Category Archives: Uncategorized

In the Spirit of Halloween: Ghosts and Shadow Men

Beverley Young is one of my favourite bloggers: her site is a ‘must’ for those of my readers who are interested in all matters beyond the ordinary. Here, as a warm-up ( or should I say a chill-down! ) for Hallowe’en, are some extremely spooky tales sent to Beverley by her readers. Enjoy the stories – and it would be great if you left me some of your own as comments.

Can you believe this writer? He does not write in coffee shops…

cartoon by Paul F Newman

Anne W and Friend write in a coffee shop

Cartoon by Paul F Newman

I’ve been following Robert’s writers’ blog for a while and would heartily recommend it to those of us fatally addicted to attempting to communicate via the spoken word. This grumpy but funny post about not writing in coffee shops ( can you believe it? This man does not like coffee! ) gave me a good giggle. Do you recognise your writing habits here? Do tell!!

101 Books

Confession: I’ve never written a single word in a coffee shop.

Confession number two: I don’t recall ever taking a laptop inside a coffee shop.

Confession number three: I hate coffee. Like, I loathe coffee. It smells like a combination of cigarettes and skunk.

That being the case, I’m a terrible candidate to be a novelist.

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The Black Madonna Connection

Following on Easter, Jamie over at Sophia’s Children reminds us of the deep, ancient wisdom held in the archetype of The Black Madonna…read, reflect, enjoy…In Jamie’s words “…this Whole Feminine, this symbol of deep wisdom and Unity, of remembrance and healing of what has been fragmented and abused, … is needed right now in the world.

She is calling for remembrance and expression in our work places, in our leadership, in the way we understand and express ourselves. The heartbeat grows louder, and the need for it grows as well. As we remember Her, she expresses herself more powerfully through us…”

Sophia's Children

La Moreneta Madonna of Montserrat, a more renowned Black Madonna located at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia. La Moreneta Madonna of Montserrat, a more renowned Black Madonna I visited with at the Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery in the Montserrat mountain in Catalonia. There is also another nearby, in a more humble location amongst the people.

Given what I’ve shared in recent (and previous) posts, it seems a fine time to have a nice pot of tea and a renewing, revitalizing visit with the Black Madonna.

I’ve written a lot about the Black Madonna over the years, and will link to a couple of those posts here — they delve more deeply into the meaning, the history, and my own journey of introduction to her Mysteries.

In short, the Black Madonna is the Virgin and Child, Mother Mary and the Christ child. With a twist.

Her blackness is multi-level symbolic, but hints at the depths of the Mysteries … in this case, Christian, but connected by an…

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5 Things Your Mom Didn’t Tell You About Book Blogging

I’m really enjoying following Robert’s quirky, fun, informative blog, and found reading this post very useful – apart from anything else, it confirmed my own dark suspicions about writing book reviews!

101 Books

Sure, you’ve already got a great book blog. Your mom loves it. In fact, your book blog is so good that more people than your mom and brother read it.

That’s step one to blog success—more than just family members!

But how does your book blog stand out in the middle of all the thousands of book blogs on the intertubes?

Well, I don’t claim to be an expert or anything, but I have been blogging about books for nearly 4 years, and here’s what’s worked for me.  These, of course, are in addition to these blogging tips I gave a few years ago. All those tips still hold true as well.

So here are a few of my thoughts that, just maybe, your mom didn’t tell you:

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Favourite Quote: …”beyond all image and words”

Feeling very meditative, as I sit three floors up  gazing out at the sun setting over the Kilpatrick Hills on a clear night here in Glasgow (unusual event….!). Thought I’d share a favourite quote, which every time I read it walks me gently into Mystery.

Have a peaceful night, as the month’s energy winds down and  we approach the New Moon in Gemini on Wednesday evening.

New Moon Crescent

New Moon Crescent

“….in this journey of the spirit, I and others still walk that steep uphill road….And all our religious edifices, which serve first as staffs to help us on our way, in the end become crutches which we must discard….And the doctrines which we espouse and which we hold dear are only smooth shining stones which we pick up on the road and place in our baggage. With each new dogma and doctrine, the baggage grows heavier, until we discard these pebbles, one by one, leaving them on the roadside for others to find and carry a little further. And in the end we have need of neither doctrine nor creed, nor to name that which we worship – for it is beyond all image and words….”

 ‘Women in Search of the Sacred ‘ by Anne Bancroft (Penguin Arkana 1996) pp 120-121

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200 words copyright Anne Whitaker/Anne Bancroft 2014
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Tragedy, shock….and heartwarming courage. Glasgow today.

As I write, thirty two people are in emergency hospital beds across our city. We do not know how many people have died as sniffer dogs, fire and police service personnel carefully comb the rubble of the Clutha Vaults pub, searching for signs of life – or death. Shocked families wait to hear news of their loved ones.

Clutha Vaults helicopter crash

Clutha Vaults helicopter crash

This is a devastating incident which has touched many lives and will continue to do so as the days and weeks unfold.  With profound irony, this is St Andrews Day: a day when we celebrate the richness of what it means to be Scottish.

And yet….

We lay in bed this morning, shocked, having woken up on a lazy Saturday to awful news. And yet….through the jagged tempo of tragedy, we began to hear the strong heartbeat of Glasgow. A heartbeat we have heard before through other tragedies. The strong pulse of ordinary citizens caring for one another, some risking their lives to do so, not knowing whether the pub shattered by a helicopter’s plummet from the night sky was going to explode into fire and flames.

People called the emergency services immediately. Others formed a human chain to escort their fellows blinded by dust, blood and shock to safety. Passers by did not run away: they ran to see what could be done to help. Other folk sat on the street with the injured, tucked their emergency blankets round them, waited till the ambulances came. The rescue operation, well planned, swung fast into action. Gordon Matheson, the City Council leader, was eloquent in his praise of rescue services – and of ordinary citizens.

There is another Glasgow, a generous spirited Glasgow, the one that films sensationalising Glasgow’s at times violent history do not show. I am a Glaswegian by adoption, having lived here for over thirty years, my husband even longer. I too have been on the receiving end of the small and large kindnesses, laughs and warmth which are characteristic of living here. I hope I have returned these too.

Today, in the midst of disruption, pain and tragedy, I feel proud to call myself a citizen.

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400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013

Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Support from Guardian newspaper for Glasgow’s North Kelvin Meadow campaign!

Check out this article from today’s “Guardian” newspaper:

The Guardian supports: Glasgow residents’ final fight to save North Kelvin Meadow from bulldozer http://gu.com/p/3ckyz/tw  via @guardian