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Category: Cycles and Seasons


Imbolc and Brigid’s Mantle ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, February 1st-2nd marks a confluence of several feasts and occasions including: the Celtic feast of Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, Feast of the Presentation, and Groundhog Day in the northern hemisphere! (Imbolc is August 1st in the southern hemisphere). Imbolc is a Celtic feast that is a cross-quarter day, meaning it is the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. The sun marks the four Quarter Days of the year (the Solstices and Equinoxes) and the midpoints are the cross-quarter days.  In some cultures, like Ireland, February 2nd is the official beginning of spring. As

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Listening at the Threshold + Prayer Cycle Day 3 ~ A Love Note From Your Online Abbess

Dear monks, artists, and pilgrims,  I love this time of year as autumn envelopes us in the northern hemisphere and the days grow shorter. I find the dark nights inspiring. I love that in the Christian church November is the time of remembering the saints and ancestors.  My new book – The Love of Thousands: How Angels, Saints, and Ancestors Walk With Us Toward Holiness – is the culmination of many years of practice and healing. We are thrilled to also have a new album and prayer cycle as well (day 3 of the prayer cycle is now available!) These rich resources are to help provide

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Transfiguration and Program Updates

A Blessing for Transfiguration Radiant God, open our eyes to all the ways the sacred shimmers before us, how gold pours forth from the robin’s throat, how sunlight returns each morning, how the moon glitters across still water, how laughter around the table kindles joy, how kindness can change lives. Free us from our need to seize these moments, to make of them stone monuments rather than tabernacles of light we carry with us in our hearts. This vision is not a call to stay on the mountain but to gather our treasures into an open embrace, to make the

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Lughnasa Blessing

I know some of you are enduring terrible heat right now, but here in Ireland the turning toward Lughnasa brings a shift in light and air that hints at autumn’s coming which I love. July is the hardest month for me because of both too much light and heat – although this year it was the rainiest month and cooler than usual thankfully – so I celebrate this feast as it brings my favorite seasons ahead when I feel more creativity and aliveness.  Wherever you are in the northern hemisphere, you might honor this threshold of turning toward harvest. And

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The Spiral Year and the Celtic Seasons ~ A Love Note from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims, Join Simon de Voil and me for an online retreat next Sunday April 23rd hosted by OneSpirit Seminary where we will be exploring the Spiral Year and the Celtic seasons.  This is an excerpt from my book The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seeking the Sacred: Sacred Rhythms of the Earth The unfolding of the seasons was an overarching template for the Celtic imagination and spirit. There are significant feast days aligned with the equinoxes and solstices, then there are the cross-quarter days, which are the midway points between them and were part of the harvest cycle. 

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The Elements as Wise Guides and Companions | January 29, 2016

10.00am – 4.30pm | Arrupe Room, Milltown, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Join me in Dublin for a day of retreat with the AISGA (All Ireland Spiritual Guidance Association, non-members welcome to register). As we approach the feast of Imbolc and St Brigid, we will gather together to pause and listen for how each of the four elements of wind, fire, water, and earth might offer us wisdom and guidance for the season ahead. As the earth reawakens to new life we will listen to the seed rumblings in our own bellies. Through song, gentle movement, writing, photography, reflection, stillness, and conversation

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Celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and Autumn Equinox ~ A love note from your online abbess

Dearest monks and artists, Included in your love note today is a short excerpt from our current Sacred Seasons mini-retreat for the Autumn Equinox and the Feast of Michaelmas (register here to receive materials all year long to celebrate the turning of the seasons) written by your online Prior John Valters Paintner: “Do not fear, Daniel,” the Archangel Michael continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard.” ~ Daniel 10:12a The Book of Daniel, named after the hero and not the author of the story, is set

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