A Sinister Game

I generally focus these posts on Irish wisdom, culture, and heritage. I suppose the relationship here are the recent stunning words and actions by the Prime Ministers of Ireland and New Zealand. They lit up the world stage with the bright light of true leadership. Their words and actions also shine a glaring light on the lack of true leadership in this nation.

There is hope for our nation. But that hope will only be realized when we stop playing this sinister game of whack-a-mole. The game is rigged. And not in our favor.

So many critical issues face us right now. Social justice, climate change, gun violence, health care, education, white supremists and their hate crimes. The list is endless. And we struggle to attend to all of it because all of it is vitally important. Whack another mole. 

Yes. There are victories for the issues and values we hold dear. And we celebrate them. But the horrific injustices keep popping up and this whack-a-mole dynamic is exhausting. Exhaustion and fatigue are part of the game plan.

But there is one issue at the root of all others, one issue that could end this game. This issue is our government being owned by corporate interests and influences. It started decades ago and got a huge power boost through Citizens United. Eisenhower saw it coming and warned us. Now we must end it.

It is painfully clear that so many of our elected representatives and so much of the legislation they pass are controlled by those interests and influences. Just three examples from current news. An NRA backed bill has been proposed in the Missouri legislature that would require every citizen to own an assault weapon. Influenced by chemical companies, the FDA is getting ready to approve GMO salmon production along with the re-approval of pesticides in our food. The Humana CEO just announced industry plans to hijack the medicare for all movement.

The only ones who will benefit are the corporations and the legislators they own. And every day the news brings more of these horror stories. 

We may wonder why our elected officials would go along with all this legislation. And then we look at the records of their corporate and special interest campaign contributions. Even in my blue state of Washington, our senators continue to oppose healthcare-for-all legislation. They have each taken massive money from health care and insurance companies. When they are owned and influenced by these companies, our influence as voting citizens becomes a thinly veiled illusion.

There is hope for our nation. And I believe there is common ground for that hope. Our similarities are greater than our differences. We all want health and happiness and a sustainable lifestyle. We all care about our children and our families, our friends and our communities. But an insidious aspect of this whack-a-mole game is to divide us rather than join us. To polarize us with a narrative of separation and fear and anger. To polarize us into thinking that it’s our interests versus our neighbors’ interests when in fact the only interests being served are those of corporations and the wealthy.

And against this backdrop of decisive polarization and whack-a-mole distraction, corporate greed flourishes and corporate power continues to grow.

As the field of Democratic presidential candidates grows in anticipation of the 2020 election, I’m going to be watching for those voices who call for unity and call for an end to corporate control. Yes. It’s going to be a challenging time. The corporations and oligarchs will not give up without a fight. But we are already fighting. It’s time to hone our strategy. It’s time to take back this nation.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

From Flickering Flames

I created and posted this piece with the word ‘cosmic’. Then reposted it with ‘sacred’. While I write and speak about universal harmonies and cosmic connections, it’s not a narrative that resonates for a huge number of people. And right now, it’s all about the narrative.

In advance of the 2020 election, we are seeing the GOP, conservative forces, and foreign influences in this country and around the world hone their narrative of anger, fear, and hatred. A narrative designed to further our polarization…and their control. We are also hearing a call for the Democrats to find a compelling and unifying narrative of equality, social and environmental justice, and compassion. 

I know that many of us, in fact the majority of us, hold the Light of these energies and generally manifest them in our lives. Like so many burning candles. And that’s a good thing. However it doesn’t take much of a wind to sweep through and blow them all out. What a wind cannot so easily extinguish is a raging bonfire. Now is the time for us to light that bonfire even if it means surrendering the unique integrity of our individual flames. Something we are perhaps not so inclined to do.

A raging bonfire will require us to find common ground with as many other lights as possible. Common ground and a commonly shared narrative. So yes, I rather like the depth and complexity of cosmic connections. But ‘sacred’ is far more likely to be a shared ideal. And even that may be a bit much for some, the idea that we are all sacred, that the Earth is sacred. Perhaps not. That would be wonderful.

But it’s time. Time to move beyond our individual flickering flames to create the narrative and the raging fire that will consume the anger, fear, hatred, and greed. We can do this. We must do this.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Man Of Myth & Misery

Well, it’s that time of year when people seem compelled to wish me a happy St. Patrick’s day. And that time of year when I have the opportunity to explain that I don’t celebrate either the day or the man.

He is mythic. And some argue that he is, in fact, a myth. But his presence and influence were devastating to the ancient mystic traditions of Ireland. And to those who held the cosmic wisdom. A wisdom we have now largely lost.

And then there’s the snake. Common narrative holds that he drove the snakes out of Ireland. However there had not been snakes in Ireland since the ice age. And the snake is an iconic image of the Divine Feminine. The symbolism is clear…he was sent to rid the Irish of their pagan past. He was enthusiastic and ruthless. And largely successful.

There are those who will hold parades and drink green beer and wear Leprechaun hats. And there are those who will strengthen their resolve to bring back the ancient wisdom. Me among them. For in this time we need all the wisdom we can claim…and re-claim.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Your Majesty

We could feel you in the air. The forest was so quiet. As we sat on the front porch in anticipation, Dennis said it was like waiting for Christmas. And then you arrived.

Within hours you had covered everything in a deep blanket of white. The power of your presence something we will likely not experience again in our time on Earth. It was majestic. Your weight caused the trees to bow low and we were soon in isolated sanctuary. No electricity. No travel possible. Called to a place of just being. With you.

Stop, was your message. Attend this depth and silence. Listen. 

That night as we lay in bed in the dark, you began to take your leave. The snow cascading off trees was like the sound of rolling thunder throughout the forest. Suddenly I was so deeply sad. Wait…just a bit more. I want to take more pictures. I want to sit and gaze at the wonder of you. Don’t leave us just yet. There is wisdom here and I want to drink in every moment of it. One more look at your majesty. Perhaps a last look of a lifetime.

And then you were gone. 

Your Majesty. I will cherish the memory. 

Judith – judith@stonefires.com


Unfolding Wisdom

February 1st. Imbolc. Celebrating Brigit and the first day of Spring as we welcome new life and the promise of new life in this season. The snowdrop is among many of Brigit’s sacred symbols.

The first day of Spring. Granted, with the polar vortex and sub-zero temperatures currently gripping much of this country, it may be hard to think about Spring. But even without the dynamics of climate change, today being the first day of Spring is as challenging to embrace as Beltane, May 1st, being the first day of Summer, or Lughnasa, August 1st, being the first day of Fall, or Samhain, October 31st, being the first day of Winter. In our ‘modern’ western culture we wait weeks longer for the full manifestation of each season before declaring its presence. 

It’s almost as if we don’t have the patience for the slow unfolding and awakening of each season. We want to be in the fullness of it. Now. No waiting. And I’m finding at the moment that this applies not only to the seasons of the Earth but also the seasons of our lives.

My new Crone book. I am both humbled and fascinated by the response to it. Humbled that it seems to be deeply meaningful for so many women. Fascinated by the response of younger women, women who are, in some cases, decades from being Crone but who seem ready to name themselves Crone. Ready to have a Croning ceremony for their 50th birthday. Ready to claim the full manifestation of Crone. Now. No waiting. 

Being Crone isn’t just about being old…but it is about being old. While I appreciate these younger women may see something aspirational and engaging about holding Elder wisdom, I hope they can appreciate and have patience for the journey. The slow unfolding and awakening. For in this there is unfolding wisdom.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

I’m Not Looking For Friends

Most iconic of all images of elder women is the Crone.
She is not withdrawn. She is alarmingly present.
Like a tuning fork, her truth shatters hypocrisy.
Others in her presence are released into what is true in themselves.
Or they flee.

She was recently in Ireland and bought my books. She emailed to ask if I was in Ireland and available to give her a bit of a tour of sacred sites. I’m not. So arrangements were made with Colleen, our amazing residential cottage caretaker. I understand they had a wonderful time. She emailed me from the Dublin airport on her way home. And today we are meeting for lunch. Lovely. Jack mentioned she’s a wonderful woman and we might become friends.

Perhaps. But as I navigate these thresholds of Elder and Crone, I find I am not looking for friends. I am looking for sisters, and brothers, who want to step into what is true in themselves. I am looking for sisters, and brothers, who are willing to shatter hypocrisy and be alarmingly present in the world.

So a new friend? Perhaps. A new Crone sister? I hope so.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Sacred Vibrations

Sometimes a visual helps. Those who have traveled to Ireland with me have heard the numbers. Of holy wells. Of cairns. Of stone circles. Of ring forts – estimated between 50 and 60 thousand. For an island just over half the size of Washington State, the sacred sites are ubiquitous. So many numbers and so hard to get a mind around them.

But here is a map of Ireland’s archaeological sites, most considered sacred, created entirely of dots. Each dot a site. 

It’s no wonder that people so intensely feel the power and presence of this place. It’s no wonder that we sense the presence of other realms and the ancestors. Within these places, the land holds fast that energy and knowing of ancient wisdoms. Within this landscape there is a sacred vibration, a vibration that calls us to return. Again and again.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com