Now, why would you do that? No one around here pays property taxes.
Neighbor Mick was up for coffee and this was his comment when I told him I had spent an hour on the phone with the Irish revenue people getting the taxes sorted for the cottage. My reaching out to pay taxes was clearly taxing Mick’s sensibilities. Dennis suggested it was perhaps an issue of more money than sense and Mick agreed. However since our annual revenue bill is €90, or $89.92 with today’s exchange rate, it’s hardly an issue of money.
When we bought the cottage it was listed as uninhabitable and thus no taxes were owed. Our solicitor counseled me to keep the property taxes current and I had been waiting to receive a bill from the revenue department. When nothing arrived I came to realize that it was up to me to change that designation on the tax roles. Which is what I did yesterday. Apparently I could have gone indefinitely with that uninhabitable designation because the revenue folks don’t seem to check. And it was left entirely up to me to determine the value of the cottage. Ah, the people would be up in arms if we were to do that, the revenue man told me.
But what really caught my attention was the question about whether the house is currently occupied. Why would they care? It seems the answer to that question is rooted in a cultural heritage of being in right relationship in community, of taking care of community. Among the many things the revenue folks seem casually concerned about, there is a great concern for determining if there are vacant houses that could ease Ireland’s housing shortage. It’s a shortage that has been exacerbated by the recent influx of Ukrainian refugees and the government is scouring every available resource for the unhoused.
I can’t imagine this happening in the States, whether letting houses slide around the tax roles indefinitely, or allowing the owners to set the tax value, or being concerned about providing homes for the unhoused. Ireland. A completely different taxing sensibility.
Two words. Knowing. I use this word often to express a deep spiritual understanding. Yet it strikes me that while I intend a mind, body, and soul understanding, this word is much about the mind. Sensing. Perhaps that’s a better word. It’s certainly more suited to my experience.
I’ve long wished that I had the ability to see energies and entities of other realms and dimensions. Although there are moments when I can, I’ve come to a place of accepting that wishing and striving won’t get me there. In this now I am grateful that I am able to sense those energies and entities. And that sensing is strong, landing in my body as a vibration, sometimes specific and unique vibratory codes for specific connections.
I now have one for Ema.
Two words. I knew when I got the message to call him. But it was the first two words Dennis spoke that dropped me to my knees. She’s gone.
While we knew this was likely going to happen while I was in Ireland there is no preparation. I was blessed to be with loving people in the middle of a sacred journey and staying with wonderful B&B hosts who had recently lost their beloved dog and had brandy on hand.
She was gone. But apparently not.
The next day we were climbing the Hill of Uisneach when I found myself reaching down to pet her as she walked beside me. She was there. And with a very strong and specific vibratory signature, one that has become very familiar and comforting. Through an animal intuitive, Ema has often told me that she sees herself as part of my spiritual journey and just this past week, when we asked for one final contact, these messages came.
Ema arrived to talk with me as a fully expansive spirit. She is larger than ever, a Guide now, a Sage, and I could see her as an eternal girlfriend and sister to you. She knows from her life with you how to connect all beings’ hearts. She wants you to know she just stepped from your loving home into a shining continuum where her skills and knowledge become the nutrition of the needy.
Shortly after Ema left this physical plane, I was called to create this image with the last photo we took of her and some words borrowed and adapted from Hildegard von Bingen. Her song vibrates in my being. A sensory delight, and often accompanied by tears of grief and gratitude.
Ah. I sensed the reaction to my last post as soon as I hit publish.
What? It’s just not that easy, this connection with sacred and cosmic energies! I agree. Totally. Simple, yes. Easy, no. While the simplicity of it is elegant, the manifestation of it can be challenging and messy. This journey of getting out of our heads and into a space where we are able to listen, where we are able to connect on a soul live, takes practice and discipline. And I admit I’m still very much a work in progress on this. More time on my meditation pillow is always a good thing.
What I do know is that when I’m there, it’s glorious and transcendent.
Of course cosmic patterns don’t just come blasting to us and through us unawares, although they often need to slip past our conscious awareness. They arrive in a dance of awakening the resonant patterns we already hold. Although not always widely embraced, this is has been known throughout our human history.
Most of us are familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man illustration from around the year 1487. We may be less familiar with what his notes suggest about the meaning of this work, that the proportional relationship of the parts reflects the universal design. He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe, a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm).
Any even cursory exploration of the worlds spiritual traditions will yield a similar understanding. The cultural interpretations and narratives differ, but the message is the same. We hold sacred energies and patterns within us. Some are embedded in our very DNA, something I’ve written about before especially noting that in recent decades scientific proof has been established. Apparently for some that’s important. Such is the state of our current collective conscious.
The concept of sacred patterns within human energy fields can be traced back to ancient India, where the Veda books speak about prana, a universal energy that flows through all living beings and makes them alive. The images we’ve created to reflect these energies and patterns are both complex and stunningly beautiful. Yet it’s not so complex and the true beauty is in the simplicity.
The Universe has got this. Ours is to step back and let the dance begin. We know the pattern of the steps, we know the harmony…by heart and soul.
I don’t have a memory of it. I was three. But I have a clear image from the story told time and again by my parents. Sitting in front of the picture windows in the living room working on a wooden puzzle. It was a clown. I was determined to get the pieces in their proper places and apparently fell asleep on top of the puzzle when I did.
I’ve always loved puzzles, watching for the hidden patterns to emerge. This has served me well in my life, especially in my consulting work when I had the opportunity to engage with groups from different organizations. Looking past the individual goals and agendas to find the pattern of common ground for effective collaboration was exhilarating.
Now I’m watching different patterns emerge. Patterns far more complex and far beyond my brain’s comprehension. Patterns that hold a cosmic complexity woven with the sacred alliance of Earth, ancestral, astral, and otherworld energies. And they are far beyond any manifestations of mental gymnastics. They are the experience of body and soul. Heady stuff, but not head stuff.
These are the patterns of universal and sacred wisdom, patterns that are now woven in the fabric of my life. And the fabric of my life is now woven in this sacred pattern.
When people ask about what unfolded in Ireland this year and about the shifts and changes for the sacred Ireland journeys, I’m inclined to send them this image. For this is the essence of it. Surrendering to and welcoming the patterns and weaving of sacred wisdom.
We have loads of wildlife wandering through the landscape and airscape here at MossTerra – deer, bear, coyote, raccoon, hawk, bald eagle, and of course an abundance of squirrels. Among the many birds we seem to always have resident owls. In the forty-seven years we have lived here we’ve had the occasional raven fly through. But in the last few weeks this has changed. We now have a large flock of ravens calling through the trees and circling overhead. And it’s become a bit raucous around here.
I know that when an animal shows up in our lives we humans tend to assign meaning to it. But as my spiritual teachers have counseled, it’s generally not about you. It’s just an animal passing through. However these ravens are clearly not passing through. And they have my attention.
If raven comes into your life, expect magic. Ted Andrews
My first spiritual encounter with raven was dramatic. I was in the bottom of a cave in Ireland when an Irish woman decided to disrupt my ceremony by channeling Mórrígan who arrived with her ravens. I wrote about this experience in my Legacy book. Mórrígan and I ended that encounter with a mutual respect and for a few years after that when I meditated in Ireland I would often find a raven feather literally planted, standing upright, in the grass in front of me. And there was magic.
If raven appears,
somewhere in your life, magic is at play. Ted Andrews
With what’s unfolding, magic is not at play somewhere in my life. It’s at play everywhere in my life. And perhaps that’s why raven is such a strong and loud presence right now. A reminder that the energy they hold is about going into the dark to bring forth the light. This is why their season is Winter Solstice. This is why in the mythology of the Pacific Northwest coastal tribes it is raven flies through the darkness to steal the sun for the people.
For that is indeed the purpose of this unfolding, this magic. It is all about bringing forth the light in this time of darkness. And it’s all about doing this for the people and the planet.
I welcome this raucous of ravens and am humbled by their message.
I was sharing a bit about what unfolded in Ireland with a friend and he mentioned that there must have been a number of WTF moments in all of that. I laughed. There certainly were.
And then he offered another way to look at that. WTF. Waiting and breathing with the situation, not immediately reacting. Trusting that right action will come, perhaps through listening to guides, ancestors, intuitive and otherworld wisdom. Following that wisdom to right action.
Waiting. Trusting. Following.
Thank you, Michael, I love this. May we all embrace these WTF moments in our lives.
BTW, since I seem to be into acronyms this morning, today is our wedding anniversary. Thirty-eight years. And nine years after we began our relationship. So there was the waiting and trusting and following our hearts. We would do it all over again in a flash. However doing the math over our morning coffee was something of a WTF moment for both of us.
Marty had told us the ancestral and otherworld energies were very present at a sacred site near his home. When we gathered there before the Bealtaine Festival celebration at nearby Uisneach, we could not have anticipated the power and potency of those energies. We were incredibly altered and others had to alert me to the fact that a cow was standing not two feet behind me perhaps considering a nibble on my jacket. Normally skittish, cows had climbed the hill and were standing in a circle around us.
It took a while to bring myself back before we climbed in the car to head to Uisneach. It was the first time on this Ireland journey that we would wonder how I managed to drive.
We were still very much in an altered state when we arrived at the festival and merged with the crowd estimated at 4,000 people. We wandered around in a daze for some time before deciding we had to migrate to the edges to keep our sanity. It was overwhelming. And as much as we tuned in, we could feel nothing sacred about this festival. It had the energy of a renaissance fair. People in costume. Many were dressed as goddesses, others cloaked with swords and daggers. There was even a man dressed as St. Patrick which was markedly antithetical to this ancient sacred fire festival. It was soon clear that there was really nothing sacred about this event. When I mentioned this to Anthony who was there giving a talk, he smiled and told me that was a problem of my expectations. This is not a sacred ceremony. It’s a reenactment.
It was also, because of covid, the first time in two years that people had been able to gather for this event. It was both reenactment and reunion. Most of the people I know who attended the event were wildly enthusiastic about it, especially the chance to see friends. I appreciate that. However I am deeply disappointed about what is clearly the demise of one of Ireland’s oldest and most important festivals and essential sacred events. Through the centuries, this was not a reenactment and the garments worn were not costumes. Through the centuries they continued to make it relevant to current times.
Yes. It was always a gathering of friends and tribes with feasting and games and laughter and music and fine flowing clothing. It was also a time for deep spiritual connection with the ancestral, cosmological, and otherworld energies that were fundamental in their lives. That is what was missing for me as I observed people still standing in line at the food vendors during the lighting of the fire. As rock and roll music continued to blast over speakers from a stage during the fire lighting ceremony. As I overheard people refer to a statue of Ériu as ‘that womany statue over there’, clearly not knowing who she is and that she is the predominant deity and energy of the festival and the Hill of Uisneach.
So no, I won’t be going back. Although I’m glad I was able to experience it this once. It just seems to me that when we relegate these ceremonies to reenactments of the past, we fail to bring the power of those ceremonies forward to this time. And now, as much as ever, we are called to a deeper connection with the spiritual energies fundamental to our lives. We are called to embrace and manifest the ancient spiritual and cosmological wisdom in this now.
We are called to leave behind the cloaks and daggers.
Anthony Murphy is an amazing man and cherished friend. Throughout our long relationship we’ve joked about him being the Druid of Drogheda, his hometown nestled on the River Bóinne near Ireland’s east coast, and I’ve threatened to make him a cloak. Throughout our long relationship he has adamantly said he would never wear one. In this perhaps slightly worn and frayed joke we share, there is the mutual understanding that we are not into costumes for the work we do individually and together. In fact none of my colleagues in Ireland wear costumes which is one reason I work with them.
Of course among my friends and colleagues there is Courtney Davis who is one of the most colorfully dressed men you would ever meet. And some might think his garb is costume. But it’s not. It’s simply a reflection of who he is, his authentic self. And that’s the point.
I don’t need a cloak or costume for the energy I hold and the essence of who I am to be fully present. In fact a costume would hide the truth of that behind a mask of ancient tradition and symbolism which might be romantically decorative but which hold little relevance to who I am or the spiritual experiences and insights I offer. They certainly don’t enhance the power I hold but rather diminish the integrity of it through possible misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
So I will leave my sewing machine for other projects. I do make most of my own clothes but I won’t be sewing any cloaks or costumes for myself or Anthony. I have no desire to cloak the truth.