Sunday, August 29, 2021

Many Voices - Book Launch & Celebration of Brigit


What a beautiful event that was. I am very happy that I took a leaf from Geraldine Moorkens Byrne's book and turned my launch into a community celebration. I briefly introduced the launch, then read four short poems before sitting back to watch and listen as friends from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, and the United States read and sang from their hearts to and about Brigit. It was very moving. A joyful and precious time.

The launch was held on Zoom (with ticketing help from the wonderful Ticket Tailor) and livestreamed to Facebook Live. I am happy to say that we can watch it (or rewatch it!) any time on Facebook at Brigit's Portal (my Page) or on YouTube.

Image: Mael Brigde, a white woman in a red dress, wearing black earphones, smiles as she speaks to her computer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Rachel Patterson's Little Video

To my surprise and delight, I discovered today that the wonderful Rachel Patterson, Kitchen Witch and fellow Moon Books author, made a teensy video about my book, A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars. You can find it here.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Celebrate Brigit with Mael Brigde & Friends


This is my last call to those who may want to spend some time with myself and friends celebrating Brigit (and of course launching my book, A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars).

Inspired by Geraldine Byrne's book launch*, I wanted to make mine a community celebration centered on Brigit and on our poetic connections to her, not just about me or my (beloved!) book.

You are welcome to join us on 28 August from 1:00-2:30 PM Pacific Time (starts 9:00 PM Irish Time) for poetry, prayer, & song. To receive a Zoom link on the day, you will need to register (see link below), or you can watch on Facebook Live on my Page, Brigit's Portal.

REGISTER to attend via Zoom.
BRIGIT'S PORTAL to watch on Facebook (live or later).

I am very much looking forward to seeing how our joint celebration unfolds.

Brigit's blessings. 💖

Note: The Body Politic by Geraldine Moorkens Byrne.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Brigid Jigsaw Puzzle

 Well! This came as a surprise, but why not?

docrabbits >  Myth and Fantasy art > Mist, Galaxis Goddess Brigid --

an online puzzle on Jigsaw Planet. docrabbits first posted it on Imbolc, 2020.

Image: Screenshot of puzzle.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

The Witch Next Door Podcast Interviews Mael Brigde


I had a great time talking with Emily Morrison of Wise Woman Witchery and The Witch Next Door podcast.

We laughed a lot — I worry I may have joked around too much — but also tackled serious topics, such as the origins of Saint Brigit, and differences and similarities between the goddess(es) and saint. I make a brave attempt to discuss the three goddesses Brig who are found in connection to the poet and historian Senchae, as well as the Brig who possesses the kings of the rams, oxen, and boars. Then we veered toward well- and flame-tending, my relationship with Brigit, the Daughters of the Flame, and briefly, my book, A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars.

I made a most regrettable mistake! I said no one else had been in Daughters of the Flame since the start but Brigit and me. Not true. Dear Erynn Rowan Laurie has, as well, and she has been a huge support to me in many ways. Like saying this flame-tending thing really did have value. (Did I ever need to hear that, a time or two.)

Honestly, though, I was not well when this interview took place and it does show. Yet at the same time, I felt at ease with the lovely woman I was talking with, making it a great pleasure to participate.

To listen to our conversation, click here. Enjoy!

Image: Mashup of Mael Brigde promo shot and book cover with Emily's podcast image.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Case of the Forgotten Book Launch

My humble apologies to anyone who follows this blog but not my other social media. In the flurry of things a-doing toward my book launch, I posted everywhere else an invitation to all to join me there, but not on Brigit's Sparkling Flame! So, ten days late but none the worse for wear, here it is:

I am very happy to invite you (yes, all of you!) to my formal launch of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars, from Moon Books.

Let's celebrate Brigit together. I will be joined by several friends who will sing or read their writings to her. We are part of Brigit's vast community, and I am overjoyed to share this devotion with you.

Mael Brigde & Guests: Prayer, Poetry, & Song:

**28 August 2021**

**1 - 2:30 PM Pacific Time//9 PM Irish Standard Time**

On Zoom and Facebook Live (links below)

 If you want to attend via Zoom, you will need to register so that I can send you out a secure link to the meeting. If you would rather watch it live on Facebook, it will appear on my Page, Brigit's Portal. The recording will remain there afterward, so you can watch whenever you like.


Brigit's Portal


! The Pen Moved !

I wrote a poem today.

I was minding my business in my little yard, lifting my face to the sun on this gloriously cool and overcast day -- yes, to the sun. The clouds parted for an hour, and as I stood pondering this day and whether I could call it late summer or early fall I suddenly paid heed to her. She was looking in above the magnolia and between two maples. With her awful harshness eased, contrasted with the gentle grey, she suddenly seemed precious again, and I offered her the tilting back of my head, letting her rays touch my face and warm me. In that unguarded moment she penetrated all of my distraction, my excitement and my anxiety, my planning and my fatigue, burned all of that away and simply held me, like the two warm hands of my mother cradling my face.

And a poem began to lift in me. A sensation as I responded to her touch, a phrase, and then that once discarded eagerness, that determination to search out a notebook -- it couldn't be scrap paper, it had to be a notebook, as this prodigal moment had to be honoured as it deserved. The first poem I felt compelled like this to write since I forced myself to stop so I wouldn't drive my editor around the bend.

I wasn't going to type the poem into this post. It is a first draft, likely to change a lot over time, though maybe not. I like to let these things simmer, steep a long, long while, till we are done. Ready to emerge.

But I think I will share it, anyway. Some naked rawness for this splendid day. 

Blessings, friends.

August Sun


I can’t look at her face

it blinds

burns the core of eyes

reveals nothing


but her regard sets me ablaze

kindles   hope


stirs silted waters

churns up what has long settled

now seen once more


I worship her – I do

the sun among such distant stars

the one whose gaze

can kill or heal

feed or foster such drought

such fire as we have never seen


and then

come the clouds

and she is hidden once again






ImagePhoto by Melissa Askew on Unsplash. I admit it isn't the dry late summer conditions of today in my town, but this girl is heedless of anything but the sun right now, as, for a moment, was I.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Book Giveaway! A Brigit of Ireland Devotional by Mael Brigde



WIN an Advance Reading Copy of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars by Mael Brigde.

The winning name will be DRAWN on 27 August 2021.

To Enter:

*SIGN UP for my (occasional) newsletter here. (Look for "Contact.")

*SHARE this Giveaway with a friend.

*COMMENT below this post telling how you first heard of Brigit, and from whom.

-OR on Facebook

*LIKE my Facebook page, Brigit's Portal - Classes, Gatherings, Poetry, Tools

*SHARE the competition post to your Facebook homepage (and anywhere else you like!)

*COMMENT below the competition post on Brigit's Portal telling how you first heard of Brigit, and from whom.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Mael Brigde Interview with Round the Cauldron

 When I first contemplated this whole interview idea -- talking off the cuff?! -- I was a little nervous. Well, fairly nervous. Well, freaked.

But it is such fun and so interesting to get to speak with other people about Brigit, people who really want to know something about her or who already know her and have their own ideas and experiences to share. It really gets the old mental juices flowing.

This is my most recent experience, with Megan Black of Round the Cauldron. Megan began her YouTube channel as a Wiccan, and has slowly become a committed Irish Pagan with a special devotion to Brigit. I really enjoyed talking with her.

Here is our conversation.

Image: From Round the Cauldron.

"What is this UPG thing I keep hearing about?" - CR FAQ


Yesterday I was reviewing an interview I did with Megan Black of Round the Cauldron, and I realised I used the term "UPG" no less than three times without defining it. It has become quite a common term, but not exactly ubiquitous, and is a very important idea. So I have reprinted, with permission, the definition from The CR FAQ — An Introduction to Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, the book that gave me my first clear understanding of the term -- a book, by the way, which is posted entirely online, though paper copies are available.

What is this UPG thing I keep hearing about?

UPG = Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis. This is a label used to identify information gained through meditation, intense flashes of intuition, visions, and other spiritual experiences. Often this information may not be verifiable through primary or academic sources but seems to be usable in personal ways. CRs consider it highly important to label UPG which cannot be substantiated by lore or research as such, as this helps prevent misunderstandings about verifiable sources and preserves intellectual honesty. “UPG” and its variants are used specifically to indicate beliefs arrived at via mystical means, not ideas or intellectual conclusions reached from academic research.

Variant phrasings of UPG are Unverified or Undocumented Personal Gnosis.

Though it is unclear exactly who first coined the term UPG, consensus holds that the term and its variants originated in the Ásatrú communities some time in the 1990’s. These terms have been gratefully adopted by many Reconstructionist traditions and further refined and applied in our communities.

Related terms:

SPG (Shared Personal Gnosis) — indicating a mystical vision and belief shared by a number of people; preferably, one arrived at independently of one another and arising from people who are otherwise unconnected. For instance, a vision experienced collectively by the members of a small household may have more validity to it than a vision by a sole individual but, due to the possibility of group hallucination, it is debatable whether this small-group gnosis truly qualifies as SPG. A vision experienced by geographically separated people who have never met one another is more in tune with what we consider SPG.

CG (Confirmed Gnosis) — indicating that substantiating evidence for an incidence of UPG or SPG has later been found in the lore. This is also sometimes referred to as CPG (Confirmed Personal Gnosis). These instances are highly valued, and have served to bolster individual and community faith in the Deities, spirits or ancestors from whom the information was received. Instances of CG are also very important in that over time they help us learn to distinguish true imbas from imagination. (Imbas is the Old Irish word for “inspiration.” In Modern Irish it is spelled iomas. )

UPG is never an end in and of itself; rather, it is the beginning of a journey, the beginning of the process of testing the information through both spiritual practice and academic research. UPG is only useful when the community also values humility and fact-checking, and acknowledges that even the most experienced mystic can at times become deluded or make mistakes. At some point or another we have all had to discard some cool dream or “vision” if it simply does not line up with the lore, or if it threatened to take us in a direction that was counter to our values. Similarly, though we have some people who have shown skill in mediating for the Deities and spirits, and for bringing back information from the otherworlds, we have no desire to take the dangerous step of setting up anyone as an infallible guru or voice of the Divine.

When considering whether someone’s UPG or SPG may be worthy of inclusion in your spiritual practice, these “Laws of UPG” may serve as a useful guide:

No UPG should contradict known facts about the associated culture, and no practices based only on UPG should stand as more than modern inventions.

If a belief or practice based on UPG does not contradict known facts, but cannot be verified within the same body of knowledge, it remains a modern invention.

If an instance of UPG fits rule 2 and also fills a gap in known tradition, it is probably worth pursuing further, through experimentation and research, to see if it can become SPG or CG.

If an instance of UPG that meets the second law is arrived at by people who have had no real contact with each other, it remains modern but is Shared (SPG). This means the group just may be getting somewhere interesting.

If an instance of UPG becomes SPG, and said SPG is then incorporated into the practices of those outside of the groups who first experienced it, it becomes a modern tradition.

There is no way for UPG to become ancient lore unless it becomes generally accepted and then is kept mostly intact for at least 1,000 years.


Image: CR - FAQ cover. Copyright ©2006 NicDhàna, Laurie, Vermeers and ní Dhoireann.

Quote used by permission.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mael Brigde Interview - Ev0ke: Witchcraft + paganism + lifestyle


Regular visitors may be wondering what more I can possibly have to say about Brigit, but I am happy to say that I don't seem to have run out yet. Rebecca Buchanan interviewed me for Ev0ke magazine's August issue, and you can find the interview here.

From their website:

"ev0ke is dedicated to supporting and promoting witchcraft and Paganism. We want to see them represented more, both in the real world and in fiction, so we publish essays, short stories, poetry, lifestyle features, pop culture commentary, interviews, and reviews. All of our articles and stories are selected to help us deepen our faiths and practices, and we are always open to hearing about ways we can improve the publication."

They have been publishing for two years this month, so feel free to dip into their archives, or send a submission -- or both!

Image: Ev0ke cover, August 2021

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Alan Wells (Máel Loga): Brighid Art

ALAN WELLS - Brighid

I came across this beautiful icon of Brigit by Alan Wells (Máel Loga) when searching for something entirely other. How could I not ask to share them with you?

ALAN WELLS - Brighid: Ogam Closeup

Further searching found me this one:

ALAN WELLS - collab on Society6 - Superheroes SF - Brighid: protectress of the Irish community

 Wonderful work, Alan. Thank you.

All Images by Alan Wells.