Starting Out: What are your names for God?


Spirit called to me even as a young child. There was a tree in our backyard that I used to climb all the time—my mother says if anyone asked her where I was, she’d tell them to look in the tree. That’s where I would talk to God. That was my word then. God. That was the only word offered me at the time. My path into nature-centered practices seems obvious from this vantage point. But then the only thing offered me, forced on me, was Episcopalianism. The sacred story cycles of Christianity, at least the ones I heard in that church, not only didn’t serve me, but generally left me quite angry. The wrathful God of those stories found no overlap with the God I knew in the trees. As no other alternatives were offered to me in that sheltered existence, I decided instead to stop talking to God. I did not talk to It for a long, long time.

And then, one day, God talked to me.

In the cultures of the British Isles, which is primarily my ancestry, “the hedge” has long been seen as a liminal space between the worlds. I am a hedgewalker, getting to know the spirits of the land on the shoreline of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and those of my celtic and anglo-saxon ancestors from the British Isles and northwestern Europe. I study druidry and other core “shamanic” technologies that many ancient peoples & contemporary indigenous cultures across the planet have used to connect with the Otherworld(s). “Shaman” is a word specific to the Tuvan people of Siberia. I use the word “hedgewalker” to honor and connect with my own culture, as well as to mindfully avoid the arena of cultural appropriation as best I can.

I did not come back to this natural core way of connecting with Source until much later  in life and so I consume books and workshops and conversations and teaching with an intense hunger. So much time has been wasted and I feel “behind.” I practice with a healthy dose of skepticism, a profound appreciation for science, and a heart bursting with love for Source in all Her manifestations. In addition to my studies with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and my hedgewalking practices with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and other practitioners, I received a certificate in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from Andover Newton Theological School and most recently, a certificate from the Spiritual Guidance Program from the Rowe Conference Center. I now offer spiritual companioning to others—from any faith tradition or none at all—who want to explore the spiritual dimensions of what it means to be human. I am in perpetual search for patterns and moments of participation with the other-than-human spirits of this animate Earth.

I have been informed by many spiritual pathways on the way to this one and the names I use for Source have become many—Spirit, God/dess, the Divine, helping spirits, Holy Mother, power animals, and spirits of the land. Hekate and Brigid are the manifestations of Source that most frequently, and personally, speak to me and to whom I pray and make offerings. It is their faces I see on my altar and who whisper to me in this animate Earth. Source has a thousand names. Your names are welcome here too. I look forward to being in conversation with you. Welcome to my blog.