Writing Brigit

Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing... I have been writing them ever since, but seldom publish them. Some are carefully researched and crafted, some are simple and straight from the heart.

The prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, living and long-dead, fill me with surprise and delight, as well.

I would like to share some of these writings with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.

Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits

I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone

gentle and steady

warm and bright

31 July 2019

“Herb Healing Charm” by Mael Brigde

Herb Healing Charm

delight of eye
friend of cattle
magic lies within

I pluck you
—great thanks—
sing your charm into
my ailing form

comely herb
blessed of Brigit
Goddess of Healers
do your tender work

Note: “Herb Healing Charm” – This poem corresponds to Lus (Flame/Herb), a letter in the medieval Irish script called the ogam. The first two lines are translations of the word ogams “lí súla” and “carae cethrae” which are applied to this letter (Laurie, Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, pp. 63-64).

ImageHerb Robert Geranium robertianum in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Photo by Joli - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 

“Herb Robert was once widely used to treat a range of medical conditions. The leaves were crushed to make compresses for bruises and wounds. It was taken internally for diarrhoea, peptic ulcers and bleeding, and applied externally to treat inflamed gums and herpes. The plant has also been used as a natural insect repellent and to obtain a brown dye. Although rarely encountered in contemporary herbal medicine recent research suggests (H)erb Robert may lower blood sugar levels, making it a potentially useful treatment for diabetes.Ireland's Wildlife.

17 June 2019

"Brigit to the Grieving Mother" by Mael Brigde

Brigit to the Grieving Mother

my sister
you have tasted bitter herbs
she who you loved sleeps
dead upon your breast
as he who I loved
slept on mine
the whole world knows this torment
the whole world sorrows
with your woe

hold your daughter
till the knife’s edge blunts
bring her to me
her soft limp form
place gently in my hands

go to your people
rebuild your house
let the wounds upon you bleed
until they seal

I will hold her in her sleeping
I will take her to my hidden well
some day
this tiny soul
will live anew

Image: "Mother Weeping for Her Dead Child" by George Minne (1886).

18 May 2019

"Red-Haired Boy" by Mael Brigde

Red-Haired Boy

that one
—hair the colour of dried blood—
latched his mouth
to your swollen breast
—that hair
that mouth
made from you
from his half-foreign father—
drank you into himself and grew

that child
every portion of him the promise
of a king
—his father the beautiful
his grandfather the Good God
his mother
goddess of word and craft—

how could he not fall prey
to those who twisted
turned him
how could he not wish
to please his father well

yet how
how could he come before
his mother’s people
before the smith who loved him
beg of him a splendid spear
seek to cut him down

when the spear refused the service
when the smith wrenched back his arm
hurled the weapon home
how could your son not fall

before him hundreds died
born again in the Well of Wholeness
that well now shattered
Ruadán remained
as he fell

lay screaming
on crimson ground

silence on the land

and you
how could you not upwell
as the divine river before you broke its banks
and all the horror and all the sorrow
of that awful scything
not emerge in ululation

the birth of keening
at the slaying of your son

15 March 2019

Solas Bhride Prayer

Kildare, Ireland, 1997

Brigid, you were a woman of peace,
you brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light into 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 the world.
Inspire us to act justly and 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.


Image: From Solas Bhride website

31 January 2019

“Brigit of the Waters (Wake Up!)”by Mael Brigde

Brigit in your well asleep
beneath the squeaking ice
wake up! the small white fish is leaping
the grey-dark sea is calling
the river wants to play
your tune today

Mael Brigde

Image: "Female nudist wading in shallow water." by Franzl61 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

09 January 2019

"We Sing a Song to Brigid" (Alive-O)

Image result for alive-o 2

We sing a song to Brigid,
Brigid brings the spring
Awakens all the fields and the flowers
And calls the birds to sing.
All were welcome at her door,
no one was turned away.

She loved the poor, the sick and the sore,
She helped them on their way.
She laid her cloak out on the ground
And watched it grow and grow,
In wells and streams and fields of green
St. Brigid’s blessings flow.

*** Follow the title link to hear the tune.

Source: From the Veritas CD Alive-O/Beo go Deo 2 (Senior Infants)

05 December 2018

“Healing Ways” by Mael Brigde

bath of herbs    bath of milk
porridge of oats and hazel buds
and tender meadow leaves
these are the ways of healing

saffron when spirit’s low
cupping quells bones aflame
butter coaxes thorns
from flesh

sweat house
icy pools
rubbing limbs
these grow forceful
the lagging frame

lost in prayer you dimpled
the stones beneath your knees
where water pools today
cures joints and livid eyes
women with child
kneel there
and birth is kind

ways of healing   many
prescription always the same
place yourself in the hands of the land

trust your soul to the saint

Image: Saint Brigit and Porridge, photo by Mael Brigde
Note: Healing methods listed here, excepting the kneeling stones cure, were found in Fleetwood, History of Medicine in Ireland, pp. 7-9.