Posts Tagged ‘Anam Cara’

This blog is about the ability to be clear with one’s intention. When you are clear about your intention then anything and everything can happen.


I was laying in bed one morning thinking about what I wanted in my partner, whom I would like to marry. It had been a few months after I had ended a wonderful relationship because one of my non-negotiables was not able to be met – getting married. Being married was emotionally and spiritually important to me.

I thought about digging out my peach colored list that I had started ten years prior. Then I remembered my notebook that had my 40 Something List. I started to think about what was on my list, both the negotiables and the non-negotiables. I spent the morning mentally working my way through most of these 15 steps. Getting clear, making sure the closets were cleaned out, making time and space for him to show up. Thinking about how I would energetically recognize him and what attributes and traits I wanted in my life partner, my marvelous match. I thought about the celestial influences, that might make a difference or not as the case would be. I began mentally to compose a new personal ad as my previous one was four years old. And I thought about where I would place the ad and what girlfriends I would send it to.

That night, yes, that night I met him unexpectedly at a contra dance. He was passing through town and lived half way across the country. A friend had told him about the dance. I almost didn’t go, but decided to get some exercise and clear my head so I could finish a major project later that night.

When we danced that one dance something clicked. There was a huge spark! We both felt it and recognized it. We changed our schedules over the next five days to spend as much time together as possible.

One of those evenings I read him a passage from a book of Celtic wisdom, Anam Cara by John O’Donohue. A few years prior to meeting my champion I had been my mother’s primary caregiver when she was receiving hospice care at home. While she slept during the day, I sorted through her boxes to begin the inevitable cleaning out of her house. At night I read the books that had caught my eye. Anam Cara became a source of inspiration and helped me understand many things I was experiencing. It also served as well as guidance to help me understand my want to be in relationship with someone special. I had come across a passage that made me believe that my champion would the person who agreed that the passage described the connection between us. When I read it to my champion he did not need to say anything, he simply nodded and kissed me.


A few days later, when he left town he said, “Take care of my heart.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Take care of my heart,” he repeated. “You have a piece of it.”


Over the next nine months we traveled to see each other. Then I closed my business and moved halfway across the country to be with him. Nine months later we were engaged to be married, something that was important to both of us. He is my champion; we are one heart, one love, one clay.
I share this with you so you know that it is possible to manifest your perfect match.


From Anam Cara by John O’Donohue

Love as Ancient Recognition

Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition. This metaphor of friendship can be grounded in the clay nature of the human body. When you find the person you love, an act of ancient recognition brings you together. It is as if millions of years before the silence of nature broke, your lover’s clay and your clay lay side by side.

Then in the turning of the seasons, your one clay divided and separated. You began to rise as distinct clay forms, each housing a different individuality and destiny. Without even knowing it, your secret memory mourned your loss of each other. While your clay selves wandered for thousands of years through the universe, your longing for each other never faded.

This metaphor helps to explain how in the moment of friendship two souls suddenly recognize each other. It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party or a lecture, or just a simple, banal introduction, then suddenly there is a flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing. Love opens the door of ancient recognition. You enter. You come home to each other at last. As Euripides said, “Two friends, one soul.”

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From where does the spark come? What creates that spark that you feel when you connect with someone?

Perhaps it is a passing glance or brush of the shoulder or hand, a few comments exchanged through email or a phone conversation.

Is it something karmic? Is it in the stars or destiny? Is it the scent of the cologne or shampoo that attracts you? Is it the twinkle in his eye? Her smile?

While going through a divorce, I stumbled upon two vastly different books on my mother’s bookshelf. Why she had John Gray’s Mars and Venus on a Date I will never know. (She died before I could ask her.) She and my father had been divorced for about ten years and she had sworn off all men. To put it bluntly my mother hated my father and hadn’t been on a date since before she met him in college. Why did she have a book on dating? Even though it was fairly outdated, I was curious about the Mars/Venus phenomenon. I had not had a chance to read any of Gray’s work. I hadn’t been on a date since high school. Considering that I would be back on the dating scene in due time, I was curious to read what Gray had to say.

The other book was Anam Cara a book of Celtic wisdom by John O’Donohue. Philosophy has always interested me, so the book on Celtic wisdom was intriguing. There were a number of sections that I really enjoyed in O’Donohue’s book. What really struck me was that each book mentioned the same thing regarding relationships.

Gray and O’Donohue each said that there are four things that are required in a “good” relationship: physical chemistry, emotional chemistry, intellectual chemistry and spiritual chemistry. Both mention that a relationship strong in all of these aspects is vitally important; I totally concur.

Emotional chemistry (how we feel about another in loving caring manner) can be developed and created.

Intellectual chemistry (interests in things – art, music, discussions, etc) can be developed and created.

Physical chemistry (sexual attraction, pheromones, etc.) and spiritual chemistry (a spiritual connection) both are either there or they are not. They can not be created from nothing. They can be revitalized but they had to be there in the first place.

After reading this in one book and then again in the other, it hit me really hard that this was the answer to the frustration that I had been feeling about my marriage to my second husband, soon to be ex. It explained a lot. We had the emotional and intellectual chemistries right from the start. But the physical and the spiritual chemistries were never there. They never would be. This was why I felt that something was missing. This explained why I felt we were out of synch, that something was wrong. I had married my best friend at the time, to whom I should have remained in a platonic relationship because the true spark was never there. And it never would be. The shared intellectual and emotional interests were not enough to support us through the struggles we had.

Thinking more about this, I came up with the analogy of a seed. A seed contains a vitality, life force or spark within it. When it is given the right conditions – soil, adequate water, the proper temperature and a good amount of sunlight – the spark within it will stimulate the growth of a plant. If the plant has one of these conditions withheld then it will start to wither and fail. If the plant is nourished, even after being stressed, as long as the proper conditions are provided, the plant will continue to grow and hopefully flourish. However all of this can only begin to happen if the vital chemistry (physical and spiritual chemistries) is already inherently contained within the seed. The seed will only sprout if those two chemistries are already there, they can not be created.

So where does the spark that ignites an attraction come from?

I believe the spark is ignited by the initial physical chemistry of pheromones and appearance, combined with a deeper, subtler spiritual connection that allows two souls to recognize the other as a place where their heart can be at home. (O’Donohue discusses Euripides’ and Plato’s descriptions of the connection of two hearts in a section entitled “Love as Ancient Recognition.”) From there two people can forge a strong relationship in the flame of their connection, fueled by emotional caring and intellectual sharing.

“As Euripides said, ‘Two friends, one soul.’” (From Anam Cara by John O’Donohue.)


What are your thoughts?

What do you think ignites the flame?

What do you think keeps it going?

And if you have met your champion, whether or not you’ve completed all 14 steps and 3 tests, please post in the comments below your good news.

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