Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poem for Imbolc: "By Brigit's Day"

Please visit Stone on the Belly--the Brigit poetry blog--for this and other poems and prayers to and about Brigit and her cultus.

Blessings of (Almost) Imbolc! And Thoughts on Feast and Famine

Hello, dear Friends of Brigit!

Coming up is my favourite night of the year--Imbolc, and the beginning of the Celtic spring with all its quickening life and new promise. To those of you in the southern hemisphere comes Lughnasa, another rich moment in the calendar. 

I want to wish all my sisters and brothers in tending Brigit's flame, and all who simply love or simply are terribly curious about her, the brightest of blessings at this festive time. I hope your lives, and your flames, are shining brightly, and would love to hear from you if you would like to say hello.

One of the basic ways I celebrate Imbolc is to make some kind of Irish-related festive meal--usually involving a big pot of colcannon, made either with kale or, as is more common now, cabbage.

This year I've decided to pay homage to my pre-Famine ancestors and eat a potato with a dab of butter and some buttermilk, and nothing more. It is amazing the richness that diet provided, and the devastation of its loss. So to all I say, may we be deeply grateful for the blessings of our earth and on our plates, and may our health be the best that it can be.

I also look forward to making a bed for Brigit, an example of which you will see humbly depicted below, dashing some cream over the threshold, and inviting her in for another year.

Sweet blessings of Brigit on you all!

                                   Flame Offering 

In the name of the three Brigits
I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone
gentle and steady
warm and bright

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lady Cara: a Gentle Telling of Brigit's Story (YouTube)

Part One of Lady Cara's telling of Saint Brigit's story:

And Part Two:

Children's Books about Saint Brigid

Fox Leaping Through a Hoop Made from Brigit's Skirt - by Caroline Cory

I will confess right off the top that I have found these links online but have not actually seen any of the books. What a plethora compared to just a few years ago! And the ones I knew (see my reviews in the pages links above) are not even among them.

Holy cow. (As it were.)

The Truth About St Brigid - By the pupils of Saint Brigid’s School for children with special needs in Mullingar. (There is a video of the book, and all proceeds go to buying a bus for the school. If they haven't got it already - it's been a year since the posting.

Holy Crocodile!: Taming Foxes -- The story of Brigit and two foxes feature in one chapter of Cory's book about saints and animals.

 Shower of Roses: Celebrating the Saints :: St. Brigid of Ireland -- This one is a blog posting that features different books and a personal story of her daughter's love for Saint Brigit.

Saint Brigid and the King's Wolf  -- by Rhode Island art educator and illustrator, Mary Kane Hendrickson.

Saint Brigid the Fearless - In a Nutshell -- from Poolbeg's "In A Nutshell" series.

The Story of Saint Brigid -- by Catriona Clarke

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Brigit Blog: Her Eternal Flame

From Erin's new Brigit blog:

An Invitation

An invitation welcomes, and there are so many welcomings.
Brighid’s Eternal Flame invites us to sit within Her Light, and allow it to transform us.
We, in turn, can invite Her Eternal Flame into the sanctum of our heart centers, the depths of our souls, where that mystical transformation takes place.
The hospitality of welcoming is the promise of giving, and the humble joy in receiving bounty.
My invitation to my fellow Brighidine Flametenders, devotees, and other interested readers, is twofold:
I invite you to read along and explore with me my unfolding vision of contemplative Brighidine mysticism, in terms of spirituality and practice, and how this might inform our roles and paths as Brighidine Flametenders today.
I also invite you to envision and intuit yourselves the various ways in which such a path might express itself, the varieties of how She might speak to the human soul, that each soul might find those ways which resonate most meaningfully.  We might each have our own paths to and within Contemplative Brighidine Mysticism, and I think we can only benefit by sharing them with one another, and that in doing so, the flame burns brighter.
Please feel free to share your insights and thoughts and visions in the comments here.  Let us continue to tend Her flame together, as fellow Keepers of Her Eternal Flame.
Brìde Bless.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The Cow That Nursed Saint Brigit

A Short History of Irish Moiled Cattle: Thanks for this, Vicki!

We nearly lost them. Thanks to those who've brought them back. Wouldn't I love to have a few of these beauties grazing in the back.

From Bethu Brigte, the Irish Life of Saint Brigit:

When it was time to wean her the druid was anxious about her; anything he gave her [to eat] she vomited at once, but her appearance was none the worse. ‘I know’, said the druid, ‘what ails the girl, [it is] because I am impure.’ Then a white red-eared cow was assigned to sustain her and she became well as a result.

Perhaps I'll change my name to Moil (Maol) Brigde...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Croghan Hill by Sara777

Croghan Hill (Bog of Allen County Offaly Ireland) by Sarah777
Public Domain -- Wikimedia Commons
I wanted to envision Croghan Hill, Saint Brigit's old home, and ancestral territory of her father, Dubthach son of Dreimne. So I looked it up online and found this wonderful "severely enhanced vision" of it uploaded to Wikimedia by Sarah777, Click on the image for a large version.

It may not be the whole story, but what a lovely aspect to it.

(I think I see her walking on the hill.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stone on the Belly: A Brigit Poetry Blog

It is probably time to fess up and tell you that I have begun a new blog for my Brigit poetryStone on the Belly. I have written a heck of a lot of these things, and am slowly publishing a few of them online.

Some focus on the goddess(es), some the saint, some both. Others reflect my relationship to Brigit over time. I don't try to make all of her lore and traditions into a single unified whole, but let each poem, each tradition, stand on its own foundations.

Below is the introduction to Stone on the Belly. You are welcome to come by and dip in, or sign up for alerts.

Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing...

I have been writing them ever since, but seldom share them. Some of them are carefully crafted, some simple and straight from the heart.

I also read the prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, and they fill me with surprise and delight.

I would like to share some of these poems with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to me to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.

Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits
I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone
gentle and steady
warm and bright

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Three Lesser Known Brigs of Irish Lore

"The Three Brigits of the Ulster Cycle & the Forgotten Origins of Neopagan Theology" is a lovely article by Christopher Scott Thompson. If you have heard references to Brig Ambue, Brig Briugiu, etc., but not gotten much more of their stories, this is a good place to get the skinny, with some Celtic Twilight extras that link to that old NeoPagan trope, Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

Christopher pulls the material together nicely. Be sure to read the comments below for a little extra clarification.

Here is a teaser from the article:

"Brig Ambue was the wife of Celtchar MacUthechair of the Ulster Cycle, but she was sometimes referred to as Brig Brethach or “Brigit of the Judgments,” supposedly because she gave a famous legal judgment in correction of her father Sencha mac Ailella, poet and judge to Conchobar MacNessa. The name Sencha is very similar tosenchas, a word that means lore or tradition. This is especially significant because the references to Brig Ambue come from the Senchas Mor or “Great Tradition,” a medieval collection of Brehon law.
Brig Brethach was her mother, the wife of the same famous judge and poet.
Sencha’s mother was Brig Briugu or “Brigit of Hospitality,” but the glosses to a story called Din Techtugud identify this Brig as the Brig Brethach who corrected Sencha’s false judgment.[4]   
Three Brigits: the mother, wife and daughter of a famous poet whose name actually means Lore or Tradition, and who are known mostly from a book called the Great Tradition.
We are not dealing with scattered references to women named Brigit, but with a second trinity of Three Brigits. Unlike the more well-known trinity of three sisters from the Mythological Cycle, these three are from the Ulster Cycle. As such, they are described as being human women- but their connection to the goddess is now unmistakable, and they are probably best described as avatars."

Christopher Scott Thompson is a member of Clann Bhride and writes "The Loop of Brighid" column for Patheos.