" The Room of the Spirit "

The Room of the Spirit

and of the Craft.

There is a pattern to life

We are all related

Grandfather rock, Grandmother sky.

We are the voice of the rock, the home of a milliard,

relative to the virus, wedded to cabbages.

One family, one Lover, Creator, Creature.

I have never written before of why I became an investigative journalist,why I found myself at home with Aboriginal Australians, why I found myself tilting against powerful corporations for 25 years, RTZ, De Beers, Merck. Journalists are supposed to be hard bitten cynics. But the very opposite is true of many and certainly of me. My writing is driven by a religious committment. My spiritual experiences have very privately dominated my life. As a youth I plunged into learning all I could of the mystics, striving to understand better these experiences.I learnt above all that we are one family with one divine Lover - a parent of whom we should never be scared, a loving creator with whom for one reason or another I felt utterly at home.

I have always felt kinship with strong sister spirits. Thus I went to France to explore all the places associated with the warrior Maid of Orleans, Jeanne d'Arc - thinking that at that time I too may have been burnt - I went to Avila and to the nearby mountains to seek memories of Teresa, a woman who painfully carved out a place for herself and companions in the church. I took my children to Sienna to the home of Catherine, a powerful woman who felt no fear in lecturing the pope. We went too to Gubbio where Francis was befriended by a wolf and to Assisi, where we were horrified by the mercenary attitude of the Church, but found the wood at the top of the hills where Francis and his followers hid out and lived in small caves.... the glorious seeemingly mad people that talked to animals that we exalted only after they were safely dead. But such people are not all dead. I count myself fortunate to know today people of indomitable spirit, mostly not Christians,as truely dedicated to working for the oppressed as any heroine or hero of the past.

And, as I had learnt from Aboriginal people of the wisdom and inspiration of the ancient cultures, I delighted to see prominently on the wall of a church in Northern England an ancient emblem of a woman holding open her vulva. and to find standing in front of the cathedralin the holy city of Avila a large statue of the ancient Green Man.

I believe all races, all peoples, are welcome at the home of their Creator, wise individuals of all races and religions have reached out and got to know their God or Goddess... and that many of these individuals have consequently been rejected by their families, by society. Christ taught us this is all that we can expect. I myself rarely feel welcome in churches.

So too did my Northern Irish inheritance help shape my life. My Mother taught me of how my people had lost their inheritance. I learnt early of greed-driven colonisation and the misery it brings.It brought me to work with the colonised and oppressed Aboriginal Australians and to learn from them how to fight for justice, to never give up.

In the ranks of the Catholic church in which I grew up, I also found some to inspire me such as the worker priests of France that put away all pretence of status to serve the human family and also Dorathy Day of the Catholic Worker movement who organised open houses where the poor and lost were always welcome as members of the family. They combined radical political action with love and real commitment. But I found such prophets were the exceptions. Sadly the institution proved no home for me. The wilderness, formed by the hand of my Creator, became my spiritual home. I went back to what I had learnt as a child, that on the hill tops I could talk to my Parent free of all restraint.

And Australian Aborigines gave me much. They taught me about the land, gave me another sense of time and of belonging. I learnt a thousand years was not a long time, that wealth was an inheritance of all, that rocks could be my 'dreaming', my own parents

And of course like most humans, I had the enriching experience of bringing up children, two wonderful girls.

On top of this I found that the very factor in my life that I thought was a Pauline weakness, sent to keep me humble, was a gift from my Lover, my Creator. It enabled me to watch in the first part of my life as if I were a spy, the dealings of men, to experience their independence, status, self-assuredness, mateship, aggression.

Then, once I had come home to my inner self, as a woman, I found a vastly different and comfortably familar way of being, a gentler way of life, and a less valued way of life. As a woman I have experienced male self centredness, aggression, being used for their relief, their own pleasure. It is degrading. It has taken time but I am now learning how to not need men, to be a free woman.

In the Australian Outback, Aboriginal elders had welcomed me. I was taken to women's places. Sung the women's songs that greet the creating spirits. Elders guided me. I was very privileged.

In 1997 I found myself finally completing a circle within my life. Australian Aboriginal Elders over the decade and a half that I worked with them had helped me understand the sacredness of all creation. They told me one day I should go back to work with my own people on our own land. This I am now doing. And I am learning the sacred traditions of our own land in these islands of Britain and Ireland. I now work close to my own ground, with the earth as my book. I learn from our sacred places and I honour them and all that our ancestors have given us.

So this is how I can best contribute. By singing a song on the internet and in my land, and on any street corner that makes me welcome. This is my street corner on the net. Hope you enjoy it!

On love and children, marriage and giving.

to the cowardly lioness page.

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To the Craft of the Wise

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