To Warm A Cold Heart

January 1, 2021


This wisdom story is from Africa. It so holds the energy of those last lines of Howard Thurman’s writing: And to radiate the Light of the Sacred every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. 

Only Brotherness Can Warm A Cold Heart
       Not so long ago or far away, there lived a man who had more than anyone else. His lofts were filled with rice. His compound was thick with goats. His huts were filled with faithful wives and fat children. But one problem troubled this man. He could not keep warm. When the sun was hot enough to bake clay pots, he shivered. He bought many bed blankets but they did little to warm him. His wives slept in his bed, one on either side of him. They placed heated stones at his feet. Still his teeth chattered and his bones shook. 
       “This is a sickness,” said the man. “I must find the wisest medicine man in the land and get cured. I have more wealth than anyone. Surely I can buy warmth.”
       The miserable man went from healer to healer, but none was able to help. Finally he came to the oldest and wisest of them all.
       The wise old man said to the cold one, “You are chilled by the hate of those who have less than you. All around you men and children ache with hunger while your belly is full. Men always hate those who have the most of everything.”
       “You have not cured me.” The cold man spoke through chattering teeth. “You have only named my illness.”
       “You have to cure yourself.” The medicine man shook a warning finger. “You must give away your wealth.”
      The cold man felt even colder when he heard these words. But his longing to feel warmth was so great that he finally decided to give away the rice in one of his lofts. That done, the miserable man was as cold as before. Thinking that he had not shared enough, he emptied another loft into the eager hands of the hungry. Still, he was cold.
       With hardness as well as chill in his heart, the man emptied the third loft and gave the rice to those who had none. But he remained cold.
       Quickly then, to get the painful business over as soon as possible, the man gave away so much rice that he had only enough for himself and his family until the next harvest would be ready. And still his teeth clicked together in chill and sounded like a calabash rattle.
       “The old healer tricked me into giving away all I have,” thought the cold, angry man. “For that I will kill him.” And he started to the old man’s village as fast as his shaking legs would carry him.
       The old medicine man was resting in a hammock under the eaves of his house when the cold man found him.
       “Why am I not cured?” demanded the man. “Why do I hate the shade, which is even colder than the sunshine? Answer me.”
       The healer sat up and looked the angry man in the eye. “Did you give brotherness with the rice?”
       “No,” shouted the man. “I am buying warm, not giving brotherness.”
       “Then you will die cold as well as poor,” said the wise old man.
       In this way it happened, because the man refused to learn brotherness. The people of the village ate all the rice he had given them while they danced at his funeral feast. And on that day the sun held itself back from being warm so that all the people would remember that only brotherness can warm a cold heart.

Judith –

The Light Of Ancient Wisdom

December 30, 2020


Hey friends. More stories of the light in the next few days. But today I want to let you know about an amazing series of sessions with some of Ireland’s wisdomkeepers. Through story and music and art and myth and meditation they will be sharing the light of Ireland’s wisdom traditions and heritage. This is actually the second series as the first filled so quickly. So yes, a bit of an advertisement. If this calls to you please email me. We have just a few spaces available.

Judith –


Ditch Wisdom

December 29, 2020


Ten years ago I published a small book of stories. Stories from cultures around the world, selected and edited to reflect one of the lines of a prayer that has been a fundamental part of my spiritual community’s dharma for decades.

In this season of celebrating the Light, I would love to share some those stories with you. Let’s begin with this one from Persia….and my light bring comfort.

       A monk and his student were walking along a narrow, quiet country road deep in conversation when they looked up to see a cloud of dust in the distance. As they continued the cloud grew larger. Approaching at full gallop was a band of warriors richly dressed and heavily armored. When the riders were almost upon them, the two realized the warriors had no intention of slowing down and so threw themselves off the road landing in the ditch.
       As the band passed the student jumped to his feet shouting curses to the warriors. But his angry words were cut short by the sight of the old monk running after the riders calling, “May all of your deepest desires be satisfied!”
       The student was stunned. “How could you possibly wish anything good for those men? They paid us no notice. They forced us off the road. We could have been seriously injured.”
       “Do you really think,” replied the old monk, “that if their deepest desires were satisfied, they would go around treating others as they treated us?”

Judith –

Solstice Magik

December 26, 2020


Magik has never disappeared from the Earth.
The people of the Earth just forgot what magik is.
The entire Earth holds such magik that if we
really spent time learning the ways of our ancestors,
we would know that we are one. 

Neva Kennedy


He always said it was the work of the Sidhé. And although that word is really the name of their otherworld dwelling mounds, I know he means the Tuatha Dé, the Shining Ones, the Magical Crowd. For indeed, when we bought our Irish cottage with Jack it did seem there were otherworld influences at play including having the sale finalized and our collecting the keys on Christmas Eve four years ago. 

This year Dennis and I have purchased Jack’s share in HazelWood Cottage and the deal finally closed last Monday on Solstice. Jack was made aware of this on Christmas Eve. The synchronicity and serendipity of this was not lost on him when he emailed me saying again that all this is work of the Sidhé.

And perhaps it is. Especially with the ancestral wisdom portal now open at the cottage. I know they are very present. However I also know that there is the additional magik of this season. Magik we co-create in the collective. Magik we manifest when we turn our focus to love and joy and peace. There is such great power in this. Power we have long forgotten. 

Solstice magik. Christmas magik. Perhaps we can remember. Perhaps we can manifest this throughout the year. For in this time we need all the magik we can manifest.

Judith –

Which Disney Princess Are You?

December 21, 2020


I don’t ever play those games on Facebook and am generally surprised that others do as this is yet another way in which information is gathered and we are commoditized. But the other day I saw one posted that included the question what is your favorite season of the year? Like somehow they are not all equally important.

What is it in our human condition that we are so inclined to pass judgement on the natural world?  It seems such a reflection of our separation from that world and our lost understanding that all seasons and cycles are equally essential. We have lost our knowing that we humans are the recent arrivals to this ancient living and life giving energy we name Mother Earth.

If we hope to change our course of environmental devastation, we must honor our place here. We must begin to see again, for this is something our ancestors knew well, that we are only one small part of this amazing web of life. As Chief Sealth said, Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

On this day of Winter Solstice, I am reminded of the gifts and blessings of this winter season. The short days that invite us to gather around the hearth fire to share stories of who we are as a people. The long nights that invite us to the dream time that we might create a new vision for the future. The bare trees that remind us that death is bound to life as this season is bound to all others.

Among the blessings of this day and this season, may we find our way home to the web that binds us all together. May we celebrate the bounty and gifts of each season and cycle. There is no wisdom in choosing. As with that princess question, perhaps the best answer is all of them.

Solstice Blessings!!!

Judith –