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Every cell in our beautiful and amazing bodies contains the whirling wisdom of the universe. This is the journey of one witch remembering that, and celebrating the sacred and divine in beings of all genders and manifestations.

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Divine Concentrate


        It is almost mid day in early April.  The gentle warmth of morning has given way to hot.  Earlier, as the sun rose, I danced barefoot.  Now I sit reading in the shade of my camper van, which is parked up Trail Canyon Road on an alluvial fan in Death Valley.  I will be in the shade, still as possible, until the hot day gives way to the gentler warmth of evening, when once again I will dance barefoot.




            I am rereading Cynthia Bourgeault’s “The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering the Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity.”  I began this year’s desert pilgrimage two weeks earlier reading it the first time.  The book is dense with exciting ideas and concepts packed tightly into its pages.  It is dense like the rocks under my feet, dense like the cliffs and mountains around me in this desert place.  In fact, if I am reading it right, one of the things the author is saying is that dense matter is The Divine in concentrated form.  It is making my panentheist heart  dance to read this from a Christian theologian.


          My mind, once more flexible and able to absorb and understand these kinds of mystical, theological, and spiritual ideas, is laboring hard now.  Health changes in my forties reworked my brain, leaving this kind of reading and thinking, which used to be so easy and fun, now a challenge.  But this book is blowing the mind I currently live with.  I am concentrating as deeply as I can, using my spiritual practices of presence, cellular embodiment, and intuition, to help fill in the thinness of my cognitive functioning.  I am willing myself to read each word and paragraph three or four times to absorb their meanings and insights.   The desert at mid-day is blessedly quiet, and the power of the rocks, and clarity of the air, are aiding my ability to pay attention to these black lines on white paper that we call words.  No animals stir at mid-day in the desert, themselves conserving moisture and energy until the evening.  Except the flies.


          I am pulled from my struggle with the joy of these words by the incessant buzzing of flies.  They also like the shade, and the possibility of water and food at my camp.  I am annoyed by their sound, their buzz, their distraction.  I reread words, dive into my insight-rich book-world, only to be pulled out again by the buzz, buzz, buzz.  I get up and go out into the rocks to pee, then refill my water bottle in the van, then settle back in the shade to read and reread.  And still they buzz, irritating me, even making me a bit angry.  I return to the words and ideas and seem to finally be able to concentrate when, mid-sentence, they pull me back with their buzz.  Each time this happens I become more agitated and pissed off.


         Suddenly from no where, a hawk flies by slow and low.  I am immediately transformed by the sound of its wings and the air as they caress one another with delight.  I close my eyes and am overwhelmed by the beauty of that sound.  I am overwhelmed by its grace and loveliness, overwhelmed by the gift of hearing.


        Then something unexpected happens as I sit in the bliss of hawk wings dancing with air.  I find my hearing turning back to the flies in a completely different way.  I find myself listening to the sound of their much tinier wings, also dancing with the air.  I begin to hear slight differences in each fly’s vibration.  I begin to hear harmony, and chords of music, as they dart around my camp.  Each fly is bit larger or smaller than the others, each with wings vibrating faster or slower, than the others.  Each fly meeting the air in a unique way.  My mind opens to their patterns, my heart opens to their music, my whole being delights in their presence.  I sit in the mid-afternoon heat giving thanks to the Goddess for the gift of fly song, The Divine concentrate of their tiny bodies.


        I go back to my reading.  

        The words on the pages begin to make more sense to me.


May you also find unexpected music in the Divine concentrate of life.

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Lizann Bassham was both an active Reclaiming Witch and an Ordained Christian Minister in the United Church of Christ. She served as Campus Pastor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley working with a multi-faith student community. She was a columnist for SageWoman magazine, a novelist, playwright, and musician. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A. Lizann died on May 27, 2018.


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 11 June 2014

    Ah, we are kindred: I once wrote a blog about pantheism called "Mosquitos and other Gods." Thank you for your lyrical journey.

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Thursday, 12 June 2014

    Thank you Francesca! Would love to read your "Mosquitos and other Gods" blog - is it still out there?

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Thursday, 12 June 2014

    Thank you for asking, I'd be honored. It is also part of a Pantheist class I teach. Here is the link:

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Friday, 13 June 2014

    Oh Francesca, what a wonderful weave of wisdom your mosquito blog post is! Thank you for making the connection and offering me the opportunity to read it! My beloved is a magnet for the noseeums when we are in the desert and finally realized they were particularly biting right at his heart chakra - much reflection and understanding ensued. Did you read my "Viral Voice" blog post? Similar learnings and practice.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Friday, 13 June 2014

    I am so glad you liked it. Thank you for reading it. I checked out the lovely post of yours you mentioned, and responded to it there. Blessed be.

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