Friday, May 25, 2018

Gail Arthur - Celebrancy and Storytelling

Gail Arthur has tended Brigit’s fire with the Daughters of the Flame for the past seventeen years. Her intelligence, compassion, and deep sensitivity make her a caring and supportive co-religionist. These, added to her brilliant creativity, make her a thoughtful and inspiring dramatist, poet, writer of fiction, storyteller, and dancer.

But there is another side to Gail. She is also a celebrant.

I have recently been contemplating the end of my own life, which I hope is not right around the corner, but which will come at some point, and that is not the moment at which I want to start thinking of what to do.

One of the first thoughts that came to me was that, if it was at all possible, I would like to have Gail involved in the guiding of my presence from this life. I know that she would handle it with ability and love. It then occurred to me that other followers of Brigit might want to have access to someone like Gail at key moments in their life, so I invited her to write a brief self-introduction that I could present to you.

Thanks and blessings on your work, Gail.

Mael Brigde

Celebrancy and Storytelling

I am both storyteller and celebrant. As a storyteller, I weave the elements of a tale, taking audiences on a journey that leads inwards to themselves. As a celebrant, I do much the same thing, taking people into the stories of their lives.

Our lives are a continuing story, and there are important turning points along the way – places where we are propelled – or choose – to move in a new direction, and enter a new stage.

These occasions are momentous, life-altering, and irrevocable: the birth of a child, the transition from childhood to adult, a marriage, the transition to elder, death, the loss of an animal companion or a friend, a divorce, or a decision to leave behind a toxic birth family or other situation. Each of these steps brings its own trials, emotions, joys, fears, sadness and new opportunities. To move in one direction is to leap into the unknown, it is to leave behind the familiar.

My job as a life-cycle celebrant, is to take the strands of an individual life, knitting together a ceremony that addresses the emotions and the reality of a new situation. This could mean acknowledging and helping the grieving process, and well as the celebration of a life lived; acknowledging the responsibility and joy that comes with the birth of a child, the change of situation for a new adult, the changes that come with a new partnership, and with the transition to elderhood.

Often, the transition to elderhood can be difficult in our western society. Taking a look at what this means, and going into this stage of life mindfully can take away the fears and denials involved, giving that stage in life a purpose. This is the strength of ceremony, helping us to look deeply and to reflect, moving consciously through life, and celebrating it as we go.

Bio: Gail Arthur leads ceremonies and tells stories in many places, but especially in Ohio, Ontario and the Vancouver area. She is a Druid with the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, a Fellowship of Isis Priestess, and a writer. She is a keeper of Brighid's flame through the Daughters of the Flame.

Contact her through at or

Images: Gail Arthur.
Brigid at St Brigid's Centre for the Arts by Denisa Prochazka.

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