Saturday, February 20, 2021

"The Evening of the Nineteenth Day" - Guest Posting on A Bad Witch's Blog


I've just done my first guest blog post. It's interesting to explore another person's blog in this way.

The post is a reflection on landing on the nineteenth of February after a particularly unusual Imbolc season: The Evening of the Nineteenth Day.

Image: Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash; Post design by Mael Brigde.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Brigit's Basket Food Drive & Community Care in the Name of Our Deities

 Thanks to Paulie Rainbow for doing this work, and for sending me the details so I can share them with you:

We are raising $500 for Food Bank of the Rockies in our annual Brigit's Basket Food Drive! Every $1 provides 4 meals for our neighbors. This year the need is so much greater and we are so happy to be a part of the solution to hunger for so many. Please donate, and share this link forward to help us help each other. Spiritways Metaphysical is again helping us out by collecting canned and dried foods at the shop, and, during their festival weekend Feb 13 & 14, they will donate 5% of their profits to our drive!

Note: They have reached their goal of $500, but donations are still open and more would definitely help.

I love it when our community pulls together in honour of our deities and works to better the lives of those around us, whether they be human or nonhuman. Many of us do this work every day, invisibly, and for that I have great gratitude. Now and then I also see collective efforts like this bearing the name of a deity. Why is this so important to me?

I think it is partly because it acknowledges to the world that our faiths are not simply about ourselves; it shows how deeply we as Neo-Pagans care about each other. But it is also because of the reinforcement and purification of intent that working in the name of my deity gives to my efforts.

When I act as a devotee of Brigit I am mindful of what in her I want to represent and manifest not only in my actions, but in the way that I execute them, the way I treat myself and the others around me, in my thoughts and emotions, as well as in my deeds. I know how this narrowing of focus has assisted me in growing past some of my less helpful habits of mind.

That's me. However we approach it, I can't help thinking that remembering our deities in our community work has got to have a positive effect.

Image: Care of Brigit's Basket Food Drive.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Pandemic Saint


I am blown away by this updating of Deirdriu's Saint Bridgit painting. She is the perfect symbol, the perfect saint, for our COVID-19 time.

If you would like to see the painting without the mask, click here.

Image: "My new St. Bridgit!" by Deirdriu Ní Cheocháin (Deirdre Keohane)

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021

A Radio Show and Live Chat with Mael Brigde & Other, Even Cooler People


What a busy season Imbolc is! 

I worked feverishly on the Daughters of the Flame newsletter until I was able to send it out last week. This week I have been getting organised for the book draw on Oiche Fhéile Bhríde - tomorrow - preparing for two very unexpected interviews, creating blog posts for Stone on the Belly - I wanted to put out more Brigit poetry than usual during the time of her celebration - getting ready for tomorrow's first ever gathering  (virtual, of course) of Daughters of the Flame, and so on and on.

Austin Comerton of Irish Radio Canada interviewed me yesterday for a segment of tomorrow's program, which will feature Maura De Freitas of the St Brigid's Day Festival Vancouver, Bríd Dunne of the Ireland - Canada Chamber of Commerce Vancouver which is hosting a portion of the event, myself, and Kathleen Fee speaking about Festival Bloomsday Montréal. (James Joyce's birthday is 2 February.)

For more information, read his full announcement here.

This episode of Irish Radio Canada will stream at 8am & 1pm (Eastern Time) on TuneIn, Simple Radio (Ask Alexa/Google) & via the Irish Radio Canada App.

I will also be speaking about Saint Brigit with Brigidine Sr. Mary Teresa and Anne Cassidy Carew of the United Irish Cultural Centre of San Francisco next Wednesday evening. The event is hosted by Dowling Library at the UICC.

The live chat is Wednesday, 3 February 2021. Join us on Zoom for this free talk, from 7 - 8 P.M. P.S.T.

I am feeling tired but joyous about these opportunities to be with people who are as excited about Brigit as I am.

"St. Brigid - Harry Clarke's stained-glass window at St. Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, County Mayo"

I was searching for more information about Henry Patrick (Harry) Clarke's St. Brigit imagery in the stained glass windows he designed for various churches. In the process I discovered the above-named article about one particular window, in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.

Below are excerpts from Averil Staunton's article on the Historical Ballinrobe website:

Here at St. Mary’s Church, in Ballinrobe, County Mayo one of Harry Clarkes’s final works prior to his death was the large three-light window located at the organ gallery, representing three of the patron saints of Ireland; St Brigid is represented in one of the panels; the others being St. Patrick and St. Colmcille.

Description of St. Brigid’s representation

This very large panel shows St. Brigid as a nun in an elaborately trimmed and tasselled veil elegantly falling in pleats over her shoulders; she wears a coif headpiece, which includes a decorated cap and a turquoise wimple or guimpe with a long tassel to the front.

Her habit coloured brown is worn over a longer undergarment with an embroidered trim at its full-length hem. These garments were often loose and pleated from the neckline and can have two sets of sleeves, the larger of which can be worn folded up for work or folded down for ceremonial occasions, but in this case, it appears to be her cloak that is covering her white sleeves with a ruffled trim.

St. Brigid’s scapular is a deep turquoise colour with an overlaid intricate Celtic pattern in black. Her stole is turquoise with a long fringe. Over these garments is a purple cloak, heavily decorated on the inside hemline.

We get a tiny glimpse of Clarke’s awareness of Ireland’s heritage with the elaborate silken pointed-toe, embellished elegant tapering, green pointed slippers, which may be inspired by the Shrine of St. Brigid at the National Museum of Ireland...


St. Brigid’s overhead emblem is five green oak leaves and acorns represent a ‘Cill’ meaning cell or church. In Irish ‘An Daire’ means is a type of oak tree, so Kildare means “Church of the Oak” where she founded her church...

Staunton ends with three recommended resources, including her own book on the artist's work:

Further reading:

 Fahey, Denis, “An Irishman’s Diary,” Irish Times, January, 27 January 2015 p 17

 O’Hanlon,John, Lives of the Irish Saints, Duffy & Sons, London, Vol  ll & lll

 Staunton, Averil, Harry Clarke’s Liquid Light, BAHS, Ballinrobe, 2014, p 39


Images: From Saint Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Uncredited.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Online Brigit Festivals in Ireland

No one, I trust, would call COVID-19 a blessing. It has been a curse, and the brunt of it borne by those who could least afford to bear it. Like any event, however, it has brought small blessings in its wake. One of these has been the blossoming of live online connections, social, spiritual, artistic, health-related  it has been astonishing. For those with access to computers and the internet, doors have opened which could not have before. I only hope that some of these remain open when we "return to normal." Particularly for those who have not been well enough to attend outside events, or those who live in rural communities far from urban offerings, the opening up of online access has been life enhancing, to say the least.


This year, for the first time, those of us normally unable to get to Ireland can go to Lá Fhéile Bhríde in Kildare, or to the Brigid of Faughart Festival in the Faughart and Dundalk area  or to portions of both, if we have the energy and the time, and in some cases, a bit of coin, as well. 


The Brigid of Faughart Festival has joined with An Táin Arts Centre in Dundalk to host ‘Cruinniú Lá Fhéile Bhríde – Gathering Under Brigid’s Mantle.’ It will take place from 8 P.M. on 1 February 2021.

Lá Fhéile Bhríde is as usual put on by Solas Bhríde and Afri (Action from Ireland). It will take place in individual sessions from 12 A.M. 31 January to 6 February 2021.

The entire ‘Cruinniú Lá Fhéile Bhríde is €10. Kildare's Lá Fhéile Bhríde events are each separate. Some are free, some cost €11.53.

P.S.: Don't forget we also have the first annual St Brigid's Day Festival of Vancouver, Canada from Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2021. Online as well, of course.

Image: The weavers of Brigit's crosses are from the Solas Bhríde website.

News article: "Louth's Brigid of Faughart Festival is going online" by Michelle O'Keeffe, 25 Jan 2021.