This guest blog is written by Mary Reynolds Thompson, author of Reclaiming the Wild Soul. Mary is one of our partners and has generously offered to contribute $1.00 of every book sold to TreeSisters. Mary is passionate about the vision of TreeSisters, which she feels connects the dots between women’s empowerment and the healing of the planet.
When you purchase a copy of Reclaiming the Wild Soul through the White Cloud Press you’ll find a coupon.
Enter TREESISTERS (all CAPS) and $1 of every book you buy will be donated to TreeSisters. To purchase your copy and to donate to TreeSisters go to: www.whitecloudpress.com
When, in 2005, I began to write the book that was to become Reclaiming the Wild Soul, I had this dream:
I am hovering miles above the planet, looking down at what appear to be ants emerging from the core of the Earth. Drifting closer, I realize they aren’t ants at all, but women. As they move, straight-backed and strong, to surround the planet, they pound tall spears to a rhythmic pulse, forming a protective circle of love and healing around the Earth.
Almost a decade later, I still feel in my bones the pulse of those pounding spears, can conjure the sinewy strength of the women, so tall and fearless, so filled with molten power.
The dream reminds me of the mother goshawk who dive-bombed my husband in the Rocky Mountains, talons bared, to protect her nest; of the women of the Chipko Movement who wrapped their arms around the trees to stop them being felled; and of Julia Butterfly Hill who refused to come down from the ancient grandmother tree, and lived there for two years exposed to the elements and constant threat of the chainsaw.
Women know how to protect what they love.
My own desire to protect the Earth began in earnest in 1983 as I stood on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean on a stormy day in Marin County, California, only few days sober. I was shaking and terrified at the prospect of living without alcohol. The churning ocean seemed to mirror my inner turmoil. But I also felt her immense power. I tasted salt, and didn’t know if it was mine or the ocean’s. I felt completely at one with that vast body of water.
That moment was a portal to a deeper connection with the natural world that would support the healthy flourishing of my own wild soul.
With each hike, each backpacking trip, each breath, it was if I could feel more of the Earth—its beauty, pain, and triumphs––as part of my own psyche and soul. Like the old-growth redwoods I sought out in Muir Woods, in connecting to the natural world, I felt something ancient and enduring take root in me. I experienced a sense of belonging to a vast and stirring oneness.
Reclaiming the Wild Soul is a celebration and exploration of that oneness, structured around the five Earth archetypes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands. It was written out of a desire to protect the wild landscapes that live within us and without. It lays out a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of our precious Earth.
The poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser wrote,
What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.
I ask, what would happen if one woman owned her own wildness?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Reynolds Thompson is an author, life coach, and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy dedicated to bringing forth the Wild Soul Story. Her latest book Reclaiming the Wild Soul:How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness takes readers on a journey into the great landscapes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands as aspects of our deeper, wiser, wilder selves. There, where the inner and outer worlds meet, we discover a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of the wild Earth. To find out more about Mary visit: www.maryreynoldsthompson.com
Photography by Emmanuellel Brisson
I want to share something that came in the silence that starts our team meetings – in the stunning Forest Temple at Earth-heart, in the Forest of Dean this last spring.
When I closed my eyes, instead of going into darkness, I was clearly facing Edveeje the head of operations within TreeSisters, who was sitting there resplendent, cross legged, powerful, robust and utterly self contained. Bare footed and straight backed, black ringlets falling over silver earrings, left hand resting on her knee with her elbow raised high, right hand holding a huge, ornate, carved silver goblet full of red wine that she was drinking with gusto.
I sat watching feeling somewhat bemused while she drank and drank without stopping, thinking ‘wow, that girl can really put it away…’ until as I watched, I realized that the goblet was bottomless and that I was being shown something that I didn’t understand. I felt like I was witnessing a deeper mystery, and suddenly my whole system felt electrified with it.
Steadily as she drank and I watched, I noticed that the grass around her was growing, that the flowers were starting to bloom, that birds started singing and that the trees were coming into full leaf. Nature was moving into fullness as woman was truly allowing herself to fill with all that she needed and all that she was. The more she simply received, the more glorious nature became.
Now, as I write those words it still rocks my world and makes me weep.
Imagine a world where women’s accepted and respect birthright is to fully receive her own immensity, the tap root of her nature based cyclical flow, the fullness of her intuitive wisdom and knowing, the ocean of her emotional landscape and her limitless capacity for love, beauty, pleasure and creativity?
What could become possible if we could give ourselves permission to simply receive and embody who and what we really are as woman, and then bring ourselves forward, fully alive into the great turning towards balance that is the calling of our time?
TreeSisters is as much about reclaiming feminine nature as it is about ecological restoration and renewal through trees. The re-sacredisation of the feminine principle is here and now – the achingly beautiful upwelling of reverence for Mother, Goddess, sister and nature is blowing like an ancient and familiar fragrance through our hearts and bodies.
The priestess within each of us is awakening with her longing to walk softly upon this garden of Earth again as tenderly as she tends the garden of her own body.
Something wordless, breathtakingly beautiful and clean is starting to flow through the veins of TreeSisters, and with it we say goodbye to our old blog and start again in a new here and now.
If this touches you, then please join us on this journey into the mystery together – discovering what it means to reclaim ourselves, our bodies, our feminine natures and our profound, indivisible and sacred connection to the one who nourishes us all.
Welcome to TreeSisters.
art by Kirsty Mitchel
‘When sleeping women wake – mountains will move’
The Feminine is rising – and as that tide rises – we are being lifted into a new reality for women, for our collective human identity and for nature.
TreeSisters is where the reclaiming of feminine nature and the restoration of our ecology come together as one. This is about the role of women – when we remember what it truly means to be a woman – and how what we are can be put in service to the rebalancing of this world.
Our blog is a window into our shared journey as a team, as a network, as a unique and evolving campaign and an experiment into how to reach beyond inaction to the potent place that ignites our hearts.
Here we hold hands.
We are growing a global network of women to reforest the tropics and accelerate the greening of our world – through feminine values, energy and leadership. Welcome to the family.