Honoring Our Roots at Samhain
by Meg Llewellyn

Honoring Our Roots at Samhain </br>by Meg Llewellyn

At Samhain, the Celts honored and feasted their ancestors, not as the dead but as the living spirits of loved ones, the long line of kin who guarded the root-wisdom of the tribe. Samhain’s Eve was the night to remember and toast these beloved ones, for the veil between the living and the dead was thought to be thin, and communication was possible. These Celtic celebrations in many ways resembled the Day of the Dead festivities celebrated by Mexican Americans and other Hispanic groups—not a somber festival but a celebration, a joyful acknowledgement that death is not the end of our family ties, that kinship survives even death. Our modern Halloween celebrations don’t offer us that same connection with our ancestors.

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Hopi Harvest Thoughts by Ellyn Sanna

Hopi Harvest Thoughts by Ellyn Sanna

I got up early this morning, anxious about all the work that needs to be done today, the many responsibilities that go into earning my living. I nearly skipped my morning reading—but I picked up a short article from the American Indian Quarterly titled “People of the Corn,” thinking that it would be a connection to the Samhain spirituality Meg Llewellyn described yesterday, and that I could skim through it quickly. That quick skim lingered with me as I began my work today, and now I find it’s opened up inside me with a challenge for my day.

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Wake Up—And Go Home
by Marietta Bahri DellaPenna

Wake Up—And Go Home </br>by Marietta Bahri DellaPenna

Many years ago, the morning I said good-bye to my first husband, alone in my quiet house, I resolved I would no longer choke back my own voice. I made up my mind to become a different person. I didn’t know how to go about doing that, but I knew that before I could transform myself into something new, I needed to wake up all the way. 

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Total Vulnerability by George Breed

Total Vulnerability by George Breed

Many believe that we go to a heaven or hell after we die. Heaven is viewed by many as a place of effortless repose. Hell is viewed as a place of effort and torment. What if our situation right now is that we have already died, that this reality right here, right now is heaven and hell? Swedenborg indicates such. In his visits to the afterlife, he found that many folk did not know they had died and kept themselves in their old familiar state of semi-darkness or gloom though they had the opportunity to expand into the Light.

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Praying without Ceasing on Facebook! An Antidote to Polarization and Anger by Bruce Epperly

Praying without Ceasing on Facebook! An Antidote to Polarization and Anger by Bruce Epperly

A few years back, I penned a blog on the spirituality of Facebook. At the time I believed that peoples’ posts represented their recognition that everyday events matter and that God is present in our day to day adventures. I affirmed that Facebook could be an opportunity to deepen our spiritual lives if we saw it as a way of making each day a holy adventure and every encounter an opportunity for blessing. 

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Called to Be Friends? by Ellyn Sanna

Called to Be Friends? by Ellyn Sanna

We chose the word “anamchara” for the name of our company because it means “soul friend”—and we believe that the word “friendship” is essential to our mission: “to build bridges between spiritual perspectives and religious traditions; between the wisdom of the past and the demands of modern life; between ourselves and the Earth; and between ourselves and the Divine.” The connection between friendship and “bridges” is hopefully obvious. Included in that is the sense that friendship does not judge; it is accessible and accepting; it has a “Beginner’s Mind” that is willing to let go of old paradigms and learn new things from others.

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Nature and the Divine Presence by Ken McIntosh

Nature and the Divine Presence by Ken McIntosh

It’s a perfect day for mountain biking: not too hot but not yet winter here in Northern Arizona. The red-brown trunks and grey-green needles of Ponderosa pines fly past me as I steer my bike along the trail. All I hear is the swish of knobby tires on the earth . . . the wind’s rustle through the pine needles . . . occasionally a raven’s call.

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Drawing a Circle of Love: The Celtic Encircling Prayer by Bruce Epperly

Drawing a Circle of Love: The Celtic Encircling Prayer by Bruce Epperly

Today, many people are rediscovering the spiritual wisdom of the Celtic spiritual tradition. Pushed to the sidelines of Christian faith by the gatekeepers of “orthodoxy,” and often seen as an heretical movement deviating from the sin-redemption theology of Augustine and the Roman church, Celtic Christianity has emerged as an earth-affirming, body-celebrating, and creation-honoring, ecumenical vision for today’s pilgrims and seekers. 

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Let Yourself Be Loved
by Marietta Bahri Della Penna

Let Yourself Be Loved </br>by Marietta Bahri Della Penna

Recently, I went on a ten-day silent retreat. When I say “silent” I mean exactly that—silence during the day, silence during meals, silence in the halls, silence when walking outside. No conferences were held in which to ask questions or give comments. We were requested not to read anything, the only exception being Scripture. If the going got tough—if, because of the silence, we became bombarded with negative thoughts or memories—we were allowed to speak only to one of the two people leading the retreat.

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Images of God: The Peacock's Tail Feathers
by Ellyn Sanna

Images of God: The Peacock's Tail Feathers </br>by Ellyn Sanna

Sometimes, I confess, God seems far too intangible and abstract to be of much practical use to me in a world where friends die, politics terrify, wars threaten. This God-concept is one I like to play with intellectually; the notion intrigues me, and theology fascinates me. But are my ideas about God “real”—or merely imaginary? 

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The Celtic Revival by Meg Llewellyn

The Celtic Revival by Meg Llewellyn

The yearning we feel in the twenty-first century for all things Celtic is nothing new. In the 1700s, people in England became interested once again in the Druids and sought to bring druidry back to life. Later, in the nineteenth century, the poet William Butler Yeats was at the center of what is known as the Celtic Revival, a movement that sought to reaffirm a Gaelic spiritual heritage amid the encroaching British culture.

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Reading the Celtic Way by Ellyn Sanna

Reading the Celtic Way by Ellyn Sanna

In Reading the Bible the Celtic Way: The Peacock’s Tail Feathers, Ken McIntosh explores the way in which the early Christian Celts considered the Bible and Nature to be equally the Word of God. Many of us find that concept attractive, both because of the value it puts on the natural world and because it indicates a new balance for biblical literalism. But from our modern perspective, it’s a metaphor. I don’t think we totally grasp the metaphor—because we don’t really get how the medieval mind thought about reading.

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Could It Be Chi? by Bruce Epperly

Could It Be Chi? by Bruce Epperly

In a well-known gospel story, a woman with a flow of blood comes to Jesus, speaking an affirmation “if I but touch him, I will be healed.” (Mark 5:21-34) For at least twelve years, she had suffered from what was likely a gynecological ailment that not only made her life miserable, but led to her being judged as a social outcast, religiously unclean, and likely responsible for her health situation.

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