Traveling Priestesses

January 14, 2014 | 2 Comments

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Say your spirit seems low. Your exhausted from the daily grind of trying to earn a living, or raising a family. Say your spirit keeps imagining a place or a time where sisters gathered and supported each other. A time and place where we had a community to come help prepare a meal, listen to your worries, or just to be a witness to your joys and tribulations. Say you could conjure up two Priestesses who come over to your house and bring you some serenity and peace. Say they help you create a sacred ceremony connecting back to the land, the ancestors, or simply to dance with joy again and remember who you really truly are. Mary Beth Bonfiglio and Danielle Cohen do just that. The day they came to me we, spent the afternoon foraging in my garden for some magic and then added it to the wonders in their mason jars. With whiskey, honey, rose, and a variety of healing herbs we made two mystical elixirs, set intentions into them to carry me forward into the new year. MaryBeth and Danielle also have a wise woman’s blog and inspiring magazine in print called Amulet. This guide can connect us back to the rhythms that we have ignored with our busy lives, and remind us to walk barefoot, be carefree, listen to the wind, drink in the moon, and be magic . . .

For more information on spiritual healing to improve women’s health, see The Local Rose.

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1) Tell us a bit about what ‘The Traveling Priestesses’ do? 
We commune with beautiful women and families that seek ritual, ceremony, oracle and simple methods of crafting plant and flower based remedies.  After connecting and consulting, we customize a “basket” to bring to our client{s} home.  We then create a simple ceremony and ritual specifically for their personal needs + visions. We also craft a customized medicine from herbs and plants we bring-  as well as from what grows right out their door- we are big advocates of backyard medicine making!  We leave each home with hand-crafted elixirs, tools + talismens, and hopefully inspiration to continue to gather, heal and hold each other through their own versions of priestess gatherings.
2) Why do you feel this is vital to women and their health?
The whole point is to re-ignite the idea that each of us are truly Priestess –  of our homes, families… ourselves!   That nothing has to be complex to be holy and healing.  A ritual is as simple as burning a plant with intention, cleansing our hands in salt water,  infusing herbs in honey with a spell, holding a stick or rock from your yard and a magic wand,  releasing fears into the ocean.  What’s vital is that this women’s work has had great meaning since the beginning of time and somehow we’ve misplaced our connection to our internal rhythms and seasons, we’ve lost our everyday rituals.  This can make us tired, overwhelmed, exhausted and ill.   We sometimes get so busy we disconnect from our communities, covens, tribes and nature.  We believe that gathering in the name of simple ceremony or ritual can feed and nourish our lives. Even if it’s just you and your neighbor, it’s powerful to meet and hold each other with intention.  When we connect with each other and use simple tools that surround us, we are taking the time to  honor and awaken our inner Priestess. And our inner Priestess *is* vitality, beauty, ease, sensuality, magic, knowing, mystery, intuition, stillness, peace and the epitome of wellness + health.  We hope that coming into the home, we will be living reminders of the power and magic that each women possesses. 
3) Mary Beth do you feel like living in the yurt with your family for a year was empowering? How did it change you? 
Oh Lourdes. Yes!  We took a tiny piece of raw forest and cultivated space, and created a home with the least amount of damage done to the earth- that was so empowering- to watch a home come to life with your own hands.  It’s otherworldly to live with a 1 inch wall between us and the thick forest of the pacific northwest.  There was nowhere to hide and nothing to be hidden from. It was a little warm womb to connect with each other, sans interior walls and doors. It was a living home.  It was empowering to gather our own water, use a composting toilet, and keep our children warm by wood fire alone.  It was a lesson in being self-sustaining on many levels, certainly not always easy but truly satisfying.  Living in a round and breathable space is healing- there is nothing in the world like it.  How did it change us? Living that close to the land literally birthed us {the yurt is very uterus-like!} to the next phase of our spiritual and creative lives.
4) What is your favorite elixir at the moment?
MaryBeth: Right now an evergreen elixir made with cedar, pine, and spruce all gathered from my back yard, another one that includes wild harvested hawthorn, wild nookta roses and angelica.  And my newest favorites are an entire line of elixirs I’ve created to align each chakra.  Based on color and plant vibration, each elixir helps awaken and open each chakra. I use them when I teach Chakra Story writing workshops and will be selling them on my site soon. All elixirs are made with organic spirits fermented by a local distiller that’s also a friend.  My nighttime elixir? Warm raw almond milk infused with nutmeg + lavender + damiana. 
Danielle: Right now I’m still absolutely in love with what I call “love yourself” which is just a variation of what we did together with you – rose hips, rosebuds and petals, cinnamon, astragalus, hawthorn berries and flowers, elderberries, vanilla, cinnamon, a touch of ginger, Ramakrishna Monestery honey, and small batch whiskey. I also make a morning hot chocolate turmeric milk these days with a few raw cashews, cacao, fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, cinnamon, a couple of goji berries and a smidge of coconut sugar.
5) What are your beauty secrets? 
MaryBeth: Sleep, connecting with mama earth and her gifts on a daily basis, wandering the wet forest, dancing and yoga, transformative sex, delicious and lively friends, farm fresh foods, and Shiva Rose’s insanely perfect face oil
Danielle: sleep, sleep, sleep and meditation. remembering to breath, laughing a ton and a good flirty night out help too! Your oil before bed is truly a divine ritual that leaves me feeling lovely and cared for all at once.
6) What are three ways in which a woman can start to live in the wise traditions? 
Listen to Self.  Embrace the shadow. Cultivate ceremony. Connect to the lunar and seasonal rhythms {external and internal}. Sorry that’s four! 
7) MaryBeth,  I love your post about ways to make love to yourself. Do you actually make time to do a few of these every day?
I would like to say that I do one a day, but I mostly like do not.  When I write, I write to myself- a reminder of what I need.  If anything ever sounds like I know what I am talking about in my writing, it’s more like this: I *seek* to know.  It’s all practice, this life, and my path for this new year is to really and truly make deep and passionate love to myself daily.  I am offering a month long journey, inviting others to join me.
8) Do you have a favorite recipe or go to meal? 
MaryBeth: a layer of quinoa or roasted root veggie,  a layer of protein {fish, local ground lamb, or beans} and a layer of fresh chopped and shredded raw veggies topped with a vegan/raw sauce blended up smooth and creamy like spiced chipotle cashew cream or avocado tahini lemon.  Another one, when I am feeling really witchy, is mother’s marinara sauce  made with fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, red wine, tons of garlic, and cooled for hours and hours, infused with love + passion spells and tossed then tossed spaghetti squash.
Danielle: my year round go to meal is always chicken soup in a million different varieties. i start by making a basic bone broth with it and then take it whatever direction we’re feeling, ginger and coconut milk or lemon and egg yolks or simple with carrots and celery. I love a delicious cashew alfredo for those nights i’m wanting something quick but indulgent, i just throw the it all in a vitamin until it’s super smooth and warm and then pour it over spaghetti squash or raw zucchini noodles. it’s usually something like, cashews, water, fresh lemon juice, white pepper, gray sea salt, thyme.
9) Are you two mermaids or forest fairies? Both. Definitely Both. 






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