What is the Jacamar Door?

St Anne, the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus, has a crazy lot of jobs to do!  She has so many roles in Christian tradition: amongst them, she is patron saint and protectress of horses, horsemen, horsewomen, stablemen, and horse-breeding; of mothers, homemakers, pregnant women (especially those in labor), childless people; cabinetmakers, carpenters, and miners.  Her horse connection probably comes from her association with the Pan-Celtic Great Mother Goddess in various forms, especially those of Anu, Ana, and Anand.

It was only recently, though, that I found she is also the patron saint of doors.  I imagine this is due primarily to her association with childbirth, but as I looked more closely, each of her associations — childbirth, stablemen, horse-breeding, cabinetry, mining — has something to do with the movement from containment to a place of light, or new beginning.

I chose the title “Jacamar Door” for this site because it is a image of new beginning that forms me on a daily basis.  The Great Jacamar is a bird that lays its eggs in what is ostensibly a hostile environment — inside termites’ nests.  The termites seal in the eggs and enter into a strange symbiotic relationship with them: one in which some eggs are lost — the unwitting guests are eaten by their host — and some are allowed to develop.  When the eggs remaining are ready to hatch, the Jacamar returns to the termite nest, breaking a doorway into it, whereupon the new young birds are released from the dark into a new world of light and freedom.

This seems to me a fitting symbol for our lives of spirit in this beautiful world, that can be at once so kind to us and yet so intolerably cruel.  There will be suffering; there will be unconscionable loss; but there will also be the nurture, love, freedom, and release of a life lived in spirit. Blessings for your journeys into the light!


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