A Greater Shining

I ran across this piece of writing just after I wrote my It’s What Lights Do post.


A journalist for 49 years, Charlie Reese is retiring and in his last column, published in the Orlando Sentinel, he shines a light (pun intended) on the balance of power in our current political system and challenges us to reject the narrative of darkness that holds us transfixed and feeling powerless and step into the narrative of our much greater shining. Here are some highlights from his column.


545 vs. 300,000,000 People

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of 300 million who are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red. If the Army and Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way. 

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone should be held accountable. We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

It’s What Lights Do

Stardust. It’s one of my favorite movies. If you haven’t seen it, now might be a good time. 

Yvaine is a star that comes to Earth where dark forces want to steal her light. Just as it seems the dark forces are going to win, she embraces Tristan and says, “What do stars do? They shine!” She turns up her light and the dark forces explode in the blinding brilliance of her shining. OK. Spoiler alert…but watch the movie anyway. It’s fabulous.

Right now I feel like we’re stuck in a movie. But it’s not a story of light and love and magic. It’s a story of horror as dark forces are stealing the light and life from our people and our nation. There are some who say some good is coming from this. Perhaps. But the collateral damage is devastating. A devastation that will be with us for a very long time. I long for a spoiler alert to tell us this is going to end well.

It can be exhausting. Watching events unfold. And it can engender a sense of being powerless in the face of it. But we are not powerless. Indeed we are more powerful. For the power of our Light is more enduring. And together our shining is the spoiler alert for the darkness. Individually and collectively we shine a blinding brilliance.

It’s what lights do.


Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Welcome To Ireland

People sometimes wonder about my deep connection to Ireland. My dear husband often wonders if I couldn’t have fallen in love with a warmer and sunnier place. Spain, perhaps.

There are so many reasons Ireland is woven deeply in my soul. The spirituality of it, of course. The land and sacred landscapes. But also the people and culture. And stories like this one. Although it’s not her story, I am grateful to Irish friend and neighbor Anna for sharing it.

Her flight was delayed and she arrived at Dublin Airport at 12:15AM. However she was headed to Galway and the last bus was scheduled to leave the carpark at 12:30AM. She still had to collect her bag and the prospect of sleeping in the airport for six hours waiting for a morning bus was looming large. Then, along came an airport Garda/policeman.

She explained her dilemma and asked for the exact location of the Galway bus stop, calculating how long it would take her to run the distance in the lashing rain. But the Garda had other ideas. “Shur I have no problem popping out to the car park and getting him to hold on a few minutes if your bag hasn’t come out”, he offered.

Of course her bag was one of the last on the carousel but as she made her way back to the carpark there was the Garda making sure the bus wasn’t going anywhere until she was on it.

They were ten minutes into their Galway journey when the bus driver announced over the speakers that as it was late at night and the weather was bad, if anyone’s mobile phone power had died and they needed to contact someone to pick them up at the Galway station when they arrived at 3:00AM, they were MORE than welcome to use his personal phone to make a call…..and not to be shy about asking!

Indeed. Welcome to Ireland!

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Flash In The Pan-theon

Christmas eve and morning FB posts were filled with Christmas wishes and blessings. That night someone posted a photo of Santa, an empty sack over his shoulder, walking off into the distance. “See you next year!” Another posted a fire on their beach and declared Christmas over. In a flash, it’s done.

Note. I fully realize that Santa is not a god of our pantheon. Or is he? It does seem he’s now one of our most celebrated and revered icons of this spiritual season. 

From Santa to Solstice, the celebrations of this season seem to hold the energy of an event. Santa comes down the chimney. The morning light shines up the passage at Newgrange. And it’s over.

But it’s not over. The Light hasn’t returned. It’s returning in a journey of six months. Perhaps yet another cosmic commentary. So above, so below.

May we remember to keep shining the Light we hold. May we know that this is a journey of unfolding – and not a flash in our pan-theon.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Cosmic Commentary

Solstice. The shortest day and longest night of the year. Arguably the darkest day. And this year a full Cold Moon with high tides and lashing waves. A dark time as we await the return of the Light.

So above, so below.

Solstice. Arguably one of the darkest days in our nation’s recent history preceded by Mattis’ resignation and the unmooring of strategic military reasoning, a unilateral military decision to pull troops out of Syria, an insane pronouncement that ISIS has been defeated, a temper tantrum over a wall, political policy dictated by ‘news’ pundits, a crashing stock market, and now a government shutdown. All wrapped in clear and growing evidence of this administration’s treachery and treason. A dark time.

We await the return of the Light, increasing day by day.
As it is above, so may it be below.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Spell Bound

I stopped in at a local bookshop to see if they would be interested in carrying the Crone book. The owner took one look at the cover and said, “Yes.” So I pulled out a copy of Legacy. “I’ll take them both,” he said. “You know, since Trump got elected many folks are coming in and looking for books on spirituality. Especially books on casting spells.”

Aha. I quickly mentioned that neither of these books are about spell casting. And I thought to myself that if people are casting spells directed at the current leaders in our country, then the Bards of ancient Ireland were more effective in casting satire and causing boils on the faces of ancient kings engaged in bad behavior. But who knows. Perhaps spells against this administration are working. And that’s a scary thought given what’s happening in our country right now. This could be worse?

I believe absolutely in the power of prayer. And at some level, spells are intended for a similar power. To change things. But our ancestresses knew the difference between ‘power over’ and ‘power with’ and for me, that fundamental difference is key. Is this about divine will or my will? Is this about my good or the universal common good? Is this about joining my spiritual energy with the cosmic energies and harmonies already present in the Universe or is it about hoping to bend those energies to my specific and limited human agenda? 

The ancestors knew that we are but one thread in the great cosmic web of all life. One thread in a weaving of even greater harmony. My prayers are about feeding that harmony and trusting that inherent cosmic wisdom, that unlimited and universal power. My prayers will not be spell bound.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com