I. Songs, Poems & Scripture
(Select from among these what you feel is appropriate--or add your own.)

Song:/Chant: Modah Ani
by G. Rayzel Raphael
Modah ani l'fanaiyich ruach chai v'kayam (2x)
she-hechezart bi nishmati b'chemla rabba emunataiyich.

Wake me up in the morning with a smile upon my face
Wake me up in the morning ready to face this day
Wake me up in the morning wrapped in Your embrace
Wake me up in the morning guide me on my way.

Shekhina
by William Wilson
Music, playing soft. Mesmerizing, sensual yet spiritual.
How long had it been playing? Chords lifting, heart strings playing?
I had always been told that one cannot survive the presence spiritual.
I had given up praying.

But today was different. I had entered an ecstatic state.
Quiet, just the music playing. Yet I had come to hate God.
Why had I come here today? Trepidation filled, yet perhaps a touch of fate.
Can one moment actually change a person? What path would now be trod?

I opened my eyes and yet they were closed.
Light. Music fading into the background. Peace.
Was it a presence I sensed? What would be disclosed?
From what might I find a release?

Shekhina. Divine feminine. Is she who God really is?
Standing above. Reaching out. Beckoning.
A presence and psyche so different from His.
Asking with a mere look, hair flowing.

The smile, how could I say no?
Yet I stayed. I was not ready to go with deity.
And yet I knew the beckoning would go on
with or without piety.

Shedding old beliefs like worn skin.
Understanding that the true nature is acceptance and love.
How can one filled with hate let her in?

Shechinah, My Sister in the Wind
by G. Rayzel Raphael

I feel supported by the universe
From the Source of where all life begins,
Floating through time and space that blankets me
Gently carried by the wind.

Shechinah! Heal my mind and body
Shechinah, I call to you my friend,
Use your powers of radiance
Help my hurting heart to mend.

Your presence in my life so subtly
Sometimes I forget to let you in.
The shelter of Your love protects me
Shechinah, my sister in the wind.

Shechinah, my sister in the wind
I trust Your love to make me whole.
Your Ruach rustles in the wind
Your wings cradling my soul.

Shechinah, my sister in the wind
Shechinah, You whisper in the wind
Shechinah, You spiral in the wind
Shechinah, my sister in the wind.

Proverbs
Words of Wisdom (Hokmah) by Solomon, son of Bathsheba and David

To know Wisdom and instruction;
To comprehend the words of Understanding;
To receive the instruction of Wisdom, justice, right, and equality;
To give prudence to the simple;
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
That the wise person may hear, and increase in learning,
And the person who understands achieve wise guidance;
To understand a proverb, and a figure;
The words of the wise and their sayings.
- Proverbs 1: 2-6


Wisdom cries aloud in the street
She speaks her full voice in the broad places;
She calls at the head of the noisy streets,
at the entrances of the gates, in the city, she utters her words:
"How long, you thoughtless ones, will you love thoughtlessness?
And how long will scorners delight them in scorning?
And fools hate knowledge?
Turn you at my admonition;
Behold I will pour out my spirit unto you,
I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called, and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention,
You have disregarded all my counsel,
And would not respond to my admonition;
I also, in your calamity, will laugh,
I will mock when you are afraid,
When your fear comes like a storm,
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind;
When trouble and distress come upon you.
Then they will call me, but I will not answer,

They will seek me earnestly, but they shall not find me.
For they hated knowledge,
And did not choose to be in awe of the Divine;
They disregarded my counsel,
They despised all my admonition.
Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way,
And be filled with their own devices.
For the waywardness of the thoughtless shall dash them,
And the confidence of fools shall destroy them.
But whoever harkens to me shall dwell securely,
And shall be quiet without fear of evil."
- Proverbs 1: 20-33


"Get wisdom, get understanding;
Forget not, neither disregard the words of my mouth;
Forsake her not, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will protect you.
The beginning of wisdom is: get wisdom;
yes, with all thy getting get understanding.
Extol her, and she will exalt you;
She will bring you honor when you embrace her.
She will give to your head a chaplet of grace;
A crown of glory will she bestow on you."
-Proverbs 4:4-9


Doth not Wisdom call,
And Understanding put forth her voice?
In the top of high places by the way,
Where the paths meet, she stands;
Beside the gates, at the entry of the city,
when we come in the door, she cries aloud:
"Unto you I call, and my voice is to your children.
O you thoughtless, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Hear, for I will speak excellent things,
And the opening of my lips shall be right things.
For my mouth shall utter truth,
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are said in righteousness,
There is nothing dishonest in them.
They are all plain to those who understand,

and right to them that find knowledge.
Receive my instruction, not silver,
And knowledge rather than the best gold.
For Wisdom is better than rubies,
And all things desirable are not to be compared with her.
. . ..
Adonai was with me from his beginning
before the most ancient works got underway,
I was established from everlasting, from the beginning.
Before ever the Earth was
When there were no depths, I was brought forth;

While as yet the earth had not been made, nor the fields,
Nor the beginning of the dust of the world.
When the heavens were established, I was there;
When a circle was set upon the face of the deep,
When the skies were made firm above,
When the fountains of the deep showed their might,
When it was decreed that the waters should not transgress the boundaries,
When the foundations of the Earth were established;
Then I crafted by his side, creating with him;
And I, with him, delighted every day
Rejoicing always with him,
Delighting in the habitable Earth,
And my delights are with all children.

Now therefore, children, harken to me:
For happy are they that keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
And refuse it not.
Happy are those who harken to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor with the Divine.
But those who disregard me damage their souls;
and they who hate me love death."
- Proverbs 8: 1-11; 22-36

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
She has prepared her meat, she has mingled her wine;
She has sent forth her maidens, she calls,
Upon the highest places of the city:
"Whoever is thoughtless, let them go the other way";
As for those that lack understanding she says to them:
"Come, eat of my bread,
And drink of the wine I have mingled.
Forsake all thoughtlessness, and live;
And walk in the way of understanding."
- Proverbs 9: 1-6

Second Kings

And the king [Josiah] commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of The Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to offer in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that offered unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the Asherah from the house of The Lord, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the common people.  And he broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of The Lord, where the women wove coverings for the Asherah . . . .

And the altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of The Lord, did the king break down, and beat them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the detestation of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the detestation of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.

Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and stamped it small to powder, and burned the Asherah.

- II Kings 23: 4-7; 12-15

Holy Mother, Shechinah Soul
by G. Rayzel Raphael

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul,
Rachamema
Compassion fills Your Womb of Love
T'hallelu hah!

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Mikor Hayim
Fountain of Life Flows from You
Uv'shavten mayim.

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Shechinat-El
On wings of light we soar to You,
Natchil L'hitpalel.

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh
You were, You are, You'll always be,
Gam anachnu Nihiyeh.


Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Melechet Shamayim
You rule skies and earth with a gentle hand,
Borchi et Yerushalayim.

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Rachmana Ya
You heal the wounds of a heavy heart,
Ayl Na Raphana La.

Holy Mother Shechinah Soul
Be'er L'chai Roi
I drink deep of Your love
Ki At Emadi.


Song/Chant: Kulanu May-Elilah
translated/transliterated into Hebrew by Jane Litman from a song in English by Z. Budapest)
Kulanu may-elilah
v'nashuv elayah
k'mo teepat
geshem zoremet yama

We all come from the Goddess
and to Her we shall return
like a drop of rain
flowing to the ocean...

Snakeskin
by Asphodel P. Long

I begin to shed the aged mottled skin
It was a good skin in its day
Thick brown scales enclosing me
Sheltering me from the pierce of stones, sheltering me
From voices, and from hearing
Those who called me. Who called in anger
Who called in love

But today at this new moon
As the dark of the sky shadows our earth
In the deep shade and the thick cloud
At this new moon in autumn

I push out of my skin
I move through its tunnel
I move on the earth

Hearing voices, voices of anger
Voices of love.

I am a snake
I am a creature in her commonality
I move into my unprotection
The stones do not scrape me
I feel the warmth of earth and sun
A fresh breeze murmurs over me

Is it the wind of renewal, the breath of rebirth?

I stretch out into a new way
I praise. Praises be.

Song: For Our Great Mother Lives (Melody: Yigdal)
by Judith Laura
For our Great Mother lives
Sing praises to Her name
Who was and is forever changing and the same.
In her we can be whole.
In her we can be free.
She was and is and shall forever blessed be.

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