Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Weaving Brigid's Magic

Beannachtaí Féile Imbolg! Beannachtaí Féile Bríde. Blessings of Imbolc! Blessings of Brigid's Feast! At Imbolc we are at the crossroads of the winter, six weeks past winter solstice, six weeks until spring equinox. 

The first days of February have been clear, frosty, but the sun has such a seductive heat in Ireland even in February. They say that weather like this augurs more cold, as the Cailleach is yet to release a vice-like grip on the land.  If it had been overcast and mild then the springtime was come.

Brigid's Day/Imbolc is a day in Ireland where the pagan and Christian traditions mesh into a magical tapestry of unity.  Events that celebrate the sacred connection occur, organized and led by people who do not wear their spiritual affiliations like a label.  They come together because they revere Brigid, whether as a goddess or saint or, as in my case, both.

This past weekend the Brigid of Faughart Festival program included sessions on "Be the Change", healing open house, and explored Brigit as a woman of vision. On St. Brigid's Eve a concert was held in an old gaol (very appropriate given Brigid the Justice Giver), which has been transformed into an arts center (Brigid, patron of art and craft).  My partner, Tony Cuckson, told a story he created on the theme of individuals finding their 'real shape' and having that authentic self 'seen' and recognized. Synchronously, other workshop facilitators had woven that into their own sessions over the day.  Now that is magic!

It was also something of a theme for my own life in the week running up to Imbolc. A week ago my poetry ebook, "Brigid's Way: Reflections on the Celtic Divine Feminine" was released on Amazon.  This book has been an ongoing project for over five years, through many title changes, formats and re-visionings.  As it went live I experienced a near panic, because now I, too, would be putting myself out there to be seen, my unique take and experience of Brigid was on show for the world to judge.

On 1st February I joined a motley crowd of people at a Brigid's Day celebration at Shannon Pot organized by the Irish College of Sound Healers. The Shannon Pot is the point when Ireland's longest river rises from underground caverns.  It bursts above ground from  a cauldron shaped pool and then pours out as a stream, spreading and widening on its way down to meet the Atlantic. There was harp and drum, singing and poetry; there was hot soup to share. Dogs wandered and got cuddles. Children romped.  Strips of cloth from the previous night's Brat Bríde were distributed. My lucky dip from the basket was inscribed "Croi."

Croi is the Irish for heart. It takes courage to be seen. It takes courage and persistence, heart, in other words, to open to vision and make it manifest - to be seen, heard and sensed.

Deep breath now.

You can find my collection of poems - "Brigid's Way: Reflections on the Celtic Divine Feminine" -  inspired by all Brigid's stories, and the land itself, on The watercolor is by my artist friend, Amy Bogard, who created it as the cover image for the book.

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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Monday, 02 February 2015

    Congrats on the book, keep taking those deep breaths, LOL!

    Just finished leading a public Brid ritual, a few minutes ago. At one point in it, I was thinking about how the snow at the end of my driveway was shoveled away just a couple of days ago. But this morning, an enormous knee-high snow pile blocked the end of the driveway again—you know, how the snowplow pushes the snow to the side of the road as it drives along.

    And during the Brigid ritual, I thought, "There is so much snow here right now, and it is so beautiful, and pure, and powerful, and it's like Brigid is just smiling at us, the snow is just like one huge smile of Hers.

    She is smiling at us!

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Monday, 02 February 2015

    I love that snow pile smile from Spirit/Brigid. One of the other things I did for Brigid yesterday was to visit some St. Brigid's Cursing/Blessing Stones not far from Shannon Pot. We just finished making our offerings and blessings when a friend alerted us to a red-headed hare scampering across the field and through the gate. The red headedness and liminal space seemed like a direct message from Brigid.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Monday, 02 February 2015

    Oh my goodness, yes, I see how that could be a visit from the Lady. Very special. Thank you for sharing that special moment with me.

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