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 July 2017

Two Poems at the MotherHouse of the Goddess



I am happy to say that The MotherHouse of the Goddess, the school which hosts my Brigit courses, has published two of my poems on its blog. You can follow this link to read “Brigit – Keeper of Cattle”, and the following to see “At Your Healing Well”.

Thank you, Kim, for your appreciation and support of my work and devotion to Brigit.

For those interested in the courses, the introductory course is called Discovering Brigit, and the month-long activation course is Stepping Into Brigit. If you enroll in the first (for $15 US), you will have an opportunity to continue to the second course at the end, and will be rebated most of that money in the enrollment process.



21 June 2017

“All-Giving Sun, Father of Brig” by Mael Brigde



All-Giving Sun, Father of Brig

Good God
Shapeshifter
Glowing Head
Beautiful Fire
Ruddy One of Much Wisdom

Father of All

such is the vast Dagda   Brig
the one who gave you life
perfector of divine science
possessor of triads
the god of druidry
to the gods

the sun itself in heaven
able and magnanimous
he cleared twelve plains in a single night
cut the path of twelve rivers
governs weather    crops for the Tuatha Dé

by night he dwells with the dead
by day   the living
binds together winter and summer
dark and light

builder   warrior
provider and protector
he dwells in the sublimest sidhe
at Brugh na Bóinne
the Hostel of the Mound

voracious and potent
there he lay with the Morrigan
ah  he lay with many goddesses
you have half-sisters    half-brothers
throughout the land

his cauldron a huge and mighty treasure
his dreadful iron club
one end rough and one end gentle
nine men it kills in an instant
nine men in an instant revives

your father   The Dagda
who birthed in you the mighty sun of inspiration
bequeathed you the cauldron generous
ignited in you poet and healer both



Image: "Soleil Coronographe" by Rogilbert (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



30 May 2017

“Night of Sorrow” by Mael Brigde




Night of Sorrow

you chose your penance
in an icy pool
wept and prayed all night                  

God could not bear
such self-reproach
dried the waters
forced you into warmth

then perhaps
Darlughdacha came to you
held your grieving head
Brendan your confessor
gently heard
Conlaeth and the virgins
gathered round your bed
till light returned

and
as it pinked the Curragh
as it gilt the rising oaks
you spied wren and crow
fox and finch
wolf and cow and crane
bearing silent witness
to their love









See: Ó Cathaín, Festival of Brigit, pg. 25, for the story referred to here.
Image: By Miguel Mendez from Malahide, Ireland (Malahide at Dawn (version 1)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons CROPPED. For the full image click here.

26 April 2017

“To You Brigit We Cling” by Mael Brigde




To You Brigit We Cling

the king of the boars and the king of the cattle
to you Brigit   to you Brigit
the king of the rams is proclaiming his battle
to you Brigit   to you Brigit
with shoutings and groanings
and terrible moanings
the demons are wailing tonight
to you Brigit   to you Brigit
we cling in our terrible plight

a goddess—three sisters
the proudest turn to you
to you Brigit   to you Brigit
the sky cracks the sea overflows
the earth splits open wide
to you Brigit we cling
we cling in our terrible plight



This poem quickly became a song. You may hear it in its a capella glory on SoundCloud. 
copyright Casey June Wolf (2017).

04 April 2017

Brigit Bé Bithmaith



English

Brigid, ever-good woman,
flame-golden, sparkling,
may she bear us to the eternal kingdom,
(she) the sun, Fiery, radiant!

May Brigid free us
past crowds of demons!
May she win for us
battles over every disease!

May she extirpate in us
the vices of our flesh,
she, the branch with blossoms,
the mother of Jesus!

The true-virgin, dear
with vast pre-eminence,
may we be free, at all times,
along with my Saint of Leinster-folk!

One of the two pillars of the Kingdom,
along with Patrick the pre-eminent;
the vestment beyond even splendid
vestments;
the royal Queen!

May they lie, after old age,
our bodies, in sackcloth,
but with her grace may she bedew us,
may she free us, Brigid!


Irish

Brigit bé bithmaith
breo orda oiblech.
donfe do 'n bithlaith
ingrian tind taidlech.

Ronsoera Brigit
sech drungu demna
roroena reunn
catha cach thedma.

Do rodha innunn
ar colla císu
in chroeb co mblathaib
in mathair Ísu.

Ind firóg inmain
co norddain adbail,
biam soer cech inbaid
la'm noeb do Laignib.

Leth cholba flatha
la Patraic prímda
in tlacht vas ligdaib
in rigan rígda.

Robbet iar sinit
ar cuirp hic cilicc;
Dia rath ronbroena
ronsoera Brigit.







Image: Kenneth AllenHawthorne blossoms, Omagh. Pictured along Hospital Road. 28 June 2009. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Text: Trinity College Dublin MS 1441, the “Irish Liber Hymnorum” Ireland,11th c. (see http://www.vanhamel.nl/codecs/Brigit_bé_bithmaith for more information.)
Translation: Ruth Lebrnam

10 March 2017

“Nineteen Flames for Brigid” by Lunaea Weatherstone



Following is a series of prayers, or a long poem, to Brigit from Tending Brigid's Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone.

Nineteen Flames for Brigid
by Lunaea Weatherstone

This book[1] opened with a woman lighting a candle in devotion to Brigid. Let’s close in the same way, with nineteen candles this time. This prayer litany can be done all at once or over nineteen nights. You can offer one prayer each night or do it “twelve days of Christmas” style: on the first night offer Flame 1’s prayer, on the second night offer the prayers for Flames 1 and 2, and so on until on the last night you offer all nineteen. However you get there, when you’ve lit that final flame, remember that Brigid holds the twentieth flame, which is eternal.

Flame 1: Welcome
Brigid of brightness, I bid thee welcome,
Brigid of blessing, come thou in.
Brigid of strength, I bid thee welcome,
this night and every night, this day and every day.

Flame 2: Hearth and household
Brigid of the threshold, come thou in,
Brigid of the hearthfire, take your ease,
Brigid of the cook-pot, sup with us,
Brigid of all comforts, dwell in our hearts.

Flame 3: Ancestors
Ancestors all, I embody your legacy,
Ancestors all, I ask for your blessing,
Ancestors all, I offer Brigid’s flame
to light the needfires of deep memory.

Flame 4: Flamekeepers
Brigid of the timeless flame, bless your daughters:
Those who keep the circle bright,
Those whose faith has never failed,
Those who keep your name ablaze.

Flame 5: Healing
Brigid of the holy waters,
Brigid of the soothing hand,
Brigid of the miracles,
Touch me with healing.

Flame 6: Poetry
Brigid of lore, deepen my understanding,
Brigid of bards, increase my eloquence,
Brigid of poetry, lead me to beauty:
Beauty of word and beauty of thought.

Flame 7: Courage
Brigid of the golden shield,
Brigid of courage,
Brigid of the sunbeam,
Increase thou my trust.

Flame 8: Righteous causes
Brigid, lend your righteous sword
To those who work for justice,
To those who speak the truth,
To those who seek a better world.

Flame 9: The oppressed
In the name of Brigid, who empowers the oppressed,
In the name of Brigid, who releases the enslaved,
In the name of Brigid, who lifts up the downtrodden,
May all her people be honored and free.

Flame 10: Children
Brigid the midwife, bless every birth,
Brigid foster mother, protect every child,
Brigid of springtime, bestow on each childhood
The innocence of wonder and the magic of joy.

Flame 11: Women’s causes
Mighty Brigid, your keening women call to you:
Strengthen our voice,
Strengthen our resolve,
Strengthen our sisterhood.

Flame 12: The earth
Brigid, preserve this planet,
The stones and the seas and the skies.
Brigid, spread your green mantle
For the greening of the earth.

Flame 13: Animals
Brigid, protect the earth’s animals,
The fish and the beasts and the birds.
Brigid, shelter your creatures
As your sheep shelter lambs from the wind.

Flame 14: Water
Brigid of the clear dewdrop,
Brigid of the pure wellspring,
Brigid of the pool of knowledge,
Teach us to honor the gift of water.

Flame 15: Creativity
Bright Brigid, flame of creation,
Kindle my enthusiasm,
Fire up my passion,
Ignite my imagination.

Flame 16: Nourishment
Brigid of the overflowing milk,
Brigid of the good brown loaf,
Brigid of the endless butter,
May all beings be nourished.

Flame 17: Peace
Peace of the swan and peace of the kine,
Peace of the hearth and peace of the open door,
Peace between neighbors and peace between nations
The deep peace of Brigid within.

Flame 18: Gratefulness
Brigid, I thank thee three-times-three:
For my birth, my body, my spirit,
For my kin, my clan, my tribe,
For my home, my work, my knowledge of thee.

Flame 19: The three flames of Brigid
May the hearthfire of welcome warm me,
May the temple fire of faith sustain me,
May the forge fire of change strengthen me,
And Brigid’s love encompass me, now and evermore.







[1] Tending Brigit’s Flame by Lunaea Weatherstone (2016).

Poem/Ritual: "Nineteen Candles" by Lunaea Weatherstone from her book Tending Brigit's Flame (2016). By permission.

Image:  Español: Noche de velas, 2015, by Marrovi (talk | contribs), Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

16 February 2017

“The Curragh Wrens” by Mael Brigde




The Curragh Wrens     [1]

heroic Fionn MacCumhail
dust now in the sidhe
Brigit’s abbey
crumbled musty ruin

who dwells on the proud Curragh?

pennants fly   bugles sound   gleaming bayonets
barded mounts rumble cross the plain
host of a foreign Queen

outside the troops’
untarnished bone-white tents
clasp close for bare necessities
the Curragh Wrens

shelters burned   commerce refused them
furze their only nest
in starched gowns they huddle   baby at breast
drink with wandering soldiers
by the barrack wall

these your little
neglected night birds   Brigit
following love   selling their lives
flogged in the streets for their sins












Inspired  by “Stoning the Desolate”, by Charles Dickens, from All The Year Round, No. 292 1864.
http://www.kildare.ie/library/ehistory/2012/02/stoning_the_desolate.asp

For James Greenwood’s article in Dickens’ Pall Mall Gazette (1867):
http://www.kildare.ie/library/ehistory/2008/07/the_wrens_of_the_curragh.asp


[1]    “...the poor wretches of whom we have spoken are called ‘wrens,’ ‘because they live in holes in the banks’...” James Greenwood in Dickens’ newspaper the Pall Mall Gazette, 1867.