Cry of the Banshee -Episode Three

                                                 Cry of the Banshee - Episode Three

The living and the dead  together in silence, waiting, listening, not knowing what was about to take place. Two things happened.. First, the light became focused on one person and the golden-red rays of that lower sun seemed to envelop the Banshee herself where she stood and the effect was that she smiled for the first time. At the same time the roots of those trees which before had seemed a violent intrusion into the space began to take on a different character altogether and became like great cords of compassion which gently moved toward the uninvited guest, surrounding her , lifting her slowly upward and creating a hallowed hand for her to sit upon and rest. Closing her eyes her body lightened.  All watched in amazement hearing  the voice from below speaking a kind of music, addressing her with such tender affection and great respect  in words perhaps, but more like soft, sweet melodic phrases that only she could understand. In the very next moment the light broadened to include all of us and the voice became intelligible and all understood its meaning, a meaning which had never been uttered before in any church. To us the voice said: " This is my Beloved Daughter. I delight in her." And again the Voice sang these words in a different key: " This is my Beloved Daughter. I  delight in her." And a third time: " This is my Beloved Daughter. I delight in her." Each time the message was heard it was like layers of history, of suffering, were being peeled away and ancient wounds revealed and healed. Each utterance like the deepest medicine penetrating the human heart. The first one and the only one to speak was Patrick, that wondrous old saint who  brought the Christian faith to Ireland. He approached the Banshee, bowed to her, and knelt before her. " I ask for your forgiveness, dear lady", he began. " My Breastplate, my prayer of protection, has not protected the ones I love. I have failed to protect the people from wolves and snakes and dark birds of prey, from centuries of abuse and neglect, from the terrors and certainties of authority, power and control. I have failed to protect the very people whom I love from a religion that suppresses and silences the songs and chants, the beliefs and ways of a people I first met so long ago,  my heart's love. I see it now and I ask for your forgiveness." At these words the Banshee embraced and kissed the saint. Together they wept. Together they laughed out loud! Their embrace became a dance and the trees began to move in grace-filled ways. The roof of the church opened and the sky became visible. The rays of the sun above broke through and  clouds poured down rain on every single head as if in a new kind of baptism, a baptism of nature's power, of nature's beauty,  of nature's hidden meanings. And a new song was heard in the native tongue, an all-embracing song. A song that listens to wind and questions  the soul..A song that raises the dead and levels the living. Can the sun and the moon dance as one? Can the darkness and the light sing the same song? In the midst of this new music the old church structure dissolved like melted wax. The walls disappeared and the trees became a lovely grove surrounding and sustaining us all. Even the wolves and snakes and birds of prey were welcomed and transformed in this new ecumenical song. It was an eternal moment, a moment in which  all were " blessed and could bless."


Cry of the Banshee -Episode Two

Cry of the Banshee - Episode Two

At the sound of these words the foundation stones of the church itself began to tremble and convulse as the Banshee went from words to sighs and groans.Her voice seemed to be the voice of many, the voices of neglected souls long ago, calling out through rock and standing stone.  She wailed and she wept and her hot tears ran down her well-worn face , over her breasts , down her sturdy legs and fell upon that cold floor. Each tear falling to the ground of the church created an opening that seemed to drop down, drop down into an abyss. From each opening the roots of ancient trees began to rise, running round the interior of the building , covering the stained -glass windows like haggard hands, and blocking out the sun until all was completely dark. The only sound being the crawling of the trees upon the floor, along the walls, and reaching as high as the ceiling, blotting out any artificial light. And finally even that sound stopped and what remained was utter stillness , total silence. It is difficult to put into words what happened next. In the darkness, in the silence,in the nothingness we waited. We waited in the moment for the next moment to appear. And everyone, aware of a presence, or better yet the presence of many presences, opened their eyes but nothing could be seen. Nothing could be heard. Not yet.  Everything was felt. And then as a curtain or veil slowly lifting a  warm, rich and multi-colored light seemed to grow out of the earth beneath our feet. From the openings below created by the Banshee's tears, a light was emerging until all were illumined or bathed in the rays of this sun from below. And in these rays were seen and heard and felt -  melodies, songs and chants from some other world, which rose and sounded together in various modes, carried by the colors of this earthen sun. As we looked around the room we saw other faces from long ago. There was Patrick. There was Brendan. And there was Brigit , Columba, Ita and Hild and many more...  all kept silence as if waiting for the next moment; the next moment when the most beautiful, the most powerful voice of all was heard, heard not just with our ears, but in the depths, in 'the deep heart's core'. A voice, deeper and richer than any ancient imagining , and the words, more like a song, cut gaps in hearts of stone and filled deserts with  rivers of longing and desire.  This voice, this blessed voice was rising from below, from the earth, speaking or singing in numinous tones.  I will tell you now what this voice said,  and did:  -Episode two


The Cry of the Banshee

THE CRY OF THE BANSHEE She walked into the Holy Mass when the priest was holding up the bread and the cup and she unleashed a cry that pierced the ear and sent shudders down every spine. Then she spoke: " You have killed the spirit of the people . In the name of the saints you have banished the saints." The priest shouted back at her," How dare you interrupt the divine Mass. Who do you think you are? " Her voice changed into low growl-like tones," I am the voice of your deepest fear. The voices of the millions whom you and your holy liturgy suppress and silence. It all ends now." What happened next horrified all who dared to keep their eyes opened. -Episode one


Here in Colorado Singing and Chanting


This is a post on the run... I'm here in Colorado where the mountains speak, the sky sings and the coyote calls in the night.. Immense Beauty! In the midst of all this magnificence friends have gathered to sing and chant the new music, fiddlers play, drummers drum and heaven comes down to earth.

This Sunday night, Nov. 2 at 7:30pm we gather at the Star House in Boulder Colorado for an Evening of Celtic Chant. Since it is around the time of Samhain and the Day of the Dead we'll share a ritual in chant and body and fire that invites us to honor the ancestors, those who have died and also the parts of ourselves that may have fallen into shadow . In other words, we'll wake the dead!

On Saturday, November 15 at St. Brigit's Episcopal Church in Frederick, Colorado we'll gather for a day retreat/workshop/party to explore the meaning of Celtic Spirituality. The day is full of chant, song, story, poetry and in the evening there's a dance. In addition there'll be live belly dancing! Just kidding...
We begin at 10:00am and the day ends at 4:00pm. After dinner-potluck- we'll dance.

So, there's my post on the run. I hope to see you soon.
Sing out, sweet souls!
Blessings and Peace,