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Anam Cara


In my research into Imbolg, I came across a reference to St Brigid being a strong proponent for having an anam cara. I had never heard this term before so have looked into it some. It's an Irish word essentially meaning "soul friend".

From John O'Donohue's book called Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom:

The anam cara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend of your soul.



It's not quite like the English soulmate as the anam cara was typically a close friend and soulmate usually denotes a romantic relationship.

It reminds me of laotong, or 'old sames' in Chinese. In old Chinese villages, a girl would be married into a family from another village (most of the village was related). She may have friends in her home village - but these friendships would not last beyond her marriage as she would only return to her home village once a year for the rest of her life. But a laotong was a sacred bond between two women. They were secret sisters and wrote to each other in "women's language" (a different alphabet from the men) and were permitted to visit each other. The arrangement required a legal contract and usually was arranged by a matchmaker of sorts. I read about it Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.

Our modern world sometimes doesn't even allow for 'regular' friends, let alone these deep spiritual type bonds. Are we missing something?

The whole concept fascinates me - especially as a person who has had a hard time keeping close friends. My only two close friends in real life don't even live in the same state (eek, just realized they have both moved to [sign in to see URL] *I* need to relocate!).
1/20/2012, 9:56 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Anam Cara


Texas, I also wonder if the Anam Cara could be what some of us term a spirit guide?
I know when I had Kiya, I could tell her anything, and know I'd not be laughed at, scoffed at, or told I was being stupid.

Even perhaps what we termed, when we were little, as an invisible friend? Sometimes I think those friends weren't exactly what our parents thought they were. I know I had some that would play a certain game with me, but I rarely had them around any other time. Yes, I know it sounds a bit off in left field... emoticon True, it is, though. Or, perhaps they were just spirits who enjoyed my silly game with me and my actual living, breathing friends.

I also don't have any close friends that live in the same town I do. And, to be honest, I'm not sure that the person I call my best friend is actually what I would term an Anam [sign in to see URL]'s kind of sad.
In most ways, I guess my DH is my Anam [sign in to see URL] going by the description from the book that you posted.

Interesting thread, Texas!!

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Re: Anam Cara


It's a wonderful concept. I wish I could experience that - it would be very neat to have a confident like that.

  emoticon

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Re: Anam Cara


I too believe my husband maybe my truest friend, but there are some things I don't even tell him. I think I tell my spirit guide Alara more than any living being. Even my son, I don't tell everything too and I know what he [sign in to see URL] probably knows what I tell Alara, if she lets him know, as she is his [sign in to see URL] then again, he has never let on that she tells him anything that I've said to her in my darkest, deepest nightly mediation.
But here on this [sign in to see URL] I can say I have hundreds of friends, but not one true friend or anam cara ever.

I do not think that is a sad thing though. There is always a little bit of us that only the Goddess and Gods know. So perhaps it's meant to be. emoticon

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Anam Cara



Queenyforever wrote:
I do not think that is a sad thing though. There is always a little bit of us that only the Goddess and Gods know. So perhaps it's meant to be. emoticon



That's a very interesting way to look at it Queeny! Since I have no Divine in my life, I guess I hadn't thought of it that way.

I've been trying to read more, but there's not a lot of information on the web and the book that I quoted is mostly 'new thought'.

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Re: Anam Cara


I guess I think of it like that, because before I met my husband and screwed up my back, I wanted to earn a degree Nature Science. I wanted to become a hermit. I wanted to be the one in a million acres of Alaskan wild lands, counting Moose or something.
Even as a [sign in to see URL] did better alone. But yet, I never felt alone. I think the Goddess or my Spirit guide, was with me even then.

I always think of it as the lyrics of the song:
I have found my rightful place
By Denean...


I HAVE FOUND MY RIGHTFUL PLACE


I have found my rightful place and here I am beautiful

I have found my rightful place and here I am beautiful

I have all I require, my world is safe, and I know what I need to know

I have all I require, my world is safe, and I know what I need to know

Repeat

Lakota:

Wowiyuskinyan bluha! Wowiyuskinyan bluha!

Wowiyuskinyan bluha! Wowiyuskinyan bluha!

          

La la la la la la la…

Translation:

I have joy! I have joy!

I have joy! I have joy!

“La” in Lakota is a phrase for familiar affection

 

I have found my rightful place and here I am beautiful

I have found my rightful place and here I am beautiful

I have all I require, my world is safe, and I know what I need to know

I have all I require, my world is safe, and I know what I need to know

...and I know what I need to know

...yes I know what I need to [sign in to see URL]...


Lakota:

Wowiyuskinyan bluha! Wowiyuskinyan bluha!

Wowiyuskinyan bluha! Wowiyuskinyan bluha!

Translation:

I have joy! La la la la la la

I have joy! La la la la la la

 


I have found my rightful place...





Written by Denean


Last edited by Queenyforever, 1/30/2012, 10:17 pm


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*The noblest art is that of making others happy ~ P.T. Barnum.*
'Stay where there are songs."....Gypsy proverb~

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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Anam Cara


I love the lyrics of that, Queeny!! Thank you for sharing that.

I'm content, to some degree, of being by myself, but I'm an extremely social person, so having the outlet of friends is something I actually need in my [sign in to see URL] if just briefly at each time, and I can go for a while between.

As for someone I can tell my deepest, darkest things to, that is my husband. I know I can tell him anything and, he may joke about some things, but it's never in meanness.



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Re: Anam Cara


I'm hoping that theater works out for [sign in to see URL] are a social person and they need you [sign in to see URL] energy. emoticon

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*The noblest art is that of making others happy ~ P.T. Barnum.*
'Stay where there are songs."....Gypsy proverb~

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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Anam Cara


Thank you, Queeny. emoticon I'll know more about the theatre stuff a bit later.

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