Acorn To Oak

cultivating renewed ways of being

No. 3 ~ Summer 2011


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In This Issue

Greetings from Jane
Article: Reflection On The Traditional Irish saying: "God made Time, and plenty of it!", plus an old Gaelic butter churning blessing

Upcoming Events:

The Hero's Journey ~ transformational workshop 8/21
A Field Of Grace ~ hands-on healing workshop 9/24


Summer Greetings!

Here on the island, Summer has arrived! That doesn't mean that we aren't getting days of rain here and there, but at least we have sun and blue skies too. Our field is golden with grasses (and visitors have suffered their share of hayfever as a result!). Swallows dart here and there, the deer sport their beautiful red summer coats, and our ducklings are visibly bigger with each passing day!

Last month the swathe of lupines in one part of our field was enchanting!

We made this trail, but many animal trails criss-cross the field ~ so fun to explore!

Among my projects this year has been creating a kids herbal comic for Plant Healer: A Journal of Traditional Herbalism. (an absolutely fabulous informative, insightful, intelligent, photo- and art-rich and radical publication).

Here is a snippet of a recently published Paloma & Wings.

I'm excited to be involved in a couple of workshops. In August I'll be providing live harp music for The Hero's Journey ~ in which we experience our most vibrant Call To Adventure, and allow it to transform our lives. Who or what is your Hero nature? Who or what is your Demon ~ the Shadow that holds you back? What magic emerges when you dance with your shadow? I hope you'll join Facilitors Sharene Zolno and Kara Jones, as well as myself, for a day of imaginative and profound discovery (and much fun!) ~ one that can truly serve as a rite of passage for yourself. Read more about The Hero's Journey

In September, I'll be teaching a hands-on healing workshop in which I train participants how to serve as channels for a healing grace by way of laying-on of hands. My workshop combines insights and techniques for working with and within 'a field of grace' derived from teachings presented by medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, while also drawing on universal practices for offering energy healing for self-healing and to others, many of which I learned and practice as a Reiki Master-Teacher.

If you have longed to be able to offer laying-on of hands to others, I invite you to consider attending this training.

Read more about my healing grace workshop here.



When Eternity Breaks Into Clock-time: Reflections on a Traditional Irish saying
by Jane Valencia

The Irish have a traditional saying: "God made time, and plenty of it!" Certainly in our 21st century American culture we suffer hugely from a sense of scarcity of time. We're continuously running late, or telling our children to "hurry up!", or wishing we had more hours in the day. Even though I live a fairly spacious life, with few "clock-time" commitments, I all-to-frequently catch myself burdened by a too-extensive to-do list (of my own creation) that shackles me to the minutes, harrying me to hurry and get on with my tasks to so I can get to the next column of tasks .....

In preparing for The Celtic Pilgrimage workshop last spring with my co-facilitator, Carol Spangler, I found myself musing on the Irish saying quoted above: "God made time, and plenty of it!" -- and wondering why I wasn't experiencing this spacious sense of time nearly as much as I felt I could -- especially considering the choices that our family has been able to make to live in a slower pace. At the same time, I was charmed and inspired by Gaelic prayers and blessings noted in the 19th century Carmina Gadelica, collected by Alexander Carmichael while in the Scottish Highlands. In one particular blessing a woman churning butter speaks fondly of Paul and John and Jesus "waiting the gracious butter yonder", eager for the butter she would soon provide.

These Gaelic prayers and blessings convey a nearness of Jesus and of the saints, and a sense of companionship and ease with these holy beings. And though the woman churning butter speaks of "impatient Peter yonder", eager for a buttered bannock, I don't really get the sense that this woman is flustered, tormented with a sense of hurry. She is taking care with her work, aware of the company of saints with whom she will share her good work, as well looking forward to nourishing her own family. Eternity has broken into her every day life, and I get the sense as I read this prayer and others in the Carmina Gadelica that this is just an ordinary occurance, just the way life is.

It seems to me that in order to cultivate the sense of an abundance of Time we must -- yes, simplify, simplify, simplify our commitments and choices however we can -- but even more importantly (and perhaps even instead), we must take breaths throughout our day where we do indeed step outside of time, if even for a moment, and enjoy the companionship of a larger reality.

Call it a mindfulness practice, or just breathing awareness, or offering gratitude, or a prayer -- or just taking a moment to be aware of the beautiful, miraculous world that is right here, right now, wherever we are, no matter what chaos or grief we are suffering. We need take only a moment of attunement to something oh-so-much more than we are, to know ourselves woven and integral and essential to to this generous, populated presence (whether of birds, angels, a meditative verse that pops into your head, the depth of nature all around you, or a teapot on the counter eager to offer you your next cuppa).

Just experiencing a moment -- Eternity breaking into now, into so-called "real time" -- and in that breath we are replenished and restored. We can know for an instant that may ignite through the next hour, or through the day and into the night, the abundance that is what I like to call "jeweled time". A bit of a miracle that can transform clock-time into Kairos: an encounter with the Divine, an opportunity.

How do you step out of clock-time and into Eternity?

For your enjoyment, here is the butterchurning blessing I mentioned. The butter churner calls upon St. Brigit and Mary the Mother of Jesus to hasten the process, perhaps with a bit of divine or magical intervention. Maybe it will inspire you look around you with new eyes, and wonder who or what might be right by your side, waiting to help and bless you in what you consider to be even your most routine of tasks!

Come, thou Brigit, handmaid calm;
Hasten the butter on the cream;
Seest thou impatient Peter yonder
Waiting the buttered bannock white and yellow

Stillim! Steolim!
Strichim! Sreoichim!
Send down the broken
And bring up the whole!

Come, thou Mary Mother mild,
Hasten the butter on the cream;
Seest thou Paul and John and Jesus
Waiting the generous butter yonder.

Stillim! Steolim!
Strichim! Sreoichim!
Send down the broken
And bring up the whole!

~ Carmina Gadelica IV, p. 87

And finally, I also offer you this little photo, which I call "Curious Birds":

In our every day life little miracles abound! ~~~~~

The Hero's Journey

Sunday, August 21, 2011
On beautiful Vashon Island (near Seattle), WA
9 am -- 5 pm
with facilitators Sherene Zolno & Kara Jones Music by Jane Valencia

This journey is the story of the quest to discover the true self, the treasure that is who you really are, that remains buried deep within the unconscious of the self, waiting to be unearthed.

For the first time in the Pacific Northwest, a one-day, public offering of the complete Hero's Journey.

"Enacting the Hero's Journey will teach us about an archetype of human transformational change, and the Hero's Journey you will be experiencing may serve as a healing metaphor you will find use for in your own therapeutic interventions, to work on yourself and with others." --Sherene Zolno

We study The Hero's Journey to learn the archetypal pattern of human experience, change and growth. We engage in The Hero's Journey to experience our own personal transformation and rite of passage. We will live it now and we will live it for the rest of our lives.

The Hero is the one who overcomes her fear and responds to the Call. S/he sets off on an adventure, discovers guides and newfound powers, confronts her own deeply felt limitations (his or her shadow) and thus opens the way to a new way of being--the reward that comes at the end of the journey.

Our Hero's Journey will include music, guided process, active imagination, movement, the Hero's Banquet, a treasure hunt, art expression, and interaction with others in our 'community' of journeyers.

You will learn how to become your own advocate.
You will integrate parts of yourself that renew and energize you.
You will release fears and regain spontaneity.
You will understand the choices open to you that were hidden before.
You will save your own heart.
You will bring this home and transform your life!

Held in a warm and inviting retreat setting. $175 for the full day -- this includes The Hero's Journey Banquet! The group size is limited to 20.

Please contact Sherene Zolno, by email at or by phone at (206)_463-6374 for further information and to register.

A Field Of Grace: Hands-on Healing Pathways

September 24
Saturday 9:15AM-3:00PM
Location: The Priory Spirituality Center, Lacey, WA

It is deeply natural to offer our touch in compassion and healing to others. By attuning to grace we can activate and nourish the healing energy that is part of our birthright as human beings. In this workshop we will learn and practice hands-on healing techniques, explore the nature of healing, and cultivate practices for deepening our ability to offer a healing grace. Register by prior Friday: $60. Bring a journal and writing instrument, sack lunch, comfortable clothes and shoes for walking outdoors. (Minimum 8, Maximum 14)

Jane Valencia has practiced laying-on of hands and her unique weave of healing artistry for more than 10 years. She is also a Celtic harper, artist, writer, and naturalist. Please visit her website for her music and healing offerings:

Feel free to invite your friends to join you for this session! To register, please contact Carolyn by phone (360-438-2595) or email ( It is also possible to include a stay of a few days at the Priory as a retreat.


The Oak is a marvelous "heritage" tree, rooted in much mystical lore, providing abundant food and shelter for wildlife, historical usage of wood and food for us humans, and inviting the child in us and with us to climb in its branches. The acorn you plant today may grow into an Oak that is mature enough to produce acorns in 20 years, ramps up in production at 70-80 years, leveling off to a constant full production at about 140-150 years. Oaks may live more than two centuries and may even live 400-800 years (depending on the species) so the Oak indeed is a powerful metaphor for what we do right now where we are.

The acorn reminds us to have faith that even our small gestures and practices of healthy culture and nature/true nature-connection have the potential to make a grand difference for a better world. We will not live to see the full fruition of our efforts, but we can trust in the resonance of any wise ways we practice to weave a joyful, powerful music that continues far beyond ourselves, in both space and time.

And hopefully we will enjoy what we do create, right here and now.

Please join me in cultivating a deepened magic in our world!


Thank you for reading this ezine! I welcome your comments, questions, and ideas. You can email me at:

All for now!

~ Jane