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



23 June 2022

"Vigorous Dairy Maid" by Mael Brigde

 


Vigorous Dairy Maid

 

you draw forth milk

with such energy

vats froth over

a great pond forms

to last for all of time

 

cattle glance over white shoulders

look in wonder

at what they have produced

 

 

 

Image: "Freshly milked cow's milk" by Endee n. [CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

15 May 2022

"Brighid Weaving Her Mantle" by Ashli Hall

 


Brighid Weaving Her Mantle

 

I think of Your famous mantle,

draped around Your shoulders,

a legend of Your kindness and cleverness.

Was it given to You?

Perhaps, but Your blessed mantle

feels crafted by Your deft hands.

Even with Your ability,

did Your fingers fumble

while arranging the warp?

Did inexperience pass into expertise

as You worked the yarn

over and under, under and over?

Emerald, sage, and grass green,

hues of the land coming together, one day

spanning the distance of the Curragh.

Once removed from the loom,

did You hang it on a sunbeam

to admire Your handiwork?

Your fair fingers idling

over the delicate fringe

as You prayed or sang.

I ponder these images,

sacred scenes resonating

as I weave.






Image: "Irish Colleen with Green Plaid Shawl." (1890s) This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division. Public domain, accessed via Wikimedia. Photo is retouched and colourised. She wears a flowered headscarf and a long white apron over a black dress. She is looking off to the side, hands on hips, her dark red bangs visible.

Note: First published in Oaken Roots Hermitage, 14 December 2021.

21 March 2022

“Brighid of the dandelion” by Jenne Micale

 


Brighid of the dandelion

 

You are in the dandelion, the gold

of the summer your bright eye, its edged lace

your mantle winter white in the grass, each

sailing on the wind to root in new ground.

After frost they still reached out to bloom, burning

in dim Samhaintide up until the snow

where under that blank mantle they abide

until the first fetching thaw. Roots reach deep

and ensure their return, the same as thought,

as a smoored flame slumbering in heaps of

snowy ash until the wind of a word

stirs it, a willing hand readies a twig

and so brings back day’s flame, the saving heat.

You cannot be eradicated, fire-eye

and pale foot, the heat of thought melting the ice


Image: "Dandelion" by Jill Burrow from Pexels

Acknowledgement: By permission. This poem first appeared in Brigid's Light: Tending the Ancestral Flame of the Beloved Celtic Goddess, March 1, 2022 by Cairelle Crow and Laura Louella , editors. 

03 February 2022

"A Charm for a Person Living With an Illness or Pain" by Jennifer Parsons

 


A Charm for a Person Living With an Illness or Pain

Fiery Brighid, shaper of stars,
Bear your hammer down upon this one’s suffering.
Turn your breath, glowing with poetry, upon their body
Let flaring pain recede like the glow of metal in the forge
Let the softest of your healing words rend pain into ash and sparks
Which, scattered upon the night, glow and are no more.
Let strength reside where pain once lived.

Merciful Brighid, soft-handed
Pour your healing out upon this one
Sweet to the mouth and cooling to the throat as well-water
Let cracks of pain ease and mend together, leaving suppleness
Bear them up with your smooth and soothing hands, 
As the earth bears up the deepest of wells,
Hurt and wear and damage shall run through your fingers,
Leaving relief and resolve and peace floating about them.

Glorious Brighid, woman of the sídhe
The barest glimpse of your beauty haunts the poet
Stirs fire into their blood, overflows their mouths with song
But now it will silence a riot of suffering, in both body and mind
The discord of pain will be brought to fit as rocks in a cairn,
Solid joy, rest, and gratitude that will last summers upon winters upon summers again.

If you accept this, let give you a roof in the rain, a line out of the turbulent river’s current, a hearth to warm you, let it be a wave to drown your enemies.

If you do not accept it, let it melt and only its beauty remain, as the pink and gold of the dawn does into day.


Note: First posted on Tumblr.

Image: "Mother's Love" by Sandy Kumar on Unsplash.

 


17 January 2022

Celebrating Brigit - A Gathering of Friends (Book Launch of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars)



To my complete surprise, I've just discovered that I completely forgot to post this video of my book launch. I was inspired by the way Geraldine Moorkens Byrne (two below me, long blonde hair) organised her book launch. Rather than having something very dry, or having the spotlight 100% on the author, it became a community event. I stole the idea and consequently had a wonderful hour and a bit of Brigit readings and song, from a slew of wonderful folk. So if you like to put faces or voices to your creative Brigit offerings, this video will help you with that.

From the original Facebook post (we launched via Zoom and Facebook Live simultaneously):

That was a joyful gathering, this launch of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional - Sun Among Stars. Great thanks to those who read or sang, great thanks to Clélie Rich for not only hosting this and dealing with tech issues I didn't even know existed, but for being the editor of my book, and creating an arc for the poems to follow.

Thank you to everyone for coming today, with hearts open and ears at the ready.

"What She Speaks When I Tend Her Flame" by Erin Aurelia

 


What She Speaks When I Tend Her Flame

Erin Aurelia


I transform, she says:


the raw meat into food
the raw thoughts into poetry
the raw materials into arts and crafts
the raw ore into weapons and tools
the raw plants into healing draughts


in your heart, distress to peace


in your mind, worry to reassurance


in your body, death into life, then life into growth


in your life, suffering into power


I transform, by the grace of the flame


She said, you too can embody transformation:
from chaos to order

from complacency to vigilance
from disease to healing
from loneliness to togetherness
from otherworlds to thisworld
from outside to in
from self to others
like a gift

 

gifting is gracing


gift yourself, gift another, and then another
receive in grace, give in grace,
become grace


and then, we
become the Flame,
her flame in this world

 

so shine on:
for her, for you, for all

 

 

 

 

 

Image: "Juvenile bird resting on human hand" by Razvan Narcis Ticu in Războieni, Romania. Image from Unsplash.

12 December 2021

"Brigid of the Flame" a Song by Elaine Ní Chiardha



BRIGID OF THE FLAME

by Elaine Ní Chiardha

 

Brigid of the flame, oh holy, holy name

Brigid of the holy well,

the source that brings us home again

 

Brigid of the hearth welcomes the stranger

Into her heart, always with love

Brigid of the forge, worker of alchemy

Turns lead into gold and darkness to light

 

Brigid of the healing well, mantle of care

Cast your love over us with every prayer

Brigid of wisdom, deep in your waters

Guide us on our journey, each step further

 

 

 

 

 

 SoundCloud Recordinghttps://soundcloud.com/singingtheland/brigid-of-the-flame

YouTube: "Brigid of the Flame on Tara" https://youtu.be/bJVIy--Hf90

Image
: Screenshot from "Brigid of the Flame on Tara" on YouTube.