The Cailleach (pronounced Cal-ee-yuk) is a Goddess from Irish (and Scottish & English) mythology. She is most often associated as the Hag or Crone who brings winter. She is frequently portrayed as old and withered, but powerful and fearsome, without compassion or remorse. The bringer of darkness, cold and death. The stealer of warmth and light. In many stories she rules the 6 months of darkness, handing over the reins then to Brigit, the Goddess associated with spring, who takes charge of the 6 months of light.
We have been so focused on the physical poison that is COVID-19, that many of us have forgotten all about its medicine.
Without a doubt this virus is having many direct and indirect detrimental effects to our physical and mental wellbeing, some of them extreme. That people are losing their livelihoods, and in some cases their lives, is no small measure of the potentially deadly side-effects of COVID-19. But if we broaden our view and look to our global organism, does COVID-19 come as a messenger of life? Is there medicine for us and this broken system of ours, that scientists were already warning was threatening to collapse the entire biosphere?
Scientists warn that humanity is driving our biosphere into imminent collapse (1). Yikes.
As I scientist, I believe in science, and it has been a struggle for me to accept the science that I know to be true, while staying true to the life path that I have chosen – that of supporting humans to awaken to their innate potential and to the possibility of contributing to planetary transformation.
In the words of Pema Chodron “Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
If you are reading this, chances are that like me, there were many times over the past four years that you wished Donald Trump would just go away. Today, November 7th, with the election of new President of the US, I hope that we have learned what we needed to learn from him. Truly, he is the greatest mirror for the collective program of greed, separation, violence, and abhorrent misuse of power that we could have possibly asked for.
July 16th, Greta Thunberg and three of her fellow climate activists launched an open letter (https://climateemergencyeu.org/) demanding EU leaders take measurable, immediate action to genuinely tackle the climate crisis.
The letter’s demands include that the climate emergency is treated like an emergency, and with that comes the immediate halting of all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, and an end to fossil fuel subsidies. The letter also demands that EU member states make ecocide (extensive damage to Earth's ecological systems) an international crime, and that climate policies be put in place that reduce racial, economic, and gender inequality.
Almost every morning I walk through some nearby trails in a beautiful forest. The trails are extensive, and I readily get “lost” - although “lost” isn’t quite the right word! I follow the guidance of Spirit, who tells me what way to go, through what feels like an instinctual pulse in my gut. The feeling says “Go this way”.
A couple of weeks ago, I came to a usual crossroads where four ways meet, and was about to go my preferred route which takes me deeper into the forest where more unknown choices emerge, when the voice was clear “No, go that way”.
On June 16th, 1944, 76 years ago today, 14-year old George Stinney was executed by the electric chair following a 2-hour trial that found him, an African American boy, guilty of murdering two young white girls in South Carolina. His court-assigned lawyer offered no defence, and the all-white jury pronounced him guilty after 10 minutes of deliberation. In 2014 a judicial review overturned his conviction when a court ruled that he had not received a fair trial.
This is a horrific and heartbreaking story, but it is just one of hundreds, no…thousands, of stories of the incredible injustice that people of colour have lived (and died) through in so-called “modern” history.
It’s April 22, 2020, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Following an oil spill off the coast of California in 1969, which released 3 million gallons of oil into a sensitive coastline area killing thousands of seabirds and marine mammals, a group of activists and concerned citizens initiated that first Earth Day – a day which is now recognized by most nations across the globe.
With the COVID-19 outbreak has come the closure of our meeting spaces and the introduction of strong social distancing measures, and the past few weeks have seen us move into a life that includes a lot less physical interaction with each other. As physical beings, the gifts of our senses are the primary ones through which most of us experience the world, and much of our days are filled with connecting to other people through our touch and our gaze, our close conversation, and our shared physical reality.
The space left by the loss of our daily physical interactions is leading us into interesting new territory, as what I am noticing in myself, and am predicting for other people in the coming days and weeks, is an increase in the use of our extra-sensory abilities.
Most of us are aware of the physical structures on which our lives are built. The homes we live in, the landscapes that surround us, the bodies that we inhabit. We usually also notice the substance that we create with our minds, and how what we think and imagine can often feel more real than what surrounds us in the material plane. The substance of the creations of our bodies and minds, the forms that surround us both literally and in our imaginations, make up the stage on which we play out our lives. Each day we perform an entire play, and in each moment, every line that we utter and prop that we grab – all these things that we “do” – seem to matter. If to no one else then at least to ourselves.
But once the play is over…what then? Yes, that day may have included much productivity. Boxes ticked, jobs completed. House cleaned, homework done, bills paid, holiday planned. Structure added or organized within the physical form of our lives. A good day’s work.