Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Open for Registration: St Brigid's Day Festival Vancouver


I wrote about our first annual Saint Bridgets day festival a while back, but at the time it wasn’t possible to register for this free conference. It is now!

So the basics:

St Brigid's Day Festival Vancouver Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2021

There are various sessions on different days, fall listed on the image below. Each session is free but there is a limit to the number of people who can sign up. All are online.

See you there?

St Brigid's Day / Lá Fheíle Bríde Festival Vancouver 

This volunteer-led event is proudly sponsored by the Vancouver Consulate General of Ireland

Monday, December 21, 2020

The Return of the Imbolc Advent


Erin Aurelia will be offering a renewal of her Imbolc Advent, beginning ... very soon! Stay tuned to her new Facebook Page, The Torch of Brighid. The Torch of Brighid is the working title of a book-to-be by Erin Aurelia about engaging with the devotional practice of flametending for Brighid as a daily practice to foster spiritual growth. She writes:

On this winter solstice, as the celestial fire of the sun is once again waxing, our inner fire is also being stoked to rise again, and everything it might create. Let Brighid's bright torch guide you to your wholeness. Stay tuned next month for the return of the Imbolc Advent! Once posted annually a few years ago, my Imbolc Advent is a series of four meditations on the four weeks prior to Imbolc to spiritually prepare ourselves for Brighid's return, culminating in a meditative Imbolc ritual to welcome her back to the world.
Solstice Blessings!
From Brigid in the Keepers of The Light Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray:
"Your spiritual fire is growing within. Recognize that the power of your soul is greater than you think. You have come a long way since you began this journey. There is a powerful force within you and you have the ability to create wonderful changes in your own life and inspire those around you to do the same. Be aware of new projects, opportunities and fertile ideas that can grow into something larger than you may imagine. Call on the fiery goddess Brigid to light the way ahead."

Image: "Brigid in the Keepers" of The Light Oracle Cards by Kyle Gray.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Orlagh's Blog - Brigid's Forge

For those of you not aware of it, Orlagh Costello, founder of the Facebook group, Brigid's Forge, also has a blog of the same name (subtitled: Fiction and research about Brigid, Irish deity, saint, and so much more). In it she writes clear, insightful posts, in which she draws on her experience as an Irish woman, and a devotee of Brigit. Her teachings are accessible and very human. They can aid us not only in our devotional practice, but simply as humans seeking to live well in an often troubling world.

About her blog, Orlagh writes:

Brigid’s Forge is a place for me to blog about Brigid, Irish deity, saint, nun, ollamh, and much, much more. Being Irish, I’ve grown up with stories about Brigid, practices about Brigid, superstitions about Brigid my whole life. Our landscape here in Ireland is covered in sacred wells, placenames and other indications of our love of the being in question. This blog is a mix of fiction (clearly labelled as such), the results of my research into our Irish lore on her and the topics I think link to her, as well as my writings on my energetical practices and modern issues I believe she would be interested in.

Today's post is Native vs Non-Native Brigid. I invite you to have a read, and follow Orlagh wherever you can. 

Great news, by the way: Orlagh is working on a book about Brigit. I can't wait to read it. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

"Tiny Saints" St. Brigid Charm for Your Bracelet


A Saint Brigid of Ireland charm from Tiny Saints! Thanks to Echo for putting me on the trail. Click on the image to go to their site. (She is on sale at the moment -- $3 instead of $5.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Lá Fhéile Bríde: Celebrating the Women of Ireland - Vancouver, Online Festival 2021


I'm so excited! Vancouver is to have an annual celebration of Saint Brigit's Day. The group "Lá Fhéile Bríde: Celebrating the Women of Ireland - Vancouver," are kicking it off this 31 January and lasts till 7 February. 

"Many Irish women have a connection to St. Brigid who is known as 'Mary of the Gael’ and considered to be Ireland’s other patron saint. Now, the first annual Feile Bride: Celebrating the Women of Ireland is coming to Vancouver on Sat. Feb. 1, 2020." (Clearly this needs to be updated. It's now stating on Oíche Fhéile Bríde - the night before.)

The festival will feature workshops, panels, and stories. It's too soon to sign up for anything (I tried!), but watch their spaces for further information.

Jennifer Bourke, Vice Consul General of Ireland in Vancouver, tells us that the consulate will, "facilitate a “Pop-up Illumination” as part of the International HerStory Light Festival which is focussed around St. Brigid's Day."

Follow "Lá Fhéile Bríde: Celebrating the Women of Ireland - Vancouver" on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - using the hashtag #bridfestvan2021, or visit their website.

Reading to Brigit


One of the reasons I wanted to write a book of Brigit was so that I would have a book of Brigit. Now that I have an advance copy in my hand I can do what I wanted with that unknown book:

Use it in my devotions.

I was a little apprehensive that reading my own poems and prayers, which form the lion's share of the book (the divine cow's share?) would feel odd. But I'm not finding that at all. So far, when I am doing my daily devotional, I have been reading one piece aloud. I began the practice with the thought that it was "for" me, but for the last couple of days they have been addressed to Brigit, specifically. I've realised that, of course, although I benefit enormously from having them to focus my mind on her and what she is, has been, and means to me, more than anything, these writings are hers. The sense they immediately return to me, from the decade of moments when I sat and wrote them, is of great love for, and strong connection to the saint and goddess who embraced me long ago.

This is a good thing. Something to cherish, and not to feel embarrassed by. I wrote us a book -- Brigit, and me, and you, if you can benefit from this companionship, these stories of Brigit, these words of petition and praise. It feels wonderful to finally hold it, and use it as it was meant to be used. 

The poem I read today was "Well Offering," and that reading was part of what prompted me to write this post. You can read it on my Brigit poetry blog, Stone on the Belly.

Image: The poem "Well Offering" in the advance copy of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Watch Together on Boxing Day: "Brigit as a Constant Companion"


Watch Party: 26 December 2020 NOON Pacific Time (UTC +8) 
Please note that depending on where you are, this date and time will be quite different. Eg it is 7 PM on the 27th in Melbourne.

(More details at the bottom of this post)
After the stress of the last year and in the wake of a public holiday, I want to invite you to spend time quieting your mind and body and joining me in contemplation of Brigit. I will be there the whole time and around afterward for a while if anyone wants to comment or ask any questions. Though you may be feeling too inward for that then. You are welcome to talk to me later if you like.
"Brigit as a Constant Companion, a Contemplation" employs images, words, and silence. You may wish to bring something small—a photo or object—that reminds you of yourself in a positive way and something else that reminds you of Brigit. If it would help you create a better environment for contemplation, you may want to light a dedicated candle and prepare a dish of water, perhaps with healing herbs floating in it. Have ready a comfortable place to sit, a snuggly blanket to pull around you if you get cool, and a flask of water in case you get thirsty.
WHAT: "Brigit as a Constant Companion, a Contemplation" Watch Together (not really a party 🙂 )
LENGTH: This video is approximately an hour and twenty minutes
WHEN: 26 December 2020 NOON Pacific Time 
WHERE: On the day, please follow the link at the top of this page to see the video. If you aren't there at noon, fear not. You can join us at any time. There is an introduction, an opening meditation, a few moments of me talking without the mike on (oops!), and then a restart. ❤
WHAT TO BRING: Water, a warm blanket if you are somewhere cool, and, if you like, an object to remind you of yourself, and another to remind you of Brigit.

REMEMBER: This is a chance to Watch Together. The video is already available at the same link as above. Feel free to enjoy the practice any time, maybe even gather your own group to Watch Together (have a Watch Party). 
"Brigit as a Constant Companion" was my offering for Land, Sea, Sky Travel's 2020 event, Brigid: A Friend For Our Times

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Book Review: Pagan Portals – The Dagda: Meeting the Good God of Ireland by Morgan Daimler


Pagan Portals – The Dagda: Meeting the Good God of Ireland
Morgan Daimler (2018)

 It’s strange to feel so excited to read a book that has actually been waiting in my bedside cabinet for nearly two years. But that’s how it is. And now that I have now finally read The Dagda, I can’t stop raving about it. It is a jewel on my bookshelf.

 Pagan Portals – The Dagda is far from the first book I’ve read by Morgan Daimler, nor will it be the last. They have become one of my favourite authors for a few simple reasons: their research is meticulous, they draw together the important myths, gleaned from early and modern texts – they even taught themself how to read old Irish because they wanted more than the translations they had on hand were offering. Daimler has a wonderful way of looking at things from a new angle, and this book continues in that tradition.

 I was looking forward to this book in particular because I was drawn to The Dagda, personally. He drew me initially by his own personality and his actions in the tales, particularly of his building single-handed a fort for Bres, and carving out twelve plains in a one day. But more important was his being father to the sisters Brigit. Because Brigit is so important to me, I wanted to cultivate an acquaintance, at least, with someone who helped shape these sisters as they grew.1

 The Pagan Portals series is devoted to short books up to around a hundred pages long that are meant to introduce the key elements of a deity or topic. In this case the book is nearly eighty pages, and they have divided the material up well. In chapter one, “Who is The Dagda?” they begin by giving his names and the epithets that describe him, and address how a sense of his nature can be drawn from them. This necessarily takes us into the myths themselves, so although they don’t tell them exhaustively, they reveal enough that we can understand why he might be called Eochaid Ollathair, and that “The Dagda” means “The Good God.” But what does that mean? Does it mean he’s a nice guy? Well, no. It means he is good at all things. So just the definition of this one name, and he has many, tells us something important about him. This initial chapter grounds us not only in his names, but in how he’s been described physically in the tales, and gives a glimpse of his relationships with others. (This is a complicated kettle of fish as he has many lovers, many children, and his children, like himself, have run into real difficulties because of some of those lovers).

 One thing that Morgan always does which I greatly appreciate, is they provide useful end notes to each chapter, and provide a good bibliography. I can see where they’re getting their information from; I don’t have to just trust them. I can then decide whether I agree with their take on things, and that is important to me, especially in something so essential as the nature of the deities.

 The second chapter is “The Dagda in Mythology.” Here they explore where The Dagda figures most prominently in the different texts. As they work through these, his personality and what he may represent to the devotee become more and more clearly defined, leading to an overall sense of what we know of him. This chapter also has an interesting reassessment of the Samhain sex tryst between The Dagda and The Morrigan.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Brigit as a Constant Companion - Video Available


I have just uploaded the full video of a guided contemplation I led in September as a belated part of Land, Sea, Sky Travel's Brigid: A Friend for Our Times conference. It took three attempts and several months but we finally managed it, and with one wee glitch it went off fine this time. (I left my mic off for a while, but luckily it was in the transition into the contemplation proper, so no harm done. 

Unfortunately, Blogger wouldn't accept it as it was too long, but I was able to upload it on my Facebook Page, Brigit's Portal. Here is the direct link to Brigit as a Constant Companion. It is an immersion, nearly eighty minutes long, so set some time aside to really allow yourself to move into that quiet, contemplative space.

Blessings of Brigit on you.


Image: "Moštanica Monastery, chapel for lighting candles. Municipality of Kozarska Dubica, Republika Srpska" by Petar Milošević. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Accidental Cover Reveal - A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars

I inadvertently revealed the cover of my upcoming book on Facebook a few days ago, so I may as well include you blogsters in the premature revelation. (I had planned to leave it until pre-ordering was secure. At the moment you can sometimes pre-order and sometimes not.)


Wednesday, November 04, 2020

New Header After Sixteen Years!

I have been learning Canva recently, and decided to take on designing a new header. I was happy enough with the old one, except that there was no way to format the title in the way I wanted it. It was always glued annoyingly close to the edge of the image. Well, here is a brand new one, which employed a lot of patience as I tried to find the right photo, and as I fiddled with colour until I was satisfied. The image is one of mine, of my shift candle in front of a Saint Brigit holy card. It's a pretty simple design, but the more complicated one I made first just felt a touch uncomfortable with the busy blog wallpaper.

So, voila! I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Testing, Testing (Mael Brigde's First Meme)


I'm trying to figure out how to make memes and share them, particularly on Instagram, which I've just joined and do NOT understand. So I used Canva to make this meme on the laptop, emailed it to my iPad, and can't find it there, although I downloaded it. Oh! What if I opened Canva on the iPad?

One moment please.

Hmm. Well, I found all of them--in Files (which is the secret name for Downloads), but I can't get them into Pictures, which means Instagram can't see them. : (

Well, you didn't need to know all this, though if you have any tips, clearly I could use them. Meanwhile, here it is, one of my shortest poems:

Oh! And if you would like to follow me on Instagram, you'll find me here:

Monday, October 19, 2020

"Brigid's Land" Fundraising Song for Tearmainn Women's Refuge


This is Col Patterson's latest single, Brigid's Land, it's a really beautiful and uplifting song.
The song had been released as a charity single for Teach Tearmainn Women's Refuge in Kildare town, a hugely important facility, and who are really struggling for funds at the moment.
Col approached Claire Patterson to create a video for the song.
The single is getting great support, and is currently riding at no 6 in the RTE 1 playlist charts... ahead of Bruce Springsteen no less, which is fantastic news!
The donations page for the single is open until October 23rd, and we're really hoping to attract as much support as we can. We're currently just a little over €1,500, and would love to see this rise.
Naturally we realise it's a tough time financially for a lot of people, but even to get the message of the song out there as far as possible helps too.
We'd really appreciate you sharing the song, video, and donations page with your communities if you feel comfortable doing so. I will follow up again on Facebook, and connect you with the posts there too.
The song and video are available here:
And the fundraising page is available here.

Copied from the Brigid's Way Facebook page.
Image: "Brigid's Land" video image.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Status of *Rites of Brigid Goddess and Saint* by Seán Ó Duinn


I recommended this book the other day, as many of us do, when someone asked for a good book about Brigit. The woman I was speaking with came back to say the only copies she could find were prohibitively  expensive. I hadn’t realised it had gone out of print. In my opinion it is one of the two read-first books on Brigit, with  Morgan Daimler's Pagan Portals - Brigid. I wrote to the publisher and received this disappointing reply:

The book is one of the titles that the old Columba Press printed before the company went into liquidation in 2016. We are a different company, Columba Books and our managing director, Garry O'Sullivan is in charge of all reprints. As there hasn't been much interest in this book since it went out of print, unfortunately, I do not believe that there are any plans to reprint this title or to format it as an ebook.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Padraigín Ní Uallacháin Sings " BEANNÚ" - Blessing

Thanks so much to Sharon for sharing this beautiful song with her fellow Daughters of the Flame, with the words:

I hope this enchants you as much as it does me! 

It certainly does, Sharon. My heart just lifts to hear Padraigín Ní Uallacháin sing these joyous words.

She writes:

BEANNÚ is a new song with Steve Cooney, Dónal O'Connor & Macdara Ó. Graham. Free to share. Translation below.
'Beannú' is the act of blessing or salutation, and the song is a form of appeasement or incantation to nineteen, mainly forgotten, deities and mythological goddesses of pre Christian Ireland. In Ireland rivers, mountains, waves, streams, wells, and sacred sites, are named after them, and indeed Ireland is named from Ériú, and her sisters Fódhla and Banba were synonymous with Éire; festivals and rituals, wars and seasonal feasts were once celebrated in their name and great offerings were made in their honour. Some of them were later christianised, such as Brigid, the Great Mother goddess of them all.
Time to remember and call them in again. That I should invoke 19 of these female deities during the 2020 pandemic of Covid19, is purely coincidental 🙂
May the bright moon and sun bless us,
May east bless us and west bless us,
May north and south bless us,
May Great Brigid at the heart centre of life bless us;
May Eriú bless us,
May Fódhla bless us,
May Banba bless us,
May Bóann bless us,
May Méadhbh bless us,
May Morrigú bless,
May Great Brigid at the heart centre of life bless us;
May Tailtiú bless us,
May Téa bless us,
May Carman bless us,
May Áine bless us,
May Aoibheall bless us,
May Clíodhna bless us,
May Great Brigid at the heart centre of life bless us;
May Mór bless us,
May Macha bless us,
May Bodhbh bless us,
May Anú bless us,
May Eibhliú bless us,
May Eithne bless us,
May Great Brigid at the heart centre of life bless us;
May the bright moon and sun bless us,
May east bless us and west bless us,
May north and south bless us,
May great Brigid at the heart centre of life bless us,

You can visit Padraigín's website to purchase a download of the mp3, the lyrics in Irish, and the lyrics in English, for one pound:

Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin - Irish Song and Music – Official website

Friday, August 28, 2020

MotherHouse of the Goddess Brigid Resources

Lady of the Hearth Fire, 
Lady of the Forge Fire, 
Lady of Wisdom and Inspiration, 
Fiery Arrow of Knowledge, 
be with us.  

                                          'Brigit’s Litany' by Barbara Flaherty
                                                            Brigit: Sun of Womanhood

MotherHouse of the Goddess has assembled a portal to link folk to their various Brigit resources. The portal itself is a resource, with images and writings, as well as links to classes (including mine), recipes, and much more.

Click here to visit the page.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What? Not Another One of Those!

I have a nascent Page on Facebook where I intend to bring together the various streams of my Brigidine activities, but as I'm in the thick of other things as well, it's developing slowly. Of the posts I have, this little altar shows up several times--in different capacities, of course. So when I was moved to put yet another image of it up, I had a little inward laugh, thinking of the groans of people who've seen all of the others already.

What? Another picture of my main Brigit altar? Where's the variety? Well, that's kind of the point. Being here again, sitting with her.

I almost skipped my devotions today. I’m up late after a poor sleep, and I have work to do. I've spent time on the necessities of the day, so I should get straight to work—right?

So I always think. But I was reminded again that this IS my practice: finding time for self-care, time with Brigit, time with silence and sound and awareness beyond "getting things done." Then on top of it all I discover that the dish the candle sits in has waxy spills. I think, "This needs to be cleaned. She needs something new there." And another fifteen minutes are spent on that.

So, yes. I’m getting started on what I don’t discount as "work" rather—very—late today. But I am coming to it fed not only by what is given and received in the doing, but by the fact that I made it my priority when I was kidding myself that it was less important. It is as important to me as working on my book, another offering to Brigit. It is even more important than keeping up with my Irish lessons, much as I love doing that work and much as I dislike falling behind. So I wanted to share this quiet moment of contentment with you before I go do what I can to get my Brigit devotional out into the world.

Sweet blessings.


My Facebook Page, Brigit's Portal, can be found at this link.

Image: Brigit altar, photo by Mael Brigde.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Saint Bridget's Holy Well Restored

Michael Fortune writes of the restoration during lockdown of St. Bridget’s Holy Well in Artramon, Crossabeg, Co. Wexford. (Click here for the full post.)

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Meditation tomorrow: Brigit as a Constant Companion

Tomorrow I will be leading a meditation on Brigit to which you and anyone you care to invite are welcome. It is free, and will be about an hour long, or a bit less.
This is an opportunity for us to quiet ourselves and spend a while in contemplation. In these difficult days, quiet connection with ourselves and deity can be elusive. My hope is to open a small window onto that possibility with you.
You may wish to bring something to represent yourself, and something to represent Brigit, and have them where you can easily see them, perhaps on a special altar. These need not be elaborate. Two leaves, two stones--anything that you can engage with symbolically.
Prepare a space where you can be comfortable and focussed.
I look forward to being there with you.
Blessings of Brigit on us all.
This is a Facebook event, which I believe means an account is needed. Click here for more information and to register.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Brigit's Portal

     I so timidly put together on Facebook something I have been thinking of for a long time that I hesitated to tell you about it. I kept thinking I needed to have everything ready, have lots of stuff up there—but that's not really how life works, is it? We aren’t born fully capable of whatever we might aspire to or need to accomplish in life. So let me continue the process I began last week, where I told maybe five or so people at a time, gradually gathering my nerve and inviting more at one time.

Allow me to introduce Brigit's Portal: Classes, Gatherings, Poetry, Tools.

I have so many different Brigit-related things I do. I want to gather them together so that they are more available to people. That means more building on my part to get Brigit’s Portal fully functional, but it is open, and you are welcome to come in and have an initial look around.

Brigit's blessings on us all in these turbulent times, so filled with pain, so full of the promise of change.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Brigit Meditation, Daily Devotional with Mael Brigde

I went to perform my daily devotional and meditation today when it struck me that this might be a useful thing to share--that some folk may find it helpful or enjoyable to do a Brigit devotional along with someone else, so I made a very humble video of it. I ended up uploading it on Facebook on Brigit's Portal. If this embed doesn't work, you can find it at this link.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Treasure Chest

I have a humble floor altar where I do my formal Brigit connecting—lighting my shift candle, making prayer requests, making offerings. Keeping it simple is important to me; I’ll leave it at that for now.

This morning I was vacuuming and dusting and was paying some attention to the altar, when I realised I didn’t remember what I kept in that wooden, book-shaped box I use as the base for the bell, water, and candle. So I opened it.


I had emptied out the Buddhist texts when I put it there, and forgotten it.

It seemed a good idea to put something in it now, sitting at the Brídeóg's feet and surrounded by the tools of honouring her. But what?

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Lá na brídeoige

Here's a name for St. Brigit's Day that I hadn't heard before: Lá na brídeoige, from a word I do know, brídeog, or Biddy. This effigy of the saint was traditionally, and in some places still is, carried on the eve of her feast from house to house to ensure her blessing for the year.

These two photographs are taken from the Doolin 2 Arran Ferries page on Saint Brigit, showing a brídeog on Inis Oirr in the Aran Islands, before and after receiving her communion dress and veil.

Images: 'Brídeog' from St. Brigid at the Cliffs of Moher, DOOLIN2ARAN FERRIES.
Source : Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla: brídeog.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Brigid: A Friend For Our Times Conference

It suddenly occurred to me I should let you know that Land, Sea, Sky Travel is hosting a one-day online conference on 16 May 2020.

I will be talking about Brigit as a constant companion, and leading a contemplative session on that theme. I don't yet know who the other presenters are, but I have always enjoyed LSST's conferences, and I expect to do so again this time.

Perhaps I will see you there.

Also presenting:

Sage from Clann Bhride
Gwilym Morus-Baird from Celtic Source
Echo Summer-The Social Justice Druid
Amy Panetta from The Celtic Feminine Podcast
Paulie Rainbow from Denver Celtic Women's Circle
A.B from Kildare, who is going to come out and talk about their hometown

From their page:

A Year with the Witch
Brigid A Friend For Our Times
An Online Polytheist Conference

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

from "A Summer's Day" by Mary Oliver

Land, Sea, Sky Travel is proud to host our third year of curated online conferences. Over the course of the year, we will be hosting eight conferences. Each conference will hold a specific theme relevant to Irish, Welsh, Gallic, and Devotional Polytheists and Magic Workers.

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 other polytheists. Each conference will feature at least five presenters, providing a mix of well known faces and fresh voices in polytheism today.

The conference may be accessed from any phone, tablet, or computer.

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 with your registration ticket. Participants will also receive a digital welcome packet with exciting content from each of our presenters, along with other offerings from polytheist groups, small businesses and community members. During the conference, we will be giving away items such e-books, books, tickets to a future conference in this series, and other exciting surprises.

Full and partial scholarships will be offered for the conference, along with discounts for group viewing parties. Registration will be offered for free to individuals under the age of twenty-one or over the age of seventy-one and all women of color...

Please follow this link to find out more.

Blessings of Brigit on you all.

Friday, March 20, 2020

"A Novena with Brighid to Connect, Root, and Remember" with Tonja Reichley

I have lifted this post from the website of Tonja Reichley, Herbalist (Bsc, MBA), Ritualist and Author. I don't know her or her work, but I stumbled across this Novena, which begins tonight, and thought some of you might like to practice with her.

Image: "Dandelions" by Jean-François Millet Public Domain

A Novena with Brighid to Connect, Root, and Remember

March 20- 28, 2020 SIGN UP ON HER PAGE

In this unprecedented time of isolation and physical/ social distancing, join me for a time of connection, to tap into a higher consciousness outside of dominant culture, to remember an ancestral flow of levity as we move into the unknown.

Join me for a novena, with Brighid, Irish goddess, saint, herbalist, as our guide.  We will invoke her, pray with her, receive the healing power of laughter, connection and ritual.  We will awaken with the energies of the Spring Equinox, as the dandelion passionately bursts flower to sun and the birch unfurls tender green shoots.   We will come back to the Earth, remembering her rhythms, rooting into her wisdom and surrendering to the path, again and again, with grace and hope. 

You will receive a daily email from March 20-27, including simple and beautiful ways to bring the sacred into each of your days.  We will work with an invocation for the nine days and I will offer herbcraft, tree connection, potion making, writing prompts and other simple rituals based in Irish spiritual tradition to root into the Earth and find our center.

The novena will include audio recordings/ journeys, stories about Brighid and short videos.  I hope to include a live online call or two (which will be recorded if you are unable to make it).  

I am offering this at no cost to you, as many of us are facing income challenges and I want

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Letter from Erynn: Brain Surgery & The Pandemic

This letter came today from my dear friend and one of the original Daughters of the Flame, Erynn. Erynn, who lives in Italy but is originally from the USA, has been waiting months for surgery on a benign tumour on her brain. She has just had it, in the midst of the pandemic Red Zone--an area of Italy hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus. She has written the Daughters to talk of her surgery but, still more, about the pandemic. Her words are loving and wise, and I am grateful for them.

greetings to all of my sisters in brigid and thank you so much for your prayers and support in this difficult time. 

my surgery was a huge success and i was released yesterday from the hospital here in padova, italy. i am staying with a friend here near the hospital until my followup on the 25th where i will have some evaluation exams and talk with the doc again, have some stitches removed, and then be allowed to go back to my apartment in trieste. i will need a little help there, but i have many local friends and help will be available.

i had a large acoustic neuroma removed from the left side of my brain, in the midst of a pandemic, at an overwhelmed hospital. people all over are dying by the hundreds (some are recovering but too many are not), and it has entirely consumed the national health system. the surgery had been cancelled the previous week because they did not have an icu unit for me. i didn’t know until about half an hour before the surgery happened that it would because they had to be certain that there would be a ventilator/icu unit for me. they had me arrive the night before, woke me up the next day and said “it’s happening” (in italian because it’s italy).

surgery happened about 8:30 am and ended about 10pm. i spent the night in icu, was evaluated in the morning where i was found aware and competent (i could speak fairly clearly in both english and italian despite partial facial paralysis) and released to the ward to free up the icu bed for the next patient.

i cannot say enough wonderful things about the doctors, nurses, and every single individual of the support staff, right down to the lady who sterilised the rooms. everyone was kind, courteous, and helpful to me while doing minimum 12-hour shifts (more often 16+). they were on the edge of exhaustion but they always had a kind word for me and i have literally never received better medical treatment in my life. because it’s italy and i’ve paid a percentage of my pensions into the national health system, every bit of this treatment was free. it cost me literally nothing. every one of you deserves the same security for your own health.

i have a post-apocalyptic hairdo and a few small scars around my left ear. i am deaf in my left ear because there is no acoustic nerve anymore. they took some fatty tissue from my abdomen, so i have a larger wound there with stitches as well. as a "nerves in recovery" thing, the tinnitus in my right ear is a bit reduced now, but i am hearing a repetitive loop of a snippet of Handel’s water music as background to everything. better than doomcore i suppose ;)

with this thankful and hopeful message, i want to speak to you about the pandemic, and i am literally begging you to read this because i love you. i am begging you to read it because so many people outside of the places with astronomical death tolls are not taking this seriously. it is frightening but it is necessary information. get a nice cup of calming herbal tea and read. do it for me because i love you.

i know the situation in the US in particular is so bad due to  a system that victimises people who cannot refuse to work because there is no way for them to avoid starving or being evicted if they don’t. there is no social support in the US for anyone but the most wealthy. it is a horrifying and unjust society and i honestly feel safer and happier here in italy even in the midst of this plague, where people have at least some hope of social care from the government.

that said, this:

you deserve to live through this.