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Future Events:

August 9, 5:30 at the Chatham Bookstore, Chatham, NY
            Experiencing Ireland
Jeanne will highlight some of the aspects of her book that were part of her own experience. Tom Chulak will then interview her and facilitate a discussion of those gathered to hear about Celtic Spirit.

Previous talks:

Women Who Walk In Wisdom Lecture Series
Women Walking a Celtic Wisdom Path
Jeanne spoke to the powerful messages the Celtic mysteries and heritage offer to women and men of the 21st Century.  Cycles, connection, thinking holistically; balancing male and female energies, honoring the Divine Feminine and women’s sovereignty; as well as appreciation of nature, the “mountain behind the mountain” and story. She encouraged labyrinth walking as a way of easily finding balance and accessing the mysteries that lie within each of us. She offered this Celtic Blessing to Sylvia and those gathered for Women Who Walk In Wisdom:                                
May your vision for Women Who Walk in Wisdom be realized.
May those of us who gather here today and those who gather in the future, be affirmed, renewed and supported through your work.
May we all be inspired to continued and greater service to our community building, and to justice and peace-making in the wider world.

Women's Interfaith Institute of the Berkshires 
            Celebrating Celtic Spirituality 

Over a pot luck before her talk, Jeanne asked members and guests to discuss places in their own lives where they felt the power of place connected them to a deeper sense of Spirit. She then shared from her own experiences at some of the Celtic 'thin places' that she celebrates.
She highlighted 6 places and lifted up a message from each by reading book excerpts:                         

            Connecting to Something Greater Than Ourselves
o   The Cliffs of Moher  (See Day One)
The Divine Feminine
o   Brigit’s Well (Day Two)
The Circle of Life  
o   The Celtic Crosses at Clonmaicnoise (Day Four)
Stillness and Silence 
o   Glendalough (Day Six)
Mystery of the Universe
o   Newgrange (Day Seven)
Mysticism of the Mountain Behind the Mountain  
o   Yeats Country (Days Nine and Ten)

Purple Door, Rochester NY    
The Mystery and Wonder of Newgrange

This ancient chamber, aligned to allow sunlight to enter at winter solstice, is a place of amazing energy and power. Jeanne read excerpts of the book describing Newgrange, led a guided visualization of the light experience within its chamber and then open the session to a discussion of the transformational power of place. (See Day 7 of the book.)
Wood Library Books Sandwiched In Program, Canandaigua, NY
            Celtic Spirit- An  Author’s Overview

Jeanne shared excerpt from her book that offered insights into the richness of the characters who take the Celtic journey to the heart of it all. See excerpts.

Paths to Spiritual Transformation

People reading my fiction book Celtic Spirit A Wee Journey to the Heart of It All have asked for more information about spiritual transformation and my own journey.

People have sought spiritual transformation since the beginnings of time. Labyrinths, ritual caves, stone henges, medicine wheels, spiral designs on rock art, and artifacts from ancient mystery schools evidence the universality of this quest. Likewise, all major religions offer paths to spiritual transformation. In fact, spiritual seekers both within and outside the perimeters of religion aspire to the experience. So… why did I find it so elusive? Why was it even hard to find a working definition? These questions motivated me to write an accessible and clear overview of the process as I experienced it.

I further believe it can occur within all of us.  It sometimes is part of an intentional journey; other times, a reaction to events in our lives; or often it is some mix of the two.  I further found that some transformative experiences may be quick, albeit profound, "aha" while others may be tumultuous.

Until I realized the paradoxes underlying my quest, I felt like I was getting nowhere. Yet, the challenge is to face the paradoxes and rise above them. In fact, I believe that twenty-first century thinking is about learning to resolve the either/or mentality we have created for ourselves by separating science/religion; heart/reason; right/wrong. The adage that problem cannot be solved at the level of its creation applies to so many issues that confront us today. Individuals, groups, organizations, and governments need to move to a higher level of thinking in all that we do. Indeed that is what paradigm shifts and transformations are all about. From my perspective, that means integrating mind, body spirit individually and insisting on healthy, holistic organizations.

Visiting the Thin Places of Celtic Ireland
In the process of writing Celtic Spirit, I found it challenging to find direct access to recommendations of travel or inspirational sites that made up the itinerary. This nonfiction article, available as a Kindle single is an attempt to help readers learn more about the places in Ireland I so love.

The Irish call them ‘thin places’. For some the phrase is synonymous with holy or sacred, a place of transcendence, where one can sense the Divine and feel lifted up. Others are referring to a place where the veil is thin, where there is a gateway to the Other World or portal to the Fairy Kingdom. Still others are referring to the notion of vortexes or sites where they experience a vibrational, mystical energy. Some thin sites are natural, some built by the Church, and still others made by ancient peoples who somehow knew how to channel the light of sun and moon and stars built others. All provide the visitor with an awesome sense of the mystery and wonder of the Universe.

It is often said that you do not have to be Irish to love a trip to Ireland. Nor do you need to be Catholic, or Anglican or Presbyterian or Methodist or even religious to experience Celtic spirituality. There is universality to the Celtic experience, especially in Ireland, that transcends religious affiliation, or lack thereof. What I love about Ireland is the power of place that it evokes - whether one is a pagan, mystic, pantheist, secular humanist, or Christian.

This rich power of place can be found in every corner of the Emerald Isle. I have been drawn to sacred places throughout the world. In fact, my personal bucket list is comprised of such sites and I have been fortunate enough to visit in many. However, none affect me as deeply as those I have chosen to highlight here. My book, Celtic Spirit, A Wee Journey to the Heart of It All, is a fictional account of a group of Americans visiting these sites. Visit CelticSpiritbooks.com or find it on amazon.com to hear more about the experiences of visiting these sites.