A Call To Crone


Thank you for your patience. The book is now available through my website. On the Books page…or this link.  https://stonefireblog.com/books-by-judith/ I am able to sell and ship the books within both the US and Ireland/Europe. 

Some are asking about the woman on the cover. Her name is Stefanie Lange and she’s a fashion model in London. Go figure. When Dennis and I knew that we would be working with images of elder women in the book I remembered I had saved this photo. How can you not love this photo? And so I set out to find the photographer to obtain use rights. In the process I found Stefanie. When I messaged her through FB about using the photo and finding the photographer, this is what she wrote back: It’s lovely you got in touch. How wonderful you’re writing this book of the power of womanhood and wisdom. We are definitely not sliding into being invisible. And with that she shattered my preconceptions about where we will find our Crone Sisters.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Blasphemous Free Speech

The Irish will soon vote on a President and blasphemy. When I saw the referendum guide land in the post over here my first thought was that in the 2016 US election we got something of a package deal that’s gone from bad to horrendous.

In spite of popular and ubiquitous epitaths like Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!, Christ on a bike!, and Jesus feckin Christ!, blasphemy is currently illegal in Ireland and subject to a fine up to €25,000. I doubt many have been so fined and perhaps that’s reason for the upcoming referendum to remove the word ‘blasphemous’ from the Constitution. The referendum is expected to pass. 

The Irish are big on free speech. The Consitution states: The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality: – 

The right of citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions.

The education of public opinion being, however, a matter of such grave import to the common good, the State shall endeavor to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving the rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality…

The publication or utterance of blasphemous, (this word would be removed with a ‘yes’ vote) seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.

The education of public opinion. Common good. Morality. It seems in the States we’ve stepped beyond these ideals to embrace a narrative and public discourse that is blasphemous to the core. And it is a matter of grave import.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Rooted In Justice

I’ve been in Ireland for two recent landmark votes. One for gay marriage and the one last May to repeal the prohibition on a woman’s right to choose. There were no slim margins. Both passed decisively. 

Just before the vote in May I encountered some women who were campaigning for the repeal. They were concerned. There had been massive infusions of money, much from US right wing Christian conservatives, to defeat the repeal. And the ‘Yes!’ campaign was outspent ten to one. The graphic and misleading signs were everywhere. This photo from the Dublin area, I believe, shows a balance of signs but in other areas the streets were lined with only ‘No’ posters.

The ‘No’ narrative was loud and bombastic and aggressive. A very familiar noise for those of us in the States who champion a woman’s right to choose. A loud and aggressive and abusive shouting not at all unlike what is currently happening in the States. A shouting that gets more deafening as we approach the elections in November. A shouting rooted in patriarchy and a belief in white supremacy. 

But here’s the thing. All that shouting. It didn’t work in Ireland. Citing the cautionary tale of our 2016 presidential election, thousands flew home to Ireland to cast their ballots. And across Ireland the people said ‘no’ to the abusive narrative and ‘yes’ to a woman’s right to choose. 

I hold great hope that the same will unfold in our upcoming elections. I hold great hope that we will, like the Irish, choose to cast our ballots rooted in justice.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Burke’s Law

Limestone deposits are an issue here in the west of Ireland. Our hot water kettle was looking pretty grim and I was in search of a solution. Specifically I was on a quest for these small stainless steel plugs that live in the kettle, loosening and collecting the limestone when the water boils. They work brilliantly. I had been to a few local stores with no luck when I wandered into Burke Hardware. The very elder Mr. Burke had them in stock. I was glad to finally find them and our conversation went like this.

Me: You are fabulous.
Mr. Burke: Now, no one has ever said that about me before.
Me, laughing: Well, if that’s true there is something very wrong with the world.
Mr. Burke: Well, at the moment there is something very wrong with the world.

At this point he looked at me carefully. Something I encounter all the time. Sussing out where I stand with the political disaster in our country. 

Me: Oh, yes. We are in deep trouble in the States. It’s just horrific.
Mr. Burke: Well now, over here we shoot them fellas.

Burke’s Law. Not the more restorative justice law of the Brehons. But there was a time when the English honored no law. When they honored neither the Irish people nor their culture. There was a time when this would have been true. And Mr. Burke remembers that time.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Note: I would love to hear from you about this or any other post. Due to hacking and spamming I’ve had to turn off the more automatic response for these posts. 

A Musing

Saw this morning that a dear friend has signed up to follow this blog. She is already signed up but perhaps because I haven’t written in some time she thought she wasn’t. And yes. It has been some time since I’ve written. Well, written a blog post. 

I have been writing. And the book is now printed and delivered. Copies here to the cottage in Ireland and more arriving next week to my other home in Washington State where my dear husband is ready to take delivery. When I return from Ireland mid-October I will be creating a link on this site for purchasing the books. 

This book, the creative spirit of this book, took hold of me last fall. It’s been an amazing relationship and dance. One that continued through the dying and death of my beloved Anam Cara. Annalu was so excited about this book. She was to be my editor and we dreamed of creating Crone tours and workshops together. There is a huge hole in my life and sadness that we will not be doing this work together. At least in this realm. Yes, she is very much with me all the time. But what I would give to sit with her once again.

The work does go on. Just completed a Gathering of women in Sligo and the experience was beyond what I anticipated. A truly magic filled time. Stunning and transforming. And now I feel the call to turn again to writing blog posts.

I appreciate all of you who have signed up to follow this blog in the last few months…and your patience with this journey. And Ann, thanks for the nudge this morning when you again signed up to follow these musings.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com

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.

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.

Judith – judith@stonefires.com