Sunday, January 29, 2023

Imbolc: Bridgit's Day

The Blessings of Bridgit to you!  In olden days, and to this day still in Ireland great fires were lit on hilltops in honor of Bridgit, Goddess and Midwife to the new born, Smith of fire craft and metal, Goddess of love and marriage, Lady of the seed, and the new milk................just about all good things were seen as the blessings of Bridgit.  In fact, and many don't know this, Britain was named after Bridgit.  Great Britain, Great Bridgit.  Her roots go very far back to prehistoric times.  

This is a significant day because it is the day of quiet, unseen Germination, in the roots, under the sleeping Earth,  the very beginning of the awakening of new life as the sun begins to warm and illuminate the world.  Bridgit's Day.  

Here is a lovely little article from geomancer and Earth Mysteries teacher Sig Lonegren,  who first taught me to dowse and introduced me to.......well, what became my life work.  But that's another story. Time to begin to germinate those seeds!  

 "Imbolc is that time of the Celtic yearly cycle when the seed that was planted at Samhain (1 November) and lies dormant through the dark of the winter, by throwing out that little cotyledon, moves by itself for the first time.  It is analogous to the quickening in the human reproductive cycle.  It has a life of its own.  In Vermont, where I used to live,  an underground chamber called Rodwin is oriented toward the Imbolc Sunset. 

Here in Glastonbury, the Pilgrim Reception Centre sponsored a new Holy Thorn (the old one on Wearyall Hill was vandalised).  This cutting from the old Holy Thorn was planted next to a new World Peace Pole as well as a bench for visitors to rest on.

Imbolc is the time when ideas or plans that have been lying fallow in the dark all winter are now ready to begin a life of their own.  What projects have you been thinking about that are ready to begin to move, to manifest?  Use this time of Imbolc to feel that quickening, and be ready to give birth."

Sig Lonegren
Mid-Atlantic Geomancy

Bridgit in performance.  Photo by Thomas Lux

Friday, January 20, 2023

Spirits of Place


 "I experienced contact with something or someone sentient and much greater than my individual self. I had experienced contact, even momentary communion, with the "essence" of what could be called a transpersonal presence. Afterwards I was told by the local shaman or caretaker that I had met with the guardian spirit of the place.....Pilgrim Martin Gray described a (similar) unification experience he had while attending a Shinto religious festival."

Debra D. Carroll "From Huacas to Mesas"
DIALOGUES WITH THE LIVING EARTH, James and Roberta Swan (1989)

I have been thinking, as I often do, about the "numinous", the intelligence of the life around us, whether we walk in a forest, the desert, or simply, as I do, talk to my plants each morning, asking them what they are doing and admiring them. They don't exactly answer in English, but they do let me know what's going on.

How do we "talk to the Earth"?  Ever since I learned to dowse I've wondered about that.

Following this thought stream, I felt like sharing a story, and the  writings of Martin Gray, who spent some twenty years of his life visiting sacred places around the world as a pilgrim.  His life, in truth, has been one of pilgrimage.   I take the liberty of sharing below an article from his amazing book, SACRED EARTH.**

I myself have experienced things "paranormal" at places of power, including heightened energy, dowsing rods that go crazy, orbs, strange photographs, dreams, and other phenomena.  When I climbed the Tor  in Glastonbury, all my photos were infused with violet light.....which is the color associated with the Lady of Avalon.  My camera hasn't taken "purple photos" before or since. For days after visiting Avebury I was "blissed out", and had the most wonderful dreams.

I remember when I was living with with my former husband in upstate New York in the 90's. Where we lived was a rural area rapidly being built up with industry. One of the mysterious places in the area, to me, was a field I used to visit. To get to that field, which bordered our property, one had to go through a kind of obstacle course - you crossed an old stone wall, immediately ran into a rusted barbed wire fence, and then tramped through a barrier of poison ivy, grape vines and small trees.

Braving all of this, a beautiful field appeared.  Bordered on all sides by trees, you could stand there in the tall grass, or the snow, and see nothing of the warehouses or homes nearby. It felt, oddly, as if it was somehow protected, as if you entered a special, quiet, mysterious place. The land had obviously once been worked, but it had been left fallow for many years, and in the center  of the field, if you looked, was a  "fairy circle". Small trees, bushes, even tall grasses formed a surprisingly visible circle. With my divining rods, I found there was a ley crossing in that exact spot - the rod "helicoptered" and whirled.

My Ex and I were actively involved in Earth based spiritual practices, and he facilitated a  men's group. One night when the moon was full the group, energized by drumming, decided to visit the field. There was snow on the ground, and as the young men strode to the stone wall, something pushed two of them into the snow! Being young, they got up and  thundered forward - and something  pushed both of them backwards, again. They fell on their behinds in the snow! This (I was told) was enough strangeness for everyone, and the group  turned around and went home. The next day, he and I  I took offerings to the edge of the field. 

I remember placing crystals and flowers on a stone, and as I did, I felt such an overwhelming sense of sorrow that tears ran down my face. I believe I was feeling the sorrow of the guardian spirit of that place. I don't really know what it meant, but the memory is still vivid.   It was a very intense feeling, and sadly, a  year later there was an oil spill in a nearby truck depot, and the wetlands that bordered "the Field" suffered ecological damage, and a big tree we associated with our "Green Man" died.

Sensitivity follows intention, and perhaps, had I not been practicing an Earth based religion, I would not have had that experience.  The voices of the land are subtle, and we must prepare ourselves to listen.  The tragedy is that the Earth is speaking to us all the time, and the forces of modernity, moving faster and faster and faster, make us ever more deaf to the subtle Voices of the land.

I have taken the liberty here of sharing an article by Martin Gray, who is so much more eloquent than I in discussing this.

Non-corporeal Beings:  The mysterious influences of spirits, devas and angelic beings associated with sacred sites

by Martin Gray
Sages and seers from antiquity have repeatedly remarked that the dimension we see with our physical eyes is not the only dimension of existence. Many other realms exist and within them a variety of beings, spirits, energies and entities. Traditional peoples the world over have spoken of the existence of these presences, calling them such names as elves, gnomes, leprechauns, devas, fairies, genies and ghosts.

Since time immemorial humans have sought contact with these unseen forces. Shamanic practitioners communicate with the spirits of animals, ancestors and the plant world. Psychics, clairvoyants and mediums conduct séances to speak with entities from nonvisible realms. Religious mystics affirm the presence of angels, deities and other heavenly beings. Whatever we choose to call these entities, and however we attempt to explain them, it is certain that something mysterious is happening in dimensions other than those perceptible by our normal senses of sight, hearing, touch and smell.

These mysterious presences seem to be especially concentrated at the power places and sacred sites. In some holy places, particularly those of remote forest and desert tribes, these unseen presences are the sole focus of ritual activities. No Christian church or Buddhist temple will be found there, only a small shrine indicating the abode of some nature spirit. In the world's more celebrated pilgrimage shrines, these presences receive less acknowledgment than the primary religious deities. While the presence of the unseen forces usually long precedes the arrival of the historical religion that now maintains the pilgrimage shrine, those forces are frequently denied, dismissed, demonized or given only marginal importance. In the temples of Burma where we find great monuments to the Buddhist faith surrounded by small shrines dedicated to a host of pre-Buddhist spirits called Nats. In the Christian churches of Europe, Britain and Ireland flow springs long ago dedicated to pagan earth goddesses. And in the courtyards of enormous south Indian temples stand numerous small shrines housing various spirits called yakshas, nagas and asuras.

These unseen forces may affect pilgrims without their having any knowledge of the forces, or they may purposely be summoned to appear by the performance of ritual actions and invocations. Traditional rituals practiced at many shrines are potent, time-honored methods for invoking various spirit forces. Such methods are not the only way to summon the mysterious powers. Focused mental intention is an effective method of invocation, and prayer and meditation are the tools of spirit communication.

It is beneficial to first learn something about the nature or character of the spirit entities that inhabit a sacred site. Reading guidebooks concerning the mythology and archaeology of the site or questioning shrine administrators and priests are good approaches. The unseen forces will be described in terms such as spirits, devas or angels. These terms are simply metaphors for the actual character or personality of the forces. These terms also serve as metaphorical representations indicating how the forces will psychologically and physiologically affect human beings. Next, carefully consider the character of the unseen forces dwelling at a sacred site - this important point should not be lightly dismissed. Those forces may have either beneficial or disturbing effects on different people. Invocation of unseen forces at sacred sites is a powerful practice. It is important to exercise caution lest unwanted forces be admitted into an individual's personal energy field.

Martin Gray

"There is an earth-based energy available to human beings, concentrated at specific places all across the planet, which catalyzes and increases this eco-spiritual consciousness. These specific places are the sacred sites discussed and illustrated on this web site. Before their prehistoric human use, before their usurpation by different religions, these sites were simply places of power. They continue to radiate their powers, which anyone may access by visiting the sacred sites. No rituals are necessary, no practice of a particular religion, no belief in a certain philosophy; all that is needed is for an individual human to visit a power site and simply be present. As the flavor of herbal tea will steep into warm water, so also will the essence of these power places enter into one’s heart and mind and soul. As each of us awakens to a fuller knowing of the universality of life, we in turn further empower the global field of eco-spiritual consciousness. That is the deeper meaning and purpose of these magical holy places: they are source points of the power of spiritual illumination."

Martin Gray

 Sacred Earth

** Sacred Earth is written and photographed by Martin Gray and is the culmination of twenty-five years of travel to hundreds of sacred sites in more than one hundred countries.  Gray’s stunning photographs and fascinating text provide unique insight into why these powerful holy places are the most venerated and visited sites on the entire planet. Maps adapted from the National Geographic Society show the locations of all the sites presented, and a thorough appendix includes a comprehensive list of over 500 of the world’s sacred sites.  The book can be purchased from the author on his website:

Saturday, January 7, 2023

"Spider Woman's Hands"...... New Revision of Book

 To see a Preview 

Some thoughts on Spider Woman:

From Eric Neumann The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype:

"The primordial mystery of weaving and spinning has also been experienced in projection upon the Great Mother who weaves the web of life and spins the threads of fate…."

From Susanne F. Finscher Creating Mandalas For Insight, Healing, and Self-Expression:

"The web is an archetypal symbol of the weaving that brings form into being."

From Robert Johnson Ecstacy: Understanding the Psychology of Joy

"The spider and her web is a rudimentary mandala and represents the energy source from which an evolved mandala springs"

From Joan Kellogg The Meaning of Color and Shape in Mandalas

"If the web in your mandala is complete and firmly attached to the circle of the mandala, you have the necessary resolve to carry through on your latest initiative"