When Love comes down at Christmas

I have experienced magical Christmases. As a child I listened entranced to the stories about baby Jesus, of angels bringing the good news to awestruck shepherds, and the magi, the wise men following the star to Bethlehem. I remember watching the sky on Christmas Eve hoping to catch a glimpse of that wondrous star. I was convinced it would re-appear. It never did, although for me all stars whispered angel words. Vincent Van Gogh understood the wonder of starlight and depicted it in his famous Starry Night Christmas meant singing well-loved carols and, finally, the arrival of longed-for presents. Although the day was often breathlessly hot we ate traditional Christmas roasts with all the relat

In the womb of the Lady – an Advent experience

Notre-Dame de Chartres, the glorious Gothic cathedral of the provincial town south-west of Paris is dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus. Yet she is so ancient, the goddess of Chartres. Springs and wells connect us with the deep fount of life, the spiritual worlds as harbingers of coming into being, and long before Christianity the divine feminine as mother guarded this sacred spring. Worship there goes back to the Celts, and probably further into unrecorded history. A Roman temple superseded the Celtic one, which in turn was replaced by a series of Christian churches. Much of the Romanesque cathedral was destroyed by fire in 1194. The present Gothic cathedral took sixty-six years to build,

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