St. Terry of Red Rock Deserts: Saint of Wild Words

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St Terry of Red Rock Deserts: Saint of Wild Words

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St. Terry found her roots in the red rock deserts of southern Utah.  She began writing in her journals, as most LDS women do, at an early age.  She has always written about wild things: wild places, wild birds, and especially wild women.  As she grew older, she found she preferred solitude to congregations and wandered sagebrush-covered landscapes and sandstone bowls.  She shared her desert visions with others through books, readings, and conservation efforts – often in a frequency of voice that only women understand.  Her first of many miracles, “The Miracle of Testimony,” saved Utah wildlands despite Senator Hatch’s inability to hear her words.  She has performed other miracles, giving birth to other books – stories of homelands, culture, resistance, conservation, dreams, wilderness, family, voice, and a sacred text inspired by her mother’s journals.  St. Terry continues to walk the red rock deserts in search of truth, to write in pencil, to both shout and whisper the voice of her soul, and to inspire women to find their voice on the page.

St. Terry is the patron saint of women in search of their own wild words.   She also encourages women to overcome fear of speaking their truth – even at the risk of severe consequences.  St. Terry can be invoked by observing nature, browsing bookstores or libraries, or by wielding a pencil like a wand.  Her favorite colors are sage green and Navajo sandstone red.  Suggested offerings include pieces of white shell, storyteller dolls, red rocks, bird feathers, and sprigs of desert sage.  Her days of celebration are winter and summer solstices.

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Artwork by Heidi K. LaMoreaux. Mixed-media assemblage with quotations from When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice by Terry Tempest Williams. Word bubbles on the front photo by Lynda Barry from 100 Demons.

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