Here At The Northeast of the Year

Imbolc, the Celtic spiritual festival that falls at the Lunar New Year, is all about inspiration and renewal, about the seeds quickening, and those stars of new life stirring forth. It’s a numinous passage, very much connected with poetry, the waters of healing, the fire of imagination. This is a time to pay attention to visions and ideas and flashes of intuition. And if you are working on a project, keep it close to you, for it is likely to be in a very new, just a breath-of-being stage.

This is the Northeast time of year, energetically speaking. It’s a time to tune into Mystery, and yourself in the weaving of Mystery. It’s a time to harmonize with the music of the spheres, so to speak — or at least orient yourself to the cosmos, while also planting your feet firmly on the ground, and taking note of what is in your life.

What is in your life right now? Are you happy with your home, heart, work in the world, community exchanges? What are the birds singing in your neighborhood? Are the trees budding? Leafing? Even, possibly, flowering (they are here in the San Francisco Bay Area!).

Tune into the magic and mystery of right now. Listen to the stirrings of your heart, and maybe jot them down in a private notebook. Clean your hearth, if you have a fireplace, or at the very least, your stovetop.

The new fire of the year flickers to life right now. A new star for each of us appears, and we begin to orient ourselves toward it.

What sparks on your horizon, just on the edge of visibility?

What pulls at your heart, tugs you forward into the new life that is this year, this day, this moment? Pay attention. Take note, but don’t try to answer all the questions that may stir forth. Just take note of where you are, and where you are being pulled ….

The year is new and so are you.

Blessings as you point the coracle, the curach, the little boat of yourself, towards that bright point of grace.

Art by Jane

Coming This Sunday a.m. ~ Radio Interview on Wheel Of Wonder

I’m honored to be an interview guest on Ray Simpkins’ radio show Wheel Of Wonder. The show itself is from 6 a.m to 9 a.m. PST, and will celebrate Midwinter/Yule.

I will be on the show from 8 a.m-9 a.m. PST on Sunday, Dec. 19.

To listen via streaming audio, click here – KAOS 89.3FM.

I hope you’ll join us. Ray (who is a bard himself) and I intend to have a fun conversation about midwinter, bardic expression in its many forms, medicine animal and plant medicine lore, and follow wherever the magic leads us! You’ll also hear midwinter musical selections from my various recordings.


I Walk In Beauty ~ a sacred song to restore you to harmony

 A very old idea is that when you situate yourself in the physical world–in relationship to the presence and energies of your place on earth and in the cosmos, where you are right now–you restore your right relationship with all creation, and with your inner self.

The simple notion of knowing where East, South, West, and North are in relationship to you (let’s also include Above and Below and Within)–and reestablishing your awareness of the archetypal energies of each direction has the effect of activating those qualities within you, or reawakening them.  You stand at the center of this web of possibilities and guidance for yourself.

The ceremonial practice of “calling in the directions”, by greeting the Four, Seven, or Eight directions and welcoming their qualities serves to remind you on an inner level that you are an essential part of this weave.  All of this is part of you, and you have a place in this weave.

Many associations exist for the Directions.  Here are just a few for the Seven (you can find associations with Eight Directions in my post Where Does Where You Are Say About Where You Are).  What are your associations with the directions?

East: Welcome, birth, new beginnings, inspiration, air, home, prosperity

South: Joyful focus, fire, Óran Mór (the Great Song or divine song within both the universe and within you), summer, adolescence

West: Celebration, community, knowledge, longing, autumn, adulthood, harvest

North: Elders, wisdom, battle, winter, larger perspective, survival

Above: Father Sky, heavens, stars, universe, story, ceremony, Great Mystery

Below: Mother Earth, bones, ancestors, microbial realm, soil, All Our Relations

Within: Mastery, hearth, sovereignty, soul, true self

In noticing and greeting the Directions, be sure to offer special attention to what lies physically in those directions for you, right then.  Notice the trees, the mountains, clouds, sun rising or moving across the sky, the stars.  Be as curious about these companions on your journey as you might be of a person entering a room you sense may be a kindred spirit.  Pay attention to what it feels like within you to experience the nature in each direction, encircling you.

I Walk In Beauty

Below is a sacred song for restoring us to Beauty — within our surroundings, the universe, and within ourselves.  I encourage you to learn the song and sing it to yourself whenever you need reminding of the Beauty all around you!

The words are:

I walk in Beauty

Beauty is before me

Beauty is behind me

Above and below me.


You can also sing a second verse (not sung in the video):

I walk in Beauty

Beauty is before me

Beauty is behind me

Around and within me.

A little about the video:

  Last July I participated in creating harp music for a worldwide Peace Hour, initiated by Harpists For Peace. Harpers Hall members played as a group and solo, offering music for peace. I led community singing of “I Walk In Beauty”, a contemporary setting of Navajo wisdom words to music. You can read more about our Peace Hour offering in my post How I Experienced Village At A Harp Gathering.

Here (revealed for the first time 🙂 ) is the video of my musical offering. Please join in the song.  May you experience yourself walking in Beauty!


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