Category: Eco-Spirituality

Our Lady

Our Lady

(Internet image of Notre Dame burning)

Images from Paris flooded social media earlier this week as Notre Dame burned. I wept, not from having a personal relationship with the structure, but because something so grand that holds such meaning for so many was on fire. Or so I thought.

(Painting by Donna O’Neal)

Then I thought–Our Lady….the translation of Notre Dame. And I wept for the Divine Feminine that has been so cast aside.

And then…Our Lady, Mother Earth came to mind and heart and I cried harder…tears of grief as we watch our Earth Mother become more polluted, abused, raped and Her children….human children in cages in the USA, dying whales, dolphins, manatees, wolves. The tears continued to flow and since then I’ve been in a place of deep grief.

Sometimes it is difficult to look at all of this and stay with it. It’s easier to turn away, to pretend everything is just peachy. But my dear sisters and brothers Our Lady, Mother Earth, is suffering greatly and humans are perpetrating the abuses.

(Tiny chapel ruin on the Island of Inis Mor, Ireland)

Just a few days after the fire, over $1 Billion has been raised. Let that sink in for a moment. The Catholic Church is one of the richest organizations on the planet with art collections alone that could finance the rebuilding…but I won’t even go there. Over a billion dollars in donations for a beloved cathedral in a few days.

I cannot help but ask….where is that depth of passion and love for our planet? Why have we turned away and allowed Her to be treated so poorly. Why haven’t we fed the hungry? Or sheltered the homeless? Our Lady burns indeed, with temperatures that increase every year. Sacred art is destroyed on Our Lady…as Native American holy sites are destroyed for mining or oil and gas exploration and production.

In my mind there is no difference between the cathedral of Notre Dame and the cathedral that is wilderness and yet who among us rises up to protect that cathedral. I bear no ill will toward anyone that helps rebuild a beloved structure. I simply wonder why the Earth isn’t treated with the same reverence.

I know why…I know the history and it’s not pretty. I know how the Divine Feminine was cast aside, condemned and how Mother Earth and all who honored Her through spiritual practices were annihilated (or attempts were made to annihilate) and called savages and witches and pagans. But we know now who the real savages are….those that defile and destroy our Mother, Our Lady.

Grief grows every day as I watch while She is defiled and Her children cast aside still. Who will light a candle for Her? Who will stand up and sing songs to Our Lady Mother Earth? Who is willing to devote their hearts to Her healing? Who will join me in the magnificent outdoor cathedrals to raise our hands and voices with love and gratitude for Our Lady Mother Earth?

All photographs by Simone Lipscomb unless otherwise noted. Edited by the sleepy Buddy Hobbs….

The Intelligence Behind it All

The Intelligence Behind it All

Recently I was listening to a talk given by Eckhart Tolle about being present with nature. He said to think about the stillness of trees and then the Intelligence behind the stillness….that Intelligence is the connection we want to make. Something about that really stayed with me.

Since then as I cycle on the back country trails of coastal Alabama, I set the intention to connect with that Intelligence behind the trees, the swamps, the stillness of nature at sunrise. As I pedal, I feel the attention I give to that Intelligence reflected back to me as amazing ‘bigness.’

On my first trip to Ireland in September 2017 I spent a couple days alone on Inis Mor, an island off the west coast, and had an experience that has been challenging to understand. It was my last day there. The next day I was to begin my journey back to the USA. I sat on the rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and poured my heart out, sang and generally expressed gratitude for the wild elemental spirits that awakened me to a deeper connection with nature….with myself.

As I stood to leave, I felt a presence with me that followed me down the hill, past the chapel ruins, onto the small street, back to the bed and breakfast….and even settled into two open seats on the flight back over the Atlantic the next day. I wrote an e-book of ‘fiction’ about it called The Stone Hut but still ponder what it was I felt…and still feel.

After giving attention to the Intelligence, while outdoors and through meditation, I suspect that it was the Intelligence of wild nature found on the western Irish coast. Some might even try to label that Intelligence….God…Universe…Great Spirit…but for me, labeling diminishes It. Without a doubt, it was an immense presence that was easily palpable. And now, as I tune in closer to nature, I find it here…everywhere. I feel it everywhere.

Recent meditations with the Qabalah seem to parallel the experiences I’ve had in nature. To help illustrate here’s a bit of Qabalah info for context.

The Tree of Life or Qabalah has three pillars and ten sephirah or spheres. The diagram, to me, is the best map we have of the process of manifestation into the physical realm of existence. And perhaps the absolute best psychological model of the human experience we have.

In meditations of late I have been working with the Tree via the path of the Lighting Flash of manifestation, or the descent of power… and sitting with the energy of each sphere to see if it has a teaching for me. While I don’t want to get into the depths of Qabalah, as understood from a western esoteric philosophy, it might help to offer a simple explanation…and hopefully tie into the original storyline of this writing on the Intelligence behind nature….behind everything.

The yellow line in the diagram above represents the Lighting Flash or the path of creation. In the most simple terms, Kether is unmanifest potential or as I think of it, Cosmic Soup, where every possibility exists. The image I think of is a gigantic cauldron filled with star dust, stars, galaxies and we take our hand and scoop out an idea, something we wish to create. Kether might be compared to the Tao, where everything exists before it divides into duality.

So in the path of creation, we go from Kether to Chokmah, or the powerhouse sphere of active energy. We might think of this as masculine energy, a very necessary part of creating anything. And across from this sphere is Binah, which I see as a dark cave of enfolding that receives the masculine energy and begins to give it form…not a final product, but the beginnings. Binah represents feminine energy, also a necessary aspect of the creative process. As we continue down the Tree, it culminates in Malkuth…physical manifestation.

Recently I’ve been guided to begin at Kether and sit within the triangle formed by the emanations of Kether, Chokmah and Binah. In essence, I’m sitting within the Supernal Triangle feeling the early process of creation within the Three-in-One, like a Celtic knot of unbroken energy flow.

As I sit in this space I feel the immense energy of creation coming from Chokmah, the driving force that is simply force pushing toward Binah, the enfolding energy that brings order from raw power. We have to learn to sit in this place of stillness with our own unlimited and unmanifested potential. And this is not an easy task.

It feels like sitting in a pressure cooker with the intense, chaotic, raw power of unmanifested energy being hurled toward the container, Binah. As we grow in our lives, the more we are able to receive that raw power, the better we become at creating…or co-creating. But a warning here: In the flow of Intelligence, of that raw, unformed energy, there is just power. Energy. When we receive it, it infuses our talents, gifts, strengths with power….or anything we focus on including anger, fear, hatred. The energy is neutral until we ‘receive’ it and infuse it with our ‘stuff’….whatever our ‘stuff’ is. This is why in the western esoteric studies of the Qabalah I have participated in, much work is done on clearing the personality and resolving wounds and unhealed places within so when we do learn to align with that power, we do so in an ethical, helpful way.

Sometimes it is necessary to sit in stillness and connect with something greater than ourselves. No. At all times, this is necessary but most of us probably forget and jump ahead, foregoing the part where we learn to listen to the amazing Wisdom that is always, always available. Part of our work is to learn to distinguish the voice of ego or personality self from that of a higher self. It is this higher self, that we might call our true self, that has a direct connection to the Intelligence behind all things and perhaps is the ‘part’ of us that is in harmony with It…is One with It.

As I cycled today I heard that the flow of Intelligence is like a river and when we align with it we merge into a Cosmic Union. We allow thoughts to stop and simply open to Wisdom. When we can surrender our ego, our sense of separateness, and allow our consciousness to merge with the Intelligence behind all things, we experience Oneness.

The Eckhart talk on the Intelligence behind trees and these meditations of late are prompting me to reflect and listen. I’ve had visions of leading retreats in the mountains, helping people deepen with nature. I feel myself deepening with nature, with that magnificent, indescribable Intelligence behind all that is.

For many, many years I’ve been drawn deeper into relationship with aspects of nature…Ocean, whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles. And now, I feel Earth calling me…deeper into Her embrace…like gravity calling me home.

Deepening with Nature….this is my personal work and the work I bring to the world. May it continue.

All photographs copyright Simone Lipscomb. Drawing by unknown source.


In the Middle of the Night

In the Middle of the Night

Sleep isn’t something I take for granted. Too many nights are interrupted by my inability to turn off the empathic part of me that is tuned in to the energetic pulse of humanity. Tonight, as I found my favorite deep sleep music on youtube, I read many of the comments people posted from all over the world and I felt such a rush of love and a sense of Oneness.

A person from Venezuela wrote how she can’t sleep because of anxiety about her country falling apart, not having food, and civil war. A person from Iran wrote of their long history of poetry…Rumi and Gibran and reminded us that Iran is more than the sum of recent years of political strangeness. A person wrote how anxious and sad they are most of the time and how helpful the music was to them as well as the comments people were writing. There were supportive comments of love and compassion to those suffering. A woman in Turkey shared about her anxiety disorder and her gratitude for the sleep music. A person from North Carolina expressed her gratitude for compassionate people commenting and coming together to support each other. Another person from England wrote how refreshing it was to read such lovely and kind messages.

Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Algeria, Greece, Australia, Iran, Ireland, United States, England, France, South Africa, Philippines,  Egypt, Brazil, Holland….just some of the places people live that commented with such support and love. For the first time in a long time, I felt such connection to a world that seems to fragment more each day. I realized we have much more in common than we know. If we could remove politics from the equation we’d all be in such a better place….mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. We allow the power-hungry few ruin it for the rest of us.

Many of us have various problems but what we have in common is each other. When we set aside the politics and power grabs and focus on the realm of the heart and soul, we really are the same. At that level it seems absolutely ridiculous not to…lend aid, share food and resources, shelter each other.

The ugliness of how we treat ‘others’ keeps me awake at night….the misunderstandings, the pain we think is unique to us but really is a common experience, the feelings of loneliness in a world where electronic ‘connection’ seems only to isolate us more, a world where destruction of the source of life seems rampant. Perhaps the greatest illusion of all is that there are ‘others.’ What if everyone, everything, was simply a reflection of us? What if everything ‘out there’ was simply a reflection of some common creative force….God, Great Spirit, the Universe, the Tao. What if everything we see as separate is simply another part of ourselves?

In the middle of the night these questions come. Perhaps my sleepless sisters and brothers all over the world are all facets in the same diamond light of Oneness and we’re simply all trying to find our way back Home….to each other….to Source…to greater understanding.


All photographs copyright Simone Lipscomb.

The Next Chapter

The Next Chapter

Life seems to divide itself into geographic chapters for me. Choosing to live in an area gives me amazing experiences of connection to land and water, wildlife and people. Nearly a year ago I made the decision to end the chapter at the Gulf Coast of Alabama and begin another chapter, in another place.

Front View

While here I was fortunate enough to purchase a home that was built in a live oak forest. It has been a most amazing place to live, move and have my being. Barred owls are frequent visitors as are hawks. Just yesterday, after working on a short video, two hawks landed outside my office window in the grandmother oak tree and were loudly conversing in hawk-speak. It was amazing! Occasionally I see a fox and last summer, just after putting my home for sale, a mother fox and baby were seen just in front of my home. She spotted me and picked up her baby and carried it to their new den. A sign that time was drawing near for me to live in a new den.

The first month I moved into my home I found out about the sea turtle volunteer program so spent every summer involved in the magical life cycle of sea turtles. Also, early in this chapter, I became involved with volunteer work with the Manatee Sighting Network and that led to an amazing community rescue with Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Sea World a few years ago.

It’s not an easy decision to begin a new chapter. I get set in patterns and ways, comfortable in the predictable and immersed in the beauty of strong and beautiful trees and cow neighbors….I seem to be drawn to places with nearby cows. My dog Buddy even has one that licks his nose…that’s how friendly the angus are to us.

Front View

It took me a while to make the decision to move. I’ve never had a home so perfectly fit me and come to life so much with decorating and highlighting the magnificent architectural design. It’s an incredible southern cottage filled with charm. And I do have some family here. But my daughter lives two days drive from here and honestly, I’d like to be closer to her and my son-in-law. But not Michigan-close–where they live–but within a day’s drive.

So I considered various places, even thought about the Florida Springs area, but ultimately felt the call of Mother Earth and Her mountains. So once my home sells, I will be headed northeast. I guess that’s why I kept my snowshoes, snow pants and other winter gear. The Appalachian Mountains are calling me home. Admittedly, when I lived there before, it was the happiest I had ever been. The Asheville area is such an open-minded place that is inclusive of all….and that’s amazing to experience. And then….there are the mountains and waterfalls.

Fenced Courtyard at Rear

I am ready but the timing is up to the Universe. My home is for sale and awaits the perfect new owners…a person or people who will love the land here, the trees, the river access. My wish is that whoever lives here will experience the same unbounded love for the home and place I have felt…and known. It’s not easy closing this chapter but I am excited to start a new one and excited for whoever chooses to live here.

Conscious Connection with Gaia

Conscious Connection with Gaia

For over a year when I ride my bike or walk, the same message is heard: make a conscious connection to nature. It began when I was in Ireland in February 2018. My friend and I were staying in a little holiday home that had very little heat. It snowed during the night and was quite cold. It was more than the cold weather and lack of warmth, the entire energy of the place was ‘off.’

After a night spent snuggled under the covers, I got up early and walked out with my camera. The light dusting of snow was lovely and the creek below had white frosting on the rocks surrounding it. As I stood at the top of a steep embankment, I noticed a lot of trash that had been simply pushed off the edge when the cheap holiday homes were constructed. Vines and vegetation had grown over and concealed much of it but the evidence was still there….pipes, cans, old lumber bits and pieces.

After spending over a week along the Wild Atlantic Way with pristine scenery and amazing vistas packed with raw, elemental energy, it was quite a shock and disappointment to see the mess. I ran back to the house and grabbed my new Low F Celtic Whistle…which sounds more like a flute with its beautiful mellow tone. I arrived back at the pile of trash above the creek and began playing.

Due to the freezing temperature, the sounds weren’t perfect. Not to mention that I had just purchased it and wasn’t yet familiar with the wider finger placements…which had my hands twisted like a pretzel. Regardless, I opened my heart to the place and sent love and compassion to it through the music. As soon as I began to play I felt the energy of the place shift. It was as if it perked up and took notice. I felt it communicate a sense of surprise that a human would send appreciation to it after other humans trashed it.

So I played with intention and felt a returning energy of gratitude and a soothing of hurtful wounds. Even with freezing fingers and metal that wasn’t sure it wanted warm breath moving through it, the low tones filled the frosty air with love and appreciation for Nature and all beings that lived in that area.

The idea to consciously play music for the Earth really took root within me. Perhaps it isn’t grand gestures that will shift our human consciousness but rather everyday efforts to intentionally connect with the Earth….the living Earth.

It will look and feel different for everyone but here are a few suggestions: read a poem to the Earth each morning; sing a song to Her every day; dance barefoot on Her every day; do yoga outside and work with nature energies as you move through your practice; meditate  outdoors and consciously connect with Earth Mother; write a love letter to the Earth each day and read it aloud to Her; when you’re walking outdoors speak your gratitude for flowers, trees, grasses, soil, birds, worms, butterflies; go outside and simply listen with an open mind and heart; say prayers for Mother Earth outdoors and say them out loud.

Cliffs of Moher with a new high D whistle purchased in Ireland

It’s not about changing the Earth, it’s about changing our relationship to Her. We are the ones who need healing. We are the culprits of Her destruction but we can be the purveyors of stewardship through taking the time to make a daily conscious connection to Her.

Suggestion: keep an Earth journal and note what you did and your experience during and afterwards.

Gaia, also spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth. Gaia is the ancestral mother of all life: the primal Mother Earth goddess.

Gaia Hypothesis by James Lovelock, a UK chemist, claims the resident life forms of a host planet coupled with their environment act like a single, self-regulating system.