Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Féile Bríde 2018: Light out of Darkness

Féile Bríde 2018: Light out of DarknessSaturday 3rd February 2018
Solas Bhríde, Kildare Town
Registration at 10.20am

"Life has given me many challenges, which I choose to take as opportunities to learn and grow. This is my choice. I learned this on death row. I chose life, health, forgiveness, and love. That choice saved me from bitterness and hatred that would have destroyed me from within. I have dedicated myself to an end to violence – in all its forms. This is the way I honour the lives that were sacrificed along the way. This is the way I give back to the universe. Love is the answer. Fear is the enemy. We must choose the world we want and work towards making it happen every day in our own lives."

These are the inspiring words of death row survivor, Sunny Jacobs, whose life reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, with injustice heaped upon further injustice, creating circumstances that would have crushed many people. An innocent woman wrongfully convicted of murder, her husband was executed, she lost other family members and she spent many years awaiting her own execution. But Sunny came shining through it all with dignity, strength, courage, compassion and hope. She is the perfectly encapsulation of this year’s Féile Bríde’s theme: ‘light out of darkness’.

Sunny and Peter Pringle, the last person to have been on death row in Ireland, have devoted themselves to promoting healing, peace and reconciliation. Together they have established The Sunny Centre – a sanctuary for others who suffer injustice, especially people who are wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit and have spent time under sentence of death. We will hear their extraordinary stories at Féile Bríde this year.

Other speakers include the distinguished academic and activist Peadar Kirby, who plays a leading role in the Cloughjordan Eco-Village; UCC Professor Emeritus and life-long peace activist John Maguire; Hanny Van Geel of La Via Campesina, which promotes the rights of peasant communities around the world, and who describes herself as ‘rooted in farming’; and Rose Hogan who has a life-long commitment to agro-ecology and sustainable agriculture.

In a world marred by war and the woeful destruction of our exquisite planet, Féile Bríde is but one example of the many, many people and groups throughout our world who hope for and work towards a better future, a more just world and for the light to overcome the darkness.

And as the Spring birdsong heralds the end of another winter, we will also have music because, as Hans Christian Anderson said, “where words fail, music speaks”.

For more information, including the programme, go here: http://www.afri.ie/news-and-events/date-for-your-diary-feile-bride-2018/

Monday, January 29, 2018

Conference review for Brighid: Her Flame Burns Brightly 27 Jan 2018

Potia Pitchford gives a generous and pithy review of Land, Sea, Sky's Brighid conference in her blog, Musings of a Scottish Hearth Druid (Thoughts about living, loving and worshiping as a Hearth Druid. One woman's journey.)
To read it, follow this link.

Image: Header from Potia's blog.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

"Sun Among Stars: Poems & Prayers to Brigit of Ireland" by Mael Brigde.

It will be a while yet before it is out, but I have a book of my Brigit poems in preparation.

If you would like to know when it becomes available, feel free to private message on Facebook or leave a comment here with your email address (I will delete the comment as soon as I get your email address, to protect your privacy). I will let you know when the time of publication comes.

To read some of my Brigit poems, along with those of other writers, please have a look at Stone on the Belly. Blessings of Brigit on you! Have a wonderful Imbolc (so very soon).

: "A hand holding a pen on the statue of Isaiah at Piazza Spagna in Rome" by gnuckx (Flickr: Roma Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx) [Public domain or CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Vancouver Public Library Still Has a Copy of St. Brigid of Ireland, by Alice Curtayne

To my great surprise, the first full book I ever read about Saint Brigit, which I withdrew from the Vancouver Public Library (in British Columbia, Canada) long, long ago, is still there. If you live nearby, you could have access to this delightful book, written by an intelligent and believing Catholic Irishwoman. She dismisses the whole goddess connection, which makes her not alone in modern scholarship on the subject, but whatever your feelings on that issue, it is still one of the best books on the topic, evocative and informed, thoughtful and persuasive.

For my 2012 review of the book, click here.

St. Brigid of Ireland, by Alice Curtayne.
Publisher:New York, Sheed, 1954
Branch Call Number:235.2 B97s
Characteristics:122 p

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Imbolc Advent 2018

A snippet from Erin nighean Brìghde's Imbolc Advent 2018. (For the whole post, click here.)

Imbolc Advent 2018


Brighid’s return is immanent once again!  Gabhaim Molta Brìde!  All Praises to Brighid!
I want to sink into the contemplation and mysticism of the season, feel it work on my soul, and guide my spirit.  I consider myself to be practicing a mystical path, meaning that I find my greatest sense of spiritual ecstasy through direct communion with the deity who guides me, who is Brighid.  It is understanding that spiritual guidance can be given through communion, insight, intuition, meditation, contemplation, signs, deep readings, poetry, song, music, chant, dance, nature, solitude, and silence.  It is a simple practice of showing up and being present, listening and watching, digesting and reflecting, committing and enacting, and yet is difficult to encapsulate, describe, or discuss.  In my contemplative mystical practice, I seek to go beyond the outward-directed worship of deity, and also beyond the passive reception of prayer petitions into the realm of active participation in the mysteries by reaching out soulfully to them, finding them within me, and listening for guidance in enacting them in the world with my body, mind, and spirit.  I am feeling called to participate in the mysteries of Imbolc and Brighid, and so follow the ancestral path of myth and folklore to take me to the Well of Memory, searching for Imbas, inspiration, in how to enact this participation...

Friday, January 12, 2018

"Saint Brigid of Kildare Life, legend and cult" by Noel Kissane

Ooh! I have not heard of this book before. But here it is, for you to ogle.

Saint Brigid of Kildare

Life, legend and cult

Noel Kissane

Despite being the female patron saint of Ireland and one of the most remarkable women in Irish history, St Brigid has always been an elusive figure. Some scholars have argued that she never existed as a real person but was merely the Christian personification of the cult of a pagan goddess of the same name. This book reviews all the evidence – history, legend and folklore – and concludes that while she has many of the attributes of the goddess Brigid, she was certainly a real person. The book also reviews her cult and veneration in Ireland and overseas, from her lifetime down to the present day, as attested by placenames, holy wells and folklore, and also by the large numbers of churches (Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland), schools and GAA clubs dedicated to her.

Noel Kissane worked in the National Library of Ireland for over thirty years, where he held the positions of Education Officer and Keeper of Manuscripts. His doctorate was for his edition of the Metrical Life of St Brigid. His previous books include The Irish face (Dublin, 1986), Parnell: a documentary history (Dublin, 1994) and The Irish famine: a documentary history (Dublin, 1996).

Saint Brigid of Kildare, Life, legend and cult by Noel Kissane, Four Courts Press (2017).
Paperback €22.45
ISBN: 978-1-84682-632-0
June 2017. 360pp; ills.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tooting My Horn

I know I have posted a couple of times about this upcoming conference and you have likely gotten the message, but I got a great surprise when I read the introduction to today's post featuring yours truly. So I thought I would share that with you.

Our most requested presenter was by far Mael Brigde. We were so tickled when she said yes to our request to join our conference. We've been itching to work with her for a good fifteen years or so since I first experienced the beauty of a Brighid Flame Tending practice. Can't wait!
Kindling Brigit's Flame
On Imbolc 1993, Mael Brigde launched the first modern Brigidine flame-tending group outside of the Catholic Church—the Daughters of the Flame. In her class she will speak of her own path with Brigit and her experience of leading a multi-faith group of women devoted to Brigit. She will touch on the history of Brigidine flame-tending, ancient and modern, and will address issues connected to modern flame-tending. These span the practical: how not to burn the house down while I’m asleep? to the personal: how do I come to know Brigit? to the ethical: how do we represent our understanding of Brigit to the world?
Mael Brigde will discuss the importance and difficulty of discovering the roots of various assumptions about Brigit, such as the origins of her perpetual flame, and how new understandings may at times challenge our beliefs. She will address how her changing understanding of Brigit affects her devotion and practice.
Finally, she will talk about the way flame-keepers care for each other as part of their practice, and speak to her priorities in tending both the flame and flame-keepers. We will have the opportunity to sing two Brigidine chants together, and there will be a chance for participants to express their intentions and uncertainties around flame-tending and starting a flame-tending group.
Mael Brigde's Bio: 
Mael Brigde is the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, a Brigidine flame-tending group which lit its first candle on Imbolc, 1993. She has since then only grown in her devotion to and appreciation of Brigit, and in her devotion to the women and men who follow Brigit. Mael Brigde began writing poems and prayers to Brigit very early on and has collected many of these in her upcoming book, Sun Among Stars: Poems & Prayers to Brigit of Ireland. She began publishing a general interest Brigit blog in 2004 (Brigit’s Sparkling Flame), and a Brigit poetry blog in 2015 (Stone on the Belly). She launched a major review of Brigit-related books in 2010 (“A Long Sip at the Well”), and in 2015 wrote “The Mythical Pairing of Brig and Bres: Its Origins and Meaning in Cath Maige Tuired (Revised)”. Both of these papers are available for free download through Brigit’s Sparkling Flame or Academia.edu. Mael Brigde lives in Vancouver, Canada.
You can find Mael Bridge at:
Here on Facebook: Mael Brigde

Carol Burnett By NBC photo by Elmer Holloway-stamp is faint. (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Oak Leaf by Pria Graves
Daughters of the Flame: Keeping the perpetual flame for the Goddess Brigit

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

"Brighid: Her Flame Burns Brightly" Registration Now Open

Land Sea Sky Travel is delighted to announce that registration is now open for our upcoming online conference, Brighid: Her Flame Burns Brightly.
$40 USD - Land Sea Sky Alumni
$40 USD- Before January 15th, early bird special!
$50 USD- After January 15th
Additionally, a Conference Pass is available for $325USD, which provides access to all eight conferences. This offers an overall savings of $125USD, since our Beltane and Samhain two-day conferences are $75USD each.
Scholarships Available
To apply for a scholarship, please email us a note, including why this conference is important to you, and what you hope to get out of it. There is no need to provide financial reasons for needing a scholarship. You may apply to other conferences in the future, even if you have received a scholarship from us in a past.
Wisdom of the Ages
To help us honor and host the youngest and eldest voices in our community, this conference is free to individuals under 21 and over 71 at the time of the conference. Please email us and ask for your Wisdom Of The Ages Pass. You may attend as many of our 2018 Year With Our God conferences as you wish on this pass.
Viewing Parties
Viewing Party passes for groups are a cost-effective and fun way of attending. Passes are $100USD for up to 10 people, and $200USD for larger groups. Each guest receives a Digital Download Welcome Packet, as well as a recording of the conference. Plan on gathering your guests together to watch the conference in person on a single screen. To take advantage of this, please send a separate email, including a list of your guests with their respective email addresses.
What's Included
Your registration gets you into our all-day online conference, held on Zoom, to watch our five

"Keepers of the Flame Twenty Day Vigil & Journey with Goddess Brighid" with Heidi Wyldewood

Upcoming at Imbolc: a self led course for women that will appear in your inbox a bit at a time over the twenty days. All I know about it is what you see here.

This is from the "About" page:

Heidi Wyldewood is facilitator of healing journeys, mentor, priestess, walker between the worlds and a sacred activist.  She is a keeper and creatrix of wild medicine and womb wisdom traditions, living life from the heart, often with the soles of her bare feet on Mother Earth.  Her main areas of interest and understanding, which she weaves into her sharings, are Goddess traditions; womb wisdom, both ancient and new; Toltec, Inkan and Celtic shamanism; symbolism within fairy tale, myth and folk lore; Earth Magick; yogic philosophy; mysticism, female empowerment and sacred sexuality...

...Heidi is the creator of the Brighid Path Essences, the founder of the New Forest and Southampton Red Tent and currently the UK Coordinator for the Worldwide Womb Blessing.  She is also the author of the Red Thread Journal.

Barefoot Heartsong
 Heidi Wyldewood

ReMembering               EmPowering               TransForming

embracing the cycles of earth, sun, moon and womb  
walking the wild, wise way

Mentoring, healing and education for women - teachings born of indigenous shamanic practice, earth magick and womb wisdom traditions

Join Heidi Wyldewood and Lou Hayden as they follow the tradition of priestesses keeping vigil over a Sacred Flame, the flame of Brighid.  Take a sacred journey with her, alongside a circle of sisters, learning some of her history, her symbols, songs and wisdom.

This self led course for women will deliver to your inbox throughout the days of vigil, inspiring you with meditations, songs, prayers, writing and self inquiry prompts, and crafting in a mixed media format.  You will also be guided though the Fire and Water of the Three Cauldrons for personal insight, transformation and awakening.  

This course also contains two energetic transmissions, one at each end of the course.  The first one

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Update on Brigid Conference

From Land, Sea, Sky Travel: an update on their upcoming Brighid conference:

Hold tight, registration is still on the way! Did you know along with entrance into eight hours of classes from amazing presenters such as Morgan Daimler,Mael Brigde Lora O'Brien - Irish Author and Gemma McGowan you will also receive a digital download welcome pack with prayers, videos, photos and chants to Brighid and other Irish deities along with special discounts and offers from businesses on Brighid goodies? It's true! We are so excited about our digital download packets.