Tag Archive: St. Brigid of Ireland


Blessed Be!

“Then came cold February, sitting
In an old waggon, for he could not ride,
Drawne of two fishes, for the season fitting,
Which through the flood before did softly slyde
And swim away; yet had he by his side…
His plough and harnesse fit to till the ground,
And tooles to prune the trees before the pride
Of hasting prime did make them burgeon round”

brigid

We stopped by Brigit’s Garden in Roscahill, Co. Galway, Ireland.

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It was a HUGE park, with a lot of flowers and trees, and wonderful information about the seasons and wildlife.
I had an amazing time there; it was so very peaceful.

As I gear up for Something Tribal This Way Comes, I also have to start planning for my Imbolc celebrations. I had the same issue last year, and I felt ill-prepared for two major forces in my life.

Whether you prefer to observe St. Brigid’s Day, the Celtic tradition of Imbolc, or the Catholic celebration of Candlemas, this is the time to celebrate the coming of Spring.

I found this awesome page with ideas for the day: Art & Soul

1. Food and Drink (always good for a celebration!)

Plan a menu involving grains and dairy products. Enjoy a glass of ale (remember, one of Brigid’s specialties was brewing!). You might also want to try this recipe for milk punch or perhaps make the traditional Saint Brigid’s oat bread. Maybe not quite as traditional, but very tasty, here’s one of my favorite recipes for Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

2. Get Creative

Brigid’s Cross

Brigid is the patroness of poetry, so if she’s helped to light your fire of inspiration, why not try your hand at writing a poem? Or you may prefer to make a Brigid’s Cross. A woven cross that incorporates both Christian and pagan symbolism, these crosses are still widely used in Ireland today to protect the harvest and farm animals. Another popular craft of the season is the corn dolly. The dolls were traditionally dressed in white and adorned with ribbons and baubles like crystals, shells or stones. They were carried by young girls in a procession from house to house where gifts were bestowed upon the dollies.
Or…?? Anything creative, particularly involving weaving or textiles, would be suitable.

3. Let There Be Light

Fire and purification are important aspects of this festival. The lighting of candles represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the sun over the coming months. As such, one long held tradition is to turn off all of the lights in the house. Then, re-enter and—one by one—turn all the lights back on (perhaps lighting a few candles, as well) as a symbolic celebration of the changing seasons and the return of the light.

4. Celebrate (Your) Animals

Brigid had a way with animals; a white skinned red eared fairy cow is often associated with her. Traditionally, farm animals would be particularly well cared for on St. Brigid’s Day. If you don’t have farm animals, consider giving your pet a special treat on this day.

5. Plant Seeds

In preparation for Spring, plant some seeds outdoors if it’s warm enough, or start some indoors for transplanting later. Or force some bulbs. Good choices are paperwhite narcissus or amaryllis – the bright blooms and sweet scent will help the rest of the winter pass more quickly—and more pleasantly.

My birthday is coming up, so I have decided to get a new tattoo in celebration.

It’s not a major birthday, but I haven’t gotten myself anything in years, and it’s been several since my last one. I think it’s about time.

I have a few ideas roaming around in my brain (in no particular order):

Harley Quinn diamonds. A set of three in black and red on my upper arm or thigh.
An Irish Barn Owl. Mom’s favorite animal is the owl, and I would like to have a stylized (Celtic) owl on one of my arms.
A rose and a shamrock, one for each grandmother.
Tetris pieces, falling down my leg. Tetris is my second all-time favorite video game following The Legend of Zelda (I already have 2 Zelda pieces on my leg).
Kitty paw prints, one for each of my girls.
Brigid’s Cross
Generic silhouette of a black cat. Cats are my favorite animal, and I consider them my guides.
What do you think?
What should I get?
Hrm?

A beautiful poem by Eleanor Farjeon.
Thanks, Elfkat, for posting this!

 

s-stone-brigid

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Saint Bridget

by Eleanor Farjeon

Part of a series of poems on saint’s lives and because I have been lax in my flamekeeping.

Saint Bridget she was beautiful
In feature and in deed
And she would give the world away
To anyone in need.
It was enough for her to know
Of beggars at her door
That women starved and babes were cold,
And ragged men were poor.

Saint Bridget gave the world away
And cut her golden hair
To dwell beneath the Holy Oak
Men speak of in Kildare.
The stick she put her lips upon
Broke straightway into flower,
The sunbeam in her greenwood cell
Lingered beyond its hour.

Saint Bridget laid her beauty by
That earth might leave her be,
And God bestowed it twice on her
Till angels leaned to see.
‘Look, look! There goes the loveliest one
In Ireland ever known,
Our Bride who gave…

View original post 9 more words

According to Wikipedia (and other online sources)
“Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-MOLK or i-MOLG ), also called (Saint) Brighid’s Day is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 31 January–1 February, or halfway between the winter solstice and the Spring equinox.

In Christianity, 1 February is observed as the feast day of Saint Brighid, especially in Ireland. There, some of the old customs have survived and it is celebrated as a cultural event by some. Since the 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc, or something based on Imbolc, as a religious holiday.”

A Christian prayer to St. Brigid
Saint Brigid
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Amen

From “The Unicorn Garden”

“BRIGID
In the Scottish Highlands and Islands the rebirth of nature is celebrated on Candlemas, or St Bride’s Day on 1 February. The tradition has weakened but the same feast has been celebrated since time immemorial. At its height, bonfires were lit on hilltops and there would be a festival with some young maid crowned with candles and honoured in Brigid’s stead. Candles were lit in every window and homes in the Isles were decorated with early flowers and greenery. Bride’s Crosses or Wheels were woven from corn and hung around the house.

Women would also make a crib with a mattress of corn and hay. They called it Bride’s Bed and into it they tucked under a blanket a straw doll representing Bride, and beside her a wooden club. The crib was laid near the door surrounded by glowing candles. Food and drink were laid on the table and a decorated chair set by the hearth. Then just before they went to bed, the women of the house would call out three times: ‘Bride is come, Bride is welcome!’ Or they would go to the door and cry out into the night for Bride to enter their house.

On the morning following Candlemas, everyone would search the ashes of the hearth, hoping to find an impression of Bride’s club. If they did it was the sign that they would have prosperity and a good crop in the coming year. The weather that day was also watched closely because, as the old saying has it:

If Candlemas day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain, Winter is gone and will not come again.”

This, actually, makes me pretty happy. We got a fair amount of snow yesterday. Hopfeully, this means we should have an early spring.

I like to look up prayers to Brigid, both Christian and Pagan. Seeing the devotion of others is comforting to me.
But I have my own little prayer. It makes me feel like I am connecting on another level.

Sweet Brigid,
I light this candle for you.
As the flame burns, so does my devotion.
You are strong, and thus am I.
Through you I shall love as you love,
help those who cannot help themselves
and care for the weak.
I will do good as is right.
Blessed be.

It isn’t always word for word, but the message is always the same – Love on another, show compassion.

This weekend was a BIG deal for me.
Not only was Something Tribal a big production for my troupe but I was recently “promoted” to assistant director of KCDC. So I was representing myself as a dancer and a Sohalia Tribal troupe member, but also as a KCDC troupe member. I danced with my Sohalia troupe AND with Tasha & Wendy at the big Gala show. It was exhilarating and awesome.

Opening Act

KCDC & Wendy Allen

Quicky post…

With all of my STTWC stuff going on, I completely forgot to post about my (very small) Brigid’s day happenings. I will post tomorrow night, after I have settled back into my skin.

Stay tuned, fun stuff ahead! 🙂

Dreams

It may have been the fever. It may have been ‘Twin Peaks’.
But, it may have been something else entirely.

I was sitting on the floor in my home studio, looking at my reflection in the big mirror. My legs were crossed and I was leaning back slightly, leaning back on my hands.
As I pushed myself to upright, I noticed a flicker of light beside me. I thought to myself that I needed to get that bulb changed. As I looked back at myself, I saw a glow around me. It began to grow brighter until I could no longer see myself. There was only light.

I stood up and walked closer to the mirror. I saw the way the light moved.
So I danced.
There was a trail of light that lingered, sort of like when you wave a sparkler on the 4th of July, or when you play with the exposure on a camera.

I felt warm and safe. The room was filled with magic.
I lost myself in the music.

Wait…. that’s not my joga mix. What is that?
I know that song.

Looking into the mirror, I saw a strange light coming from behind a curtain.
I moved to it and pulled back the fabric to find a doorway leading out.
There was my field!

Day was drawing to a close. As the sun set, I could see fireflies dancing.
So I joined them.
I spun and dipped and twirled. I felt free.

A fire burned bright in the distance. I could see the flames lick the sweet air and hear the wood pop with a puff of cinder thrown into the sky.
I made my way to the fire. I could feel its heat and smell the buring wood.
I looked down at my hands and saw that they were mine again. I was no longer covered in light, but instead kept a soft glow. The fire burned brighter.

There were two small chairs.
In one sat a woman, not much older than I 9when did she get here?).
She motioned for me to join her.

We sat in the warmth of the fire for some time, not speaking, just listening to the crickets and frogs and other night creatures sing the song that I knew but didn’t remember. The stars grew bright in the sky.

I was humming to the tune, swaying with the melody.
I let out a small yawn.
“You’re getting tired, maybe you should rest.” She said. Her words were soft and soothing. “Besides, you have work to do.”
“Work? What should I do?”
“You have to dance.”
“I like dancing.”
“I know, dear. But you have to make them smile.”
“Who?”
“Everyone.”

I woke up in my recliner, sticky and sweaty, and really confused. I don’t have a home studio, or a big mirror.
But I do love to dance.

Glowing DanceGlowing Dance
*Actual photos from my wedding reception

Burning Flames

I’ve recently had a hankering to burn things. Not, like, houses and property and such, but candles, incense (but not, because I have a weird allergy), paper… I want a big bonfire.

I’m often compelled to strike a match or light a candle. It’s an almost-overwhelming urge, really.
I shouldn’t act surprised. I know what it is.

She’s telling me to create.
It’s a fire of creativity, of passion and love.

I get little bits of inspiration. I try to sew, to write, to build. I do what I can, but it never seems quite… right.
I haven’t really figured out what she wants me to do.

Hopefully I’ll figure it out.
Hopefully soon.

Brigid,
You are a woman of peace.
You bring harmony where there is conflict.
You bring light to the darkness.
You bring hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
And may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all Goddess has made.
Brighid, you are a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us,
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body, and spirit.

Amen and Blessed Be.

Revised from a Prayer to St. Brigid
Solas Bhríde, Kildare, 1997

Cherubim and a Flaming Sword by J Kirk Richards

 

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Saint Brigid is one of the few saints who stands on the boundary between pagan mythology, Druidism and Christian spirituality.

It is said that Brigid was born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland, to Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and Brocca, a slave at his court.

As a young girl she took a interest in religious life and became a nun under that guidance of St. Macaille at Croghan. It is believed  that St. Mel of Armagh conferred abbatial authority on her.

For a short time, she settled with seven of her virgins at the foot of Croghan Hill. Around the year 468, she followed Mel of Armagh to Meath. She founded a monastery at Cill-Dara (Kildare) and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The monestary developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew up the Cathedral city of Kildare. She started a school of art and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, most notably the Book of Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

Brigid was a remarkable woman, and despite the numerous legendary and even fantastic miracles attributed to her, there is no doubt that her spirituality, charity, and compassion for those in need were real.

She died at Kildare on February 1. Called “The Mary of the Gael”, she is buried at Downpatrick with St. Columba and St. Patrick, with whom she is the patron of Ireland. Her name is sometimes Bridget and Bride. Her feast day is February 1.

Brigid is the patron saint of poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, brewers, healers, cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies.

**Info yoinked from Wikipedia, All Saints Parish online, Catholic.org and several other sites.