The Harp

The Harp

On my final day in Ireland a gift was given in meditation. A cave was my point of visualization and in this amethyst cave I found a black zippered case. A Grandmother being was with me and said, “Once you open it, you can never go back.” I unzipped it and removed a small harp. “This is the gift from Eriu and you are now a trusted carrier of this wisdom. You have to carry it forth.”

I had absolutely no idea what a harp meant but she told me, as the meditation ended, to research the meaning and the significance would unfold.

After the meditation ended I went to my laptop and began researching the harp and Ireland. Coat of Arms….King of Ireland 13th century….high status among musicians in Ireland historically….in 17th century traditional musicians were outlawed or under control…harpist accompanied poetry recitations…became the resistance to the Crown and England….banned at end of medieval period…legend of Dagda, protector of people, had a magical harp that played itself….Queen Elizabeth I banned harps and harpists and even executed them as they were suspected to be the focal point of causing rebellions among Irish people against the crown….motto: It is now strung and shall be heard. 

It is now strung and shall be heard. The harp as a symbol is a call to awaken.

That message echoed throughout my consciousness and today, as I write this, it is especially meaningful. Yesterday, during a session with my life coach, we discussed the deep work of allowing my self to be seen for who I really am, to cease hiding my light and strength and allow my beauty and the beauty I offer the world to be fully seen.

The same message came to me months earlier when I was in Ireland on Inis Mor. I was standing in the prehistoric fort and a modern-day fencing pipe stood facing the Atlantic Ocean. The wind was fierce that day and it played the pipe. The low notes of the pipe reverberated in my body and I was reminded that we are like flutes…the more we clear out the inner obstructions, the more beautiful our expression as Spirit moves through us.

Resistance to an old, repressive authority was symbolized by the harp. By gathering together all of who they were, the Irish played their ‘harp’ and let England know that independence was theirs. They claimed their right to live in freedom instead of oppression.

The Grandmother reminded me of my right to freedom from the old, inner oppression. From birth and experiences of life, I organized my thoughts and behaviors and direction…we all do this and all through our lives we have opportunities to unlearn the unhealthy, deadening patterns. Once freedom is experienced, returning to a fear-based life is not acceptable…but the journey out of fear can be challenging.

As much as I love Ireland and appreciate the raw, elemental beauty perhaps the greatest gift I received there was the symbol of the harp that reminds me to gather in all of who I am…the fearful parts, the strong parts, the gifts, talents…and allow the Universe to move through me.

When I play my low Celtic whistle, the mellow tones remind me to be an open channel for Spirit. When I sing or speak….or photograph nature….or write….or just sit and do ‘nothing’ it’s about being fully present with all of myself and letting that be enough. Because it is enough and it’s wonderful just to feel wholeness and to embrace the journey of the Pilgrim who goes out into the world seeing everything as sacred, including the self.

John O’Donohue said, in A Celtic Pilgrimage, “Always in a pilgrimage there is a change of mind and a change of heart. The outer landscape becomes a metaphor for the unknown, inner landscape.” Traveling into beautiful landscapes reflects to me the beauty of the soul. It reminds me that we are part of nature…we are nature. There really is no separation. Travel is sacred to me because it is a reminder to reflect inward to that precious journey of the soul.

The journey to wholeness is perfectly summed up when John O’Donohue said, “If you enter into the dream that brought you here and awaken in its beauty in you, then the beauty will gradually awaken all around you.” Beloved Eriu, Beloved Ireland, you showed me beauty that awakened me and gave me glimpses into the beauty of the soul that still shines through the eyes of my heart. It is time to shine….the harp of my heart has been strung and now must be played.


All images copyright Simone Lipscomb

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