The Four Sisters of Everlasting Beauty – January 2023

From Shaman's Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

The Four Sisters of Everlasting Beauty danced on a mountaintop 
      in order to summon fire from deep within the earth. They 
      danced until flames poured from within veins in the rock, 
      cleansing them of selfishness and blame. The First Sister

Was the Dancing Woman of Mirth, whose direction was East. She wore 
      yellow, the color of awakening moments. She brought laughter,
      the first necessity in a world of sadness. The First Sister said:
      The spirit of laughter is the same as wind or water. It soothes

The troubled earth and makes hard edges disappear, even in the face of 
      sorrow. The Second Sister was the Woman of Long Experience, 
      whose direction was South. She wore blue, the color of memory. 
      She brought the imprint of fossils, also a collection of bones, the

Second necessity in a world filled with self-importance and envy. The 
      Second Sister said: The spirit of fossils and bones is the same as
      long memory, a connection to the ancestors. It reminds the sick of health

And to the healthy gives warning of their mortality. The Third Sister
      was the Woman of Unfulfilled Dreams, whose direction was West.
      She wore red, the color of purpose and daring. She brought tears,
      the third necessity in times when cleansing is required. The Third Sister

Said: The Spirit of weeping is nothing more than human rain, shed for loss 
      as well as love, and for children we never had. The unfulfilled
      dreams of warriors and women, of birds taken from the nest, and of 
      animals denied their place in life, justify my gift of tears.

The Fourth Sister was the Retreating Woman of Consciousness, whose 
      direction was North. She wore white,
      the color of beginning anew. She brought awareness, the fourth necessity 
      in a world of schemes and invention. The Fourth Sister said:
      Honor yourself before all else and you will embrace
      all life. All direction. All stars. All light.

And the other Three Sisters agreed.

The Fire of Women – December 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

We are the eternal, we who have borne the pain and
grown old with only half our song being heard,
bodies aching from desire never satisfied
from mere mating with a man. We meet adversity
head-on, desiring recognition of our natural ways. We accept 
the confused words of men who are strangers to our souls.

Our pulse throbs with messages from grandmothers
fooled by dreams, like us. In our bones is bred
the patience of women who stayed with men
who did not love them, and the ache of women who died 
of heartbreak. Women learn from the anguish
that precedes calm, remembering how a child 
bursts headlong from the womb,
and with its very first breath
begs to hear our song.

Daughters of the Earth – October 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

Daughters of the Earth, your path is strewn with stones
sharp enough to sever determination from your bones.
Nothing is as it should be anymore. Our hearts
are on the ground. Our inheritance is shattered.

Daughters of the Earth, your spirit is in danger
of suffocation. Old ideas will crush it. Indifference
will rob your house of meaning. Men are deaf
to your songs, but you must sing them anyway.

Daughters of the Earth, wisdom will save you
from being swallowed by conformity. Do not grieve
for the world of your ancestors,
but create a new horizon from the gifts
they left on the pathways of your mind.

How the Universe Doubled – November 2021

FromĀ Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

The doubling of the Universe took place when people

were sleeping, except for a few old women

who remembered how passion was created

to save the world from boredom. In dresses

made of spiderwebs, those old women

 

Sang a love song, heard from star to star and tree to tree,

even from fish to fish and blossom to bee.

Those who were in tune with one another

responded, and those who were not

slept their lives away. As the old women

 

Watched, the heat of love expanded, on and on, with colors

so bright they singed the edge of indifference

in one night. The Universe doubled

with the passion of those old women,

who believed the power of their feminine selves

would overcome

the doubtful hearts of men.

Three Sisters – June 2021

from Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

Three Sisters

 

We are the Three Sisters of Fire and Earth and Water.

Without us, nothing lives or grows.

 

We are the Three Daughters of Sun and Moon and Stars.

Without us, no path exists through the universe.

 

We are the Three Wives of Birds and Trees and Animals.

Without us, there would be no wings or roots or bones.

 

We are the Three Mothers of Clouds and Wind and Rain.

Without us, our children would go hungry.

 

We are the Three Friends of Beauty.

Without us, flowers would look like stones.

 

We are the Three Grandmothers of Wisdom.

Without us, men would only speak of war.

 

We are the Three Aunts of Endurance.

Without us, what would survive?