Use Your Words

July 13, 2020


They had a chance encounter in the parking lot. It didn’t go well. They had often shared cordial conversation and pleasantries in the twenty years their businesses have existed next door to each other. But this time would be different.

The man complained about the current COVID19 restrictions and made derogatory comments about our governor who put the guidelines in place. When my friend gently offered that our governor wasn’t all bad and in fact has done good things for our state, the man exploded into a tirade about libtards, clearly placing my friend in that category. As he got louder and more animated, two other business owners across the parking lot came out to see what was going on and offer support to my friend who was clearly shaken by the encounter. She tried to suggest to her neighbor that they had known each other for a long time and perhaps they could just have a conversation without the shouting. It made no impact.

We are seeing this same thing play out in all those ‘Karen’ videos that are flowing through social media. Angry and hateful. Screaming and yelling. Raw emotion. And like toddlers throwing temper tantrums, there is no reasoning with these people.

As my dear friend and I talked about her encounter we wondered, as so many of us are wondering, how healing will happen with this violent polarization in our country. Especially as there seems no possibility of conversation or dialogue to navigate our differences. When small children are spewing angry emotion, we tell them to use their words. The problem is that for these ‘Karen’ adults their words often parrot the angry, hate filled, derisive, and divisive words of our current administration. Are they even using their own words? There is no critical thinking. Just criticism and condemnation.

Within this there is the clear lesson that the policies of our education system have failed us. We have abandoned explorations in critical thinking for standardized testing. That must change. However the more immediate genesis for these tantrums is emotional not intellectual.

Looking at the videos and images of MAGA folks, they rarely seem happy. Their faces and hostile language are filled with such rage. In my more compassionate moments, I can see them as people who are afraid and deeply wounded. And those wounds are festering. Violently.

For those of us who consider ourselves compassionate people, for those of us committed to holding the space of peace and love and light, we are challenged. We try to use our words but that doesn’t work. The MAGA narrative creates an impregnable barrier to resolution and reconciliation. It seems there is no common ground to be found. With this seemingly endless war of words, how will we find a way forward? How will we find healing? Because use your words is not working.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Gift Of Peace

July 5, 2020


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

The acrid smell of cordite still hangs in the air this morning. Dennis mentioned that General Patton once commented that he loved the smell of cordite in the morning. Turns out he didn’t. But many others have. We don’t live in a war zone, but it sure sounded like it last night. Dennis said it was more intense and prolonged than what he experienced in Viet Nam. In our rural and wooded neighborhood, much of what people exploded last night is not legal.

I have a great uncle buried in Flanders Field. The poem is one I memorized in seventh grade. And it came to mind last night amid the explosions. I was thinking about the birds including the owl who was yesterday a source of great concern for other birds. I was thinking about our resident dear and her two fawns, who are actually just now walking the path from the meadow to within fifteen feet of my office as I write this. I was thinking about the trees and the plants and all living beings who were being subjected to the noise and explosive shock waves.

So I went outside to sit with the Earth energies here at MossTerra. I had been holding the energy of peace for our dog and cat who, over the years, have come to a remarkable place of calm with these explosive rituals. As I sat with the Earth I felt that strong and palpable presence of peace emanate from me. And as I felt the energy flow through the landscape for a few minutes there were no explosions. A gentle and calm quiet. This will pass. You are safe. You are loved.

Every day Dennis and I express our deep gratitude for the blessing that is MossTerra. This beautiful and wild landscape. We receive so much. So many gifts. Perhaps last night I was able to give something back. A gift of peace.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Dream Yoga With Tinker Bell

July 2, 2020


Seriously? This is a thing? Yes. It’s on the bulleted list of what will be included in a thirteen week video course on how to heal your life in the dream time. Along with dream travel with archangels and W.B. Yeats. The whole thing seems highly suspect to me. However it wasn’t by chance or internet meanderings that I found out about this. Someone I know is actually signed up for this course. 

OK. I’m a spiritual guide and teacher. And yes, people pay to join me on pilgrimage or attend gatherings both here in the States and in Ireland. But I don’t channel Tinker Bell. Nor do I orchestrate their individual and unique experiences. My work is about creating the container in which participants can have their own encounters as is appropriate to their spiritual journey. My work is about creating the space for the wisdom each of us holds to emerge more clearly. It often comes as a surprise when I tell people that I won’t give them anything they don’t already have within. Information, yes. Perhaps a different perspective, yes. But the essential sacred nature, the knowing and wisdom that is within each of us isn’t something that can be given. Or taken away for that matter. 

It’s really that simple. Which is why it’s often so hard to grasp. And I appreciate that it’s tempting to create all manner of complex teachings and tools and rituals thinking they will give us the wisdom. But they won’t. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, a teaching is merely a vehicle to describe the truth. Don’t mistake it for the truth itself. A finger pointing at the moon is not the moon

And right now we need the full Light of the moon. We need to step beyond the pointing fingers because we all know our way home to the Light we hold. And we need to shine that Light. It’s that simple.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

The Lights Are Rising

July 1, 2020

A friend was reading my Legacy book and asked Dennis, “Yeah, but how is this going to change the world? How is this going to stop a nuclear war?” 

Wow. Well, there isn’t a book published that will change the world and prevent a nuclear war. Change is happening but it’s not coming from any one source. I have to admit I’ve been looking for that one source, that one eloquent and powerful champion of change. But I don’t see it. What I do see is a growing list of changes that are happening one person and one action at a time. 

What I know is that we are each one of us born with divine Light. And love and joy and peace and an enthusiasm for life. Yes, there are many that have all but extinguished their light. But they are small in number even though currently large in headlines. And I know that for the majority of people on this planet their Light is brighter than it’s been in a long time and it’s from that place of the Light within each of us that change is happening.

We know how to do this. We know what needs to be changed and within the landscape of our lives we know how to make those changes. We don’t need one source to tell us what to do. We’ve got this. We see each other’s shining and we hear each other’s stories and we are lifted up to shine our Light even brighter.

One by one the Lights are rising.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Dog For President

June 24, 2020

Seventeen years of unconditional love.

A dear friend wrote this after the transition of her beloved dog Tucker. Yes. Dogs are unconditional love…and loyalty and so much more. They teach us how to be present to this moment, the only one we have. They teach us about the simple joys of companionship and the pleasures of the natural world.

They are also resilient and forgiving. I admit that I’m a sucker for dog rescue videos and always amazed at how quickly abandoned and abused dogs respond to love. It seems they can easily leave behind those scars while we humans tend to carry that baggage around for the rest of our lives. We can learn a lot from dogs.

Reflecting on our beloved canine companions with their unconditional love, the idea landed about having a dog for president. Yes. It’s an outrageous and totally unrealistic idea. But how much better would that be than the current administration which is the very manifestation of unconditional hate?

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

No Police. Imagine That.

June 23, 2020

Defund the police. From a marketing perspective this was a poor choice of words. It’s never wise to brand an idea with a label that is so provocative and that so immediately demands an explanation that seems to begin with that’s not really what we mean. Because for most people the idea of not having a police force is unacceptable. 

However there was a time when having a police force would have been equally as unacceptable. In ancient Ireland there were no police and no jails. They weren’t necessary. The Brehon Laws guided their justice system, a system that was restorative rather than punitive. Under these codes, everyone was honored and everyone had value.

Sure, there were crimes committed. Theft, abuse, and even the occasional murder. They were, after all, human. But when a crime was committed, the objective was to restore what the victim lost according to their honor price. This restoration was not only the responsibility of the person who committed the crime, but also of their family, clan, and tribe. They didn’t need anyone to interpret the Brehon codes and only when there was disagreement over the interpretation did they call in a Brehon judge specifically for the purpose of arbitration. But the Brehons had no enforcement power. That was left to the community. It was community policing at its finest.

And it worked. In fact the Brehon Laws worked so well that both the English and Roman systems of justice were influenced by this ancient code.

Defund the police. There’s another flaw in this label. It speaks to what we don’t want rather than what we do want. It’s not aspirational or generative and it’s not a great place to begin imaging a future justice system. In a time when we need tsunamic change in our policing system, this is narrowly focused. It’s not about funding. It’s about fundamental change. No police may be an outrageous notion but be need to be expansive enough to consider the outrageous. It’s a place to begin.

So. No police. Imagine that.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

This Is Not The Time For Inches & Increments

June 21, 2020

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions
and other explosions above or below water
all have the potential to generate a tsunami.

COVID 19 didn’t arrive on shores around the world with the slow measure of an incoming tide. It crashed down with the sudden force of a tsunami. We don’t know the cause. But it seems a seismic disruption of the environmental balance could well be a factor. 

The global protests against systemic racism and police brutality have also arrived with the force of a tsunami. In this case, the causes are obvious. Like a crashing together of tectonic plates, the pressure has been building up for hundreds of years. Although the warnings have been ignored every bit as much as with the environment, this explosion, this eruption, was predictable. 

All along the Washington coast where the possibility of a tsunami is very real, there are signs for evacuation routes. When faced with an approaching force of this magnitude, slow and considered movement doesn’t work. The only viable action is to get out and get out now. And now, in the face of these tsunamis, the only viable action is to abandon everything and get to higher ground. In this case, moral ground. 

This is not the time for movement measured in inches. This is not the time to create more commissions to study the issues. We know what the issues are. We know what the solutions are. Studies only avoid action. This is not the time for making incremental adjustments in our current systems, whether systems of thought or policy, for those systems are broken beyond repair. 

This is not the time for inches and increments. In the face of these tsunamis, it is the time for bold action. We need tsunamic change. 

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

No False Flag Here

June 20, 2020

False flag. A flag flown to disguise true identity.

Heritage. It’s a word I use a lot. In writing and pilgrimages and gatherings and the titles of my books. As they would say in Ireland, I do rather bang on about it. And I don’t see that changing. But let me be clear. When I speak and write about heritage, I am focused on a heritage of being in right relationship with the Earth, the sacred, and in community. A heritage that is shared in so many cultures around the world, especially those cultures that are still woven with their indigenous roots.

These are heritages to honor and celebrate. There are those that do not deserve to be honored or celebrated. These are the heritages of exploitation and greed and subjugation which are also present in world cultures. Including ours. Although people tend to wave the concepts of heritage and history as some kind of sacred banner, these are false flags that disguise the truth. 

Currently many in our nation are embracing the confederate flag as a symbol of our history and heritage. But let’s be clear. This is not about some lofty ideal of heritage. It’s about racism. And while the history of the confederacy that birthed the flag only lasted five years, the heritage of racism embedded in that flag is still with us. 

When the confederate flag was being designed, there were those who didn’t think it went far enough in clearly communicating the truth behind the symbol. William Thompson, editor of the Savannah Daily Morning News, published these words on April 23, 1863.

As a people, we are fighting to maintain
the Heaven ordained supremacy
of the white man over the inferior
or colored race; a white flag would thus be
emblematical of our cause.
Our idea is simply to combine the present
battle flag with a pure white sheet.

Because Thompson’s idea did not become the official flag, some suggest the pure white sheet became the garments of the KKK. 

Today, those who wave and wrap themselves in the confederate flag would have us believe it stands for some higher sense of historical heritage. They may believe it’s some kind of clever disguise. But it’s not. There is no false flag here. We see it for exactly what it is. And we see them for exactly who they are.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Coming Home

June 12, 2020

Elder & Ancestor Wisdom


I recently spent four days with some of the grandmothers of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. During this Summit of the Rose, we listened to grandmothers from Tibet, Africa, and tribes here in the States. It was a stunning and filling piece of time. Dennis asked whether their messages were different from those shared in the past. No. The messages were still focused on our relationship with the Earth, the Sacred, and each other. There was perhaps more urgency.

No. What the grandmothers shared is the same core message that is being shared by elders and ancestors and wisdom keepers around the world. It’s time to come home. Malidoma Somé published this in April.


A Message From Elder Malidoma Somé

The world is in an initiatory intensive at this time. As with any initiation, the fear of the unknown is more deadly than what is known. At times like this, we must invoke our medicines, our collective gifts and imaginations to stomp the spread of fear and insecurity, and to read into the crisis that is plaguing the world from the perspective of our human genius and its capacity to respond to our turmoil wisely.

At this time dear ones, we need to distance ourselves from the fear that is spreading and get closer to Nature and our Ancestors. Nature carries the magic we need to ascend to the light of our collective immunity. As the mirror of our true selves, Nature wants us to immerse ourselves into Her so we can remember that we are not the puppets of fear. If we do so, we will see how this pandemic is a call to self-check and an invitation to reclaim a larger power we are entitled to. We are also invited to remember that our healing is with our Ancestors. These forebears are reminding us that the medicine we brought to this planet is yet to be unleashed fully. Let us engage them with the stories of our current journey. Let us show them that as co-creators, we stand together while we walk through this initiation. Let’s not sag into the easy recess of panic. It’s a déjà-vu that makes us predictable to the agents of manipulation and robs us of our the grace of our sacred selves. If we do trust our medicine, if we have faith in our Ancestors and believe in the magic of Mother Nature, now is a good time for all of that to show.

Now, more than ever we must speak loud to the Ancestors, we must feel the Earth beneath our feet and we must capture the smell of Nature as we commit to a larger life and re-subscribe to the medicine of each other. We are that close to a glorious homecoming.

May it be so. And may we come home.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Behind Closed Doors

June 10, 2020


We’ve been here a while. Behind these closed doors. And in the dance of openings and re-closings, it seems we will be here for a while longer.

It’s hard for me to get my mind around the global nature of this. So many sequestered around the world. All experiencing a shift in life rhythms and patterns. And in this shifting, in this slowing down to the speed of wisdom, how many are embracing this opportunity for contemplation and introspection? How many are embracing this opportunity to recalibrate our lives and perhaps our collective moral compass? I wonder.

OK. Probably not as many as I would hope for. But still, there has been a shift in the global collective consciousness. Perhaps we are seeing some of this manifest in the strong and sustained peaceful protests against police brutality. Some might argue this is more the consequence of the perfect storm of people with both free time and outrage. I choose to believe that beyond the distractions of binge watching movies and purging closets and planting gardens – all good and worthwhile activities – people have considered deeply the world we want to step back into when the doors open again. And our role in shaping that world.

Closed for maintenance. When those doors open again, may we indeed be transformed. May that transformation have deep and secure roots. And may we sustain the trajectory of that transformation. For our people. For our planet.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com