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

12 June 2020

The Descent of Brighid (redacted by Erynn R. Laurie)

The Descent of Brighid

(redacted by Erynn R. Laurie)

Every day and every night
That I say the descent of Brighid,
Daughter of Daghda
Mother of the Three Gods,
Guide in darkness,
Ever-flaming star,
I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried,
I shall not be put in cell, I shall not be wounded,
Neither shall She leave me in forgetfulness.

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown me,
No arrow of fairy nor dart of spirit shall wound me,
And I under the mantle of Holy Brighid.

Brighid to enfold me
Brighid to surround me
Brighid to comfort me

Brighid is my light and everlasting life,
Body to body, form to form, breath to breath,
Throughout all time and eternity.

While doing this Erynn flicks water to the cardinal directions, the sky and the earth, and draws the ringed cross on her breast.

Original: from Carmina Gadelica, Alexander Carmichael.
ImageBrooks's Comet of 902 (i.). (Drawn by W. R. Brooks.) Public Domain.

27 April 2020

“Conversation in Queen’s Park” by Mael Brigde

“Conversation in Queen’s Park”

when we first met I circled round you
taking note
this is how you differ from the
One True God I had been schooled to
this is how you fit into
the same garment that he wore
wary   I wondered at your gentleness
the marvel of your womanly profile
familiar saintly odour
new sharp fragrance of goddess strength
and nowhere a gavel forcing agreement
where none exists

you gave me room to breathe
I learned what I could of you
wove your images into me
dyed with you the patterns of my life
sunrise and sunfall
winter and spring

soon I came to you
with petitions and with prayers
please protect us
please stop the hurt
please give me strength

I found sisterhood in you
your daughters coming to my table
we prayed together and built our lives

then it came to me to give you thanks
for all that was   all that had been
and all that never came to be
to offer praise and gratitude
for everything

our time together grew long

I sit now beside you
on an old park bench
this stone could be an altar
this park
a sacred grove
you are a weathered and timeless woman
your brown dog waddles elderly off its leash
I see you now and there is only silence
nothing to offer   ask   or say
like I am an ancient hazel tree
and you my silent wife

Image: "Woman and dog at Cedar Lake caretaker's cottage, 1915." This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

26 March 2020

“Prayer to Brighid, the Peace Bride” by Jenne Micale

Prayer to Brighid, the Peace Bride

O Peace Bride, Beloved of Bres,
you gave your hand to heal warring kin
for what is home without peace? Mourning
mother, inventor of keening, you who
count the cost when families fight: Guide me
through my trials with a diplomat’s grace.
Peace-weaver, let me be the balm of
warring hearts. Let our passions be the hearth
of sanctuary, not the blaze of hate.
Let me strive always to speak with peace
and steady the hand before it reaches
for the blade. Let me be vulnerable
to our shared disappointments, our shames
and our histories, and from them always
weave peace from the broken threads of the world

Image: "Woman weaving in Peru" by Tydence Davis from Las Vegas. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

17 March 2020

“Prayer for the Dead” by Mael Brigde (Song) Up on SoundCloud

I've added a song (at last) to my SoundCloud page. It is one I wrote when a loved one died, and I wished Brigit to see him safely on his journey.

It's “Prayer for the Dead” and it has been more sorrow and joy to sing it at more than one farewell. If it would be of service to you in yours, please feel free to learn it and change it as need be. Please follow this link to find it on SoundCloud.

“Prayer for the Dead”
dear Brigit
I lay my loved one down
a last time

he is three days dead
we have wailed and wept
we have sung and laughed
we have given thanks
we have cried out in anger
we have given thanks

bless my loved one on his journey
let his coracle be light and leaping
on the waves
salmon his companions
and the great whales
to guide him to his home

Image: This photo was taken 200 Mn Atlantic Ocean , between Congo and Angola by Joserodriguesneves and is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

08 March 2020

“The Power in Her Hearth” by Daniela Cassandra Simina

The Power in Her Hearth

I kept my eyes tightly shut
For as long as I could.
I was so afraid to open them wide;
I was afraid that too much beauty
would flood in, and crack my heart
breaking it into pieces;
because you see-
never in my life before
had I known such beauty existed.
That wasn’t the ordinary kind of beauty,
the sort of beauty that would use my eyes
as a most convenient door,
to make its way in.
That Beauty was radiance of fire
reflected by water,
sparkling brighter then any diamond
would ever spark.
And it made me wonder:
 How do I know it?
How do I dare to describe it
without even looking at it?
Because you see,
I kept my eyes tightly shut
For as long as I could,
Twinned hearts make great bridges:
The vastness of waters vanished,
And so did the lapse in time.
A lock of hair blown away by the wind in Kildare,
the same wind that made
the oaks around Her hearth sing,
and Her flame dance.
My heart thus found its place into the land
where once Her hearth stood-
Yes, it was my heart for which the hair lock
had been a place holder only,
as She, the File and the Bandochtuir
instructed Anam Cara to do.
Without me knowing nor wanting
(nor daring to want shall I say)
In the middle of the night,
the light erupted,
and Beauty of the most special kind
made itself visible to my soul,
where it could be seen and felt
in its unadulterated splendor-
although my eyes were still shut tightly,
because I’m stubborn, you see…
She went ahead and forged my whole being
into the best of forms
(whatever “best” meant for me at the time)
and my form then swooshed like the fiery, swift arrow
just launched from Her bow.
Arrow was I, crafted and branded by Her.
Marked with Her mark so I won’t forget,
So I won’t ever dare to shut my eyes again,
So I shall never escape or let escape
Beauty and Power, the File and the Bandochtuir
in my own life,
Ever again.

Image: "With Closed Eyes" circa 1895 - 1905 by Odilon Redon. Public domain.

06 March 2020

“My Best Horse” by Mael Brigde

My Best Horse

this is my best horse
bones hard
from limey Curragh soil
he will bear my chariot
with all our weight
and all our visions
he with his bold
black companions
across the tracks of Éire
west and east

should our journey keep us
late upon the road
and the púca rise dripping
from the marsh
though the rest may bolt
—and God be with them—
this hard-boned lad will lock
eyes with the gravest night-mare
win us passage
our prayers and his devotion
keep straight the chariot

onward to our goal
we and he

Image: "Ireland Horse And The Storm Clouds" by Thomas Haid Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

20 February 2020

A Reply to "Bird of Three Realms" by Nghia Nguyen

A couple of days ago four friends of mine came visiting. We read poems to each other and drank them in. We laughed and talked and meditated and ate together. I read them my poem, "Bird of Three Realms," and the next day Nghia sent me her poetic response.

Ngồi đây lắng nghe                                     Seating here while listening
Thơ tả thiên nga                                         An insightful swan poem
Nối liền tam cõi                                          Links three realms
Thiên, địa nối thủy                                     Sky, Earth to Sea
Truyền thống Ái- nhĩ                                  Transmitted Irish traditions
Bạch mao xòe cánh                                    White spreading wings
Ôm tròn thế gian                                        Embrace  whole cosmos
Nỗi đau lê thê                                             Prolonged sufferance
Do Người lầm lỗi                                        Persisted human errors
Kỳ thị hiểu lầm                                           Prejudice, miscommunication
Cổ cao đài cát                                             Elegant long neck
Vút tận thiên thanh                                    Touching blue sky
Hàn gắng yêu thương                                  Healing with loving kindness
Nàng thiên nga đẹp                                     Oh beautiful swan
Âu Á giao lưu                                             Bridging East West
Lẻ  sống tương đồng                                   Sharing similar philosophies
Chan hòa sẻ chia                                        Harmony spreading                         
Nàng  bạch thiên nga                                  Gorgeous white swan
Tô điểm bức tranh                                      Highlighted old paintings
Thủy mặc sơn thủy                                     Dark Earth, clear Ocean
Nhà thơ đặt bút                                          The poet writes
Thời báo vận lai                                          The prophecy of future
Niềm tin Ái –nhĩ                                         Old Irish beliefs
Ngàn năm lưu truyền                                  Thousand-year cultural transmission

                                                                     by Nghia Nguyen

Image: "Swans on the Lake" (Vietnamese Hand Embroidered Painting). Uncredited