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

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


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
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!


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.

For James Greenwood’s article in Dickens’ Pall Mall Gazette (1867):

[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.

18 January 2017

“Thereupon she entered” by Ani Greenwood

Thereupon she entered

Thereupon She entered
And on the right hand: wonder
And on the left hand: hope
To the north of her red rock
To the south of her climbing sandy hills
To the east of her croft in ruins
To the west of her crashing sea

Thereupon She entered
Singing that pierces time
And Her long gown, wetted
In the pink soaked sand
Clung to my entrails
And Her hands swept down
Like a hawk upon the heart

She the Lady of Hoy
She the Lady of Callanish
She the Lady of the Western Isles
Lady Brede, Lady Wildness, Lady Mother of the Sea
She the yearning that pierces the heart
Always calling

Ani Greenwood, 6 Dec. 2007

Image: Callanish Stones by Mlm42~commonswiki

15 December 2016

“Who Tends Her Flame” by Mael Brigde

For the Daughters of the Flame, and all who tend Brigit's fire. Thanks to Gillian Daley for letting me use her image, and to the many Daughters who have entrusted me with your heartfelt communications over many years. My life is very different because of you.

Who Tends Her Flame

this one is old (so she tells us)
seldom ventures from her house
sees ice form on boughs
above the passing stream
marks the flight of owls
prays urgently for soldiers
for children
for the soul of a country
(she says) that damns itself

comes to her shift early
leaves late

this one dances in red
grinding lights
song flung across
a throbbing stage
guides her pen over
gaping pages
creamy coffee cold
in her forgotten cup
raises her eyes
to age-dimpled windows

tattoos the knots of Brigit
on her back

this one
toils in church offices
wrestles her child
through pain
dreams of mossy shrines
and rain-silk hills
she carries her mother
through stroke and cancer
trades stinging words
retreats into her yogic lair
to pray

jests when life tastes bitter
on her tongue

who tends her flame

women   children   men
who await the unexpected
who wish for more for self
for soul   for world
who linger a moment
longer than they must
who when rays of sunlight
strike slanting through shadow

see a bright eye watching
and fiery dancing feet

Image: Gillian's First Altar as a Daughter of the Flame - Gillian Daley (2003)
Poem: copyright Casey June Wolf (2011)

13 November 2016

“Elemental Brighid” by Gail Nyoka

File:Irish Oak, Oak Cottage - geograph.org.uk - 423332.jpg

Elemental Brighid, I have heard your voice
and it is a deep, knowing vibration.
You are the keening on the wind, the sorrow of loss
You are the breath that breathes new light
new thoughts, new knowledge.
You are the beating of the wings of a swan,
the poet’s cloak of feathers.
You are the falling acorns of your sacred oak.

Elemental Brighid, I have felt your touch
and it is deep within the beating of my heart.
You are the green grass and the hollow hills,
the crags, the trilithons and the burial mound.
You are the speckled snake, prophetess of time;
You are the Three Worlds united
in the wide branches, towering trunk and
underground roots of your sacred ash.

Elemental Brighid, I have tasted both
bitterness and intoxication
in the flowing waters that are the gentle brook and
the rushing river.
For you are the five streams of my senses,
the flow of the ocean, the deep, clear pool.
You hold wisdom and healing, the blood of life.
You are the delicate bend of the willow.

Elemental Brighid, I have seen your true nature
and I know who you are.
You wear the multi-hued raiment of a changing flame.
You are the bright, strong desire of fire in the belly;
the burning creation of fire in the head;
the heat of the sun and the inner soul.
You are the words of the poet and the bard.
You are the lightning strike
on the living oak of the Druids.


Image: Irish Oak, Oak Cottage This tree in the garden at Oak Cottage at Lisnarick is over 400 years old and the girth of the trunk is 5.5 metres. There are surrounding beech trees which may have been planted at the time of the plantation. By Kenneth Allen.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.