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

04 April 2018

“Why I Tend Your Flame” by Mael Brigde

why return always to this endless ritual
of nineteen days plus one

on the twentieth day of the cycle
when each sister has had her turn
you keep your flame alive

in the evening of the following day
you offer me the glowing coal
to kindle
my own small fire

I am so forgetful
I strike the match
and before the wick is blackened
I am a thousand miles away
planning   worrying   angry   wishful
hurrying to accomplish this and that

if I am so very forgetful
why return

in that moment
when I take a breath
place the candle in its lantern
lantern in its cauldron
pour water clean and fresh
around its base
when I add the blue juniper
whisper words of honouring
of sharing   of blessing
of request
when I open my hands to receive
your eye-bright coal
my heart opens with them
I glimpse this wider land
this wider life
I come closer
come for one fraction of a second

this is your gift to me

mine to you
is to return
again and again
to this moment of ignition
in my soul

Image: “Shift candle” by Mael Bridge (2014).

02 January 2018

“Faerie’s Lorica” by Cynthia

Faerie’s Lorica

by Cynthia

I arise today through the courage
of the warriors of Brighid,
and am nourished by Danu.
Her spear forged in justice and power
goes before me.
Her maidens bearing fire and wisdom
surround me,
Her flame of inspiration alights upon my brow,
Her quiet words enter the secret door of my heart
and bring me comfort.
Her sons and her daughters fight for the freedom
of Eire, her sacred land and body,
and I am glad.
When I am weak with sadness,
she gives me courage to rise,
When I am drowning in crippling emotions,
She sends the seal of love and joy,
and the salmon of wisdom to me.
When my soul and heart are broken she mends them
with her smith's art.
When I am in danger she guards me,
I am blessed beyond measure that one day in
Her spark is upon my altar.
I shall not be homeless,
I shall not be left in despair,
I will not be raped,
I will not be murdered,
I will not be overcome by the spirits of evil,
For the Great Cloak of Brighid is about me,
She is the protector and friend of my soul.

So Mote it be.

Image: Brigantia

30 November 2017

“Dubthach Versus the Druid” by Mael Brigde

Dubthach Versus the Druid

much is made of your father
how you lived with him and worked
in his dairy
how you gave away his splendid things
his gold   his sword
his butter and meat

but what of the druid
who bought from him
your pregnant mother

your birth on his threshold
his care as you grew

was he not the true father
of your childish heart

did not his love of gods
obedience to sun and earth
his store of lore and genealogy

shape your vision of your world
give you perfect apprehension
of this sacred pagan place

if in time you drank
from another cup
where a Son
not the Sun

were you not still at ease
in flesh and heart
among the spirits
of land and beasts

so the oaks embrace you
you know the fox’s speech
the snowdrop lifts its head
where you have trod

in you they recognize
the blood of one
who lives upon the limen
walks in bright accord
with sanctity

Copyright: Casey June Wolf (2015).
Image: "The mountains known as the Twelve Bens in Connemara at sunset." By No machine-readable author provided. Morna assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL   (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

03 November 2017

“Divine Cow” by Mael Brigde

Divine Cow

luminous white the cow who nursed you
when taken from your mother’s breast

ears of silken red   eyes of warm pitch
called from the Land of Youth
by the clear-sighted druid
the sweet cow’s milk the only food
you could endure

was the land below his dwelling
alive with crying mists
as she trod the hillside’s quickened flanks
in answer

had the sidhe-mound quivered with new light
when you dropped to the druid’s threshold
your mother’s knees resounding
one on rush-strewn floor
one on naked earth without

did the cow then lift her large
and thoughtful ears
so far away and listen for your cry

Copyright: Mael Brigde, 2015.
Image: J. West Cattle Company.

23 July 2017

“I Will Kindle My Fire” (Song) by Mael Brigde

I will kindle my fire this morning
in the presence of Brigit and her holy women.
Brigit, kindle in my heart within
a flame of love to my neighbour
to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all
to the brave, to the knave, to the thrall
without malice, without jealousy, without envy, without fear
without terror of anyone under the sun.

Click here to hear the song on SoundCloud.

This is a reworked Scottish prayer. The original was collected in the Carmina Gadelica by Alexander Carmichael. I made the changes out of a desire to have a prayer I could use when I lit the flame at the start of my shift. The tune arose spontaneously as I recited the prayer.

   Original  Prayer:

       I WILL kindle my fire this morning
   In presence of the holy angels of heaven,
   In presence of Ariel of the loveliest form,
   In presence of Uriel of the myriad charms,
   Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
   Without fear, without terror of any one under the sun,
   But the Holy Son of God to shield me.
        Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
        Without fear, without terror of any one under   the sun,
        But the Holy Son of God to shield me.

God, kindle   Thou in my heart within
   A flame of love to my neighbour,
   To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all,
   To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall,
   O Son of the loveliest Mary,
   From the lowliest thing that liveth,
   To the Name that is highest of all.
        O Son of the loveliest Mary,
        From the lowliest thing that liveth,
        To the Name that is highest of all.

     SourceCarmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmichael, [1900], at sacred-texts.com, pg 231. Modified by Mael Brigde.

Image: Deutsch: “Bäuerin, am Herdfeuer sitzend”, English: “Peasant-woman sitting at the Hearth-fire”, by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) (Wikimedia).

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
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