How Prayer Works

February 26, 2022


I want the perfect partner, that new house, a car that works. We may be on our knees, figuratively or literally, with hands clasped. But this is not prayer. This is wishful thinking.

When we encounter the sacred there is the invitation to shift our vibrational signature, there is the invitation to sacred communion. And sacred communion is the landscape of prayer. In this landscape we offer our vibration and life force energy to Divine Will which is all and always about love, peace, and harmony. We offer our energy to support that unfolding. 

In prayer we do not specify the outcome. That is not ours to determine. In prayer we join with the cosmic and divine energies for there is great power in this. So much greater than us. In this time, I join with others around the world praying for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. 

Rooted in the sacred, I pray that Divine Will shall be manifest. That there shall be peace.

This. This is how prayer works.


The Counsel Of A Cauldron

February 15, 2022

I called my bank to have them put a notification on my debit card that I would be in Ireland. When she asked about international travel I mentioned that I felt safer in Ireland than here, citing that 90% of adults are fully vaccinated and that the Irish followed the protocols of wearing masks, social distancing, and even a series of lockdowns which limited travel to 2km from home. There was a pause. And she said, “Well, clearly the Irish aren’t a free people.” I was glad we were on the phone so she didn’t see my reaction.

The Irish have been a subjugated people through history, mostly by the English, but if we think beyond political freedom they have always been a free people. They have continually claimed the right and freedom to create their own narrative for living in right relationship with the sacred, the Earth, and in community. The pandemic is just another example.

The narrative of these right relationships is cultural. It’s embedded in their collective consciousness, their myths and legends and their heritage. Many examples come to mind but I will highlight two – the Brehon Laws and the mythic Cauldron of Plenty.

The Brehon Laws, Ireland’s ancient civil code, are rooted in the knowing that everyone has value. Everyone has an honor price. This extends beyond people to the natural world but for people it means that every person in the community is to be treated with respect and compassion. There were no police to enforce these laws, it wasn’t necessary. The people honored and acted on this code because it was their civil law and civic responsibility. The Irish complied with the pandemic restrictions out of concern for their families, neighbors, and community. 

The Cauldron of Plenty was one of four sacred gifts brought by the Tuatha Dé when they arrived with their spiritual wisdom tradition. The cauldron could supply an inexhaustible supply of food and those who ate from it never left unsatisfied. The people would be fed. I wrote a post early on during the pandemic about Ireland’s postal workers  successfully petitioning their union to allow them to purchase and deliver food to people on their routes. The people would be fed. 

That the people will always be honored and cared for is rooted in Irish culture, rooted in their ancient civil codes and cauldron myths and implicit in who they are and have been as a people. While it may not be explicitly talked about, it’s a knowing that guides their perspectives and actions. It’s a knowing that offers the freedom to create their personal and social narratives within a shared heritage and aligned with their shared values. 

What might the world be like if we all heeded the counsel of a cauldron?



February 10, 2022


Indulgence in aimless thought
or dreamy imagining;
Foolish or purposeless
mind wandering.

My woolgathering was not popular with my parents. They saw no legitimate purpose to it. Apparently I did much of it as a child and was always brought back sharply to reality, or what they named reality. You’re off woolgathering again, focus! Of course I was focused. Just not perhaps on the task at hand.

Woolgathering once literally referred to the act of gathering loose tufts of wool that had gotten caught on bushes and fences as sheep passed by. It was not the most profitable of enterprises as people wandered seemingly aimlessly, gaining little for their efforts. Wandering aimlessly is what stuck, much like those tenacious tufts on a fence. 

Woolgathering. Regards legitimacy, my parents were wrong. It seems our brains are hardwired for it. In fact the default mode of our brain is actually the wandering mind. This default mode is different from our central executive mode which is engaged when we are focused on a task. But after we’ve been thus focused for a while our brain gets tired and starts to daydream. To paraphrase Daniel J. Levitin from his interview in the current issue of Sun Magazine, the central executive is good for problem solving when the problem has a rational and linear solution, the default mode is better when the solution requires us to think outside the box and find connections and solutions that are neither linear or obvious. 

Much of how we encounter the world is not linear or obvious. We are multidimensional beings. We are constantly scanning our world to gather information from and through many sources and this information is often random, spontaneous, organic, and often hidden from immediate view. Our default mode is the essence of the creative process and we are creative beings. In our evolution, this default mode was also essential to our survival. Our minds function best when they are allowed to wander off to gather those wooly bits of wisdom. 

The dilemma for us today is that we are so consumed with a focus on doing that we neglect our intrinsic need for being. What would happen if we were to slow down to the speed of wisdom and allow our minds to wander off? What wooly bits of wisdom might we find? I know I will be thinking of this when I wander the sheep abundant landscapes of Ireland, landscapes filled with wooly bits clinging to fences, heather and hawthorn, landscapes just perfect for a bit of mystical woolgathering. 



She Is Rising

February 9, 2022



Seriously. What country on the planet would, in 2022, declare a national holiday for a goddess?


While this is amazing, it’s really no surprise. The Irish have long held a torch for social justice. I was there when they passed gay marriage by a decisive majority, the first time on the ballot. I was there when they changed the constitution to allow for abortion, also first time on the ballot.

And now the torch is raised for sacred justice, for the divine feminine. This is the essence of Brigid. And beginning next February, Brigid’s Day will be a national holiday in Ireland. Some will name it St. Brigid’s Day, but Brigid is older than the Catholic Church’s appropriation of her into sainthood.

Brigid is back.

Truth be told, she never left. It is we who wandered away from our knowing of her sacred energies and traditions. It is we who have abandoned the myth and mythic, the knowing that the divine feminine is a powerful presence in the land and landscapes, in history and heritage. This awareness, this memory, is vibrant in the Irish collective consciousness yet it is there in every culture. Not as vibrant, but it’s there. Spiritual traditions around the world hold stories of the sacred and divine feminine. Bless the storytellers who keep those stories alive, may their voices ring out. And in that ringing the declaration that She is rising. 

The sacred balance is returning. The energy of the sacred feminine is flowing a powerful river. And we need her, especially in these times. We need her compassion and wisdom, her strength and beauty, her powers of inspiration and transformation. 

Yes, there is pushback as the patriarchy is challenged. We are seeing the horrors of that in the US. But we will meet that challenge. Because She is rising. 

She is rising. Fair play to Ireland for carrying the torch! May others see that glorious flame and be inspired to light the way to a world where She is risen.


The Spirit Of Inspiration

February 3, 2022


In spirit us

I just finished reading Martin Shaw’s book Courting The Wild Twin. It’s a small book which totally belies its potency. I tried to slowly savor his writing but that didn’t go well. He’s a compelling writer.

He opens the book by writing that the business of stories is not enchantment. The business of stories is not escape. The business of stories is waking up. In his closing chapter he writes this: As we enter the Underworld, story with its night world potency is the great and painful articulation of our deepest character. Myths are the secret weapon. A radical agency for beauty in the age of amnesia.

In this time of finding ourselves in the Underworld, a rather dark and potentially treacherous place, Martin suggests that we have forgotten who we are and it is the stories and storytellers that must remind us. And yet we are all storytellers. We all hold that radical agency for beauty. We can all engage with the mythic. 


And that is such a departure from the increasing tsunami of stories that wash over us every day. Stories of anger and fear and separation. Stories that lack hope. Stories that keep us in the Underworld. Especially in this time of pandemic, many choose temporary relief from stories of enchantment, entertainment, and escape. They can provide a brief respite but they don’t nurture our souls. They don’t deeply inspire us. They don’t wake us up. 

Inspiration. The spirit is in us. We have the power to create stories of our lives, great and small, that inspire us to remember who we truly are. Stories that inspire others to that same remembering and awakening. 

May we we all kindle the spirit of inspiration. May hope and possibility fly off the pages of our book of life stories. May we embody a radical agency for beauty.

Judith –

The Abundance Of Brigid

February 1, 2022


Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, is often depicted with doves and roses and swans. Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, appears with an owl and spear. Kuan Yin, goddess of compassion and mercy sits on a lotus and holds a vessel of healing water. Durga, goddess of protection, strength, motherhood, and destruction, rides a tiger and her many arms hold symbols of those aspects. 

Yet in the global cosmology of goddess archetypes, none have as many aspects or symbols as Brigid. Primarily associated with healing, poetry, and the forge, Brigid’s symbols extend far beyond those three energies to include the bell, cloak, cow, cross, dandelion, flame, oak, snow drop, and sword. And there are legends for each of these symbols. No reductive mythic symbology can contain her. She’s just too big, too pervasive, too present. And perhaps that is why she remains so relevant. Perhaps that is why, as the symbol of the divine feminine, she is so celebrated on this day and all days. Perhaps that is why next year Ireland will begin a national holiday for her.

Many of you will likely be seeing all manner of tributes to Brigid, all manner of writing and images. I thought I would share a song I received in a meditation a few years ago. From the Céile Dé tradition that is rooted in the ancient Irish Catholic Church, one of the many poetic names for Brigid is Seek Beyond. Sireadh Thall, in Irish. In this aspect she reminds us that it is always possible to step beyond our limits. New life is coming!

Imbolc Blessings, my friends. May we all journey beyond.

Judith –