What is Anam Cara?


What in the world is Anam Cara?

Well…after completing a DNA test through Ancestry.com, I discovered that I’m 96% British Isles (English, Scottish and Irish) with a little German thrown in, wow!”

As a result of this discovery, I began some research into the history of my predecessors. Gaelic is the ancient language of this region. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul; cara is the word for friend. John O’Donohue, one of my favorite authors, wrote a book of the same name. In his description of this term, he pens, “In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam cara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the anam cara you could share your innermost self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul.”

In this section of my blogs, I plan to step into the role of teacher and spiritual guide, which is why I wanted to lay the foundation for the meaning of the word. When I am coaching, I take on this role of “soul friend” in which all conversation is kept confidential and forever within my heart. I’m not pretending we will all be best friends, but I am promising that the space between us is sacred and never shared with anyone else.

Ever on The Path Forward,
Coach Barbara
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