Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Women are Converging in New York

Tomorrow I will be joining the streams of women converging on New York for the events and gatherings clustered around the annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Thousands of women will be coming from all over the world to listen and learn, to exchange information and ideas, to plan collaborative action, to develop new relationships and celebrate with old friends.

My own calendar is ripe with everything from small circle gatherings to large UN events. I will be connecting with Millionth Circle, Ways Women Lead, the Global NGO Forum: Beijing +15, the Women of Faith Leadership Summit and attending the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women as a delegate of Pathways to Peace.

A friend asked me this morning: What is your intention? It's a good question ... and my answer is that my intention is to listen and learn more about the larger pattern of women's leadership in these challenging times.

And to enjoy lots of laughter and hugs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feast of Brigid

My good friend Clare Peterson sent me this little note about the Celtic celebration of Imbolc or Candlemas - the Feast of Brigid:

Had to smile at this.. when reading up on Brigid who's feast day is tomorrow.. Imbolc~Candlemas.

"Brigid had an extensive female priesthood at Kildare, Ireland and an ever-burning sacred fire in her shrine. There were 19 priestess representing the 19-year cycle of the Celtic "Great Year." Each priestess tended the sacred fire in turn, through a 20-day rotation. On 20th day of each cycle the sacred fire was said to be tended by Brigid herself. Her shrine was likened to that of Vesta tended by the vestal virgins in Rome. Its sacred flame was kept burning.

The Irish claimed that she brought "whistling" to the world, which she invented one night when she wanted to call her friends."

It seems I can remember in my bones a time when I took my turn with my sisters to tend the sacred fire, an ancient time when it was safe to serve the Mother. May we sweep the remanants of winter from our homes and from our hearts as we prepare for the quickening bursts of spring.