Signs & Symbols

But what do they mean, these symbols carved in stone thousands of years ago by our Irish ancestors? Jack Roberts and Anthony Murphy offer the most plausible interpretations. Yet they are also quick to acknowledge that any certainty remains elusive.

Like this carving from inside Slieve na Cailleach, the Hill of the Hag, these ancient petroglyphs remain a mystery. The cosmological language of an ancient spirituality, messages and meanings from and for another time.

Yet as I stood on the Hill looking out at the verdant green landscape that stretches for miles I realized our ancestors did leave us a message for this time. It isn’t one written in stone. It is written in the rolling green hills. A stunning environment that has been handed down through the centuries. A living landscape unspoiled by pollution and human destruction. This is their message to us. Value the web of life and understand your place in that great harmony. It is sacred, they would tell us, keep it safe.

And perhaps if we better understood that message there would be no need for this sign at the bottom of the hill.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

 

 

An Exquisite Hope

Some only see the barren landscape of it. Many liken it to a moonscape, these grey limestone hills that are the Burren. An English general sent to scout this part of Ireland for potential conquest reported there was nothing of value here. “Not enough water to drown a man, nor trees to hang a man, nor dirt to bury him,” was the report. Reflecting an interesting value system, to this man the Burren was bleak and worthless. However there is life here including small orchids that are some of the most beautiful on Earth.

As I wandered this landscape yesterday to spend time with the crashing waves of the Atlantic, I was reminded of the political landscape in the States right now. It is bleak and seemingly barren. Yet there is also life and promise. An exquisite hope. Like the orchid, stunningly beautiful and strong enough to rise from the limestone and endure the wild Atlantic storms.

Exquisite hope. May we rise. May we endure.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Gathering Of Wisdom & Soul

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
John O’Donohue

 

To come home to yourself. To deepen the spiritual wisdom you hold. To nurture your soul. This is the invitation. To breathe with the land that holds an ancient knowing. To meditate in megalithic landscapes and open to the call of the ancestors. To encounter mystic thresholds and portals. To be inspired by mythic lore and legend. To surrender to the rhythms and spirit of Ireland. To have time to connect, reflect, and just be. This is the nature of our gathering.

If you are called, we would so welcome your participation.
A Gathering Of Wisdom & Soul
September 20th – 24th, 2018
County Sligo

The flyer: Gathering Flyer

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Rooted In Ireland

Sigh. This threshold place. Leaving for Ireland this evening and I am again in this disquieting place. Dennis names it a combination of reluctance and anticipation. Yes, a reluctance to leave Dennis and MossTerra and the easy rhythm of walking through the woods to my office each day. And yes, anticipation for what I know will be an amazing month in Ireland. This place of portal between two worlds I dearly love, two worlds in which I am deeply rooted heart and soul, holds such energy. Being rooted sustains me.

Rooted is my experience in Ireland. But it’s generally not the case for those who travel there, especially for the first time. They often travel with a litany of expectations about where they should go, what they should do, and what they should see. And they dash around Ireland trying to do it all, the energy and pace of the holiday mirroring the energy and pace of their lives at home. Blarney Stone, check. Cliffs of Moher, check. Guinness Brewery, check. Book of Kells, check. Irish pub, check.

OK. So I admit to being in a bit of a place of judgment around this. I also acknowledge that for many this is exactly what they are looking for. However it’s not what everyone is looking for. While the idea of going to Ireland and staying, in fact being, in one place may seem antithetical, many are looking for an experience of being rather than doing. They are seeking the invitation and opportunity to be rooted and deeply connected. So this year we are shifting the Sacred Ireland offerings to include tours in the Spring and a place-based gathering/retreat in the Fall. A Gathering of Wisdom & Soul. An invitation and opportunity to be rooted.

More details are in the next post.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

The Next Available Operator

We’ve all been there. Calling and being told all lines are busy and asking us to hold for the next available operator. It’s especially daunting when they give you an estimated wait time. The IRS will tell you twenty minutes but after an hour and a half, which seemed like an eternity, I hung up. We have no real concept of waiting for an eternity, but there are those who do. And they are still on the line. Waiting.

A dear sister commented on my last post: I love Ireland because the Earth and the spirits of the land are so used to humans communicating with them that it makes it easy to feel the Divine around us as well as inside of us. It’s true. The Earth and ancestor spirits are very present in Ireland and it hasn’t been that long ago when communication was common. They are still there. They are still calling to us – calling for us to be the next available operator. 

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Natural Advantage

When I booked my session with Lucas, the intuitive, I had thought I would check on my parents. But soon into our time, in fact right after my granddad popped in with his Irish greeting, Lucas went silent. There was a pause and then he told me he was seeing these incredible light beings from the land of Ogham. Why I didn’t think my spirit guides would avail themselves of this opportunity to communicate with me is beyond me. But they did. Although they are present with me always and I connect with intention in ceremony every day, the messages and knowings I receive, while powerful, can lack clarity. I suppose this was an opportunity for them to be articulate and explicit. And they proved something of an ongoing distraction for Lucas who was very much trying to stay focused on my biological family.

Somewhere towards the end of my session Lucas intimated that with my deep connection to these spiritual ancestors he was surprised I had called him at all. “You could do this yourself,” he said.

Well, I can’t. Not at this point. Through the many years I’ve been in spiritual community with seers and shaman I have always envied their ability to traverse other realms, to see and hear entities from other worlds. I get a strong sensation of presence but haven’t yet been able to see even my spirit guides. Perhaps one day. Perhaps not. At this point it will unfold as it should.

But it begs the question about how we lost the familiar fluency with the spirit worlds that came so easily to our ancestors. Sure, they weren’t all psychics or intuitives. There would have been varying levels of proficiency. But regardless the level of ability, history tells us there was not the widespread denial of such fluency that pervades our current cultural consciousness.

So how did we lose this? Technology is an easy answer. But it’s just one aspect of the larger machine-mind consciousness that we have adopted. A consciousness that we are separate from and even superior to the natural world. And so we created our own rhythms and cycles and calendars that cause us to careen through life at warp speeds. In this we have lost touch with the natural rhythms and cycles of the Earth. We have abandoned a connection with the cosmic energy that flows through and animates all life. Without this connection there can be no communion.

Living close to the Earth, living in harmony with her energies and seasons and cycles and wandering her liminal landscapes, our ancestors had a natural advantage. They walked lightly on the Earth. Their lives included, and even depended on, spending time just being with the Earth. Opening and listening and receiving the knowing, the wisdom, that vibrates through every strand of the cosmic web.

We may have forgotten the Earth but she has not forgotten us. She is with us and available to us. A constant presence that offers an invitation to surrender to her gracious space of portals and thresholds and liminal landscapes. An invitation to reclaim our natural advantage.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com