Tag Archive | goddess

30 Days of Devotion – Brighid — Day 8

The Scots are an intensely practical bunch. They may have second sight and never doubt that the Fae exist but when it comes to the seasons I’m willing to bet they used what they saw before them to determine the seasons.

So I was had a discussion with someone about the correct date of An Fheill Bride and they said it was the Pleaides.

There is only one problem with that, it rains a lot in Scotland and if you have many days of rain how do you even see the Pleaides? My contention is that they would have used what was around them like any other agricultural people. There is a branch of science/meteorology that is studying whether signs now to see how accurate they are. (The precise ology escapes me at the moment but Horticulture Magazine used to refer to it all the time. Maybe ethology?) Hence the tradition of ewe’s milk, if the sheep haven’t given birth and you don’t have lactating ewes you aren’t going to have your holiday until they do.

Below are the traditions and the Gaelic rhymes that refer to the holiday from the Carmina Gadelica, collected by Alexander Carmichael and his notes on the collecting:

‘Moch maduinn Bhride,
Thig an nimhir as an toll,
Cha bhoin mise ris an nimhir,
Cha bhoin an nimhir rium.’
Early on Bride’s morn
The serpent shall come from the hole,
I will not molest the serpent,
Nor will the serpent molest me.
La Feill na Bride,
Thig nighean Imhir as a chnoc,
Cha bhean mise do nighean
’S cha dean i mo lochd.’ [Imhir,‘La Fheill Bride brisgeanach
Thig an ceann de in chaiteanach,
Thig nighean Iomhair as an tom
Le fonn feadalaich.’

‘Thig an nathair as an toll
La donn Bride,
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an
Air leachd an lair.’ [t-sneachd

The Feast Day of the Bride,
The daughter of Ivor shall come from the knoll,
I will not touch the daughter of Ivor,
Nor shall she harm me.On the Feast Day of Bride,
The head will come off the ‘caiteanach,’
The daughter of Ivor will come from the knoll
With tuneful whistling.

The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.

The ‘daughter of Ivor’ is the serpent; and it is said that the serpent will not sting a descendant of Ivor, he having made ‘tabhar agus tuis,’ offering and incense, to it, thereby securing immunity from its sting for himself and his seed for ever.

These lines would seem to point to serpent-worship. One of the most curious customs of Bride’s Day was the pounding of the serpent in effigy. The following scene was described to the writer by one who was present:–‘I was one of several guests in the hospitable house of Mr John Tolmie of Uignis, Skye. Onep. 170

of my fellow-guests was Mrs Macleod, widow of Major Macleod of Stein, and daughter of Flora Macdonald. Mrs Macleod was known among her friends as “Major Ann.” She combined the warmest of hearts with the sternest of manners, and was the admiration of old and young for her wit, wisdom, and generosity. When told that her son had fallen in a duel with the celebrated Glengarry–the Ivor MacIvor of Waverley–she exclaimed, “Math thu fein mo ghiullan! math thu fein mo ghiullan! gaol geal do mhathar fein! Is fearr bias saoidh na gras daoidh; cha bhasaich an gaisgeach ach an aon turas, ach an gealtair iomadaidh uair!”–”Good thou art my son! good thou art my son! thou the white love of thine own mother! Better the hero’s death than the craven’s life; the brave dies but once, the coward many times.” In a company of noblemen and gentlemen at Dunvegan Castle, Mrs Macleod, then in her 88th year, danced the reel of Tulloch and other reels, jigs, and strathspeys as lightly as a girl in her teens. Wherever she was, all strove to show Mrs Macleod attention and to express the honour in which she was held. She accepted all these honours and attentions with grace and dignity, and without any trace of vanity or self-consciousness. One morning at breakfast at Uignis some one remarked that this was the Day of Bride. “The Day of Bride,” repeated Mrs Macleod meditatively, and with a dignified bow of apology rose from the table. All watched her movements with eager curiosity. Mrs Macleod went to the fireside and took up the tongs and a bit of peat and walked out to the doorstep. She then took off her stocking and put the peat into it, and pounded it with the tongs. And as she pounded the peat on the step, she intoned a “rann,” rune, only one verse of which I can remember:–

On the day of Bride of the white hills

The noble queen will come from the knoll,
I will not molest the noble queen,
Nor will the noble queen molest me.

La Bride nam brig ban
Thig an rigen ran a tom,
Cha bhoin mise ris an rigen ran,
’S cha bhoin an rigen ran rium.’

‘Suipeir is soillse Oidhch Fheill Bride,
Cadal is soillse Oidhch Fheill Paruig.’
Supper and light the Night of St Bride,
Sleep and light the Night of St Patrick

The dandelion is called ‘bearnan Bride,’ the little notched of Bride, in allusion to the serrated edge of the petal. The linnet is called ‘bigein Bride,’ little bird of Bride. In Lismore the oyster-catcher is called ‘gille Bride,’ page of Bride:–

‘Gille Bride bochd,
Gu de bhigil a th’ ort?
Poor page of Bride,
What cheeping ails thee?

Bride is said to preside over the different seasons of the year and to bestow their functions upon them according to their respective needs. Some call January ‘am mios marbh,’ the dead month, some December, while some apply the terms, ‘na tri miosa marbh,’ the three dead months, ‘an raithe marbh,’ the dead quarter, and ‘raithe marbh na bliadhna,’ the dead quarter of the year, to the winter months when nature is asleep. Bride with her white wand is said to breathe life into the mouth of the dead Winter and to bring him to open his eyes to the tears and the smiles, the sighs and the laughter of Spring. The venom of the cold is said to tremble for its safety on Bride’s Day and to flee for its life on Patrick’s Day. There is a saying:–

‘Chuir Bride miar ’s an abhuinn
La na Feill Bride
Is dh’ fhalbh mathair ghuir an fhuachd,
Is nigh i basan anns an abhuinn
La na Feill Padruig
Is dh’ fhalbh mathair ghin an fhuachd.’
Bride put her finger in the river
On the Feast Day of Bride
And away went the hatching mother of the cold,
And she bathed her palms in the river
On the Feast Day of Patrick
And away went the conception mother of the cold,

Another version says:–

‘Chuir Brighid a bas ann,
Chuir Moire a cas ann,
Chuir Padruig a chiach fhuar ann.’ (?)
Bride put her palm in it,
Mary per her foot in it,
Patrick put the cold stone in it,
La Bride breith an earraich
Thig an dearrais as an tom,
Theirear “tri-bhliadhnaich” ri aighean,
Bheirear gearrain chon nam fonn.’
The Day of Bride, the birthday of Spring,
The serpent emerges from the knoll,
‘Three-years-olds’ is applied to heifers,
Garrons are taken to the fields.

In Uist the flocks are counted and dedicated to Bride on her Day.

‘La Fheill Bride boidheach
Cunntar spreidh air mointeach.
Cuirear fitheach chon na nide,
’S cuirear rithis rocais.’
On the Feast Day of beautiful Bride
The flocks are counted on the moor.
The raven goes to prepare the nest,
And again goes the rook.

p. 173

Nead air Bhrighit, ugh air Inid, ian air Chasg,
Mar a bith aig an fhitheach bithidh am bas.’
Nest at Brigit, egg at Shrove, chick at Easter,
If the raven has not he has death.

The raven is the first bird to nest, closely followed by the mallard and the rook. It is affirmed that–

‘Co fad ’s a theid a ghaoth ’s an dorus
La na Feill Bride,
Theid an cathadh anns an dorus
La na Feill Paruig.’
As far as the wind shall enter the door
On the Feast Day of Bride,
The snow shall enter the door
On the Feast Day of Patrick.

In Barra, lots are cast for the ‘iolachan iasgaich,’ fishing-banks, on Bride’s Day. These fishing-banks of the sea are as well known and as accurately defined by the fishermen of Barra as are the qualities and boundaries of their crofts on land, and they apportion them with equal care. Having ascertained among themselves the number of boats going to the long-line fishing, the people divide the banks accordingly. All go to church on St Bride’s Day. After reciting the virtues and blessings of Bride, and the examples to be drawn from her life, the priest reminds his hearers that the great God who made the land and all thereon, also made the sea and all therein, and that ‘murachan na mara agus tachar na tire,’ ‘cuilidh Chaluim agus cuilidh Mhoire,’ the wealth of sea and the plenty of land, the treasury of Columba and the treasury of Mary, are His gift to them that follow Him and call upon His name, on rocky hill or on crested wave. The priest urges upon them to avoid disputes and quarrels over their fishing, to remember the dangers of the deep and the precariousness of life, and in their fishing to remember the poor, the widow and the orphan, now left to the fatherhood of God and to the care of His people. Having come out of church, the men cast lots for the fishing-banks at the church door. After this, they disperse to their homes, all talking loudly and discussing their luck or unluck in the drawing of the lots. A stranger would be apt to think that the people were quarrelling. But it is not so. The simultaneous talking is their habit, and the loudness of their speaking is the necessity of their living among the noise of winds and waves, whether on sea or on shore. Like the people of St Kilda, the people of Barra are warmly attached to one another, the joy of one and the grief of another being the joy and grief of all.

SLOINNTIREACHD BHRIDE GENEALOGY OF BRIDE
p. 174 p. 175
SLOINNEADH na Ban-naomh Bride,
Lasair dhealrach oir, muime chorr Chriosda.
Bride nighinn Dughaill duinn,
Mhic Aoidh, mhic Airt, nitric Cuinn,
Mhic Crearair, mhic Cis, mhic Carmaig, mhic Carruinn.Gach la agus gach oidhche
Ni mi sloinntireachd air Bride,
Cha mharbhar mi, cha spuillear mi,
Cha charcar mi, cha chiurar mi,
Cha mhu dh’ fhagas Criosd an dearmad mi.

Cha loisg teine, grian, no gealach mi,
Cha bhath luin, li, no sala mi,
Cha reub saighid sithich, no sibhich mi,
Is mi fo chomaraig mo Naomh Muire
Is i mo chaomh mhuime Bride.

THE genealogy of the holy maiden Bride,
Radiant flame of gold, noble foster-mother of Christ,
Bride the daughter of Dugall the brown,
Son of Aodh, son of Art, son of Conn,
Son of Crearar, son of Cis, son of Carina, son of Carruin.Every day and every night
That I say the genealogy of Bride,
I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried,
I shall not be put in cell, I shall not be, wounded,
Neither shall Christ leave me in forgetfulness.

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown mc,
No arrow of fairy nor dart of fay shall wound me,
And I under the protection of my Holy Mary,
And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride.

30 days of Devotion – Brighid – day 7

  1. Names and epithets

Brighid has many names

Brighid

Brigit

St Brigit

Bride

Brig

Brighde

Fraid (Wales)

Brigitta ( Belgium)

Breo-Saighit, (Gaul)

Mary of the Gaels

Brighid nam Bratta – Brighid of the Mantles

Brighid Muirghin na tuinne – Conception of the Waves

Brighid Sluagh – spirit of the dead or immortal host

Brighid Binne Bheul Ihuchd nan trusganan uainne – Brighid of the green mantles

Brighid-nan-sitheachseang – Brighid of the Slim Fairy Folk;

She is also sometimes associated with Brigantia,

It also is related to the word Bright which makes sense when you think of her flame aspect.

I’d give footnotes if I remembered where I had learned these although some are from Steve Blamires “Little Book of Great Enchantment. Writings of Willaim Sharp/Fiona MacLeod, On kindle at: http://smile.amazon.com/Little-Book-Great-Enchantment-ebook/dp/B0046REKVI/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1429208889

Poetry month – Knot of Isis

At the end of the universe
A blood red cord
Binds life to death and will to destiny
Let the knot of that red sash
Bind us together
Cradling our hips and weaving all our dreams.

(Chours) We are the knot where the whole world meets
Red magic passes through our veins
Magic of magic
Spirit of spirit
We are the power of Isis

We are bound mind to mind
We are bound heart to heart
Heaven in one hand
Earth in the other
We will walk in harmony

(Chorus)

Give us not consolation
Give us Magic!
Give us the spell of living well
Give us Magic!

Chorus and
We are the power of Isis
We are the power of Isis
We are the power of Isis

Original translation from the Book of going forth – Normandy Ellis

30 Days of Devotion – Brighid

  1. Other related deities and entities associated with this deity

Well, there really aren’t any related deities that I can think of. The Celtic heroes and deities pretty much stand on their own. There are other healing deities and other smithing deities, (those are almost exclusively male) and I suppose other deities of inspiration but not any others that do all, so no there aren’t any.

So that being said, I guess her Flame is an entity of a sort, so I offer this:

I was born as I flew from the flint down through the air into the straw in a bowl many hundreds of years ago. The bowl was carried by a woman to a lamp and I have been tended by women ever since, a constant parade of ever changing and ever the same women, always 19 at a time.

Women of all sizes and shapes, at first they were mostly women with red hair like my flame or hair dark as the soot I leave behind or hair as grey as ash. I burned year after year tended by these 19 women but every 20 days and I was left alone. Then I was tended by the Goddess who seemed as ever changing as the women. Sometimes she was young as a spring lamb and as fresh as dew chanting poetry and singing as she kept watch. Sometimes she was older and had muscles and would come in blackened and sooty and smelling of iron and sweat. Sometimes she was much older and came in smelling of flowers and leaves and had a peace in her face as she tended me that soothed my fiery spirit.

It went for years like this first tended by women robed in white or green who sang to their Goddess and of the people they prayed for and much later the women changed to a somber black robe and were swathed in cloth and only their faces and their hands were visible to me. They sang different songs. Songs that didn’t always seem to be about their Goddess but the Goddess still came. She used to wink at me and tell me stories. She said they didn’t always know who she was anymore but she loved that they still faithfully tended her.

Then the men came, men in steel like the Goddess smelled of, men reeking of hate and with ugly looks on their faces and they tried to douse me with water and leave me as a steaming and cold thing. They didn’t know that the women had taken a gift from me and hidden me in a lantern and took me in a boat over the water. I burned and burned in that new land for hundreds of years and then, not so long ago more women brought me home and I am tended again in this place near a well, ever tended by women but now every once in a while a candle dips into me and I’m taken to a new lamp or a new candle or even sometimes a radiant and lovely bonfire and I am tended by new people. People of all colours and races, people whose faces shine back at me all over the world and not just women but men too. People whose face shines with love for their Goddess or saint, people who pray for other people to be well and strong or whole in what ever way that needs to be even if well and whole means a quiet ending.

And every twenty days my Goddess, Brighid returns to me. Telling me stories and smelling of herbs or of hard work before she goes out again into the world and the people she loves and I shine in many places, on many hearths and I shine for my eternal Goddess.

This story is also available in my book The Heart Town Witch and Other Stories.

30 Days of Devotion – Brighid

  1. Members of the family – genealogical connections

Well, technically, this is the genealogy  of Brighid:

Pagan version:

Every day and every night that I say the genealogy of Brighid

I shall not be killed

I shall not be harmed

I shall not be put into a cell

I shall not be wounded

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me

No lake, no water, no sea shall drown me.

For I am the child of Poetry,

Poetry, child of Reflection,

Reflection, child of Meditation,

Meditation, child of Lore,

Lore, child of Research,

Research, child of Great Knowledge,

Great Knowledge, child of Intelligence,

Intelligence, child of Comprehension,

Comprehension, child of Wisdom,

Wisdom, child of Brighid.

Carmina Gaedelica edited by Lunea Weatherstone

Christian version

SLOINNEADH na Ban-naomh Bride,

Lasair dhealrach oir, muime chorr Chriosda.

Bride nighinn Dughaill duinn,

Mhic Aoidh, mhic Airt, nitric Cuinn,

Mhic Crearair, mhic Cis, mhic Carmaig, mhic Carruinn.

Gach la agus gach oidhche

Ni mi sloinntireachd air Bride,

Cha mharbhar mi, cha spuillear mi,

Cha charcar mi, cha chiurar mi,

Cha mhu dh’ fhagas Criosd an dearmad mi.

Cha loisg teine, grian, no gealach mi,

Cha bhath luin, li, no sala mi,

Cha reub saighid sithich, no sibhich mi,

Is mi fo chomaraig mo Naomh Muire

Is i mo chaomh mhuime Bride.

THE genealogy of the holy maiden Bride,

Radiant flame of gold, noble foster-mother of Christ,

Bride the daughter of Dugall the brown,

Son of Aodh, son of Art, son of Conn,

Son of Crearar, son of Cis, son of Carina, son of Carruin.

Every day and every night

That I say the genealogy of Bride,

I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried,

I shall not be put in cell, I shall not be, wounded,

Neither shall Christ leave me in forgetfulness.

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,

No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown mc,

No arrow of fairy nor dart of fay shall wound me,

And I under the protection of my Holy Mary,

And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride.

Or another version, obviously not Christian

GENEALOGY OF BRIGIT
The genealogy of the holy maiden Brigit,
Radiant arrow of flame, noble foster-mother of gods,
Brigit the daughter of the Dagda,
Dagda the Good God, the son of Ethlinn,
Ethlinn the daughter of Balor,
Balor the king of the Fomoire.
Every day and every night
That I say the genealogy of Brigit,
I shall not be killed, I shall not be injured,
I shall not be enchanted, I shall not be cursed,
Neither shall my power leave me.
No earth, no sod, no turf shall cover me,
No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
No water, no lake, no sea shall drown me,
No air, no wind, no vapour shall sicken me,
No glamour out of Faery shall o’ertake me,
And I under the protection of the holy maiden,
My gentle foster-mother, my beloved Brigit.

Sloinneadh na Ban-naomh Bride,
Lasair dhealrach oir, muime chorr Chriosda.
Bride nighinn Dughaill duinn,
Mhic Aoidh, mhic Airt, mhic Cuinn,
Mhic Crearair, mhic Cis, mhic Carmaig, mhic Carruinn.
Gach la agus gach oidhche
Ni mi sloinntireachd air Bride,
Cha mharbhar mi, cha spuillear mi,
Cha charcar mi, cha chiurar mi,
Cha mhu dh’ fhagas Criosd an dearmad mi.
Cha loisg teine, grian, no gealach mi,
Cha bhath luin, li, no sala mi,
Cha reub saighid sithich, no sibhich mi,
Is mi fo chomaraig mo Naomh Muire
Is i mo chaomh mhuime Bride.

Poetry Month – Brighid

By Cyntia Smith and Ruth Barrett

Brighid

Hear my words, I’m calling from your heart

And calling from your mind

I am the spark that kindles the flame

And nurtures all mankind

For a jewel of light has been at every root

And lies within the soil’s clay

And it cradles the babe of our visions and dreams

And sends all creation into flight.

Take my hand, I’ll pull to free your stance

I pull only at first

And when you push on to make out a path

The waiting seed pods burst

There’s a fountain that flows and deep within the rock

And satisfies the thirst in all.

And it cools the brow when the hammer falls

And smooths the way for the birth.

So speak my name, I’ll come to any door

And come at any hour

And when you raise your voice and your heart

Your innocence is power

And the healing of love can sweeten bitter taste

And wash the poison from the wound

And it fills every sail to ride upon the sea

And guides every vessel homeward bound.

30 days of Devotion – Brighid

Day 4 is for favourite myths or stories – This isn’t really a myth but it is a story about what we do:

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.

If you would like to join Ord Brighideach here is the link to the website: http://www.ordbrighideach.org/raven/

There are FAQs there that explain more. I’m in Cill Elder, 3rd shift.