Thanks Giving

Michael shows up often, everpresent.
Before him it was Uriel, lesserknown,
weaving great gifts from remnants of loss.
Of the seven, these are my most familiar.
Of the lesser ranks, who move about
without Virtue of card or introduction,
there are too many to count:

my oldest salvation

the one of limitless joy

the healer

the soul mate

the spirit of mother

the wise one

the sharer of words

the connoisseur

the lover

the hawk

the smallest angels

I am daily surrounded by love and light,
by blessings and spirits unyielding,
for them – and you – I am most grateful.

Poem ©2016, Jen Payne

And at every moment, angels.


How blessed are we to have angels
who show up when we need them?
(And even when we think we don’t?)

Angels who are as obvious as the ones we love…
and as subtle as the stranger who knocks at our door.

In the moments we celebrate.
In the moments we find gratitude.
In the moments that challenge us.
In the moments that wreck our hearts.

At every moment, angels.

©2014, Jen Payne

Angel Wishes


It’s not often I ask for specific things — make a wish and blow out the candles usually yields a simple request for a good and healthy year.

Sometimes, I’ll ask for a little guidance — never a lot, just a little. In the point-me-in-the-right-direction-I’ll-take-it-from-there kind of way.

“What do you want to know?” the psychic always asks before she begins. But I never really have questions, I just want hints. Hints about what comes next maybe or something I haven’t considered.

Is that wishful thinking?

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

— Matthew 7.7 (KJV)

I just never know what to ask or what I seek specifically and in detail, although I know some people who do.

Last week, in anticipation of candle blowing and wishes making, I sat with a deck of angel cards — a gift from a like-minded friend. Quietly I asked what I needed to know, on what I should focus my intentions. Their reply?


Simple requests. A little direction. Hints whispered. Angel wishes.

• • •

©2013, Jen Payne.
IMAGE: Voices of Evening, Gustave Moreau, 1885.

Boston Angel

Several of you wondered about the lovely angel statue from last week’s post Angel Spotted, so I though I would track down some additional information. She is quite magical, isn’t she?

The statue, made of bronze and granite, is known by several names, including The Spirit of Giving, The Angel of the Waters, and the George Robert White Memorial. In its full display, the sculpture “depicts an angel with wings spread, a bowl in its right arm, and its left hand as if holding contents of the bowl to be spread and shared with those around it. On each side of the pool in front of the statues are two cornucopias which have long symbolized abundance and giving.” It is meant to be an allegorical reference to the Biblical verse, “Cast thy bread upon the waters.”

The Angel of the Waters was created in 1924 by well-known sculptor Daniel Chester French, whose most famous work is the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. His other works include the Minute Man statue in Concord, Massachusetts and the design for the Pulitzer Prize Medal.

George Robert White was himself a well-known person of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Earning a fortune in the pharmaceuticals business, his philanthropy included donations to many institutions in his hometown of Boston. A result of those contributions are three public memorials to White, including The Angel of the Waters, a second sculpture called Angel of Peace (1905) at the Forest Hills Cemetery, and more recently, the George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center at Boston’s Nature Center.

You can find The Angel of the Waters at the northwest corner of the Boston Public Gardens, at the intersection of Arlington Street and Beacon Street.

• • •

Photo ©2012, Jen Payne

Related Links:
• Angel of Peace, Forest Hills Cemetery
George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center
• Wikipedia on George Robert White
• Wikipedia on Daniel Chester French

• I Walked Boston, Audio Tours
Boston Art Commission

Angel Spotted

Ever felt an angel’s breath in the gentle breeze? A teardrop in the falling rain? Heard a whisper amongst the rustle of leaves? Or been kissed by a lone snowflake? Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.

— Carrie Latet

• • •

Photo ©2012, Jen Payne

Unfinished Business in 3-Part Form

Uriel and Camael

A Passing

This day.
This day
will surely go unnoticed.
It would by me
were it not for a small
thread of memory
that tip-toed across my thoughts
in the hours before dawn.

This day.
This day
will surely go unnoticed.
It is inconsequential
in the grand and complicated
and forgetful turnings
of this world
that you and I exist in.

This day.
This day
will surely go unnoticed.
It arrived with no fanfare,
for there is no marking of the day
that left me wild and undone
and full of life again—
except this.


A Message

Very often, the Universe speaks to me in the cosmic riddles of Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology. It does this most clearly when I come to a fork in the road and need higher guidance. Consider this, she says. Does this fit as new direction, and can you walk a while this way?

I was not at a particularly major fork in the road last week. It merely marked the five-year anniversary of a change of heart.


Not merely at all.

To understand completely, you would have had to exist inside that box with its four appropriate sides, the perfect corners, and the lid sealed tightly shut.

To understand completely, you would have had to be there when, in an instant, the walls were shattered and the lid exploded—and everything around me changed.

I changed.

Not merely at all.

Five years removed, I will tell you—matter of factly—that I use all of that to fuel and feed the work of this new life—my art and my writing. I will explain that the moment of all of that then is still a catalyst now.

To which the Universe aptly responded last week:

This would be an excellent week, Cancer, to grieve madly and deeply about the…affairs that shattered your heart. I’ve rarely seen a better astrological configuration than there is now for purging the residual anguish…. So I suggest you conduct a formal ritual that will provide total exorcism and bring you maximum catharsis. Maybe you could build a shrine containing the photos and objects that keep a part of you stuck in the past, and maybe you could find the bold words and innovative gestures that will bid goodbye to them forever. Do you have any intuitions about how to create a rousing healing ceremony?

Amen, Rob.


A Choice

Five years ago, my heart was ripped open. And into it poured the most glorious streams of inspiration I have ever felt. The details of the how and why are inconsequential, and too irrelevant for rituals or shrines any longer.

There are, however, residuals. The aftermath of that tsunami of inspiration exists now as notations of memory—pieces of art and words. Ideas rest half in my studio and half in my heart, calling out, from time to time, demanding my attention.

Do I honor them and bring them to completion?
Do I purge them and make room for new life?

Do I exorcise them from my heart for good?
Or do I call forth forgiveness in their fruition?

In which “letting go” comes the final healing?

• • •

Poem, A Passing, by Jen Payne, ©2011.

– – – – –

With Gratitude…In the darkest moments five years ago, the Archangel Uriel came to me and sat with me and spun my tears into inspirations. I am beyond words of thanks to be able to reprint the painting above as part of this post. Entitled “Uriel and Camael Angels of Creativity & Joy,” it appears here with sweet permission from artist Katrina Borneman.

Kat has lived in San Francisco for the past 15-years where she paints, has her own Spiritual Life Coaching business and is a Religious Science Practitioner teaching spiritual growth classes and workshops. Kat currently has her studio in Sonoma where she enjoys the warm, sunny summers of the Valley of the Moon. She is a founding member of the Park Presidio Art Association in San Francisco’s Richmond district. Over the past several years Kat’s work has become more intuitive, divinely inspired and guided, resulting in the Grandfather Moon, Spirit Guides & Angels and now the 108 Spirit Guides series. Critics say that Kat’s paintings are “bold and have a wonderful and playful use of color.”

“I believe we’re spiritual beings having a physical human experience on our sacred earthly mother. Painting is my spiritual sustenance, feeding my soul and connecting me to my Divinity. My painting is the out-picturing of my vision Rich Heartful Celebration and my purpose Bringing Spirit to Life. Captivating, vibrant colors are the common thread throughout my work. When I paint it feels like dancing & playing naked in the sun – a natural force flows through me moving color over the paper or canvas while mysteriously capturing the essence of the subject over the form. All Life is creative and I am honored to share my creative expression with you.”

Please visit her wonderful online gallery and website.

– – – – –

Special thanks always to Rob Brezsny and Free Will Astrology.

• • •

Asking for Directions: Part 1

ask what

When I was young I would pray for silly things: that I could stay up late to watch TV, that we would have pancakes for breakfast.

I also prayed a lot for boys—make him love me, make him not leave.

I prayed for world peace, because that’s what you did. And I prayed for my Grammy—she needed someone on her side.

I remember the last time I prayed. Closing my eyes and repeating the words over and over—please let him live, please let him live.

He did not. And I stopped.

Praying, that is. I stopped praying.
I assumed I wasn’t doing it right.
Or asked for the wrong things.

For a long time after, “life is random” suited me just fine—no requests needed. And while I would “keep you in my thoughts,” or “send you positive energy,” I got out of the habit of praying. It—along with forgiveness, contrition, gratitude—got tossed into the pile of “raised Catholic” and forgotten.

– – – – –
pray 1. to make earnest petition to. 2. to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to (God or an object of worship). 3. to make petition or entreaty for; crave. 4. to offer (a prayer). 5. to ask, make request of.
– – – – –

In April, a friend did an angel reading for me and noted “you have not reached out for spiritual support.”

In June, a woman in my Sharing Circle echoed—“just ask for guidance, they’re waiting for you to ask.”

“Ask how?” I wanted to know. Surely not in the Please-God-Give-Me-Amen way I grew up with.

And ask what? If I don’t know what I want, how can I ask for it?

But, I’ve been practicing asking—albeit in a fairly non-committal way. Picture Nathalie Wood’s half-hearted “I do believe. I do believe.” in Miracle on 34th Street.

Where do you want me to go?
What do you want me to do next?

On a walk last week, I asked for guidance and got “let go of the fear.”

In a dream, I walked silently inside a Buddhist temple I visited two years ago.

“What is holding you back? What are you afraid of?” a psychic noted last week.

“Sit in silence,” something keeps nagging me, dropping words along my path: ritual, meditate, altar, mindfulness.

Stop being afraid and shut up.

This is my response.

Stop being afraid and shut up.

• • •

Photo by Jen Payne, taken at the Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York.