Posted in creativity, Inspiration

Ode to the Celtic in All of Us

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  In celebration of my Celtic ancestry….and the Irish in all of us, I share with you two poems born out of my Celtic heart!  (both to be included in my upcoming book, Happily Ever After – from co-dependency to the fulfillment of love) For the Celtic in all of us!  Slainte!

Irishness

Irish sensibility in a single phrase means, “all senses firing.”

A courageous openness and compelling urge to

move toward all things…

Daring to embody the full extent of feelings, sensations, ideas and experiences

Especially those which others might avoid –

Desolation, despair, disease, and death.

Irresistably drawn toward darkness, suffering and pain.

Curiosity for the macabre or raw, unbridled courage?

Perhaps they are one and the same.

Irishness comes with a certain measure of masochism

But not for the sake of one’s own misery,

But for the sake of understanding so that we may be present for another there.

Not as voyeurs, but in an overwhelming out pouring of unconditional support.

We’ve been there.

We know.

Defining Irish hospitality, not by our food, our damp climate, houses smelling of peat, or the aroma of drying wool, but by our ability to be with you in your pain, remaining there until every tear has been spilt, every rage unfurled, and every heartbreak repaired.

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Thirteen of the Thirteen

 

Left foot first, sword in hand

13 of the 13 of the 13

The sword of truth

To think and dream and write

Her pen is her sword.

Of elfin ancestors.

Daughter of the Tuatha de Daanan and Pictish warriors.

Tattooed in woad,

Anointed in lodestone in a time before time.

Consort of the God beneath the Tor

Married to the Son of Light.

Morgaine and Miriam her South and her West.

Druid Priestess and Priest in the henge of stone,

And in the oaken grove of Gaul.

Walking the sacred labyrinth of immortal time

Life from life

Death from death

Dying and reborn

Reborn and dying.

Queen of the fifth dimension

Samantha’s gossamer cape

Rhiannon’s ring

A spoon full of sugar

and Midnight Margaritas.

Awakening the Aquarian Age

A magical purpose and call

To think and dream and love.

Posted in God, Inspiration

The World is God’s Temple

In today’s blog, we are reminded to recognize that the world is God’s temple and that all places and situations are sacred when we are open to seeing the Presence and Action of God in our midst.  There is never a place where God is not present and active.  And, we have the opportunity, through our intention and our action, to set aside special places where we are constantly reminded of God’s Presence in our lives.

 

Little Altars Everywhere

I’m a ritual girl.  Perhaps it is my Catholic upbringing, my Irish ancestry or simply a function of my temperament.  I love ritual.  And because I love ritual, I love altars.  I love altars so much in fact that there is one in every room of my house.  Jesus and Mary Magdalene decorate my altars.  Favorite pictures of my children, my family and my favorite sacred places (Lake Lumby and Stonehenge). A vase of feathers and some of my favorite stones decorate my altars as do words, messages and symbols of encouragement and intention. The collage art that I have created are each an altar in their own right.  My home is made up of little altars everywhere.  Until this past week, my altars were sequestered inside my home.  Inspired by a recent graduate course in Shamanism through which my own inherent shamanic gifts are being affirmed, I decided to bring my altar obsession outdoors through the creation of my own version of a Medicine Wheel.  Please join me for a little tour.

In the East

In the East is my altar representing the element of air and light, new beginnings and birth.  Christ is to whom I give honor in the East as he represents the light.  Birdfeeders and birdhouses nourish and protect our animal friends who float on the air.  And yellow is the color I chose to represent the spark of the morning dawn.

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Prosperity Corner

Applying the principles of Feng Shui into my medicine wheel, I made sure to include space for intentions of abundance and prosperity.  The cauldron represents the abundant nature of God and anchors the belief that all my needs will be met in abundance.  Tibetan Prayer flags hang in the corner sending my prayers out into the universe and Kuan Yin coins hang from the trees representing my intention to be open to receiving all I need in food, clothing, shelter, safety and support.

DSCF3259In the South

South represents the element of fire along with the transformative power of fire to assimilate what is life-giving, while releasing that which is not life-giving.  As such, my firepit resides in the south, a hanging candle and the sun – the ultimate image for fire.  In the South, I give honor to my Celtic heritage by remembering the Morrigan – the Celtic triple goddess of transformation and change.  She also represents our willingness to enter into the hidden realms – those places of perceived darkness – our fears, our shadow side, etc. the places where we go to be transformed so that what stands in the way of our freedom can be transformed into something useful and beneficial.

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Love and Relationship Corner

Returning to Feng Shui, this corner anchors my intention for loving and supportive, interdependent relationship.  Two chairs represent partnership.  The love totem bedecked in fuschia represents the joy of loving partnership.  The angel bedecked in green holds my prayers for abundant love and compassion.  And the compass demonstrates the revolving wheel of life and God’s finger pointing me in the direction of love.

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In the West

West is related to the element of water – hence the bird bath and the water vessels scattered throughout this garden.  Water represents movement and our ability to surrender to the ebb and flow of life, trusting that we are being carried on the waves of God’s love to our highest good.  The fleur-de-lis stands for my spiritual teacher and guide, Mary Magdalene.  She stands as complement to Christ who stands in the East. Mary shows us where we are going.

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In the North

North is related to the element of earth and represents completion, fulfillment, manifestation of dreams and visions and having arrived at our destination.  In the North, we have time to rest for the work is done, the harvest has come in and we are feasting.  In the North, I give honor to the Celtic god of the underworld – Gwynn Ap Nud who reminds us to rest from our toils so that we may gather strength for the next cycle of birthing.  Gwynn Ap Nud, like the Morrigan, also invites to go deep – to be bold enough to enter into the darkness, the unknown, the place of our fears so that we can find the treasure buried there.  Gwynn first came to me while on pilgrimage in Glastonbury, England and I can tell you his work is HARD – but well worth the trouble!  In honor of Earth, I have chosen an iron ornament and a large boulder of sandstone – appropriately dubbed “the fairy rock” by my amazing children – as Gwynn is also known as King of the Fairies.

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Thank you for joining me on this little tour.  I hope this has inspired you to ask  where you see the Presence and Action of God in your surroundings?  How might you set aside a special place as a constant reminder of God’s immanent and imminent Presence?

 

Posted in Lessons, Ponderings

Embracing the Wisdom of the Cross

As we move along the path of spiritual growth, we are invited to embrace a life of balance.  The symbol of the cross can be a reminder of that invitation, no matter what our religion or spiritual beliefs.

 

 

Consulting Higher Wisdom

This past weekend, as I was sitting in my respective corner and the kids’ were hiding in theirs (after a week of frenetic travel and activities), I decided it was as good a time as any to consult some higher wisdom.  I pulled out my spiritual wisdom cards and drew six from the deck for insight.  The foundational card that was placed in the center of the spread was the card for “Creative and Spiritual Passion.”  The next card, placed on top of the first card was the card for meditation and retreat.  I then placed four other cards  – two, horizontally on either side of the first two cards and two vertically, one above and one below the center cards.  Interestingly, both horizontal cards also represented meditation, reflection and retreat.  The two vertical cards, like the foundational card, represented creative passion, along with the final reminder that in order for work to be fulfilling, it must also reflect a spiritual motivation.  When I looked at the cards as a complete message, it was a terrific reminder to balance the spiritual with the material aspects of my life.  HMMMM   I think there might be a universal message here!

Maintaining a Balance

The universal message here is BALANCE.  For me, balance means that I maintain the spiritual practices that sustain me (meditation, journalling, yoga, contemplation, prayer, chant), cultivate the creative practices that feed me (in some ways, literally), nurture the relationships that enliven me (with family, friends, and in work), and allow time for work and for play.  In a more general sense, it is about the balance of the spiritual (the being) and the material (the doing).  I do not believe it is a coincidence that this message revealed itself to me in the shape of the cross.  I believe it is this message of balance that is the ultimate meaning of the cross, and a message that can transcend spiritual beliefs and religious practice.  Even saying this, I can feel the collective hair standing up on the back of readers’ necks (for a wide variety of reasons).  Before you get your undies in a bundle over this idea…let me further explain! 

 

My Own Journey with the Cross

Growing up Catholic, the cross was one of the central symbols that infused my life.  The cross, in the form of a crucifix, hung in every room of our home.  All four of Lumby kids received a crucifix as a First Communion present, along with a rosary, with a cross in the form of a crucifix hanging from the end of the string of beads.  Every classroom at St. Alphonsus elementary school had a crucifix hanging on the wall and every morning, we stood up at our desks, said the Pledge of Allegiance, then turned to the crucifix, hung our heads in prayer, made the sign of the cross and recited our morning prayers, sealing the deal with another sign of the cross.  I think you get the picture – the CROSS was it, specifically, the cross in a form of a crucifix on which hung the bloody, crucified body of Jesus.  The preponderance of this image spoke of the theology we were expected to embrace – a theology focused on the suffering and death of Jesus.  “Jesus died for our sins.”  While there is a deep truth behind this kind of theology, the human Jesus and more importantly, the resurrected Christ sometimes got lost in all those mea culpas! 

 

A Cross beyond the Suffering

While I can appreciate the image of the cross as crucifix as a reminder of Jesus’ suffering and death, the cross can be so much more than that.   As my wisdom cards reminded me, the cross is ultimately a symbol that represents balance and was in fact, utilized in this way by people and cultures who far-preceded Christianity.  For example, the Celtic people (from whom my gene pool originates), used the cross as a symbol of balance and as a reminder of the wheel of change and the cycle of the seasons of the earth.  The cross was a spiritual as well as a material symbol.  It reminded the Celtic people of the higher spiritual consciousness that governed the cycles of material birth, growth, death and rebirth.  Like the Christians after them, the Celtic people embraced the cross as a symbol of death, but more importantly it was a symbol that invited balance and promised new life.  It was a reminder that our human life must contain a balance, like the earth, between seasons of planting and harvest (doing) and seasons of lying fallow (being).  It is this message of the cross – about balance and wholeness that transcends our spiritual beliefs and religious practices and can become a universal message for all to embrace.   (ok, you can breathe now!) 😉

How are you balancing the material (doing) and the spiritual (the being) aspects of your life?

Where are you being invited to explore a more healthy balance in your life?

How is your spiritual life informing your material life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com