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  • Writer's pictureJackie Huck

Winter Bulletin: 2023

I went to Iona Scotland because for years I was visiting a distinct place in meditation to visit the land of My Inner Lighthouse. That place felt like Great Britain. Same terrain: every shade of green flowing hills, rocks everywhere. The kind of place that invites you to walk forever. My guides told me it was the island of Iona not long before the pandemic. Iona is a famous tiny island in the Southwest islands off of mainland Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. Many, many people traveled to Iona on pilgrimage beginning in the 1200’s CE (and before) to gather, commune, atone for their sins or start a new chapter in their faith. It thrives today.


And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And to know the place for the first time. – T.S. Eliot as quoted by John O'Donohue in Adam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.



Our view on a train of the Scottish countryside on our way to the island of Iona.Time began to fade as my heart rose with a new sense of belonging. A feeling of homecoming. 8/3/2022

 

*

Our taxi driver weaves through the one-way streets of downtown Glasgow at a clip. The dark limestone architecture is now familiar, our second Scottish city, darting past my eyes. You can learn a lot about a city from its taxi drivers. I'm with my daughter Hannah, herself a seasoned traveller. We fly past several town squares with the familiar brazen war hero atop a rearing horse, sword in hand, ready to fight the oncoming brigade. Only these generals’ heads are covered with orange construction cones. Some cones have spray-painted graffiti on them, others are painted with articulate scenes, works of art in their own right.



“What’s with the construction cones on the war heroes?” I ask Mr. Taxi when he replies in a brogue much thicker than Scotty from the Starship Enterprise. He slows and repeats himself, “We’ve learned in Glasgow not to take ourselves too seriously.” And to be sure I understood, he locks eyes with me in the rear-view mirror. I pivot my head at Hannah and mouth brilliant. This man now has my full attention, and he knows it. He begins talking again as I scramble around my luggage for my pocket journal. I tell him to wait, wait! I’d like to write this down:

The Three Golden Rules of Glasgow 1. Your health is your wealth 2. Keep it safe and simple [KISS] 3. No bullsh*t

His polite, somber pace begins to unravel a bit in the excitement of carrying on an intelligent conversation with some fares.


I was getting about three-quarters of what he was sharing. After he dropped us off at the airport, I looked at pictures of his son in his wallet and gave a goodbye hug to the last Scot I would meet before heading off to London, the last leg of our pilgrimage in the U.K.


 

Now it's January of a new year and I’m on a ferry going off island for a medical appointment. I am deep in meditation on the bow of the ship talking to Brigid of Kildare, the historical abbess of a renowned Irish double monastery around 470 CE. This was the old Ireland of the ancient druids, and she was converted by (Saint) Patrick. She stands about 5’4” with wavy shoulder length dark blonde hair, dimples, and a charming smile. Without opening her mouth, she says to me:

Tell them what pilgrimage means to you.


I went to Iona Scotland because for years I was visiting a distinct place in meditation to visit the land of My Inner Lighthouse. That place felt like Great Britain. Same terrain: every shade of green flowing hills, rocks everywhere. The kind of place that invites you to walk forever. My guides told me it was the island of Iona not long before the pandemic. Iona is a famous tiny island in the Southwest islands off of mainland Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. Many, many people traveled to Iona on pilgrimage beginning in the 1200’s CE (and before) to gather, commune, atone for their sins or start a new chapter in their faith. It thrives today.


It was considered a sign of status to visit and it brought much income for the island. St. Columba and his Benedictine followers built a large abbey by 563 CE which eventually included a cloister and several supporting buildings, including a nave, an area for a choir, a bakehouse, an abbot’s and a bishop’s house. The abbey is famous for its high crosses which stood guard out front, one remaining strong today. The famous treasure, the Book of Kells, an artistic manuscript of the New Testament four gospels, was written here by Celtic monks around 800 CE.



A nunnery was down the road to help those who were ill receive aid and rest before attending the church in medieval times. Near the abbey is Reilig Odhrain, the burial ground of many early Scottish kings and monarchs, including it’s believed, MacBeth. It’s important to mention that a small burial cairn dating from the Bronze Age is evidence how ancient this site is as a place of sacred visitation.

All this on an island only measuring 1 mile by 3 miles long! Walking these grounds, you feel you’ve walked back in time. I wanted my daughter to join me to gain some insight into the experience of my work world. Big things happened on these trips, and I wanted her to be present.



For me, pilgrimage means traveling with intent. You let go of your life luggage, gather up a satchel, take a staff for support (or an amazing daughter ^_^), set an intention, take a deep breath and begin the journey. You listen to your heart and walk in faith, trusting the path will guide you, no matter what rocks you inevitably encounter. However, the journey since my time in Scotland six months ago has been unexpectedly...well, rocky. Did the landscape follow me home? Why go on pilgrimage if when you return your health begins to go south? A green Buddhist banner in my house flashes into my mind's eye: In the end, only three things matter-how much you loved, how well you lived, and how well you learned to let go. I return my attention to Brigid. Sally: I was told by Spirit that I’ve got "the living" and "the loving" down. It felt like this pilgrimage was about letting go. How to let go of things…the need for control, anxiety, what doesn’t matter. That way, the next steps would become clearer. Brigid, smiling: And so it was! Sally, you went to a place of tremendous importance long before St. Columcille’s adventures ever began, building the famous Abbey you spent so much time at. You are a healer. Tell me what happens in your body to allow healing to occur? I pause to think about this from the body’s point of view. Sally: Messenger molecules need to organize and coalesce to allow certain reactions to occur. Brigid: That is absolutely correct. You needed to be opened and Iona was the messenger. You needed help to reach a deeper state of awareness. You call this the power of place, yes?What happened as you approached the island? Sally: I began to cry on the ferry when the island came closer into view. Something inside of me began to …I honestly don’t know what happened! Brigid: What was the image that came to your heart? Sally: After the trip, I began to see an image of a hailstone that was melting. Like my heart was the hailstone. For weeks after the trip, I would cry without any reason. Brigid: You needed the power of Iona-the spiritual home of My Inner Lighthouse-to catalyze this process. Now, let’s begin to find some meaning in the events after your trip. You’ve noticed your health changing after the trip. What did you tell Gandhi about this recently? Sally: My thinking-my working memory-downshifted again. To think, it feels like I am lifting weights. The point of gravity in my body shifted from my head to my heart. Brigid: And yet, you say this like it’s a bad thing! And what is going on now? Sally: It's difficult for me to process email. To find things. So I don't want to put anything away. My therapist and I are working harder to unwind and meet my anxiety and trauma triggers. Taking care of my 4-year-old Little Sally that wasn’t allowed to feel her feelings or trust anyone. I'm learning to befriend myself at different ages as they come out, energetically, and join us in therapy. Brigid: So let me get this straight: you went to Iona and for the first time in your life, you felt a deep peace. You basked in this place so much so that your heart broke open in a sort of … ecstasy that you felt for weeks. Then, your health began to “quake” as well. Your mind decided it was working too hard, so your “knowing” shifted down into your heart, where you made some room. Well, from where I’m standing, your health has improved! Do you not see it?! Sally, sally, sally…you’ve reached a new season of your life!

Pilgrimage is simply seeing each day as if it is a brand-new day, like no other. It makes no difference whether you travel to Iona or to the corner market!

It’s just easier when you travel because the terrain is unfamiliar, and you aren’t bound to a regular time or work schedule which can hypnotize you into dullness. The anxiety, the trauma, the constriction you were feeling? Everyone is feeling this, Sally, especially with a pandemic and a war going on!

What needs to change is the people. People must do what they need to do to wake up out of the ordinary. Pilgrimage is trying something new.

Let’s take your desire to go and learn your local library. This is an excellent example! You have a great love of books and you are going to a place which is unfamiliar terrain. You don’t know how to use the computer system. This is a bit scary for you. Is this not a pilgrimage? When you live life as if every day is uncharted waters, aye, then your eyes are opened. You awaken. When you tripped and fell so hard on the bricks of your labyrinth, that was an awakening! I was there shaking you as you stood up, saying, “You need to wake up, lassie?!” When you look at your life in terms of good and bad, painful or easy, I’m afraid you may be missing the point all together. Pilgrimage is a daily practice of being present. If you haven’t had a good “aha” in a while, then it’s time to take a deeper look and ask why. You can’t expect the same answers to answer the same questions throughout your life. Humans have seasons and cycles, just like everything else in nature. Am I in a rut or am I just looking at my surroundings in the old way? Do I need a change? What’s working? What needs a lift or a shift? When you become more aware and take notice, you invite the little moments of life to unfurl.

This is important: sometimes it’s the “falls” in life that wake us up but more often it’s looking at the wallpaper that’s been around you the entire time.

After you fell, didn’t you realize you needed help with your health? At a certain point in your life, you need to stop bullsh*tting yourself! You see, when you look at the path as an adventure- and not as an impediment you need to tread upon- new shores will begin to lap up to your front door. Whether you are traveling or not. This is what carpe diem is all about! My feeling is that it gets much easier when you ask friends to join you. Create a community so you can wake up together. Let the community be your staff; your support. No one is meant to do this alone. And you know, this is exactly what we are calling you to do. Why do you think the Irish are so well known for their humor and frivolity? We learned a long time ago that a fellow pilgrim makes for good company on the road…so, RELAX! Surrender…let go. So, this taxi driver ya met. With all the wisdom. Do ya suppose he was an angel? Ya don’t think regular folks can’t be angels, too, do you? Brigit swipes the air with her hand, jumps off the front of the ferry and begins to skate on the waters of Puget Sound. Behind her, wispy water spirits leap up after her, like tiny minnows.


 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. Do you have golden rules that you follow? Do any of these resonate with you?

  2. Think about a time when you experienced a repetitive singular emotion for a while, whether it was tears, anger, laughter, etc. Or a time you experienced an accident or peculiar event. When you look back on these times, could they have been a wake-up call or an opening? What was this emotion or circumstance revealing to you?

  3. Do you feel you are going through a season or a particular cycle in your development as a spiritual person? When is the last time you had an “aha” moment?

  4. Brigid talks about “little moments” in life. Has there been an occasion when you noticed something small or minor which took on a larger significance for you? Think about your life right now. Observe the room you are in. Look at the mementos that are around you. When you look at this "wallpaper," what makes you stop and pause?

 


BRIGID'S MESSAGE TO YOU

Hello dear souls!

It’s me, Brigid from Kildare. Besides cycles and seasons, I’d like to talk about passages. Passages are entryways to the next room of your life. They help to keep you on a little more directed way. Some are internal and personal; others are external and physical. Sleep is an example of a passage to a new time and place. I’ve noticed that earthly humans aren’t aware of when they are in a passage. For many people, this time of pandemic has been a sort of passage. It is a time to listen, perhaps slowdown to notice what you might need or want. Check in to see if your desires may be changing or evolving. Am I in the right place or should I be heading somewhere else? Is this a time of action, contemplation, or rest? If things feel tight or cloistered, you may be in a passageway. Ask me, Brigid, for help or clarity. Don’t be shy! Ask for a sign. Slow down as soon as you can, to get your bearings. It's a good time to use Sally's compass.

Here's what I’d like you to try: at night before sleep, when you are lying down in bed, I’d like you to imagine that you are throwing a golden cord from your head into your heart. By the way, all those drawings and borders of “celtic knots?” They aren’t knots! They are cords, my goodness! Now just let go of your day and ask the tension of your body to melt into the bed, as you place hand-over-hand, following this hollow energetic cord.

As you approach the interior of your heart, say a few sentences to yourself, as if you are writing a short letter. Dear Lisa, you worked hard today on that presentation. You did your best and now it’s done. Let go of the foibles at work with John. It’s not worth the energy. Tonight, know you will get the rest you need, and trust you are protected and cherished by a heavenly multitude. I love you.” We will be there with you and what’s more important, you will listen to yourself! Try this for a few weeks and you will wake more rested in the morning. You deserve to be heard, especially in your own heart. You are more powerful than you realize. By the way, Sally and Mother Mary have a fabulous meditation in the Bedroom level on her website if you need additional guided meditation time!

Love and laughter!

Brigid

 

OUR LIGHTHOUSE IS UNDER RENOVATION “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” -Anne LeMott, from Salon I’ve been walking down a narrowing passageway as my health and meditative life shifted after my pilgrimage. I'm in surroundings I don’t recognize. I’m on a work sabbatical now as the gang at My Inner Lighthouse are building our upcoming Patreon platform where we can all gather with more community connection, including the guides you’ve come to know and love. The time is coming for something new and exciting. More bells and whistles, please! It is time to get closer to one another with more back and forth. Sharing resources and being in a conversation. This is the message I’ve gotten from you and it is definitely what the Ascended Masters want. Not to fear. This may be a goodbye for now, but a hello IS coming. Beside, how could we ever forget you?! ^_^ Remember: even on the stormiest of days we all shine on, Sally, Suzanne, Jackie, Fox and Kathleen

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