Because It’s One Thing I Can Do

When people have been in Ireland with me and are getting ready to fly back to the States, I always talk with them about reentry. Having been in a different energy, on so many levels, it can be jarring to step back into, as my husband names it, the default world. And now, with the energy of anger and fear that is palpable in this country, reentry has become even harder.

It’s such a dramatic shift from Ireland where people just generally hold an energy that welcomes an encounter and conversation. No fear. No judgment. And I have to admit that here in the States I’ve been carrying this place of caution and apprehension. Wondering whether those I encounter support our current administration. Wondering if there’s going to be an outburst of hatred. Wondering, and it’s hard to write this, whose side they are on. For we have become just that polarized. A polarization designed to feed fear and anger and hatred.

Spiritually, I know there is no ‘other.’ But sometimes it’s hard to remember that walking through the grocery store. So many people are so angry and unhappy. 

Within this trauma created by the horrific and unspeakable actions of this administration that are attacking pretty much everything so many of us value, we wonder what we can do. Yes, we will vote. But beyond that it seems so overwhelming. Where do we start?

I am choosing to invoke a bit of the Irish spirit. I’m choosing to go out of my way to engage. To make eye contact and smile and say ‘hello’. There is generally an immediate shift in energy. Perhaps because I’m just a fuzzy haired old woman and not very threatening. But it matters not. What matters is that in this I am declaring that I will NOT see you for you may have voted for. I will NOT be afraid of your politics. I will see you for your humanity. I will see you for that light within you.

Because it works. Because it’s one thing I can do. Everyday.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

This Mythic Battle

I realize I’ve written about them before. But they are no longer a misty specter hovering on the horizon. They are here. It’s clear that many of them have been hiding in plain sight, but now they are emboldened. And their destruction is breathtaking. It’s of legendary and mythic proportion, a story right out of Irish mythology.

Myth is much more important and true than history.
History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.
Joseph Campbell

The Fomorians. Let me introduce them in the words of author John Moriarty who’s book, Invoking Ireland, is a brilliant read.


Ireland was in a sorry state at the time. A terrible, spectral people called the Fomorians had come ashore and there was now no river or valley or mountain or plain that wasn’t the worse for their coming. They were spectral not because they didn’t originally have bodies. Spirit gone bad in them had sucked and aggrandized their bodies into its hectic hunger for supremacy over all things. … and in all of this their leader and exemplar was Balor, he of the evil eye.

 

Spoiler alert. For those not familiar with this legend, the Fomorians are vanquished. They are defeated by the Tuatha Dé, the Divine Tribe, who are known to this day as the People of Peace, People of Light, The Shining Ones, and The Good people. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are currently engaged in just such a mythic battle of good and evil. A battle of epic and increasingly global proportions. I am hopeful that this presence of evil will be vanquished. Perhaps the Tuatha Dé will emerge once again, as promised, to help us out. Perhaps not. But with or without their mythic assistance, we must step up. We must embolden the Light we hold within us for there is great power in it. Standing in that place of power, together we can shine a blinding Light and vanquish this evil darkness. We can win this mythic battle.

Indeed, we must.

An Tuatha Dé Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

You Would Like Her

”You would like her,” they said. Neighbors had encouraged me to stop in and visit her for some time. Apparently she had great stories to share. But I never quite got around to it. And this week she died.

Annie lived just down the road from the cottage here in Ireland. A modest trailer home she shared with her dog and cat. Two days ago we noticed the cars. And then the hearse. And we knew.

I wasn’t sure about going to the funeral for a woman I had never met. But here if you live on the same road, if you are a neighbor, you go. And so I did. There was no church service because although she was a very spiritual woman she had no love of organized religion. The service was around her grave. As we gathered, the skies let loose and we were soon drenched. Perhaps a blessing from Annie.

As people spoke and placed flowers, especially single yellow roses, over her casket I got a sense of the woman. When people visited her she made them feel like they were the only people in the world that mattered. She kept both stories and confidences. She loved music and dancing, often the first on the dance floor. She saw death as intrinsically woven with life and in the end she was ready to go. Excited even. Ready for the next adventure.

”I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good.” “I get by with a little help from my friends.” As those lyrics were played I had a deeper sense of this woman.

And yes. I would have liked her.

Of course I had no anticipation of crying. I had never met Annie. But as we drove home past her tiny house her dog was sitting on the front porch waiting for her. Looking so lost and forlorn. It broke my heart. And the tears flowed.

Annie, you will be missed.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Bit Of Furniture Fun

I was looking for a piece of furniture for the cottage kitchen. A neighbor told me about this place hidden away on a back road in Gort. There was absolutely no signage but I eventually found the place and stepped through the open steel double doors and into a massive warehouse with items that span from second hand to salvage. A bit overwhelming. But I found exactly what I was after. 

The problem was I was dealing with Francis. Nice man. But he made it clear his brother, James, was in charge and the only one who could give me a price. Of course James was not there. As we were standing at the large steel entry doors, Francis said, “It’s best that you ring him. Here. Let me give you the number.”

 

 

 

And with that he reached around and closed one of the doors.

 

 

 

 

Cracked me up. I did ring James. And the deal is done. Delivery of the piece is scheduled for when I get back from the upcoming tour/journey. Here’s a photo.

Beannacht
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

A Sacred Honoring

Of course we don’t know the true meaning of them. So there is room for interpretation. But a few stories I’ve heard from the official guides at Newgrange and Knowth about the meaning of the intricate carvings on the ancient stones are pretty incredible. In the truest sense of the word.

One guide suggested that the carvings are the result of parents giving their bored children something to do. Another suggested they are just decorative doodles and went on to tell the gathered tourists, “Your guess is as good as any.” Seriously. During the latter pronouncement I was standing at the back of the crowd with Jack Roberts and Anthony Murphy. We shook our heads and just walked away.

No. We don’t know the true meaning of them. But many, including Jack and Anthony, have offered insights that bring us closer to understanding. Celestial alignments and patterns. Reflections of the universe and universal energies that were woven with such harmony in the Iives of these ancient people. Honoring sacred cosmology and their relationship with it.

I recently visited the ruins of a church in Glendalough where I saw this carving. Not uncommon as so many churches still carry intricate stone representations of the natural world. Reflections of the Earth energies that were woven in their lives. Honoring the sacred nature of the Earth and their relationship with it.

Celestial patterns. Natural world energies. Honoring the sacred. Reminding us today of our place in the great web of universal harmonies. And perhaps that remembering is enough.

Blessings,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Signs Of Love

Mother’s Day. Honoring all mothers. One day a year for the awareness of it. Every day of the year for the practice of it. Especially when it comes to our Earth Mother. Especially here in Ireland. The signs are everywhere. Including the menu of the Rowan Tree, a favorite restaurant in Ennis.

Honoring all life.
Honoring our Mother.
Is there any more important ethos?

Beanncht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com

Signs Of Place

I was on the phone with Kevin. He was giving me directions to look at stones for an installation at the cottage. “Now. You know Kinvara?” “I do.” “And you know Ballyvaughan?” “I do.” “Grand. So from Kinvara take the Ballyvaughan road about a mile and a half and turn left just after the field of bright yellow flowers.”

Yep. There was the field of flowers. I wondered what directions he gave in other seasons.

The next day Kevin came to the cottage to look at the installation site. I gave him directions with all the road numbers. He got lost and rang me. “I’m just at a blue building with a metal roof. Do you know it?”  I drove to meet him at McCarthy’s Bar so he could follow me to the cottage.

Yesterday I booked a B&B near the Hill of Tara for the night before the Gathering there next Saturday. It had dawned on me that driving three hours the morning I was facilitating an all-day workshop made no sense at all. While on the phone with Mick to make the booking, he gave me directions. “Ah, so your coming that way. Sure, grand. When you get to Trim take the Dunshaughlin road and when you get to Dunshaughlin take the Ratoah road.” Lovely. I got out my map. Of course all the roads had numbers. But he didn’t use them. 

OK. It’s perhaps a subtle distinction. But it’s my experience that way-finding directions in Ireland are very much about a relationship to place. A relationship with the landscape, like a field of flowers, and with destination. If you are headed to Kinvara, you take the Kinvara road. Which can be a bit confusing as there are a few. If you are headed to the cottage you take the Portumna road even though you turn off well before Portumna. 

People who travel to Ireland comment on how connected the Irish are with the land. It’s a relationship with place that has been in place long before anyone thought to assign numbers to the roads. It’s a relationship with the land and landscape that has thrived for thousands of years. It’s a relationship of respect.

It’s a relationship I wish was more present in this country.

Beannacht,
Judith – judith@stonefires.com