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