Saturday, December 30, 2017

Our Lady of Multiple Personalities

A couple of comments made by participants in one of my Brigit courses triggered a new understanding of how Brigit can help us today.

Many survivors of trauma, particularly childhood trauma, have learned to cope with their mental and emotional injuries by dissociating, by disappearing from a particular emotion, moment, memory as best they can. Sometimes this manifests as more than one personality to deal with the varied pressures of life.

One of the conundrums that faces many Brigidines is the question of who exactly is Brigit. Is she a goddess who became a saint? A saint reinterpretted as a goddess? A single goddess with three aspects (of smith, healer, and poet), or three goddesses, three sisters overseeing each of these arts, as the 9th century text Sanas Cormaic tells us?

Instead of this being a problem which must be solved or lived with in some way, this can be a beacon to those of us who struggle with past traumas in ways that invite us to split off from ourselves. For it is clear today that this powerful saint and these powerful goddesses, though unique and very different from one another, reside together in a single phenomenon that bestows much good on our world.

So to Brigit, Our Lady of Multiple Personalities, I give thanks and praise. To each Brigit, solid and real in herself, I give praise and thanks.

Mael Brigde

Notes: has a useful page on dissociation, it's symptoms and treatments.

from the site of International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation:

What is dissociation?

Dissociation is a word that is used to describe the disconnection or lack of connection between things usually associated with each other. Dissociated experiences are not integrated into the usual sense of self, resulting in discontinuities in conscious awareness (Anderson & Alexander, 1996; Frey, 2001; International Society for the Study of Dissociation, 2002; Maldonado, Butler, & Spiegel, 2002; Pascuzzi & Weber, 1997; Rauschenberger & Lynn, 1995; Simeon et al., 2001; Spiegel & Cardeña, 1991; Steinberg et al., 1990, 1993). In severe forms of dissociation, disconnection occurs in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception. For example, someone may think about an event that was tremendously upsetting yet have no feelings about it. Clinically, this is termed emotional numbing, one of the hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dissociation is a psychological process commonly found in persons seeking mental health treatment (Maldonado et al., 2002).

Dissociation may affect a person subjectively in the form of “made” thoughts, feelings, and actions. These are thoughts or emotions seemingly coming out of nowhere, or finding oneself carrying out an action as if it were controlled by a force other than oneself (Dell, 2001). Typically, a person feels “taken over” by an emotion that does not seem to makes sense at the time. Feeling suddenly, unbearably sad, without an apparent reason, and then having the sadness leave in much the same manner as it came, is an example. Or someone may find himself or herself doing something that they would not normally do but unable to stop themselves, almost as if they are being compelled to do it. This is sometimes described as the experience of being a “passenger” in one’s body, rather than the driver.

There are five main ways in which the dissociation of psychological processes changes the way a person experiences living: depersonalization, derealization, amnesia, identity confusion, and identity alteration. These are the main areas of investigation in the Structured Clinical Interview for Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) (Steinberg, 1994a; Steinberg, Rounsaville, & Cicchetti, 1990). A dissociative disorder is suggested by the robust presence of any of the five features.

Image: Triple Goddess by Mael Brigde (1990).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

‎A Year With Our Gods: Brighid, An Online Conference with Land Sea Sky Travel

I ought to have posted about this conference already (oops--ball dropped) but I now have even more reason to do so: I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to be one of the presenters.

To stay on top of developments, follow the Facebook page or sign up for Land, Sea, Sky's mailing list at

From the Facebook page:

Land, Sea, Sky Travel is pleased to announce we will be hosting a series of online conferences, A Year With Our Gods: An Online Polytheist Conference in 2018. Over the course of the year, we will be hosting an eight-part series focusing on the holy days, equinoxes and solstices, each holding a specific theme relevant to Irish and Welsh Polytheists. 

Brighid: Her Flame Burns Brightly.
Our first conference is devoted to Brighid and Imbolc and will be online, Saturday, January 27 from 10:30AM-8:30PM EST. The conference may be accessed from any phone, tablet, or computer.

The conference will provide a balanced mix of hands-on, devotional, and experimental practice with academic and lore-based studies. In addition, a chat room will be provided to facilitate building friendships and meeting others interested in Brighid. Our keynote speaker is Morgan Daimler, author of Pagan Portals Brighid, and she will be making the main presentation, Imbolc & Brighid: Old Beliefs & Fresh Views.We are also pleased to have two Native Irish women, Lora O'Brien - Irish Author, and Brighid Priestess Gemma McGowan. Two other speakers will be announced soon.

To help make it accessible to all participants, especially those who cannot commit to attending the full eight hours, a recording of the entire conference is included. Participants will also receive a digital welcome pack with exciting content from each of our presenters along with other offerings from polytheist groups and polytheist or pagan run small businesses. During the conference, we will be giving away items such as Kindle books, tickets to a future conference in this series and other exciting surprises. If you own a pagan business and would like to be involved with our Welcome Packet or Give-Aways please get in touch. We are looking for quality groups and businesses to work with.

Pricing and registration will be available no later than January 1, 2018. Like and Follow this event page for updates or join our mailing list Full and partial scholarships will be offered for the conference along with group viewing party discounts. Registration will be offered for free to individuals under the age of twenty-one and over the age of seventy-one.

Conferences will be held in accordance with Our Hospitality Statement

Monday, December 04, 2017

Pause (Brigit, Thanks)

I am loving spending time online answering the comments people are leaving on my Brigit courses.

Every time I am caused to slow down and contemplate her and her connection in our many lives, to reflect on her aspects or stories that have such meaning and provide inspiration and guidance, I feel as though any cliff I may be walking close to seems more like a stunning vista then a threatening brink. Every time I read how she has touched others and what they have done with their insights and inklings, I well up with happiness.

Thank you for your blessings, Brigits, sisters and saint!

Image: St_Birgit_Nieuwegracht_Utrecht (by Brbbl [CC BY-SA 3.0 ]