Friday, July 29, 2022

Little Banded Brigit

 


I happened to ask Fearghal Duffy, who posted this image of these Banded Demoiselles (or Banded Agrion Damselflies) on Twitter, what their name was as Gaeilge — in Irish. To my delight, he replied that they are called Brídeog Bhandach — "Banded one, or Banded Little Brigit, or Banded Bridgeen" — in Irish. No idea what the connection to her might be, but what a delightful coincidence, given my great affection for her, not to mention my great affection for insects. Photographed at Ballybay Wetlands, Monaghan. Their Latin name, for those who are interested, is Calopteryx splendens, and they are found through much of Europe.





Image: by Fearghal Duffy, @FearghalRua on Twitter.

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Link to the Video: Brigit - "Looking Deeper, Coming Nearer" with Mael Brigde


It's happened! I worked so hard to make my presentation for MoonCon 22* of use to devotees of Brigit. (Of course, the principles would work with other deities, as well.) I'm happy it went well and soon I shall collapse in the tub with a good book.

The talk looks at reading and contemplating the older Brigit materials and responding to them creatively (writing, dance, etc.) in order to bring them into ourselves and allow both a greater understanding of Brigit and greater closeness. I would love to hear how it goes for you if you try it.

Enjoy!



*MoonCon 22 is a two-day conference put on by Moon Books which features talks by twenty of their authors. It was free and all of the videos will be making their way online at Moon Books' Facebook page and their YouTube channel.

Image: Screenshot from talk. 


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Free Workshop: Brigit - Looking Deeper, Coming Nearer with Mael Brigde

 


Coming soon!

In this free workshop we’ll look at using the older Brigit lore and texts, with a creative integration of what we learn, in order to draw closer to her. I’ll offer examples from my own work. Then it’s time for you to dive in. 📚💧🙏🏼🔥🧶

MoonCon 22 will be offered on Facebook Live and will remain up as individual videos for each session. You can sign up to get reminders by going to this link. Or simply follow that link on the day. The video will come up live and you can comment below. Later, when the video is posted permanently, I will get the link to that particular workshop and leave it here.

Image: An older white woman holding an empty mug. The text reads, "Mael Brigde will be talking about Brigit: Looking deeper, coming nearer. Sun 3rd July at 1900-1945 BST (11-11:45 PST).

"MoonCon22 Sat 2nd - Sun 3rd July 2022
2 days of online talks & Q/A panels with Moon Books authors"

Friday, May 20, 2022

St. Brigid's Anemone - A Lovely Windflower for Your Brigit Garden


 I wrote this up in answer to a question on Facebook. The asker wanted to know if there were any flowers specifically associated with Brigit. I thought other might like to read about this, too.

There is a windflower named St. Brigid's Anemone. It is lovely, though it refuses to come up whenever I plant it. It is the conditions of my garden, I suspect, not the bulbs themselves, that are the problem.

This video tells you how to plant them.

While searching just now I came across a variety I didn't know of. The Anemone St Brigid The Governor. I like to think of this as evoking her Abbess days, when she pretty much governed the place.

I don't know how new the St. Brigid Anemone is, but I suspect it is relatively modern. 




Image: Photo of a bouquet of red, white, blue, and purple open-faced flowers, from Garden Seeds Market. Second photo of bright red open-faced flower, the Anemone St Brigid The Governor, from Longfield Gardens.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Brigid Alliance - they make choice possible

 


In this time of fear and action, when Roe v. Wade faces overturn by the Supreme Court in the United States, the work of The Brigid Alliance of New York is more important than ever.

I recall as a young woman being advised (by a nurse in a general hospital) to go from Canada to the States, as it was easier to get an abortion there. It may soon be, for a short but awful time, the other way around.

In Cogitosus's Vitae Brigitae, "Life of Saint Brigid," the following passage appears:


Of the Pregnant Woman Blessed and Spared the Birth-Pangs

 

1. With a strength of faith most powerful and ineffable, she blessed a woman who, after a vow of virginity, had lapsed through weakness into youthful concupiscence, as a result of which her womb had begun to swell with pregnancy. Inconsequence, what had been conceived in the womb disappeared and she restored her to health and to penitence without childbirth or pain.

This passage is often interpretted to mean that Brigit performed an abortion. It is also interpretted, and I am inclined to this understanding, much as I like the former, to mean what it says: that she removed the "sin" of the woman's sexual act and reversed the consequences of it. No abortion occurs because the foetus now never was.

Either way, it is a wonderful illustration of Saint Brigit's caring and compassion. Whether the young woman has sinned or not, she should not have to suffer a pregnancy and birth that she doesn't want.

The Brigid Alliance cannot possibly take on this moment alone, but here is what they do. There are likely many ways you can support them, if this mission speaks to you as one the Brigit you know would support. Contact them here if you want to know more.

From their site:

 

The Brigid Alliance arranges and funds confidential, personalized travel support to those seeking abortion care in increasingly hostile environments. In partnership with a network of funds and providers, we are closing the gap between the right to an abortion and the ability to access one.



Image: Stylised red-haired woman (head only) from The Brigid Alliance website.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Rowan Lewgalon Art

 There is an artist who loves to paint Brigit. I have only seen a few of her offerings, but I have loved what I’ve seen and I look forward to seeing many more. Here are two examples, and this is her new Instagram profile: @rowan_lewgalon_art




Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Mael Brigde Interview, Oracle of Luna with Bridget Engels

 


After the flurry of activity last year around this time, with interviews and talks and so on ahead of my book's release, I decided I needed a quieter Imbolc this year, and didn’t organise anything beyond sharing my daily devotional with folk and having a gentle ritual and supper with fellow Daughter of the Flame, Seba.

Into this scene enter the lovely Bridget Engels, who invited me for an interview, to be conducted once the dust had settled. We had our conversation on Sunday and two days later it is ready for interested ears. See below for links to where you can find it.

I enjoyed talking with Bridget, although afterwards of course I found myself thinking, "oh! I didn’t explain that very well. I completely forgot to say the other thing. Etc., etc." As when I said I wanted to bring (describing me in the 1980s) not just the flame but a devotion to Brigit back into the world. Well, despite the fact that I live an ocean away from Ireland, I knew even then that the saint still had her fans. I meant the goddess, who I wanted to see become as known to goddess worshippers as Inanna and Aphrodite.

Earlier in the conversation, I talked about whether or not Brigit’s perpetual flame was an ancient pagan practice or a mediaeval Christian one. I completely forgot to say, as I got carried away with I what I was trying to explain, that whatever my opinions or anyone else’s about that question, tending Brigit’s flame remains a meaningful and precious practice which I have no intention of ever giving up.

So! Enough of my dithering and bum coverage. I invite you to listen to the Oracle of Luna with Bridget Engels and Mael Brigde.

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/18K4q6zxaHiWSX28cXKxyT

 

Apple:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-oracle-of-luna-with-bridget-engels-presents/id1537504464?i=1000550275300

 

Amazon Music:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/dfdcd50b-35f7-485d-86c1-7b06979ae749/episodes/73d0d065-0cfd-4371-a8d2-0bc5a4607ef8/the-oracle-of-luna-with-bridget-engels--conversations-with-goddesses-the-oracle-of-luna-with-bridget-engels-presents-mael-brigde---devotee-of-the-goddess-brigit-author-poet-founder-of-the-daughters-of-the-flame

 

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/the-oracle-of-luna-with-bridget-engels-conversations-with-goddesses/the-oracle-of-luna-with-bridget-engels-presents-mael-brigde-devotee-of-the-goddess-brigit-author-poet-founder-of-the-daughters-of-the-flame/PE:8809601


Image: by Bridget Engels.

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Online Pop Up Talk: St. Brigid's Shoe Shrine



 The National Museum of Ireland released an online talk on Facebook yesterday, which focusses on one artifact connected to her, the shoe shrine. From the post:

"Celebrate St. Brigid's Day and learn more about the saint and her Shoe Shrine.

"Watch our new pop-up talk about Ireland’s female saint, St. Brigid, and her Shoe Shrine that is on display at the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology. Discover more about the life of the saint and her miracles, and find out more about the unique Shoe Shrine that is associated with St. Brigid.

"Learn about the traditions and practices associated with #StBrigid

 https://www.museum.ie/.../Religion-and.../St-Brigid-s-Day

"Learn about the elaborate shrines which were made to contain artefacts that were associated with saints and these were often embellished and inscribed over the centuries at the Colmcille: Sacred objects of a Saint - 1500 years of devotion Exhibition- https://www.museum.ie/.../Colmcille-Sacred-objects-of-a... #archaeology #StBrigidsDay

 


Image: St. Brigid's Shoe Shrine from National Museum of Ireland.

Mael Brigde Interview - The Oracle of Luna With Bridget Engels

 


I am so looking forward to this! Bridget Engels will be interviewing me on The Oracle of Luna With Bridget Engels podcast next week, airing on 8 February. I've been listening to her interviews and she talks with some very interesting people. She writes:

"Next podcast episode on 2/6 I chat with the amazing: Mael Brigde

"☘🔥Mael is a devotee of the Celtic Goddess and saint, Brigit, and the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, and the author of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional – Sun Among Stars, a collection of essays, contemplative poetry, and resources for those seeking to deepen their understanding of and connection to Brigit. Her aim in founding Daughters of the Flame was to rekindle the perpetual flame burned by Saint Brigit’s order in Kildare, Ireland until the 1600s. She also publishes a general interest Brigit blog, Brigit’s Sparkling Flame, and a Brigit poetry blog, Stone on the Belly.

Mael has created three online classes for those wishing to learn more about Brigit and grow closer to her. The first, Discovering Brigit, introduces Brigit and many of the ideas associated with her. The second, Stepping into Brigit, guides the seeker into a deepening connection with her. The third, Journey with Brigit, Goddess of Poetry, is a longer, intensive class that explores reading and writing poetry as a sacred act, offering meditations, historical information, and the model of both ancient and modern Irish poets.

"This episode will air on 2/8 on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc."

 

 

 

Image: by Bridget Engels 

 

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Brigit at Glastonbury, According to the Rev. Lionel Smithett Lewis, M. A.


 A dear friend of mine, once the owner of a secondhand bookstore where many a joyful hour was spent, is getting rid of her library as she prepares to move into assisted living. She gave me first crack, and I found this little gem of the Glastonbury Saint Brigit mythos.

The full title is Glastonbury “The Mother of Saints” – Her Saints A.D. 37–1539. It was published at Christmas, 1925, of which 1000 copies were printed. This is from the second edition, Christmas, 1927, of which 2000 copies were printed. The author, Rev. Lionel Smithett Lewis, M. A., was the vicar of Glastonbury.

Below you will find photographic images of the cover and pages pertinent to Saint Brigit, here called Saint Bride. Now, do remember to take every detail of this with a large cellar of salt. Click on the images to see a larger size.







Saturday, January 15, 2022

Brigid - Music and Meditation with Singing the Land

 


Oh, I am looking forward to this.

Singing the Land is Elaine Máire Brigid Ní Chiardha, who lives a stone's throw from the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland. From her event site:


THURSDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 2022 FROM 7:30 PM Irish Time, 11:30-13:00 PST
Online event

An online celebration of Brigid this Imbolc with music and meditation, February 3rd at 7.30pm Irish time. This will be a healing transmission from Brigid through original songs, chants and guided meditation. I am a long time devotee of Brigid - she has been my central guide and spiritual companion from my first moment of spiritual experience over 20 years ago. As a singer and songwriter I write many songs inspired by and dedicated to her. Recently while holding meditation circles, a beautiful Brigid’s Fire meditation came through. I will combine these offerings with some simple Brigid songs and chants that we can all sing together, and perhaps share some stories, to create an evening of inspiration, healing and homecoming. I would love you to join me.
Brigid is revered in Ireland and beyond as a powerful and loving embodiment of the Divine Feminine. For me she is primarily a Mother – Muire na nGael, Mary of the Irish. In ancient Celtic tradition she is a triple Goddess, uniting the 3 phases of the Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone. Because she continued through the Christian era as Saint Brigid, her worship continues strongly today. She has many aspects and qualities – the perpetual flame, the holy well, healing and care, poetic inspiration, the power of manifestation – and more. And she is of course the bringer of spring, the time of Imbolc – im bolg, in the belly – bringing fertility and new life.
Exchange €15, €10 concession. We will gather online via zoom. I invite you to create your own comfy sacred space at home to receive maximum enjoyment and nourishment from the event. To register, send me an email and your payment via paypal to singingtheland@gmx.com and I will send you the zoom link. Please choose 'friends and family' payment option on paypal, or include an extra €1 to cover the payment fee. Bookings close at 3pm the day of the event. I will record the call and you will receive the video link as part of the ticket price. 
I am excited to share that I am working on some studio recordings of Brigid songs, an EP or album dedicated to Brigid and the Divine Feminine. I’m not sure if any of the recordings will be ready for release this Brigid’s Day, but I am inspired still to share these songs and their stories and medicine to celebrate her day and Imbolc this year.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am a sacred musician and singer based in Co. Meath, Ireland. I played for some years on the South of England folk scene, after completing a music degree there. I’ve been playing original sacred music and chant in Meath and nearby for 6 years now, for local concerts, festivals and sacred gatherings. I am also a certified Shamanic Energy Therapist and Naked Voice facilitator and hold meditation and chanting circles.

THURSDAY, 3 FEBRUARY  2022


Thursday, January 06, 2022

What I’m listening to coming up to Imbolc

 

The Story Archaeologists put out a wonderful podcast about Brigit a number of years ago. I’ve listened to it several times and I am listening to it again. Here is the link, Mythical Women 05: The Search for Brigid.


In a later series, the Story Archaeologists looked at our fair goddess again, in Revisiting Mythical Women 05: The Search for Brigid.


Image . Brigid’s Well at Fochard Bríde


Wednesday, January 05, 2022

What I'm reading coming up to Imbolc...

 


There are so many sources for immersing ourselves in Brigit as we come up to her festival, but what is my first choice?

Pagan Portals - Brigid by Morgan Daimler. It is the best source for getting a clear understanding of the goddess. (There are other great sources for the saint.)

 

My second choice is the sadly out of print Rites of Brigid, Goddess and Saint by Seán Ó Duinn OSB.

 

And how did I not know there was an Irish language version of that book, Gnas Na Feile Bride? Perhaps still less available than the English.

 

Nevertheless, I will be dipping in to this one, as well, as the month goes on.

 




New: Imbolc Ritual and Practice by Orlagh Costello

 


Imbolc (Imbolg) Ritual & Practice The Fire Festivals Ritual Series by Orlagh Costello at the Irish Pagan School

From the Irish Pagan School page for this class and ritual: 

"Class Series providing practical rituals for all seasons, as we work through the Fire Festivals Cycle in the Irish Tradition:

"Have you ever wanted to do a ritual to authentically celebrate the Irish Fire Festivals (Samhain, Imbolg, Bealtaine, or Lúnasa)... but weren't sure what to do or where to start? 

"Each session in this series will cover the basic associations and practices for each festival to give you a good grounding with regard to the ancient Imbolc (Imbolg) traditions in Ireland. Then you'll move into the main event - a ritual attuned to those associations, including guided meditation and original Irish language prayers.

"This ritual can be personalised afterwards for your own use, but will give you a solid framework right now, which you can develop further as your personal practice grows."

Click here to learn more and to sign up.


Image: Candle and sheaf of oats from IPS site.

Monday, January 03, 2022

Join Mael Brigde for Daily Brigit Devotions, Nineteen Days & One



 I have been wanting to make contact with the Brigit community in January, but have been uncertain what offering I could make. An online gathering? A long contemplation, as I did last year? Nothing felt exactly right, particularly as I have been hard hit by the death of my brother in October, and have very little bandwidth for anything energetic.

 

Finally I realised that what I most wanted was to spend some quiet time with Brigit and her devotees over the days leading up to her festival – regular, repeated, simple, and brief – as an offering and as a way of preparing for Imbolc.

 

Therefore…

 

I would like to share my daily devotions with you for the nineteen-plus-one days leading up to and culminating in Lá Fhéile Bhríde, Saint Brigit’s Day, and Imbolc.

 

Beginning on Thursday, 13 January 2022, I will be streaming via Facebook Live each day at 11:45 A.M. Pacific Standard Time // 7:45 P.M. Irish Standard Time // 6:45 A.M. Australia Time (this last is on the following date).[1] Just come to my profile page: 

www.facebook.com/mael.brigde/ at that time. I'll be there as close to that time as tech allows.