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. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

"Brigid and the Cailleach" by Caitlin Brehm and Dr. Karen Ward

Caitlin Brehm of Roots of Lore podcast has done a wonderful job of not simply interviewing Moon Mná's Karen Ward (celebrant of Women's Celtic Circles in Ireland). She weaves poetry, background info, and her own thoughts beautifully into Karen's words, painting with her subject these evocative pictures of the Cailleach and Brigid