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Category: Cycles and Seasons


Groundhog Day

Celebrate this unlikely oracle, this ball of fat and fur, whom we so mysteriously endow with the power to predict spring. Let’s hear it for the improbable heroes who, frightened at their own shadows, nonetheless unwittingly work miracles. Why shouldn’t we believe this peculiar rodent holds power over sun and seasons in his stubby paw? Who says that God is all grandeur and glory? Unnoticed in the earth, worms are busily, brainlessly, tilling the soil. Field mice, all unthinking, have scattered seeds that will take root and grow. Grape hyacinths, against all reason, have been holding up green shoots beneath

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Listen. Can you hear it? Can you hear the gentle quickening beneath the earth? Tomorrow on February 2nd is the feast of Imbolc, Candlemas, the feast of St. Bridget, and Groundhog Day.  It 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 this is the official beginning of spring. As the days slowly lengthen and the sun makes her way higher in the sky, the ground beneath our

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Gifts of the Winter God

My teaching days were filled with good energy and a sense of exploration.  I love teaching this program and the women who participate so freely and joyfully.  The focus of this session was visual art and the first day we explored “gush art” and art journaling methods, using clay and drawing materials in a free and spontaneous way to express what is stirring inside of us.  The second day we focused on images of God and “letting God out of the box” and making a triptych (out of a shoebox) and collage materials to create an altar for the sacred images that

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Winter Solstice

I discovered this wonderful reflection by Ron Rolheiser at Antony’s blog: Coming to the Quiet. During my last years of seminary training, I attended a series of lectures given by a prominent Polish psychologist, Casmir Dabrowski, teaching at the time at the University of Alberta. He had written a number of books around a concept he called “positive disintegration.” Positive disintegration. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Isn’t disintegration the opposite of growth and happiness? It would seem not. A canon of wisdom drawn from the scriptures of all the major world religions, mystical literature, philosophy, psychology, and human experience tells us that the journey to

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Holy Darkness

When we moved to Seattle the winters became more pronounced.  I didn’t think moving 600 miles north would make such a difference, but we easily have three hours more darkness in the winter than when we lived in Northern California.  It also feels more perceptible because the sky is often gray and the sun that much lower on the horizon as it makes her gentle arc across a winter sky. In contrast then, summer days are also much longer.  Days are filled with light in long expanses.  And while summers can indeed be beautiful here in the Northwest (of course anytime

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Advent Resources

Classes are canceled across Seattle today, my husband got the phone call at 5:00 a.m. notifying him (he teaches high school) and Seattle University posted their announcement soon after.  Apparently even though there hasn’t been much snowfall in the city, the low temperatures have made for icy and dangerous driving conditions.   Snow and below freezing temperatures are unusual around here and the city is not equipped to deal well, especially since Seattle is built on 7 hills, which makes for even more treacherous driving. Today was to be my last class session and I am sad not to have a chance to gather

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Waters of New Birth

Painting is “Waters of Baptism” by Tim Mooney Tim audited a class I co-taught while living in Berkeley.  A good friend and I received a grant from the Practicing Our Faith people to teach a class on creativity as Christian spiritual practice (you can read a summary here) in the spring of 2003.  It was a great experience, and we got to meet wonderfully creative and spiritually grounded students like Tim (a Presbyterian pastor, artist, and spiritual director) and begin exploring some of our ideas around creativity as a vital practice for church communities and ministry.  I got an email today from Tim,

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