Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Errors in the Flamekeeping Map--Please Check To See If They Are Yours

Nothing huge, just:

Melody: There are three Points (i.e. balloons without names). Point 30, 39 & 40. Two are in England. Please fix them by tomorrow afternoon MST. If they aren't fixed, I'll erase them. These people didn't edit the name when they made a location balloon so it stayed a point number.

So if you enter yourself on the map, please put a name beside it.

See below for an explanation of all this.

Addendum: Melody made my blob-point marker into a cow! Yay!!!

Not this one, of course. But still, a cow.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New sculpture of St Brigid unveiled at Féile Bríde (2014)

By the artist who brought us--

St. Brigid of Kildare - This sculpture of St. Brigid captures that moment where she gave her father’s treasured sword to a leper in the the presence of the King of Leinster. Before her father was able to strike her down, she explained that she had given the sword to God through the leper. The King, being a Christian, forade her father to strike her and granted her freedom saying “her ment before God is greater then our own”

--a new sculpture is unveiled. Or was, a year and a bit ago. How did I miss this one? Wish I could get a clearer image.

New sculpture of St Brigid unveiled

at Féile Bríde

By Ann Marie Foley - 04 February, 2014
New 9ft bronze of Ireland’s famous female saint created
by Canadian sculptor, Timothy Schmalz.

Sculpture of St Brigid with artist Tim Schmalz
A new sculpture of St Brigid by an internationally renowned artist is to be unveiled at this year’s Féile Bríde festival in Kildare which continues this week.
Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, who created the 9ft bronze of Ireland’s famous female saint, hit the headlines in Co Mayo last March when he proposed erecting a 100ft statue of St Patrick on top of the Reek.
However, the sculptor abandoned his plans for that sculpture, which would have been higher than the Christ the Redeemer statute in Rio, due to strong local opposition.
His life-sized sculpture ‘Jesus the homeless’ depicting Jesus as a homeless man sleeping on a park bench recently found favour with Pope Francis who blessed it.
Now a permanent home is being sought for it in Rome near the Vatican.
The arrival of his latest sculpture in Kildare has been delayed by poor weather conditions. The statute of St Brigid was commissioned and donated by Fr Dennis O’Neill from St Martha’s Catholic Church in Morton Grove (a northwest suburb of Chicago), Illinois, USA.
Read more:

World Map of Flamekeepers

Here's a fun project.

Ord Brighideach has put up a world map for Brigidine flamekeepers of any group (or solo performers) who wish to pin their locations for others to see. You can be as vague or as specific about location and identity as you like.

Here's the link.

And here's a screenshot of the map, just before I figured out how to add my name. Now, I know in Daughters of the Flame alone we have participants in England, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, etc., so it will be interesting to see how this develops over time.

I sure wish I knew how Melody made her icon into a cow...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Feedback Wanted for Online Courses: What Do You Want With Brigit???

St Birgitta Revelationes Nuremburg* Anthony Koberger

I am planning a series of online classes about Brigit, starting with an introductory level and moving on from there.
I have many ideas of my own, by I want to know what the main questions, needs, hopes are for aspiring and current Brigidines.
If you can recall what your challenges or interests were in the early days of your acquaintance with her, and what they have evolved into, or indeed if you are at that beginning place now, I would love to have your feedback. You can leave a comment here (If you don't want it published I will keep it private) or PM me through Facebook to speak privately.
Many thanks!

* Yes, I know that St Birgitta isn't St Brigit. I just love the image!

Flame-Keepers Directory

The flame-keeping group Nigheanan Brighde has set up a Directory of Brigidine Flametending Orders. A good idea, though daunting. If you have a group you would like included, or if you are looking for a group to join, have a look at their website.

Regarding Nigheanan Brighde itself, it appears to be a welcoming group, mainly accessible through Facebook.

They say, "Nigheanan Brìghde’s Vision is of a renewed Priestesshood for the goddess Brìde, in which sisterhood is fostered, spiritual growth is nurtured, healing is offered, creating is honored, study is encouraged, and Imbas is sought, while deepening our service to, and relationship with our lady Brìde."


The Directory of Brigidine Flametending Orders seeks to be a storehouse and database of all Orders dedicated to Brighid, to assist the Brighid-devotee in choosing among the various Orders that best meets her or his needs.
Orders will be listed to include a brief description of vision and mission, website and contact information, whether Pagan, Christian, or open to both, and whether female-only or open to men.
The Directory is sponsored by Nigheanan Brìghde, Order of Brigidine Priestesses and Flamekeepers at
To have a listing included in the Directory, please email the relevant information in 100 words or less to or join and post to the facebook group, Flametenders International at
Thank you, and Brìde Bless!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Blessings of Lughnasa and the Well at Liscannor

Blessings of (almost) Lughnasa!

Saint Brigit's Well at Liscannor in Co. Clare is a traditional site for Lughnasa celebrations, as described in Máire MacNeill's The Festival of Lughnasa. That festival, held there on the last Sunday in July (Garland Sunday, called by some Garlic Sunday), and her own feast day at Imbolc were the two major days of pilgrimage to the site. At one time the Aran Islanders paddled over in their curraghs and walked the five miles inland to her well, where they spent the night singing to the spellbound locals.

Blessings of Lugh and Brigit on the harvest.

Sitting in drought-kissed British Columbia, where the fires have been raging for weeks and now the air is sweet with one day's rain, I am very aware of the delicate balance of plenty and famine. I pray for rain in healthful quantities in all our countries, for food and nourishment of every kind for all, for the wisdom to steward this planet challenged by our numbers and our ways of life.

Blessings of Lughnasa on you and your families.

 George Petrie (1790-1866), Pilgrims at Saint Brigid's Well, Liscannor, Co. Clare, c.1829-1830, NGI.2381

George Petrie (1790-1866)
Watercolour on paper, 18.5 x 26 cm.
Bequeathed, Miss M. Stokes, 1900.
St Brigid’s Well at Liscannor, Co. Clare is one of a number of Irish holy wells associated with St Brigid of Kildare, one of Ireland’s patron saints.
The well is a popular site of pilgrimage with great numbers travelling from across Clare and the Aran Islands to participate in the traditional Lughnasa festival on the last Sunday of July (or first Sunday in August).
Petrie shows the well from across a narrow stream. A number of pilgrims perform the various stages of the Rites associated with the well; some kneel in prayer while others circle the well, which is marked by a standing stone inscribed with a cross. The well is depicted in its original location before being moved to a more convenient site in 1853, where it remains today.
Petrie was one of a circle of scholars, antiquarians and artists who, fascinated by Irish history and folklore, toured the country studying and documenting its scenery and antiquities. This is one of his many watercolours depicting locations of Irish cultural significance and is a typical example of his approach to painting. Although romantic and sentimental in style, his work was accurate in its representation of the subject matter. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Broccan's Hymn

I record these so I can listen to them in peaceful moments. My pronunciation leaves something to be desired but if you aren't too fussy, you may also get something out of the contemplative nature of a reading.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Story Archaeologists Search for Brigid

St Brigid's Well at Faughart

I'm very fond of the podcasts (and blog posts) put together by the Wonderful and Talented Chris Thompson and Isolde Carmody on their site Story Archaeology. With well wrought stories, thorough examinations of texts, and a good dose of humour, they present fresh thinking on old stories from Irish mythology.

Follow this link to explore the posts tagged "Brig", or listen (I have pasted a small excerpt below) to "Mythical Women" episode 5 "The Search for Brigid". They provide downloadable files of all their podcasts (mp3s), or you may subscribe to them through iTunes. (Hint: I have found with iTunes in this particular case that I need to download the podcasts one at a time. Can't just click on them all and walk away.)

Hear also (of course!) the podcast on Brig's husband Bres in the Cath Maige Tuired, and read the associated blog postings.

Bres by Jim Fitzpatrick

Monday, June 22, 2015

News Flash! Two Easters Celebrated at Kildare, Says Bethu Brigte!

from Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
An interesting little tidbit, this.
I noticed in rerereading Bethu Brigte the other day (The Irish Life of Saint Brigit--so called because it was written in Irish, not Latin) that Bishop Mel, and therefore his flock, was celebrating both Easters. 
"24 - On the following day, Monday, Mel came to Brigit to preach and say Mass for her between the two Easters."
Bethu Brigte was written down in the Book of Leinster c.800–850 CE--nearly two hundred years after the Synod of Whitby. It was at Whitby that King Oswiu ruled Northumbria would go with the Romans on the date of Easter and on monastic tonsures, rather than the Irish monastic practices followed at Iona, etc. (Synod of Whitby, 664 CE).
According to Wikipedia The Infallible (and allegedly to Haddan and Stubbs), South Ireland adopted the Roman dates circa 626-8 and North Ireland in 692. This means that Kildare itself had likely been celebrating Easter on the Roman date since a hundred years or so after St Brigit's death, and long before the BB was written. Which gives a wonderful sense of verisimilitude to the detail, that at one time, in order to hedge (if you'll pardon the pun) their bets, monasteries such as Kildare were celebrating not one nor the other, but both.
You can find the Bethu Brigte here: