mother of a seven year old son. She herself feels she has been on a shamanic path since she was born. She said she made her first altar to nature spirits when she was seven years old. She also describes herself as empathic and has found teachers over the years to learn techniques around this innate ability. At 25 years old she realized her clairaudience ability.
Ursula has lived in the Catskills of New York for most of her life. At 23 years old she visited New Mexico for the first time and realized she was home, reconnected.
She feels the word ‘Curandera’ most accurately describes her in the world. And she feels she is here to fulfill her contract on this Earthwalk. That she has been given hints and guidance on the path as far as what she came here to do on earth and for women. She relates that she has been through many life experiences and come through them to reconnect with the power that flows through her.

Attending Joshua Tree
Ursula felt she needed to be at Joshua Tree and her Spirit Guides worked with her to realize this dream. "It’s time to answer the call. Time to gather confidence and courage and jump into the void. I feel frightened because I don’t know what’s waiting for me. There’s a lot of things I don’t know. Time to fulfill what I came here for. My Guides and Ancestors heard my prayers for help and accepted my offerings to make this [trip to Joshua Tree] possible."

Coming to Lynn Andrew’s work
"I had Medicine Woman on a bookshelf at home. One day it was just calling to me. After reading Medicine Woman, I picked up Jaguar Woman. Reading these books gave me the sense I had found the only place where I felt an understanding of where I am. A place where I feel seen and heard and an understanding of what is happening to me on my spiritual path. It made me feel good and it made me feel sad because I did not have a Circle of Women like that. [Then I thought] well maybe I should get out there with others who are going through this ascension and awakening together."

Greater Purpose
"There are a lot of us being called to do this work. Time to let go of the old stuff. As a human species, there is no model for where we are going, this ascension. I can tell you though that I have an excruciating ecstasy of love for this place, Earth."

The Winning Essay

I feel safe when it rains. I long for the darkened sky, the smell of the air as it changes. I say to my son, "It will rain soon." He says, "How do you know, Mom?" I say, "I Know." People curse the rain and I say, "Oh, I love the rain!" And strange expressions cross their faces and I wonder how they don’t understand.
I remember the Rains. I lay with my grandmother, then. I was so small, even still, next to her four foot eleven frame. Cuddled into the warmth of her soft body in the darkness of her room, the rain would make sleep time melodies on the slanted tin roof above her bedroom. I can close my eyes and feel us laying there, hear the sounds and feel the even rhythm of her breath. I can see the far corners of the room, where the foot pedaled sewing table stood- did she have a candle lit? Or was it the glow of Her love as I remember that helps me to see? It was many years after her passing before I understood this- That it is our love and our connection, her everlasting Presence that stays with me, that animates my love affair with the Rain. These memories of our love the ability to feel her soft warm skin pressed against me, come alive and dance again in my soul. As I became older there entered into my affair with the rain, the initiations of shock waves of the Thunderers, like sheets of earthquakes through my center column. And streaks of lightening drawing forth the low rumbling growl from my groin, through my heart to my throat and sometimes I am able to break free and release this sound, echoing back to them, growling, "Yes! Grrraagggh! Yes!" Thunder in my Being. And I laugh and laugh, for I know that they see me, that they hear and feel my love- as I feel theirs. The love we share breaks my heart open.
Rain tells me that I can slow down and Be. That when I feel that I will break from too much Sun beating on me, She will come and heal me. The Waters that heal the Earth. The Waters of our very Being. The trees soften, become innocent, and open. They suckle the rains like a newborn, hungry for the Life Giving Waters. Plants dance in the splashes and droplets on their faces. Some giggle, some weep. The waterfalls rush and overflow their banks, clearing away the human debris. My child and I tuck ourselves away into a corner, cozy, like cats, and sleep. And dream. We dream that the Earth is made new, and She is whole again.
I sorrow to see Rain go, on to the next town that needs cleansing. But I want Her to stay, just a while longer. To stay and Soothe my heart just a little more. Let me curl into my grandmother’s bed that is no longer there, and remember how much I was loved.

a story...

Once there was a Woman who lived at the Edge of the world that most humans knew, a world where time was not measured in minutes or revolutions in Space. Bats dotted the landscape bringing news of trance-formations of the many Creatures of the inner worlds of Dirt and Deep earth.
Each morning She raised her arms and with Her Inbreath rose the Sun to warm away the coolness of night, and Her Prayers brought forth the Song of chickadees, sparrows and woodpecker. Crows flew high overhead and rested in the crooked branches of the Red Maple and Cawing the news of the Day's events to unfold. Forming a circle around Her crown and planting their Claws at Her feet, they said in crow cluck, "Mistress, It is Time."
Raven comes to the edge of the Wood at the bidding of Wolf's mournful howl to lead them Deep into the Heart of the Standing people. Dappled in the changing light of the day, the fading sun catches the wings of Faerie Folk, who dart behind Aminitas to whisper loudly, "It is the One. She is Coming! Quick!"
Bear joins, then, walking behind Her, heavily, occasionally showing off Cloven Hooves. She Knows and has seen this Change, knowing that it is He, the Lord of the Wood guiding and Protecting Her way. She is One with His presence, Lover of the Wild, protector of Her Dreams.
Before them surrounded by the Standing Ones lay a pool of Water fed by the distant sounds of a cliffside stream. And They Stand as One Tribe in the Sacred Hoop-
and wordlessly they ask Her, "Lady, are You Ready?"
Her Voice, like a rumble of Thunder that levels the Illusion of Man made dimensions, gives Them reply,

01 May 2009

Beauty of Darkness

Oh Mary we crown thee
with Blossoms today
Queen of the Angels
Queen of the May
Oh Mary we crown thee
with Blossoms today
Queen of the Angels
Queen of the May

I loved this annual ceremony in my catholic school more than any other we ever enacted.
The crowning of the idol of Mary with all of the most Beautiful May flowers.
But, come on now- who were we really crowning... who were they kidding...?
What a Beautifully Dark Beltane I have been Gifted with!
In Tune with the Cycles and Seasons nearly all my life,
and celebrating the Wiccan Wheel of the Year for the past twenty years-
I have never been drawn to the energies of these Summer Holy Days
(Beltane/May Day, Summer Solstice, Llmas)-
I know now, as I approach my 4th decade of life on this Earth,
that I am a daughter of Hel's Womb- the Matrix of Darkness.
Yes, it is true that my entire waking life from April until October is spent
working with and for the Plants, making medicines, wines and other
potions of Healing and Light...
But it is that first blast of cold crisp air that arouses my Inner Fire... the lure of the Spiral path toward the inward journey... scythe in hand... ready to harvest... to stand as the bridge between Darkness and Light... in the devouring Maw of the Void... to be transfigured, transformed, reborn from the Starstuff of my own deep winter Dreams. Samhain.
That's what I celebrate on May Day.

27 March 2009

April Fool

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

-ee cummings

15 March 2009

My Letter to the Obama Administration- for the Jaguars and the Wolves

This letter will be forwarded to the Obama Administration, via The Center for Biological Diversity, an organization out of Arizona, who is spearheading the campaign to end the slaughter of our American Jaguars, because of the recent murder of Macho B, one of the only seen Jaguars in our American Southwest... And This is Also for the Wolves, soul of my soul, upon whom the Bush administration declared a merciless war, revoking their endangered species status, and allowing the hunters to fire at will. The humans Will PAY, sooner then they know. In the meantime, I Pray...

"Carnivores are NECESSARY to the balance of the natural world. How could ANY human being think that they are more intelligent than the Force that created this world?! God made absolutely NO mistakes in the creation of the creatures of earth and the relationships that they have in the Web of Life- except perhaps in the creation of human beings. We are terribly out of balance with the Earth that provides us with EVERYTHING that we need to be alive. STOP killing the Jaguars-- AND the WOLVES. Respect the creatures of the Earth. Any fear that humans have of any creature is born out of ignorance and minds that are in the Dark.
If this is truly a New administration- make it not only for the People, but for the Creatures of which we are Supposed to be the Caretakers- NOT destroyers.I hope you do more than just "think about it". DO Something NOW- be an example of stewardship of our Wildlife to the entire world.

-Rev. Ursula Carrie Wilkerson
Woodstock, NY "

08 March 2009

For My Lost Loves, Not Lost, Love

If You Forget Me
by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

13 February 2009

writing 3- Arizona- Sing to the Mountain

Simply put, The Land wants be Sung to. Actually, the land wants to be saturated in Song. I fact, She Needs it. If you can wrap your mind round such a thing.
The land offered what felt like much information, and yet, none at all. But I heard nothing until I sang, " Ancient mother I hear you calling, ancient mother I hear your call..." (I learned this song at the wise woman center, the home of my teacher, susun weed- check her site for info, it might be there)
I was only offering a humble thanks for being able to experience being there, enwrapped in a landscape so strikingly dissimilar from my own at home. It was shortly after that I caught a glimpse of the First Stone- a Yoni Rock. It is the second stone that helped by offering much information to my intuitive senses about the land that I was now leaving. That ancient peoples used to gather in these mountains, to celebrate and sing and dance in sacred ceremony, giving thanks to the land for Her role in their lives out in the high desert. But the land and the circumstances of people's lives had made it so that the people do not remember that they had agreed to sing to the land, to give thanks to Her. They have forgotten Her, as their lives have moved more and deeper into the cities.
The connection with the mountain and the voice of the Stone People stayed with me all along the highway from the sacred mountain into the city.

It is a connection that in only hours becomes muted by cars, busses, buildings- mostly cars, here. What would happen if everyone gathered around that mountain that encircles the city- and Sung? I wonder- would the water issues they face be healed? Would a solution to the energy issues be realized? What kind of shift could they affect?

musing perspective

Backing up. Backing off.
Drawing back.
Isn't that what perspective really is?
"Drawing back"
Think about those two words,
and imagine the physical sensation 
of doing just that.

I recently relearned that Perspective as an artist's tool 
manifested during the Renaissance in Europe (1300-1600's).
This technique of being able to draw a scene back
enabled the artist to reveal life 
as it was actually being seen and experienced .

As the Artist of one's own Life,
an individual may employ the technique of Perspective- 
to draw back, see the whole view 
a much widened scene 
find the places that need more red, less blue
some more texture or some of the layers scraped off.

I kept asking myself, 
after I'd set out on a long journey from home,
everything so strange and foreign,
"Why have I come here?"
thank G-d I remembered.

05 February 2009

Church of the Sacred Earth, Grows and moves with the Flow

Hello Everyone,
This concept of the church of the Sacred Earth has been growing inside of me for nine years, now. Too long my mind thinks, but for the better, as what I see and perceive is that Church of the sacred Earth is not the kind of church that is housed in a Place, a specific locale. Church of the Sacred is in Many locales- because, among other things, Church of the Sacred Earth is a Movement. It moves with the Energies, across the Land, across the Universes and the Tierra of each creature and human landscapes. It can not be "Incorporated", or assigned a tax ID number. It can not be Contained.

Wherever two or more people can gather, in silence or in whatever manner they can mutually agree, to listen to the earth speak- and to send their individual & collected vibrations of love to the earth.

More to come, as 2009 unfolds.

If you love the earth and have some leanings toward earth-based spirituality and want to talk more about Church of the Sacred Earth Gatherings, and what you can do to help, write to the e-mail address above (sacred_earth@yahoo.com).
I would love to hear about your love connections with the Earth.
Green Blessings.

February 10, 2009- a blog is now posted:
where news and information that I have specific
to Church of the Sacred Earth can be found

04 February 2009

writing 2- Arizona- once to the cave, pools of water

It was in the cave that I started to feel a presence. I'd had some moments alone and of silence to feel the land, to be with the environment that I found myself in. So, perhaps i was tuning in a bit to her, to what spirits could be shifting amongst the barrels and prickly pears.
Yes, the cave. I turned immediately around upon entering, and sat on one of several large rocks that were positioned inside the two small tiers of the enclosure.
The Valley lay spread back into the distance. I liked that, the cave as my environment, and the city as the far backdrop.* (*reference to the notion that many humans have that Nature is merely a backdrop to human existence) The positioning of the sacred womb was of course no accident above two pools of water that run underground nearly after they seem to spill forth from the darkness of the cave area.
I had a deep urge that sprang forth through my left arm, that I needed to spend the night in that cave, that something wanted to speak to me, give me a message, or a vision.
These are themes that can be visited only in brief, when in the company of hiking companions. Feeling such a draw to spend time in this place intrigued me as I loosened my energies from the area and continued the hike with my friend and son, back down the rocky hills toward the parking area at trailhead. Hiking down, without the physical elements associated with the climbing up, is a different experience- one in which i was more able to See: the landscapes, in all they showed me, as the trail hugged canyon walls and turned opening into fresh views of the valleys and chains of mountains that surrounded the city. What was it about the city that cut off the vibrations of the beings that embraced this spreading metropolis?

I felt so much gratitude for every inch of foreign landscape that my dreaming eyes saw. My son races ahead to keep up more with our friend. I move slowly, drinking the azure sky in with my breath- I am drinking in
Blue Sky, and spiny cactus- it is maybe one hundred years old. It is maybe two. Each arm, my friend says, he heard, takes seventy five years to grow that big. So maybe the cactus is really almost two hundred. But I am thanking someone that I had the courage to fly out and experience this. But the city, the city is so cut off from this. Why isn't the vibe making it into the city? Now I understand how they are so cut off from Her. I had forgotten how it felt to live in a city.

So, as we are getting toward the bottom, sill with a ways to go, but we have neared the gate we had to go through to start really getting up on the trail- and I decide to sing to her, to thank her for being able to experience being with Her, and i do even though I feel evenly: a bit shy about others hearing and a little rebellious, like people should hear this song and remember to be grateful, or just a little more open to Her Energies as a sure Living entity- not just a backdrop....

Writing 1- Arizona- up the mountain to the first pool

Now I remember that's what I came here for- for the perspective to see what needs to be done with my life at home. I got a lot of information on the descent from our hike on Friday afternoon. But she first needed to hear the song, my song, a gift to her. And I thought that I could feel nothing of a presence as we ascended. Merely climbing, to keep my hiking companion within some sight, and enough to know that my son was still on the trail behind. Superstition mountain, Heiroglyph Canyon. Cragged rock, a trail run smooth into it, rising high above, the city to the west. The land seems to spread, allows distance, immersion into silence. The chit chat of random hikers passing is a nuisance- I want to be alone with her in the silence. I know she wants to talk with me, at least I wish she would. Hundred year old saguros lean back from us as we pass. I feel determined to keep the breath at my crown, and walk without thinking, for there is a cave near the summit that awaits.
All "3-and-some-feet" of my son is complaining every ten minutes or so, now he is finally sweaty enough to sacrifice the cap that shields his face from the "damn sun" in his face, and now I must wear it. The heavy sweat he left on the brow now sits cold and clammy on my own.
The trail narrows and becomes steep on the right as it levels down toward the left, to a shelf between walls that houses the first pool of water. It is a heavenly dream, miracle, oasis. We do not drink the water, but run our cupped hands across the surface of it, remove socks and lightly splash toes and balls of feet in it. It is cold and welcome. The ancient pictures in the rock are to our backs, high above on the wall without the trail. Looking up we see the water trickling down from over another rock. I do not know what is above that rock or where the water is coming from or what it looks like. For a long while I sat and did not think of it, even after my companions moved on to the higher and further grounds of the trail.
For some moments- a few, I could hear only the water spirits, the wind spirits and the chip of a winged one.

what does it mean to spend a year in silence when you are an herbalist...step "0"

I tried last year. I tried. I wanted to harvest. I wanted to make my succulent jams, jellies and apple butters. I wanted to... But I couldn't. One could say that my heart wasn't into it, but I am not sure which part of me it was because there was sho' nuf from within urging me to press on, and continue as i have done for nearly seventeen years- harvest. Make tinctures. Craft oils and then salves. Brew a batch of beer and wine or a few. And the coltsfoot came up, and I was ready to... stop. Stop doing. To be. To breathe with the plants. I did not lay hands to the garden outside my apartment. I watched. I watched the garden. And I learned to watch the feelings of gnawing guilt that swelled inside, like tidal waves, for they would subside, because I was not working the land, or making my jellies, or so...

If anyone should ask why I had not planted anything this year, I would say that I needed to see what the garden would do when left to its own. In fact, it felt like a mandate from the Earth Herself. I let my 
underarm hair grow, and all of the other hairs women are "supposed" to shave. Wild like my garden. We are seeing what we look like without the influence of man's hand.
Perhaps I am becoming more acquainted with the words of my twenty five year old soul: "I am Woman Wild, like the Weeds that grow, i spread my lovin' all around. To hear my Song, you must go low- send your Roots into the Ground." (copyright Rev. Ursula Carrie Wilkerson 1997-2009)

Quiet observation of the garden, giving a nod to my green allies when we pass.

How this year of "doing nothing" (step 0 in the Six Steps of Healing in our Wise Woman Tradition of Healing) informed my relationship with the Earth, with my work with the Earth? How shall i use the value of stillness, and not chugging on with the doing?

Of this, I inhale deeply- and I suppose we shall see.
We shall see.