Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Since I often teach and write about Celtic Spirituality, this time of year people tend to ask me, “What do you mean by Celtic Spirituality, anyway?”
I could answer that question in many ways, but today, since the breeze has been warmer and the ground has thawed and I am feeling my soul expanding in sync with the earth, I will tell you a story about the arrival of spring that speaks to how Celtic Spirituality expresses itself in my life.
It was a sunny Saturday morning 16 years ago. Our then three-year-old daughter Maddie and I celebrated the promise of spring with several of my friends and their children. The kids created an altar with sacred objects brought from home, and I read them The Story of The Root Children, Sybil von Offer’s wonderful tale of how the flowers sleep all winter until Mother Earth awakens them to begin working, under the ground, on their new spring clothes.
I explained to the kids that we were going to wake up the Earth, so that she could wake up the root children. We made drums and noisemakers out of coffee cans and film canisters (remember those?) and then ran around the back yard, screaming and playing our instruments with abandon.
Maddie had so much fun that she didn’t want the ceremony to end. After our friends left, she coaxed me back outside to “wake up the Earth some more.” We danced, sang and played. Afterward Maddie asked me, “Mommy, where is the Earth?” We crouched down, panting. I spread my arms to indicate the small patch of earth behind our home and attempted to describe how it was connected to our vast planet.
As we sat there, enjoying an unusual moment of silence together, I gradually became aware of a sound I had never noticed before. It was water, seeping up from under the ground, the result, I assumed, of the gradual thaw we had experienced over the last week. Or, was something else going on here? I quietly asked Maddie if she heard the sound. She looked at me with her eyes aglow and whispered in a reverent tone: “Mommy, we woke up the Earth!”
That day was a reminder for me of how powerful ritual can be. We never know what magic we will unleash when we unite our consciousness with the powers of nature, the elements and the Unseen world. And uniting our consciousness with the elements and the Unseen world is a great way to describe Celtic spirituality. It’s a recognition that, not only are we a part of something bigger but that we are active participants in the unfoldment of the Universe.
So this St. Patrick’s Day, whether you are celebrating with traditional Irish music, parades, or a ceremony that connects you with the Otherworld, I pray that you will be open to experiencing many moments of wonder as spring emerges in your consciousness. Make space for the magic!
And if you want to tap into Celtic Spirituality on a regular basis, please connect with our Celtic Spirituality Facebook Community at https://www.facebook.com/
See you there!
P.S. People have been asking about the next retreat in western Ireland. I’m in the early stages of planning for 2016. Dates will be announced later this year. If you want to read about what we’ve done on past Irish Immersion retreats, you can find out more at http://KimberlySchneider.com/
Abundant Blessings, Kimberly