Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Croghan Hill by Sara777

Croghan Hill (Bog of Allen County Offaly Ireland) by Sarah777
Public Domain -- Wikimedia Commons
I wanted to envision Croghan Hill, Saint Brigit's old home, and ancestral territory of her father, Dubthach son of Dreimne. So I looked it up online and found this wonderful "severely enhanced vision" of it uploaded to Wikimedia by Sarah777, Click on the image for a large version.

It may not be the whole story, but what a lovely aspect to it.

(I think I see her walking on the hill.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stone on the Belly: A Brigit Poetry Blog

It is probably time to fess up and tell you that I have begun a new blog for my Brigit poetryStone on the Belly. I have written a heck of a lot of these things, and am slowly publishing a few of them online.

Some focus on the goddess(es), some the saint, some both. Others reflect my relationship to Brigit over time. I don't try to make all of her lore and traditions into a single unified whole, but let each poem, each tradition, stand on its own foundations.

Below is the introduction to Stone on the Belly. You are welcome to come by and dip in, or sign up for alerts.

Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing...

I have been writing them ever since, but seldom share them. Some of them are carefully crafted, some simple and straight from the heart.

I also read the prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, and they fill me with surprise and delight.

I would like to share some of these poems with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to me to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.

Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits
I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone
gentle and steady
warm and bright

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Three Lesser Known Brigs of Irish Lore

"The Three Brigits of the Ulster Cycle & the Forgotten Origins of Neopagan Theology" is a lovely article by Christopher Scott Thompson. If you have heard references to Brig Ambue, Brig Briugu, etc., but not gotten much more of their stories, this is a good place to get the skinny, with some Celtic Twilight extras that link to that old NeoPagan trope, Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

Christopher pulls the material together nicely. Be sure to read the comments below for a little extra clarification.

Here is a teaser from the article:

"Brig Ambue was the wife of Celtchar MacUthechair of the Ulster Cycle, but she was sometimes referred to as Brig Brethach or “Brigit of the Judgments,” supposedly because she gave a famous legal judgment in correction of her father Sencha mac Ailella, poet and judge to Conchobar MacNessa. The name Sencha is very similar tosenchas, a word that means lore or tradition. This is especially significant because the references to Brig Ambue come from the Senchas Mor or “Great Tradition,” a medieval collection of Brehon law.
Brig Brethach was her mother, the wife of the same famous judge and poet.
Sencha’s mother was Brig Briugu or “Brigit of Hospitality,” but the glosses to a story called Din Techtugud identify this Brig as the Brig Brethach who corrected Sencha’s false judgment.[4]   
Three Brigits: the mother, wife and daughter of a famous poet whose name actually means Lore or Tradition, and who are known mostly from a book called the Great Tradition.
We are not dealing with scattered references to women named Brigit, but with a second trinity of Three Brigits. Unlike the more well-known trinity of three sisters from the Mythological Cycle, these three are from the Ulster Cycle. As such, they are described as being human women- but their connection to the goddess is now unmistakable, and they are probably best described as avatars."

Christopher Scott Thompson is a member of Clann Bhride and writes "The Loop of Brighid" column for Patheos.