The Courage For Compassion

October 31, 2022


Compassion. Totally absent in our current political climate here in the States, we have to look elsewhere. And of course, I found it again in Ireland.

In meditation yesterday I got a very strong message to give voice to ancestral wisdom through graphics. We need their wisdom in these tumultuous times. I was culling through the many pieces I’ve created over the years and spent the morning refreshing them a bit. I was working on this one when I glanced at the headlines in The Irish Times.

What caught my immediate attention was yet another piece on the Ukrainian immigration situation there. They are still pouring in although resources to support them continue to be stretched. The story today was about the coastal town of Westport where there will be an anticipated 1,000 immigrants by Christmas in a town with a  year-round population of just over 6,000. The community is reeling from the influx and struggling to make it all work. And yet this is what one resident said:

Basically, because of the volume of people arriving, the pressure on services, the lack of easy communication between different agencies and the complexities of their needs, the situation has proven challenging. The spirit of community in the town shines through the challenges and humanity, decency and care prevail.

The wisdom of an ancestor and the wisdom of the people in Westport. Indeed may we all have the courage to discover what we must do. May we find the courage and the compassion to find our way home to humanity.


The Wick Within

October 30, 2022


Ah, the blessings of sacred community. A sister emailed me with reflections on my last post, Intrinsic Patterns. She wanted to let me know that although she resonates with much of what I wrote, including the name mystic, she also names herself witch

And she included this writing from author Perdita Finn:

I call myself a witch not because I’m part of any organization (I most definitely am not) but because I claim that green wick of life within me that is my soul and connects me to all that grows and lives on this planet, that sends me dreams and visitations, wisdom and company, friendship and consolation.

I claim that name not because it brings forth a performative set of behaviors–but because everyone has the wick within them and the right to claim it as theirs and come alive again.

I absolutely resonate with what she writes. While I name it a sacred Light rather than a wick, I also believe we hold that animating force within us. Each of us. All of us. Just not quite lit in some. And I appreciate Perdita writing to the core truth that is that thread that runs through all traditions. It is the thread that connects is to all life on this planet and a thread that needs no performative set of behaviors.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that core truth was what we knew best about spiritual traditions? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that core truth was the brightest shining from every spiritual tradition?

It was a blessing to explore a bit more about this with a sister. It was also a blessing to find out about Perdita. I’m now subscribed to receive her newsletters. Way of the Rose is her website. Thanks, Anne!



Intrinsic Patterns

October 27, 2022


To live in the knowing
that we are intrinsically woven
in the Sacred Alliance.

Among the many ancestral and otherworld entities that were with us in Ireland earlier this year, there were Druids. Scores of them. And they just seemed to accumulate. By the end of our spiritual journey they were with us constantly. They still are with us. Constantly.

While that’s impressive, if not just a bit daunting, it’s easy to get mesmerized by the Druidic archetype. Although there were many other sacred ancestral energies that joined us, the Druid presence was especially compelling as we stood in a landscape steeped in Druidic legend and lore. 

Druid. Shaman. Witch. Medicine Man. Medicine Woman. Wise Woman. Healer. Witch Doctor. Kahuna. Magician. Soothsayer. Wizard. Medium. There are many spiritual wisdom keeper archetypes. Merriam-Webster lists thirty-nine synonyms for shaman. These archetypes, these sacred personae, have been implicit in the rich and global heritage of spiritual wisdom. Yet we can easily get lost in the complexity of these various traditions and archetypes. It does seem our human nature has a tendency to make things complicated. We can easily lose sight of an underlying sacred pattern that is woven through all of these traditions and archetypes. It’s the pattern of connection to mystical realms. A strong, vibrant, and single thread woven through every wisdom tradition.

Through history, many of these traditions and archetypes have accumulated an abundance of nuanced legend and lore. In many cases it manifests as baggage that belies the indigenous origins. Stepping around this, I find a resonance in the generic and simplistic name mystic.

Mystics know that we inhabit many realms simultaneously and that the veils are thin between them. They know that there is a sacred web of all life and we are woven in it. They know that there is a Sacred Alliance of earth, ancestral, cosmic, and otherworld energies and we are part of it. And they know how to travel in those realms and merge with those alliance energies. This is the Light they hold and share in the world.

Mystics hold this magic. Mystics are also called to hold an integrity of purpose. They are called to manifest this magic in service, in service to this planet and all life on it. 

Mystics manifest this magic not for power over, but power with the Sacred Alliance. This is not about wearing the right costume or impressing others with elaborate rituals. There is a simplicity and potency here that can get lost in complex ceremonies. And yes, not all are able to hold this integrity of purpose. But those who can, those who do, navigate realms and forge sacred alliances to manifest wisdom and healing and wholeness.

Mystics. By any other name, they live in the knowing that we are woven in the Sacred Alliance. It’s intrinsic. And it shines a bright Light in our world. 


Changing Patterns

October 26, 2022


There was a pattern in our communion with Ireland’s sacred sites. We would approach with reverence, connect with the ancestors and energies of the land in this place, meditate, and leave with gratitude. It was a pattern of unique and powerful encounter with each sacred site. 

Now, that pattern has changed. It’s no longer about a single site encounter, it’s about all of them together. It’s no longer about an encounter, it’s about a relationship. It’s no longer about receiving spiritual insights and wisdom, although that absolutely still happens, it’s about making a spiritual contribution. 

It’s about forging a relationship in Ireland that is now woven in the fabric of our lives.

It’s about the Sacred Alliance.


A Web Of Hope

October 25, 2022


The Light is rising.

What you look for,
what you look at,
is what you see.

What you focus on increases.

The Light is rising.

Open your search engine and type in any of the following: spirituality, social justice, human rights, animal welfare, earth & environmental justice. The list of projects and organizations will be in the thousands. In fact as of 2018, there were 1.8 million non-profit organizations registered in the US, most within these categories. That’s one non-profit for every 184 people in this country. And of course countless projects and organizations are not registered. That’s a massive meadow of delight.

There were several charitable organizations founded in the early 1900s but the explosive proliferation happened after 1969 when the Tax Reform Act gave us Section 501(c)3 in the Internal Revenue Service Code. When organizations found that they could legally have
status as a charitable organization and offer tax exemptions to their donors, there was a surge in applications for 501(c)3 status. By 1980, the nonprofit sector was being referred to as the “third sector,” and it was influencing the business world. And our world.

All of these organizations, together with countless projects and organizations not registered, form an incredible web of hope. A web of possibility. A web of Light. A web that spans the globe.

The Light is rising!



A Meadow Of Delight

October 24, 2022

The soul becomes dyed

by the color of its thoughts.
Marcus Aurelius

As the mid-term elections approach, the tension is palpable. The political discourse is disgusting and the airwaves are filled with the dark murky substance that now passes for news. While I care deeply about the state of this nation and the world, I have to step back
and choose a different color for my consciousness. My sanity demands it. My soul demands it. 

Fifty years ago I was pursuing a university degree in radio and television. Those were the days of Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, and David Brinkley when the news was delivered without emotional or political bias. They were icons of journalistic integrity. There was no such thing as Faux News. 

That academic trajectory didn’t last. As a woman I was told the career options would be limited. We women were deemed too fragile to carry a large camera. And the passion of the social justice and antiwar movements that were sweeping college campuses was more compelling. I’m so grateful for that shift. I can’t imagine a career in the black morass that is currently the world of journalism. At least in this country. I did see a headline this morning that a BBC commentator was pulled from the air for being too excited about Boris Johnson withdrawing from consideration for Prime Minister. She was pulled for a potential breach of impartiality. That was refreshing to read. But now I’m only reading the headlines and those only briefly. I choose not to go deeper into that murky darkness. 

So I am again choosing a different color to dye my soul. Sigh. I’ve been here before. A different palette of colors. Colors of hope and possibility. Colors of love and compassion. Colors of joy and laughter. And I’m reminded of Beannacht, the piece John O’Donohue wrote for is mother.

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

In this time of the deadening weight of turmoil and conflict, when the loss of hope seems a spectre on the horizon, may we choose a different palette for our souls. May we find a meadow of delight. It is those colors that will sustain us. It is in those colors we will find hope.