Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Feeling Eclipsed?

The August 2017 eclipse season is upon us. Astrologer's view eclipses as doors closing (sometimes with a slam) and new windows of opportunity. During a solar and lunar eclipse season we encounter a period of shadow. Something is hidden. Then something is revealed. Weather can turn capricious. This summer I have had a sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Well, this  month I suspect we will hear multiple thumps on the ground of our being. 

Which may fill you with fear. And I say, in the Northern Irish vernacular, "Catch yerself on!" Which is a less elegant, but more bracing, way of rephrasing Hemingway's "Courage is grace under pressure."

I have a habit of praying, making ceremony, setting intentions for myself and on behalf of others during an eclipse. Tibetan Buddhists aver that the power of our prayers, meditations, whatever you call  your practice, is 30,000 times greater than at other moons.  I collected intentions and requests this past Monday. Some were detailed and specific. Others were more general. But if I simmered them all down to an essence it would be what Brené Brown calls being 'wholehearted.'  For in our vulnerability we come into our power. In acknowledging it step into a different dimension. 

And then someone comes along and acts as the icon for the collective unconsciousness for us. And for this position I nominate Sínead O'Connor, whose video of snot and soulfulness, mental pain and loneliness, the fear and wanting to die because it hurts too much, appeared in my FB feed just in time for the lunar eclipse. She encapsulates within her personal dilemma much of what is also the universal dilemma: shame, loneliness, wanting to die to stop the pain.  For if you watch the mainstream media you cannot help but notice that there is much ecocide, genocide, femicide, suicidal thinking. Death wishful thinking.

As Byron Ballard says. "Shields up!" And that is just on your own thoughts, mind and heart.

Or, I reiterate, "Catch yerself on!"

If I have any religion it is the Covenant of Kindness. After I opened my circle at an eclipse my main chant was, and always shall be,  "May Love Cast Out Fear." Fear is the adversary of the wholehearted. It needs acknowledging, but there is no need to fraternize. Fear may highlight our vulnerabilities, but the trick is not to let it eclipse our power. Kindness and love, in small and large acts are the ballast of wholehearted living.

Pay attention to details and let their beauty raise your vibration. I think of part of a quote from Arundhati Roy: joy in the saddest of places

...pursue beauty to its lair

Please look at my blog pic. Where do you think I snapped this? At a garden centre? A coffee shop?






Part of my vocation is to teach creative writing as part of Ireland's Writers in Prison programme. I also volunteer as a participant in the local open prison's Toastmaster's public speaking group. Last spring a man with very green finger and vision was transferred from Mountjoy Prison. He was put in charge of the polytunnels and has transformed the prison's campus with a profusion of flowers. A coffee shop was opened to the public last summer; that was the first stage of changing the vibrational frequency of the prison. Art work and handmade items, like the baskets shown above, showcase the creative talents of those who have been sent to the hoosegow. Behavior may be deemed bad, although harmful is a better descriptive. But I do not believe there is a really bad person, often one who has been harmed before they did the harming.

If you are to transform your life, I do believe a dose of beauty is essential. In the loughside campus, with a view of mountains in the distance, this open centre provides one element for making a transition. Beauty raises the vibrational frequency. There is every encouragement to match it.

So if this intense eclipse season has you feeling overwhelmed, pursue beauty to its lair. Allow yourself to be surprised where it can grow and thrive. Roy also advises to "never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you." Treat all with kindness. If you set the tone, the universe frequently responds with a harmonising chord.

In your shadow moments remember a womb is dark. And you emerged all slimy and beautiful into the light.

Shine!  We all, at some point, feel imprisoned. For the  majority it is our mind that is the only warden and warder. In times of intense change, the fear that arises can incarcerate our best selves. Then love may not flow.

But here is a tip from my friend in the Prison's polytunnels. When in doubt, sow flowers. As my friend in the polytunnel would have it - flowers make everything so much better.

Or follow the example of a crone I observed in a local supermarket yesterday. She was a bit of a crumbly crone and I suspect she treated her shopping trolley as a bit of a Zimmer frame on wheels.  But there, at the meat counter, she was rocking some dance moves to the piped music. She was smiling. She still had some moves. And that movement was joy.

Make like Artemis. Start hunting down Beauty. It is there all around you in the most surprising corners of the cosmos.




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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Friday, 11 August 2017

    We are going Eclipse crazy over here!

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Saturday, 12 August 2017

    I rather gathered that. And they are particularly poten when they are visible from your location. I know that from personal experience during a Leo Solar Eclipse on 11 August 1999. It was partially visible in Leeds, England, where we lived then. And it did usher in life changing events over the following nine months.

  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert Friday, 11 August 2017

    Thanks for this lovely, cogent piece on the phenomenon known as the eclipse. I always find them fascinating and this one will be even more interesting because unbeknownst to me I scheduled a massage that will be taking place as it comes exact! Interesting! The person doing is is also very holy so this ought to be helpful. Thanks for this engaging blog. Warmest wishes, Tasha

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Saturday, 12 August 2017

    If you live within the pathway of even partial visibility it will feel all the more potent still!

  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert Saturday, 12 August 2017

    I do, in central MA.

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