Saturday, September 26, 2015

When the Daughters, and Why?

From the 1994 newsletter, by Hawthorne

One of the Daughters of the Flame sent me an email today asking, "...when did you set up Daughters of the Flame? And what inspired you to do so?"

I wrote a brief reply and after doing so thought maybe others would be interested, as well.


"I began working on it in 1992. I'd devoted myself to Brigit a few years before, and I thought it would be good to have the practice of tending her flame reintroduced. At that time it was not being tended anywhere, not even by the Brigidine nuns, and that felt sad to me.

I didn't have a lot of energy for organizing, but I thought this I could do. So I asked some women friends if they wanted to do it, and a man friend offered to make a computer program for scheduling worldwide, and we lit the flame for the first shift on Imbolc 1993.

I didn't know for several years that the Brigidine sisters relit the flame in Kildare on that day, as well. Very cool. Obviously the time was right."

Still is.


From the first Daughters of the Flame newlsetter: the astonishing news that by word of mouth we had grown from five to twenty flamekeepers between Imbolc and Bealtaine. Astonishing because I knew almost no one in The Community.  Remember, this was pre-internet, and I was not yet on email. Another world, it was...

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Blessed Little Beer

Well, I should not be surprised by this, but I guess I was (I haven't tasted it--if anyone does, let me know what you think):

Cycle Saisonnier – Seasonal Saisons


Mary of the Gael

Spring Saison


St. Brigid’s Day is celebrated in Ireland at the time of Imbolic, a once pagan celebration of ‘summer in the belly of winter’. This release in our series of seasonal saisons is a refreshingly hoppy take on saison for springtime. Mary of the Gael has a simple base of pilsner malt, a touch of honey malt and is dry-hopped with a copious amount of floral hops
.Web Mary of the Gael
Alc. by Vol. 6.5% |  21 IBUs | 14 °Plato  | Light foods/Fish/Artisan Cheese/Asian | Best  at cellar temperature (55 °F)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Well of Five Streams: Essays in Celtic Paganism by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Some of you will remember a post I wrote last year about "Queering the Flame", an essay on Brigidine flame-tending, past and present. I noted then that it would be included in the then-upcoming book by Erynn Rowan Laurie, The Well of Five Streams. (Check here for that post.)

Well, it came out this summer. Click here to find out more or purchase the book.

Five streams flow from Manannán’s well in the Land of Promise; those who seek inspiration must drink from the well and the five streams. Finding this well requires dedication to the pursuit of wisdom. The book you hold contains the fruit of over twenty years of thought and deep exploration by this Celtic polytheist theologian. Much of the included material is out of print or hard to find, but there are also new pieces for long-time readers of Laurie’s work. There are essays on non-Celtic paths, examinations of Gaelic poetic traditions, musings on sacred madness, community, entheogens, the role of gender in Brigidine flamekeeping, and much more.

Here's a review from Goodreads:

A treasure trove of wisdom, this anthology offers invaluable discussions of concepts that are key to Celtic polytheism, Celtic Reconstructionism, and modern Druidism. Erynn Rowan Laurie takes the reader on a journey through beauty and madness, poetry and truth, the divine and the mundane, weaving them all together into a cohesive and captivating whole. Truly essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the beliefs of the ancient Irish and how those beliefs can be interpreted and applied today, as well as a fascinating and essential view into one woman’s journey along this path (less)

Saturday, September 05, 2015

The Mythical Pairing of Brig and Bres: Its Origins and Meaning in ‘Cath Maige Tuired’

“In the ninth century Irish text “Cath Maige Tuired”, the figure of Bres offers an illustration of a failed king and his impact on prosperity. The goal of this paper is to uncover a greater mythical significance to Bres, and to begin to discover what the presence of his wife Brig (Brigit, daughter of the Dagda) in the tale might indicate. This is done by examining their significant attributes and relationships in this and other texts and, in the case of Brig, in material attaching to St Brigit of Ireland.”

There is very little evidence in the medieval texts of a goddess named Brigit: this is one of two that I know of.

For those who haven't read the text, it's quite interesting, as is the First Battle of Moytura, which also features Bres although Brig doesn't make it in.  But even if you haven't read and don't feel like reading the texts, you can still learn some interesting facts about Brig, her husband and children, and the world of the medieval Irish tales in “The Mythical Pairing of Brig and Bres”.

Click here for the free pdf download at               

Morgan Daimler I think the paper raises some very interesting ideas about Bres and his ultimate role in the mythology beyond "bad king" that deserve some real reflection. I also like the exploration of Brig and Bres as a couple and why that could be and is significant - its really not a subject I've seen anyone else try to deal with.

Pinar Writes: this is beautiful, many thanks for sharing. I shall dowload it and refer to it later as well. it's not easy (at least for me) to form and understand the relationships and what they represent between Celtic deities sometimes; they're so much more fluid than, say, the Greco-Roman pantheon. that's one part of the challenge. after all these years (about 20!) I'm still trying to figure out the connections, the symbolism, regional variances and all that. articles like yours are very helpful in that sense.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Scribe That Shouldn't Be

I was just grabbing an embed code from YouTube, where I had uploaded "I Will Kindle My Fire", and I noticed under the "More" button: Transcript.

Oh, good idea, thought I, who had just been in the throes of creating one myself. Let's see what they have:


I leukemia do my father who this my whole room
in the through dozens who viewed noontime who you yumm
who she is keen dude in my heart it do you feel you
hopefully move love to my new you
her to my food to move away from noon to my keen to you
to movie reviews her new you to move
room we found out my
wounds without shedding Lucy
we've heard hmm
a movie we found few you...


I especially like "wounds without shedding Lucy". If you would like to
experience the whole transcript, or indeed, listen to the song and look at 
the pictures of hearths and sacred flames, you may find them at the 
following link.

Or for the song without the "transcript", see below: