Thursday, July 12, 2012

Booklets for Sale

A reminder from Hollee Swann:

Brighid and Me

Experiences with the Goddess Written by devotees from around the world.

Pathways to Elen

Written by Followers of the ancient, British, antlered Goddess.

£4.50 for 1 book; £4.25 each for any 2 books

£4.10 each for 3 or more booklets on one order

Postage at cost

Profits from sales to Alzheimer’s Society

& Woodland Trust

To read extracts or order, visit

Saturday, July 07, 2012

OK, This is Just Plain Weird: Post-Apocalyptic Brigit?

I won't even begin to address the "all things fire and warfare" bit. I hesitate to post this but if I can tell you about Brigit socks, surely I can't hold this one back... I haven't read it, so I can't say if it satisfies all its claims. If you read it, let us know!

Brighid's Cross, by Cate Morgan

One woman with a job to do. One gorgeous hacker with a plan. One apocalypse. Any questions?

Aika Lareto is a descendent of St. Brighid in her incarnation of all things fire and warfare in a time when heroes were revered as gods. In 2025, this means Aika is hunted by all things demon and government. All she wants is to get on with her work as guardian of the dregs scraping out a fringe existence in London’s blitzed underground—the lost, forgotten and the just plain ignored.

Declan Pryce is the hacker who finds her first. Quite a feat, considering current ruling government conglomerate Dreamtech has issued a bounty on Aika’s head for her ability to bypass their security systems.

When she escapes Dreamtech’s net, the vote is unanimous—Aika is a liability in need of immediate resolution—dead or alive is entirely her choice.

No choice, really. She’ll take death over disloyalty every time. Declan has a plan that doesn’t include falling for an impossible woman in an impossible situation. She has plans of her own that don’t leave room for a love life.

If they’re incredibly lucky, it just might work.

Product Warnings

Contains a hot hacker with a penchant for redheads, battles with demons, a little light torture, explosions and a heroine willing to do whatever it takes to do her job.

Kildara Centre & Brigid's Well (Course)

The Australian Brigidine Sisters have in Malvern, Victoria the Kildara Centre with many facilities including a non-residential conference centre, Brigidine archives (and better still, an archivist to help you find what you need there), and so on.

They annually offer Brigid's Well, a course for Adult Searchers.

From their site:

The association between water and spiritual power can be traced back to the Bronze Age, and water (the well) is very prominent in most Celtic Mythology. Large bodies of water, such as lakes & rivers, were important sites for ritual activity. Many archeological discoveries today witness to the ways in which people in those very early times threw jewelry, weapons, body amor, all sorts of high quality metal work into the lakes to appease their gods and goddesses.

There are countless wells scattered across Ireland named after Brigid, and associated with these wells is healing, nourishment, hospitality and blessing for people in need. One can easily imagine the water from those wells, water that is sacred, coursing through mother earth and reaching the Antipodes and flowing through our Australian waterways.

The story in the Scripture of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well and the transformation that occurred in both through their interaction has become the symbol for our Brigid's Well Program at Kildara Centre.

It is no accident that today Kildara Centre, is situated on a very ancient aboriginal site consisting of a huge underground spring. Imagine it as a watering hole for our indigenous sisters and brothers in ancient times. Today it is covered with layers and layers of concrete, buildings, roads etc., yet evidence of its existence and movements is still clear, its dampness quite pervasive, and its power ever present.

Brigid's Well is the name given to our Program for Adult Searchers. In various ways, this Program offers :

life-giving interaction
creative prayer experiences
opportunities for personal growth
discussion of current issues
to break open the Word
involvement in issues of justice
deeper understanding of God
to explore the Celtic tradition
to re-interpret Brigid
to develop various concepts of spirituality
a place to share views in safety and freedom
an alternative to institutionalised religion
some religious experience
assistance to find meaning
spiritual direction

We have established a Brigid's Well Community which engages in attempting to break open the Word raising issues of injustice in the wider community, and in breaking open the lives of Brigid and Delany discovering what their stories have to offer us today.

This community also hosts some of the sessions of the Program and plans for the following year.

Download the 2012 Programme booklet.

It all starts with lighting a match.

A Letter from Erynn
Winter Solstice 1996

It all starts with lighting a match. A simple thing, really. When the match is touched to the candle wick, I offer quiet prayers with upraised hands before the altar. Quiet seems to be the focus of those days. To keep the flame has been a calming and centering process, a ritual of no-ritual, a meditation on quiet and the flickering quality of candlelight.

I have not had major revelations on the days and nights of my shift since I began, back at the founding of (Daughters of the Flame). Instead, the flame has been a steady, connective presence. I take the spark from the woman who precedes me and pass it with care to the next woman on the list. I imagine that the earliest priestesses of this light were bound together with similar silence, their only sounds the crackling fire in the sacred hearth, the murmurred prayers, the rain falling softly outside.

What did they do together in their devotion, I wonder? Did they lie at night in darkened chambers, composing poems? Did they tend a garden of healing herbs? Were the sparks of the sacred flame carried to a forge where bright blades were beaten out in her honor? Were their days spent carrying wood, or later, when the wood was gone, bringing dried peat into the enclosure to keep the flame burning? I think they knew the wisdom of chop wood, carry water as a path of spirit. I think, in some ways at least, they were like me. There are wild hazel nuts on my altar. They come from Lincoln Park, down the hill from my house. A red silk cloth, woven with gold, from the sari of a Hindu saint covers the small shelf that is my altar. There is a black and white photocopy of the triple Brighid from a Celtic League calendar taped to the wall above. Seashells, which are used in Ireland and Scotland to decorate the Brighid dolls of imbolc, are scattered on the cloth, piled at the foot of the red glass candle. Rowan and juniper berries are mingled in a small wooden bowl, for protection and for purification. There is a sprig of cedar here as well, with its tiny brown seed pods. This reminds me of the land on which I live, the spirits of Puget Sound. Ogham fiodh, burned into hazel twigs, lie in a pile here awaiting her pleasure, and a tiny cup of hazel honey mead. These are the tools of my poet's art.

I do no magic at this altar, I raise no power here. Instead, there is poetry in my house. Notebooks open, scribbled lines that try to capture the flash of a dream's image or the subtle light of an autumn afternoon. I meditate on the continuity of the flame, one hand to another, one match lit in prayerful attitude.

Sometimes I miss my shift for one reason or another. I look at the calendar a day late and feel a pang of regret, a little embarassment at the fact that I am human and fallible. Despite my flaws, I continue to tend the flame. There will be another shift in a few days, and I can redress the accidental neglect at that time. I've never felt that Brighid was unforgiving of my occasional lapses. Somewhere in the world, some sister remembers and carries on. She starts with lighting a match.


(Letter from Erynn Rowan Laurie. Art by Rowan Hagen.)