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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Brigid

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As the sun set on February 1st, Pagans everywhere began their preparations to celebrate Imbolc. This is an Irish word meaning “in the belly”, because lambs would be developing “in the belly” of the ewes (female sheep) at this time, waiting to be born in the spring. It is a fire feast because now we can truly see that the sun is growing stronger in the winter skies, and the days are getting longer.

But February 1st through 2nd (note: Irish pagans see the day as starting at dust the prior evening) is also sacred to the Celtic goddess known as Brigid or Bride. (The Celts were the tribes of people who eventually became the Welsh, Manx, Cornish, Scots, Irish, and people of Brittany). Her name means “Exalted (mighty) One”, as well as “Bright Arrow”. She is often seen as 3 goddesses in one, known as a “triple goddess”, because she had mastery over three things: fire and smith-craft, hearth and home, and poetry – which was thought of as magical, and born from the “fire” of inspiration. She is a goddess of fire, but also of water.

This may surprise you, but it is often true: for something to thrive, it needs a little bit of it’s opposite. The warmth of the sun (fire) makes things grow, but it can’t do it without the rain (water). The fire goddess Brigid is also goddess of sacred wells where people would go for healings. So that the goddess would remember them and aid their health, people would tie strips of white cloths, called “clooties”, to the branches of the trees surrounding the wells. It is similar to the way some Christians light candles before a statue of a saint in church, to be a reminder that their help is needed.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Cailleach Initiation

Since moving here to the depths of rural Ireland I've found that the seasonal and circadian rhythms rule me very intimately.  This winter I have been truly initiated by the Cailleach.  It's not that we have been snowed in.  We are having the first flurries as I tap this blog. No, it's that when the dark descended, the cloud cover rolled in, the skies lowered, I settled into a long womb time.

I came to a full stop.  I needed to just sit. Yes, there was activity happening but I felt at a bit of a remove.  The real happening was the silence that descended inside me.  The words wouldn't come.  If I tried to force them they were clumsy. It felt as if even Spirit was incommunicado.  Feeling directionless, without a sense of 'true north' I hunkered down into my still centre. In this space I sank into a powerful place of deep trust where I allowed myself to let go of some attachments.

Danu has always felt like an ancient Grandmother to me. Some people say she is Brigit's mother, but my personal encounters tell me she goes back further generations.   For me She is one manifestation of the Hag Goddess, or Cailleach (say that Cal-yuck).  I have an affinity to stone and there are many glacial erratics mimicking chairs that are known as The Hag's Chair.  In a field about twenty yards from my home we have the Cailleach's Chaise Longue.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Our Sabbats provide a framework of meditation and insight that can deepen and transform our lives if we pay them any serious mind.  Wiccan Sabbats have three dimensions, one links us to the universal cycles of the sun, another to our being people of the earth, and both take us to the experience of our own lives. Yule, Ostara, Midsummer (or Litha), and Mabon are our solar Sabbats. Brigid or Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain are our Sabbats rooted in the earth. They reflect the agricultural cycles of Celtic lands and so immerse us in the experience and blessings of living in this world.

As light and darkness and the changing of the seasons form parts of an eternal cycle within which life takes place, so life itself repeats this cycle with birth followed by childhood, the vigor of adulthood, the slow decline of old age, and finally death, to be repeated again.  In the process beauty, love, and delight are brought into being and repeat themselves in endless variety. 

 I have always been most partial to the earthly Sabbats, rooted as they are in how we humans live in this earth I love.  As Yule ended the time of death honored by Samhain, soonfollowed by the end of the calendar year, now the first of our earthly Sabbats, Brigid, recognizes and honors the stirrings and possibilities of life inherent in the new year.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Rose. I liked it. It somehow reminded me of an adaptation of my favorite scene from Disney's second Fantasia. I do not
  • Rose
    Rose says #
    Very nice! I shared your response with Glenys. I think she'll like it.
  • Rose
    Rose says #
    Gus: I think yon may enjoy Glenys' work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRiI2Nz2go a Pagaian ritual from Down Under.
Down to the Wire--Imbolc Eve Activities

So much to do tonight and wanted to share some of the prep--traditional and otherwise--as Imbolc rolls in.

In my world, tonight is Imbolc Eve (some of you may celebrate that tomorrow).  There's still tons to do to really celebrate, so here's a partial list.  I'm sure you'll find all sorts of things to add to it.

--Leave a treat out tonight for Herself and Her Cow as they go travelling through the world, imparting Their blessing. I usually leave a drop of whiskey for Herself and a small bowl of oats for the Cow.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_jpc-brigid500.jpg

(Brigid speaks:)

May you accept this offering of my Sacred Fire. 

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  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Loved this! Thank you!
  • Joanna Powell Colbert
    Joanna Powell Colbert says #
    Thank you Molly! You have a lovely blog.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Prayers for Imbolc: Beloved Brigid

 

In preparation for Imbolc, I pored through the Carmichael material in the Carmina Gadelica and adapted some prayers for the season.  Here they are--

Brigid Dark and Bright

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Now, that's an idea...in my copious free time. Thanks, Diotima.
  • Diotima
    Diotima says #
    You should probably just re-write the whole damned C.G. from a goddess centered perspective and be done with it. Yours is a big im
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    The Druid author Morgan Daimler already has done that in her book By Land, Sea and Sky. http://tinyurl.com/mjykmk4 I have intervi
Celebrating Light, Celebrating Life, and all things Inspiring

 

I dream the Goddess a little girl

                                        Happy in yellow daffodil

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Is Danu the Indigenous Goddess of Ireland?

Ireland has recently conducted national DNA research that asks the question of what actually  makes the Irish...well, Irish?  As a country conditioned by emigration the Celtic tiger of the 1990's and early Noughties brought an influx of new blood into the population. Cue some national soul searching.

If you read the earliest Irish texts, such as the Book of Invasions, Ireland has always been rather 'multi-cultural' although that was probably not the fashionable interpretation in earlier times.  This  DNA survey has noted that along with the Irish being well connected with the Scots and other British populations, there is a strong marker for Spanish, specifically, Basque, lineage.

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Imbolc Spread: The Well and the Forge

This coming Saturday, February 2nd I am celebrating Imbolc. This year I believe our group is focusing more along the lines of the healing and water aspects of the goddess Brid (Brigid), but last year our sabbat used the dual aspects of Brid as the keeper of the well and forge (water and fire).

Respecting the dual aspects of the Well and the Forge, I have created a simple two-card tarot spread. Imbolc is an excellent time for divination, so I hope you use this spread during this time!

1st card: The Well: What situation do you need greater compassion in? Healing? Emotional empathy?

2nd card: The Forge: What situation do you need more drive in? Aggression? Force of will?

Let us not forget that the realm of fire can purify just as well as destroy, and water can destroy just as easily as heal. Please feel free to use this tarot spread as a jumping off point for your own personal tarot spread creations.

Blessings, and Happy Imbolc,
Hilary
www.tarotbyhilary.com

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  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    Excellent points about Fire and Water, Hilary. In Tarot, I think many (women?) tend to castigate the masculine suits (Swords and W

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Leaving the Bhrat in the Yard

I'm one of the facilitators for a day-long Brigid retreat on Saturday and am priestessing our Mother Grove public ritual that night.  What that means in practical terms is that my car is full of boxes and cloutie trees, and the dining room table is also covered with material for one thing or the other.

Have you been spending the week getting ready for this lovely holy day, those of you who honor it?  Have you cleared and reset your altar?  Put some oats and whiskey out for Bride and her white cow?

The thing I almost forgot was the bhrat--that length of cotton cloth that goes out onto the Earth tonight to catch the dew or the rain. I use cotton because it's easy to rip into clouties or cut into squares for healing work.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot Magick for Brigid's Day

At this turn of the Wheel of the Year many people celebrate Imbolc, or Brigid. This holiday is in anticipation of the coming spring.

Brigid, as the Goddess of healing, smithcraft and poetry, challenges us to use creativity to inspire our healing, and to use our need to heal to inspire our creativity.

This is a piece of meditative magick. You will use the tarot images to help you focus your mind and ask Brigid herself for guidance. Your answers will come through your intuition and your connection with Brigid. You will feel your answers in your heart, in your mind, and in your dreams and visions.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
An Imbolc Gathering

Imbolc is an introspective time of year. Many "I" words come to mind for me: introverted, inside, inquire. If you do not already opt for a solitary ritual on Brighid's special day and would like to mix things up a bit, I would keep the numbers small. An intimate gathering with a few close pals is in order.

 

If you don't have access to a fireplace to build a cozy one in your home, I am a big fan of lighting many white candles in the main area that you will be entertaining. Line a mantlepiece with several small votives and use a larger candle for the table centerpiece. Keep the lights low and make use of your dimmer switches in other rooms.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Imbolc, with the Littles

As you may have gathered from my recent post, I rather love the upcoming holy day and the Divine whom it honors. I want to share with you some of the fun Brigid things we did as my daughter was growing up.  Some of it is old lore made fresh, some of it is new.  I don't know the difference any more--it is all so deeply ingrained in my knowings around this coming of Spring.  I shan't give you sources for what I do, except that I do them and have done them for many years.

Imbolc is a wonderful time for children and there are many ways for the Littles to be involved.  On the night before Imbolc begins (which we celebrate as a three-day festival), Brigid travels the wide World, accompanied by a Cow.  She brings blessings to children and to pregnant women and She has many places to visit.  Those good children who love Bridey know that before bedtime they need to do three important things.

First, they must set out a little bed for Her to rest upon.  We always made one from a shoe box.  We'd roll up some soft batting and tuck a cloth napkin around it.  A lace handkerchief made a pretty pillow and a thick cotton washcloth looked much like the cotton blankets we had on our own beds.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    She's extraordinary...so many tales are attributed to Her, so many wonderful traditions. I also use the time of Imbolc in its gui
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    I have recently began reading the book "Candlemas, Feast of the Flames" by Amber K, and Azrael Arynn K. Have you read this book?
  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn says #
    Wow, those are wonderful traditions to share with little ones. I will definitely have to incorparate some of those into my own tra

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Gold and Red..Imbolc is Coming

We spent part of the afternoon at Mother Grove rearranging the entry room--a tiny space I call the "lounge." We moved the coffee-and-tea tables onto another wall and covered them in some plain black fabric. Looks sleek and modern.

Since there were several of us playing interior designer, a couple of us started stripping the main altar and replacing tealights on the other three.  The Ancestors had been exiled in their niche, covered with a black lace veil with no candles or wine or treats and it was also time to open up their area and fill their goblet and out a little something sweet on their plate.

It's time now to move all the Brigid stuff from the South altar and honor our gold-red Woman.  We're big on our Bridey at Mother Grove--She's one of the reasons we decided to work on creating a Goddess temple here.

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