Archive | November 11, 2012

Blessed Veterans Day or as its original name – Armistice Day

I salute Armistice as well as Veterans

 


 



   



     




     









   


   



     




     









   


 


 

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

Armistice Day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCrae

I can see why my grandmother loved this poem so much. Not only for what it symbolized but he was a fellow Canadian who was also from Guelph. That had to have made it even more poignant to her.

I salute my grandfather Carl – A WWI flying ace. I used to love to try on his “Snoopy” helmet.
My father – An Army supply sergeant in the Cavalry – WWII European Theatre
His 2 brothers – LT Commander Frank Allen Robb Jr and LT Robert Robb, both in the Navy. Robert was a pilot and yes, his name really was that redundant.
My Uncle Don – WWII pilot
And my Decker cousin who served in the 1st Gulf War.
And last but not least – James Robb – Master Mason and Revolutionary War soldier.
They served their country well and came home and my mom’s first love who didn’t.

What is a Flamekeeper?

People who are new to this blog may have noticed a weird thing that appears on my blog every 20 days. Well, every 20 days when I remember to do it online.

The flame is an ancient tradition thought to date back to the 6th century. It is an eternal flame kept in Kildare Ireland. Originally dedicated to the Goddess Brighid (Brigid) by 19 priestesses and on the 20th day the flame was said to be kept by Brighid herself. At the coming of the Christian Era the Church couldn’t beat the worship of the Goddess so they created the saint Brigid and at Kildare the flame continued to be tended by 19 nuns. The Archibishop of London ordered it put out in 1220 but was unsuccessful but King Henry VIII was successful in driving it underground. The flame was kept in Norway by Norwegian Brigantine Sisters until it was brought back to Kildare in Ireland in 1993 at the opening of a conference on peace and justice. Since then it has been tended in Kildare by Brigidine Sisters at their centre called Solas Bhride.

A new tradition was born however on that same day in Canada by a group called Daughters of the Flame. The flame is tended at hearths around the world every 20 days. I belong to a group called Ord Brighideach who are Flamekeepers who are pagan. There is another group for Christians who follow the saint. The Flame is kept by cells of 19 people who take a shift every 20 days of flame keeping. This doesn’t mean they don’t keep the flame on other days just that they promise to do it on their given day.

What is Flamekeeping? It is a day where at least some of it is dedicated to honouring the healing aspect of Brighid as well as her other aspects of inspiration metal craft. Everyone has their own ways of flamekeeping. One is supposed to devote some or all of the day to prayer/mediation/ritual or contemplation. Some Flamekeepers do it with only a real physical flame. Some use a digital flame and some use a combination of both. I do both since I can’t light a candle in the car or at work. If I light it on my blog I know that flame will stay lit and it’s also a lot safer in an earthquake. At home I use a glass novena candle.

Most of us use candles that at some point in their history have been touched by a candle that was lit from the original flame in Kildare but it really isn’t necessary if you really want to do it. Our group with in the Temple of Isis was the largest group outside of Ireland allegedly at one point but that’s because we’re all in one place. And I think all the Flamekeepers were all ordained to the goddess Brighid as part of their ordination. Most of the TOILA women were ordained to at least 3 goddesses but not all.  Most Flamekeepers are solitary and spread all over the world. Most Flamekeepers are women but there are cells that are co-ed and one that is male only. The rest are women only.

So when I say I’m adding you to my Flamekeeper list I’m adding you the group I send energy as I keep the flame and I do it as necessary not just my day.

Moon blessings

THIS little prayer is said by old men and women in the islands of Barra. When they first see the new moon they make their obeisance to it as to a great chief. The women curtsey gracefully and the men bow low, raising their bonnets reverently. The bow of the men is peculiar, partaking somewhat of the curtsey of the women, the left knee being bent and the right drawn forward towards the middle of the left leg in a curious but not inelegant manner.

The fragment of moon-worship is now a matter of custom rather than of belief, although it exists over the whole British Isles. p. 123

In Cornwall the people nod to the new moon and turn silver in their pockets. In Edinburgh cultured men and women turn the rings on their fingers and make their wishes. A young English lady told the writer that she had always been in the habit of bowing to the new moon, till she had been bribed out of it by her father, a clergyman, putting money in her pocket lest her lunar worship should compromise him with his bishop. She naively confessed, however, that among the free mountains of Loch Etive she reverted to the good customs of her fathers, from which she derived great satisfaction!

AN ainm Spiorad Naomh nan gras,
An ainm Athar na, Cathrach aigh,
An ainm Iosa thug dhinn am bas,
O! an ainm na Tri tha d’ ar dion ’s gach cas,
Ma’s math a fhuair thu sinn an nochd,
Seachd fearr gum fag thu sinn gun lochd,
      A Ghealach gheal nan trath,
      A Ghealach gheal nan trath.

IN name of the Holy Spirit of grace,
In name of the Father of the City of peace,
In name of Jesus who took death off us,
Oh! in name of the Three who shield us in every need,
If well thou hast found us to-night,
Seven times better mayest thou leave us without harm,
      Thou bright white Moon of the seasons,
      Bright white Moon of the seasons.

The following versification is by Mr John Henry Dixon, Inveran:–

In name of the Father Almighty,
In name of the Glorious Son,
In name of the Holy Spirit,
By grace of the Three-in-One.

If to-night, O moon, thou hast found us
      In peaceful, happy rest,

May thy laving lustre leave us
      Seven times still more blest.

         O moon so fair,
         May it be so,
         As seasons come,
         And seasons go.

wholly from the Carmina Gadelica

Flameshift

Hymn to Brighid

Brighid, Lady of flame
Forge of me a link
In the chain
Of strong women
Create a song in my heart
Help me heal with love

Sing me a song of flames
Sing me a song of hammer and anvil
Sing me a song of peace
Sing me a song of creation

Make me strong
Make me shiny
Make me tempered
Make me precious.

Sing me a song of flames
Sing me a song of hammer and anvil
Sing me a song of peace
Sing me a song of creation.

Use me to help
Use me to heal
Use me to create
Use me to make real

Sing me a song of morning
Sing me a song of night
Sing me a song of between times
Sing me a song of your light.

Kat – TOILA Brighid ritual 2001

 

   

     


     







   
 
 

Hazelwood Grove Invocation

Brighid of the flames
Elen of the ways
Green Man of all
Carry us

Brighid of the waters
Elen of the moon paths
Green Man of the Earth
Guide us

Brighid of the forge
Elen of the flowers
Green Man, Guardian
Teach us

Brighid of the poets
Elen of wild deer
Green Man of the forests
Help us to grow

Kat