Thanks to two very accommodating drivers and a "well signed" road, I now have the distinct pleasure of resting quietly inside one of the most strikingly peaceful sites of antiquity that I have visited so far. Overlooking the sea, as most of these ancient rings do, the Spirit who dwells here seems to be holding me in a loving embrace. My eyes lazily scan the lush blue and green dappled hills which lay exposed in all directions. The churning silver-gray sky overhead is pregnant with the promise of a late afternoon shower. But for now, all is still, silent except for the stirring of a gentle breeze and the occasional snort of a nearby bull. I have been warned about this bull, but I have not seen him. I am not concerned and I do not feel that I am in any danger, only exquisitely looked after by the One who summoned me here today.
I can feel You close to me now.
I feel Your hands upon me, Your breath upon my face.
You whisper one word to me, soft as the wind, one single word:
After sitting alone in the circle for half an hour or so I decided to ask the stones if they had any messages they wished to share with me, that I had brought along a pen and note paper. Just then a cow and her calf slowly walked past the outside of the circle. The bond of love between them was so apparently strong it could be felt from a distance; obvious, almost tangible. I realized that the message I was being given was a simple one. "Love", in all ways! I doubt if the ancient spirits who inhabit this formation even speak my language, but the language of the love between these two creatures was universal and powerful.
Monday evening 9:00pm:
I am enjoying an evening meal ritual which I cannot ever imagine tiring of; a "Toasted Special and a pint of Guinness". You will not find a "Toasted Special" on any menu in any pub in Ireland, but it is always offered just the same. All one need do is walk up to the bar and request one. It is basically, a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with tomato and onion. And it is always the cheapest meal you will ever eat in Ireland, but first you have to know that it exists and that you must ask for it by name. I was turned on to this Irish delicacy by two Dubliners, Joe and Lara Darbey, whom I met in Adrigole, who were also staying at the Hungry Hill Hostel on the Beara Peninsula. The hostel also has a nice pub and we met and chatted over a Guinness on my first night there.
On the evening of February 12th, 2006, I conducted a shamanic drumming ceremony in honor of the Imbolc Full Moon. Imbolc, the Celtic Cross Quarter Festival, celebrates the end of Winter and the first signs of Spring's emerging life force. It is personified by the Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. The Willow, one of the trees of Imbolc, is associated with the Moon, water and deep feelings. I wove several wreaths out of willow whips and gave them to friends. I also constructed a small "nest" out of the whips for a "swan gourd" which had darkened as it dried and which I had recently decorated in honor of The Faery Queen Morgan le Fay.
Times are hard, holidays are becoming shorter. The need then to find a place which, in a short space, will offer rest, relaxation, food for the body and for the spirit is pressing. We all hope for a special place that will furnish the balance of rest and stimulation, fun and interest to see us through the working year.
Of course everyone has different aspirations. Perhaps you’d like to see new places, enjoy blue skies and clear seas, would hope to eat healthy, tasty food and still find something more, something that will nourish the inner essence; away from the sameness of crowded resorts with their ubiquitous ‘global village’ approach? Continue reading "Holiday in the Land of the Moon"
The Camino has been hiding secrets, for centuries, that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe.
The Hidden Camino is not only a deep and personal spiritual account, it is also a pilgrims' guide, a love story and a celebration of Life. It is about discoveries that reach deep into the mysteries of ancient Europe, the Celtic legend of Tir-na-nóg, the church's painful deceit and most of all, WHY it was so important for the church to suppress women and the truth about Mary Magdalene..
Mary Magdalene & Her church
In January 2010, a long series of deeply touching and also provocative dreams began. The first dream was about Mary Magdalene and Her church. In later dreams, Magdalene was joined by many other goddessess from around the world, several whom I never had heard of. The dreams were so intense, that I couldn’t shake them off. They made me ask questions I had never previously thought of, they pushed me to open my eyes and actually see, and thus began an adventure beyond my wildest dreams.
My passion is nomadic theology which I define as a theological position that is always on the move, transgressing traditional religious boundaries with a feminist lens. According to my age I am a third wave feminist, though I don’t always find this distinction useful. Hovering over the gap between second and third wave feminism is a question for all feminists: what can keep the liberation coming? What methods and tools need to be passed on so feminism as a movement does not lose steam or become silenced after gaining ground?
I argue many answers to this question can be found within the second wave itself. The Women’s Liberation of the 1960s and 1970s brought to the foreground many insights about the value of voice, experience, and representation that are still rippling. One of the methods frequently employed was consciousness raising groups where women united through, as feminist theologian Judith Plaskow words it: the “yeah, yeah experience”. Sparks of inner knowing were set off in these sharing, non-judgmental groups that many times led to and sustained activism, political movements, and new ways of understanding. One method of keeping the tool of valuing one’s experience and voice as women, while still living in a patriarchal system, is through embedding feminist critiques, values, and ideas with a view to the long haul. In other words seeking to pass on a torch that is a living flame. Continue reading "Goddess Pilgrimage: A Way to Keep Feminist Sparks Flying without Burning Out"
A plethora of sacred sites of Goddess can be found on almost every continent, ranging from archaeological sites and churches to museums, industrial parks and natural landscapes. The variety of these sites depicts the diversity of her worship across the globe from living traditions thousands of years old to contemporary temples founded and blossoming during the last decade. With each of these locales one discovers the treasure trove that is the herstory of the Sacred Feminine.
These destinations reveal the many faces and aspects of She of Ten Thousand Names and her profound age, coming alive in the human psyche over 36,000 years ago, long before worship of any male gods. We know this because her devotees have left their mark on herstory from standing temple stones and textiles to ancient texts, artifacts and the traditions that thrive today. These holy sites are fast becoming recognized pilgrimage sites for women and men as they incorporate the Divine Feminine into their spiritual repertoire. The Sites are particularly important to women’s psychological and religious identities, since they can see in all these strong archetypal feminine images of Goddess traditions where women were heroines, queens and divine, that they too were also created in the image of deity. The sites substantiate a time of egalitarian societies, when women held power and influence and were not relegated to second class status as with the advent of the Abrahamic religions.
Some sacred sites of Goddess reflect an intersection of religions and earlier cultures, such as the holy places of the Saint named Brigid blending with Goddess Brigid in Ireland and Our Lady of Guadalupe mixing with the Aztec Goddess, Tonantzin, in Mexico City. In both these destinations we discover the pagan Goddess intermingled with Christianity, just as we find, over and over again, churches which have been built atop ancient pagan holy places, co-opting the previous religion of the people of the land, since churches for Guadalupe were built atop the sacred sites for Tonantzin. We also discover the pagan Goddess’ aspects, symbols and titles were passed along much like a baton to the new face of the Sacred Feminine, usually Mary, the mother of Jesus, because the people refused to give up their ancient Great Mother. One example of this was with the Goddess Artemis in Ephesus, whose temple was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We also find with some sleuthing, sites or artifacts sacred to Goddess which would greatly surprise most people, particularly the Kabaa stone of Mecca, which was once worshiped as Goddess, according to early Muslim scholars. We learn that Jerusalem, thought to be the holy site of Jews, Christians and Muslims, was and is a holy site of Goddess advocates. And we discover the many names and holy sites of the Goddesses in the Middle East from pre-Islamic times. Continue reading "Goddess Destinations"