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Anam Cara - The Blessing

In Corrogue it is frosty.

The ramp into our "acre of diamonds" is now firm underfoot where before it was a sea of mud. Murphy our dog runs excitedly by my side. We are on our way to release the chickens from the coop. They are to be fed porridge oats in milk.

Murphy has become an honorary chicken. He has been self-appointed. He now eats with the hens and cockerels as I give them their long awaited breakfast. They are now together, dog and birds, loving this life that is secure and satisfying for them.

I am becoming clearer. I am becoming more integrated and more know of the flow of this life. I am become a soul friend. I am becoming what is known in the Celtic tradition an Anam Cara. This translates as Anam meaning "soul" and Cara meaning "friend."

Like our beautiful dog Murphy I am busy rounding up different aspects of my less integrated self. These are pieces that are like different chickens within a roost. I gently bring them together in love and acceptance. I imagine myself sitting atop a chicken coop with my chicken friends and we would debate various life questions.

We might ask "What does it mean to be a seeker after soul." We would squawk about our inner life. We would peck at the question "is the unexamined life worth living?" We would joke about what happened when the chicken crossed the road. More seriously we would scratch in the earth to query that existential question, "What came first - the chicken or the egg?"

One of our favourite hens (and I have to acknowledge I do have favourites) is Boddica. She is fearless. She would be the hen to ask fierce questions. She is the hen equivalent of a soul friend. She probes your knowing and understanding of who you really are. She might ask, "What does an Anam Cara do?

In answer to Bodica`s question I would humbly reply thus.

An Anam Cara loves your essence.

They see you beyond your mask. This is the mask of persona. This is what you call personality. They see beyond the fear. They see the absence of love. This is love you withdraw from others and yourself. This is the love that is your real power. This does not mean they have to like YOU. You are the one that gets in the way of soul. You soul is the light of love and it needs light. It needs the lightness of being. An Anam Cara will remind you simply "to be."

An Anam Cara lives close to the land.

They might be found roosting with chickens. They love the elements of fire, water, earth and air. They are elemental beings although they are more down to earth than mental. Some might consider they exhibit opposite traits. They love sensuality and sexuality. They love the play of Eros. This takes them on the wing. An Anam Cara will remind you to come to your senses and be sensational.

An Anam Cara guides you to the presence you are.

They are people of the silence. They listen. They do not debate. They do not fill you up with knowledge. They transmit the knowing of love. They touch you with beauty. This is not their beauty but the beauty of the Beloved. They move in the world as nobodies of import. They do not puff up your ego. They may build your ego up. They do so in order that you can disappear. This is in order that you can fly the coop. This is so you can enter the joy of leaving the prison house of never being enough.

An Anam Cara reminds you of what is important.

They guide you to knowing who you are. They take you into what are called in Ireland "thin places." They take you to the edge. They coax you to the edge. When you are trusting enough they push you. They know this is the only way for you to learn to fly. They know you are an eagle that was brought up in a society of chickens. The Anam Cara will take you soaring. The very air that will take you higher is learning trust and faith in your essential goodness.

An Anam Cara takes you to the source. You will be taken beyond time and space to the very souse of your being. This will be done using different techniques depending on which Anam Cara you talk with. There will be techniques to take you out of the constant chatter of the coop into the light heartedness of life beyond the chicken wire. These techniques take you into ease and allow you to give up dis-ease.

An Anam Cara will affirm YOU.

You will be told that YOU are forever enough. This is because the Anam Cara knows that you are forever enough. They have seen beyond the limitation of the ego. They know the prison house of the little self. They know you hold the key to liberation. Only they might tell you that the door is always open. It was and never will be shut to you. They have trust that "all is well and all manner of things shall be well."

An Anam Cara does not really care.

They know you are always held in the hand of the Beloved. They are not here to do anything for or to you. They are only there to facilitate your discovery that you are always enough. They know that what you need is not more of anything but a great big helping of "no thing." This gives your soul true rest. This is where you give up trying to live life and become life abundant. You become the flow of the essential. Nothing matters because it all matters. Ultimately they take you to love of soul.

So this is how I would answer my Anam Cara soul hen.

Would she be satisfied? I am not sure. I know she would think I have avoided the real question. "What comes first? ? the chicken or the egg." I compensate by tenderly gathering her up in my arms. I stroke her beautiful chicken head. I tell her, "I love you." I tell her, "You are a forever enough hen." She goes off and lays another golden egg.

I leave the coop. I leave this Chicken Coop for the Soul and return up the ramp to our cottage. I am gathered in. I leave Murphy to debate the rudiments of flying. He is on the edge. He is excited. One day soon he too hopes to fly. The question is, "Which soul hen will do the pushing."

Blessings upon you and those you love and do not love.

Tony Cuckson is an Anam Cara. This Celtic term means "Soul Friend." He specializes in providing insight for the spiritual journey, Irish Blessings, words of wisdom and finding inner peace. Visitors to Irish Blessings Matter website and Tony's Blog get the opportunity to develop a purpose driven life through articles, newsletters and other programs. Get your free report called "7 ways to it's a wonderful life" at or visit Tony's Blog at for the best resources on spiritual growth, spiritual cinema, spiritual parenting, spiritual coaching and spirit in business.

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