Friday, March 17, 2006

Institute of Feminism & Religion Annual Festival of Brigit

the Institute for Feminism and Religion has a yearly celebration of Brigit at Imbolc. Although the Festival of Brigit for 2006 has passed, there is much of interest to look at on this site, including:

  • a guide for those planning to
celebrate Brigit in their own locales,
  • an essay on the 2006 theme of Brigit's Cloak: Unfolding and Reclaiming Women's Ground (this on the Festival homepage, near the bottom),
  • one woman's writings about her experiences at a past festival,
  • a small selection of Brigit images (including one, i am pleased to note, taken from the Daughters of the Flame website. it is of a woman smith, not originally intended as Brigit but when i saw it on a folksinging pamphlet many years ago i thought--say! i know who that looks like!),
  • chants and songs (though unfortunately, only the words),
  • a collection of works from 2005's theme, Brigit as Wounder,
    and of course, information on the Institute itself, its board, and so on.
  • there is also a discussion list.

  • The Institute for Feminism and Religion aims to explore a prophetic approach to feminism and religion, inclusive of many traditions and emerging consciousness in Ireland.

    They do this by providing opportunities for women to reclaim religion by engaging theoretically and experientially with the issues or feminist theology, ethics, spirituality and ritual.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    New Christian Novel About Saint Brigid

    Cindy Thomson posted a comment today letting us know about her new novel about Saint Brigid:


    "Just wanted to let you know about my new book, Brigid of Ireland. It's releasing this month (March 2006) by Monarch Publications in the UK and will be available soon after in the US, distributed by Kregel Publications. Please visit for more information.

    "I also just started a blog (not much there yet) at Thanks."

    Here is a little about the book from her website:

    "A luminous story of the young slave who became a national heroine.

    "Brigid is born in 5th century pagan-dominated Ireland, the daughter of a slave woman, and a slave herself to her brutal father. Torn from her mother, desperately seeking love and acceptance, Brigid converts to the new religion popularized by the traveling preacher Patrick - and the miracles start.

    "But so does the opposition, from rulers and sorcerers opposed to her faith and growing fame. The Irish people cling to superstitions and fears. Can she overcome them - and face her hatred for her father? Can she find the mother she misses so acutely? Has she truly been called by God?"

    and a little about Cindy herself:

    "Cindy Thomson writes fulltime from her home in Ohio despite the distractions of two young adult sons and another in high school, two dogs, a cat, and countless numbers of lizards. (Fortunately her sons take care of the zoo!) A former teacher and amateur genealogy buff, Cindy has always had an active imagination and a love of history. Preserving our spiritual and genealogical histories is her passion.

    "Cindy and her husband Tom are active in their church and small group ministry.

    "Brigid of Ireland is her first novel. She is at work on another novel set in ancient Ireland."

    Those interested in Celtic Christianity will find many treasures in the wonderful books of Esther de Waal. A good place to start is Every Earthly Blessing.*

    Esther also leads Celtic pilgrimages--each a "journey back into the days of the undivided Church"--through the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas.

    Best of luck with your writing, Cindy, and blessings on your spiritual path. Thanks for letting us know about your book.

    "So the Celtic approach to God opens up a world in which nothing is too common to be exalted and nothing is so exalted that it cannot be made common."

    Esther de Waal

    *Editorial Reviews of Every Earthly Blessing:

    Spiritual Book News
    ... excellent addition to your personal collection of works on spirituality, and is also a wonderful resource to prayer circles... inspires.
    Timothy Joyce, OSB, author of Celtic Christianity, Spiritual Book Associates
    Among the plethora of books on Celtic spirituality... this one remains a treasure... for beginners and Celtic students...