The upward pointing icicle and other miracles

So the upwards pointing icicle came to my garden one morning about five years ago. I still have no idea what to make of it. It was there, bold as brass, or a little icy excitement, emerging from the frozen ice of the pot. Icicles usually go downwards. This one went upwards. There was no…

The forgotten mistress of the king.

This poem by Rowan Williams has become a favourite of mine. Glory and defeat, victory and humility, all  there.   For Inna Lisnianskaya Barefoot, down the long woodland corridors of frost, Over the needles, walks the forgotten mistress of the king. She smells of grapes, candles, black furs. Of cooking smells, and smoke in a…

Imagination and Psychotherapy – the neuroscience is friendly

The imaginal function is important to psychotherapists because it connects us directly to what is  not yet know. Psychotherapy is not about what is known. Any therapist who purports to be able to tell you what is ailing you and what you should do about it is one to run a mile from. No, psychotherapy…

Advent, waiting, and alchemy.

Alchemists work with consciousness to bring greater light, greater consciousness, to the world. The transformation of this in to that (the great secret of course is that that turns out to have been this all along, but that is a whole other story…). Advent is the Christian season of waiting for the new consciousness to emerge, to be born. It is the…

Therapy as safe harbour.

During times of turmoil, the therapeutic relationship can provide a refuge, a moment of peace, a place of safety. It is not always like this of course, nor should it be. Sometimes the therapeutic relationship is fraught and frightening – we use the therapy space to grow and as therapists we offer ourselves to our…

A blaze of light in every word….

‘There’s a blaze of light in every word It doesn’t matter which you heard,  the Holy, or the Broken. Hallelujah.’ Some poets and dreamers have been particularly generous in their contributions to the forming, the languaging, of what it means to be a human person. Psychotherapy is about this formation. Good therapy wonders as it…

How many goats do you have?

      Becoming Human Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about “His great visions of God” he felt he was having. He asked me for confirmation, saying, “Are these wondrous dreams true?” I replied, “How many goats do you have?” He looked surprised and said, “I am speaking of sublime…

Time’s fool, or the ever fixed mark?

The link we make between love and eternity deserves some attention. We offer a ring as a symbol of our love in marriage, because it is eternal – the ring, in its circularity,  has no beginning or end. We promise to love ‘forever’ (although in the Christian marriage service the promise is only until death,…

At Blackwater Pond. Mary Oliver.

And so here where I live the weather has just suddenly turned from hot, heavy, laden summer days to  cool, clean freshness in a drenching season change. Last night the rain came, in buckets, streaking lightening, soaking the flowerbeds, keeping us awake to storm-watch (and deeply breathe!) through open windows. What a constant delight the…

Work, leisure, pleasure, and service.

September comes with the ‘back to school’ feeling, the children have their new slightly too big school uniforms (grow in to it, very practical), the house is clean and clear from a summer of sorting, the preserving pan is out for jam, chutney, pickles, summer completion projects. A hive of industry, but it is the…

The Ten Commandments for transpersonal researchers

What if scripture points you to how to develop your inner life? Your reflexivity? Adopting an esoteric reading of the Ten Commandments, we can find reflexive ways forward.  The thinking here is a development of the work of Edward Edinger in ‘The Bible and the Psyche: Individuation Symbolism in the Old Testament'(1). I have extended…