The Next Available Operator

We’ve all been there. Calling and being told all lines are busy and asking us to hold for the next available operator. It’s especially daunting when they give you an estimated wait time. The IRS will tell you twenty minutes but after an hour and a half, which seemed like an eternity, I hung up. We have no real concept of waiting for an eternity, but there are those who do. And they are still on the line. Waiting.

A dear sister commented on my last post: I love Ireland because the Earth and the spirits of the land are so used to humans communicating with them that it makes it easy to feel the Divine around us as well as inside of us. It’s true. The Earth and ancestor spirits are very present in Ireland and it hasn’t been that long ago when communication was common. They are still there. They are still calling to us – calling for us to be the next available operator. 

Judith –

A Natural Advantage

When I booked my session with Lucas, the intuitive, I had thought I would check on my parents. But soon into our time, in fact right after my granddad popped in with his Irish greeting, Lucas went silent. There was a pause and then he told me he was seeing these incredible light beings from the land of Ogham. Why I didn’t think my spirit guides would avail themselves of this opportunity to communicate with me is beyond me. But they did. Although they are present with me always and I connect with intention in ceremony every day, the messages and knowings I receive, while powerful, can lack clarity. I suppose this was an opportunity for them to be articulate and explicit. And they proved something of an ongoing distraction for Lucas who was very much trying to stay focused on my biological family.

Somewhere towards the end of my session Lucas intimated that with my deep connection to these spiritual ancestors he was surprised I had called him at all. “You could do this yourself,” he said.

Well, I can’t. Not at this point. Through the many years I’ve been in spiritual community with seers and shaman I have always envied their ability to traverse other realms, to see and hear entities from other worlds. I get a strong sensation of presence but haven’t yet been able to see even my spirit guides. Perhaps one day. Perhaps not. At this point it will unfold as it should.

But it begs the question about how we lost the familiar fluency with the spirit worlds that came so easily to our ancestors. Sure, they weren’t all psychics or intuitives. There would have been varying levels of proficiency. But regardless the level of ability, history tells us there was not the widespread denial of such fluency that pervades our current cultural consciousness.

So how did we lose this? Technology is an easy answer. But it’s just one aspect of the larger machine-mind consciousness that we have adopted. A consciousness that we are separate from and even superior to the natural world. And so we created our own rhythms and cycles and calendars that cause us to careen through life at warp speeds. In this we have lost touch with the natural rhythms and cycles of the Earth. We have abandoned a connection with the cosmic energy that flows through and animates all life. Without this connection there can be no communion.

Living close to the Earth, living in harmony with her energies and seasons and cycles and wandering her liminal landscapes, our ancestors had a natural advantage. They walked lightly on the Earth. Their lives included, and even depended on, spending time just being with the Earth. Opening and listening and receiving the knowing, the wisdom, that vibrates through every strand of the cosmic web.

We may have forgotten the Earth but she has not forgotten us. She is with us and available to us. A constant presence that offers an invitation to surrender to her gracious space of portals and thresholds and liminal landscapes. An invitation to reclaim our natural advantage.

Judith –

Do You Belive Me?

She was brushing her teeth before bed when she glanced in the mirror and saw her dead grandmother standing behind her. She flew out of the bathroom, into the living room, and into her mother’s arms. She was anxious. But her anxiety was not about having just seen her beloved Nana, it was about whether her mother would believe her. “Do you believe me? Do you really believe me?” Glances passed between the adults before her mother said, “Yes sweetheart, I believe you.” But a question hung in the air and the girl could feel it. Yes, she had an active imagination. Imagination being one of those adult code words for ‘beyond reality’ and ‘fabricated’. But she had seen her Nana. She knew it.

* * *

Last year I had a session with an intuitive. I thought I would check on my parents. Although I know the spirit realms are real, I was not fully prepared for what would unfold. My Irish granddad was the first to show up. “Dia dhuit!”, he greeted me in Irish. My father did most of the communicating. He was delighted that I had purchased a cottage near his favorite Irish village, a purchase made a full year after he died. He wanted me to know that he knew about my breast cancer, and pointedly added he knew I had not told him. He had been so lost in dementia that the care givers advised against it. And he was adamant about my remembering a place we had been together in Ireland, a place I now think must have been in a past life together. There was much more packed into that half hour session and it was all amazing.

I called my brother. After two years he was still struggling with Dad’s absence and I wondered if a session might be healing for him. He was fascinated but skeptical. And he went to the place that I find many go to when I speak of my session. He suggested that much of what was revealed could have been learned in a web search. Because initially that was the only explanation he could find for what I was telling him. But there were too many specifics that no web search would find. Plus, I argued, the session is only twenty five dollars which barely covered the session let alone any research. By this time my brother was intrigued. And he booked a session.

His doubts were dispelled within the first minutes when Dad showed up and wanted my brother to know he was doing bloody fantastic. One of Dad’s favorite phrases. One you would never find in a Google search. The session was healing for my bother. And it was transforming. Because in that half hour he came to a knowing that the spirit realms are real and that death is not the end. And that was the greatest gift. He, like our scientist father, had always believed there was nothing after death. Now he doesn’t just believe there is life after death, he knows it.

Do you believe me? There was a time when that would never have been a question. There was a time when our ancestors knew this to be true. It was a knowing. A knowing we have lost.

Judith –

In The Next Room

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well.

I have to admit I was a bit surprised to learn that when Henry Scott Holland authored this piece he was a Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and also a canon of Christ Church. He died 100 years ago last month. Today this may seem an entirely unorthodox view but in his time it reflected a knowing much more widely embraced. Death is not an end. Although I struggle with thinking it is nothing at all. There is a continuity. And communion is possible…if we are willing to find it or allow it to find us.

Judith –

She Knew


Always a woman of artistic expression, Annalu created a piece for the wall of her meditation space. These are the words.

Hold me, rock,
in the sacred shape
of compassion.

Help me remember
I am only Light
borrowing this flesh
for one brief moment,
one brief life.

Wendy Brown-Báez


Judith –


A Web Of Connection

We turned off our flashlights to let our eyes adjust to the dim interior of the sacred cairn, one of the most powerful I’ve visited. Looking up we saw dozens of small white glowing orbs – it was as if the roof was filled with stars. At the moment I realized what they were I heard Annalu’s exclamation. Spiders! Each orb an egg sack. Each orb guarded by a mother spider.

It took everything she had to stay in that cairn even for a short time. Annalu was terrified of spiders. It was a terror that had no origin in her life that she could remember. And it is a terror that lives in her brothers, son, and niece. They are watching to see if it will manifest in the next generation. Chances are good.

Recent scientific research is finding there is an ancestral memory that we hold in our DNA. A memory, a knowing, that goes back generations and can carry forward for generations.

One strand in our web of ancestral connection. There are others.


Judith –

We Are The Dream Of The Earth



Let us remember within us
The ancient clay,
Holding the memory of seasons,
The passion of the wind

The fluency of water,
The warmth of fire,
The quiver-touch of the sun
And shadowed sureness of the moon.

That we may awaken,
To live to the full
The dream of the Earth
Who chose us to emerge
And incarnate its hidden night
In mind, spirit, and light.

John O’Donohue


When we choose to be awake
to the energies of the Earth,
we touch her mysteries. Her portals
and liminal places.




Judith –

Into The Light

It’s perfect, really, that Annalu made her transition in the portal energy of the equinox. While the Winter Solstice marks the return of the Sun with ever longer days, it is the Spring  Equinox that marks the time when the light becomes stronger than the dark. It is a time of balance. It is a threshold to the Light. 

It’s also perfect that when her journey became intense and I stepped away from my writing to be with her, I was in the middle of the Earth Threads chapter and was just about to begin writing on the Portals & Liminal Places subchapter. I step back into that writing new insights. A friend told me my writing would be better for this journey with Annalu. Perhaps. It will certainly be more poignant. 

Portals and thresholds. Birth and death are obvious. But there are so many more. So many more.

Judith –