Tag Archive: brigantia


Brighid prayer just because

Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Brighid

I light your flame for peace

I light your flame

I light your flame for healing

I light your flame

Brighid of three faces

I light your flame

Brighid of the forge

I light your flame

I light your flame for strength

I light your flame

I light your flame for knowledge

I light your flame

Brighid of the flame of nine tongues

I light your flame

Brighid, goddess of poets

I light your flame

I light your flame for growth

I light your flame

I light your flame in memory

I light your flame

Brighid, Goddess of midwives

I light your flame

Brighid, guardian of the passage into life

I light your flame

I light your flame for calmness

I light your flame

I light your flame for patience

I light your flame

Brighid, guide of lambs

I light your flame

Brighid, Goddess of Sunrise

I light your…

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Adventures and Musings of an Arch Druidess

Brighid, bean-oirdheirc
Lasrach grad
Fetaim lasrach soillse
Thoir cuireadh sinne
ris a’ bheatha
mhaireannach`

Brighid, Sublime Woman
Quick flame
Long may you burn bright!
You give us the invitation
to life everlasting.

Hymn to Brighid II

I am the flame
I am the flame
I am the flame of life
I am the flame
I am the flame
I am the flame of life.

I am the flame of 9 tongues
I am the flame of life
I am the flame that creates all your dreams
I am the flame of life

I am the flame that heals your heart
I am the flame of life
I am the flame that lives in your heart
I am the flame of life.

I am the flame of infinite change
I am the flame of life
I am the flame that knows your name
I am the flame of life.

I am…

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So, I’m very thankful – it’s been a very successful week, both spiritually and mundanely…well, except for this morning when I had to be up at 4:30AM to drive my husband to the airport (Army stuff).  But, then again, I’m thankful for that now that I think about it because this school he is going to and the orders we will receive when he completes it has stopped him from being deployed to Afghanistan…so yes, I can say that I’m thankful for that.

Anyways, spiritually – I’ve made a very long-awaited connection with Epona.  As I’ve stated in comments under my Epona entry, I’ve always loved and had a strong connection with horses.  Equine Science was my first college major until I’d gotten into a car accident on my way to college one early icy morning on my way to the horse barn to groom and take care of the horse that I was responsible for, Briar.  Despite having to be up at 5AM every morning to get to the horse barn, it was well worth it to me as I loved EVERYTHING about it.  I loved the smells, the sounds of the horses whinnying and snorting, and most especially grooming her.  That was when I was at peace in my “happy place” – spending that one on one time with her rubbing, brushing and picking hooves.  I also loved riding – the freedom from all my cares that came with it was amazing…

“Rhiannon” by Amanda Walsh

In my younger days, when confronted, being “cut down” or if someone tried to discourage me from doing something I had set my mind to, I remember “feeling” like a wild horse saying, “I will not be broken!”  Stubborn…very stubborn (if truth be told, I still am).  I’ve felt a faint connection with Epona for several years now; with Her name popping into my head for no apparent reason and calling out to Her when feeling weak, hurt and vulnerable.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling Her energy grow stronger and stronger as She made Her way into my life and really made Her presence known.  Perhaps that began when during our last Druid study group several weeks ago, I pulled the Horse card from the Druid Animal Oracle deck after focusing on the question, “What do I need to focus on today?”  I’ve also felt a spark with Rigantona and Rhiannon, even Macha; but more so with Epona.  Maybe because Her energy just feels so much “older” and primal to me than Rhiannon, Rigantona and Macha.

“Epona the Horse Goddess” by Gene Avery North

It’s been extremely healing, opening up a whole new sense of deeper love, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance that I was afraid that I’d never come to know.  I had a friend a long time ago that said, “Pony medicine is good medicine – healing medicine,” and as far as I’m concerned, he was right on the money!  I’m not sure what finally sealed the deal completed this connection – perhaps when it was when I was riding one of the horses with my daughter at the Renaissance Festival last Sunday – I have no idea.  All I know is that She’s here and I’m so thankful for Her warm, loving and peaceful presence I feel when my anger or feelings of discontent and frustration flare up.  I can “see” Her: a milk-white mare with big soft brown eyes just staring at me and feel Her comforting warmth.

I’ve also decided to try to work with Her as a Gatekeeper, which I understand is usually a male deity.  However, I feel She would make a perfect Gatekeeper as She is associated with protection, keys, the Otherworld and Underworld, being a psychopomptravel, shape-shifting, dreams, the Feminine and magic – just to name a few of Her associations.  As I have more of a Dianic nature, it just feels right.

“Green Goddess of Beltane” by ArwensGrace

I’ve thought a lot about the Goddesses that I feel connected to and noticed a pattern.  First off, Brighid – Celtic, who goes by many names depending on the region or tribe you’re looking at (i.e. Brìde in Scotland, Brigindū in GaulBrigantia in Great Britain, etc.).  Nemetona – Celtic, worshiped in eastern Gaul.  Sulis – Celtic, another Gaulish Goddess worshiped at the thermal spring of Bath (with associations with Brighid).  And now Epona – another Gaulish Goddess worshiped throughout the Celtic and even Roman world.  I also have an interest in Artio a Celtic/Gaulish bear Goddess, worshiped notably at Bern (Switzerland) and Abnoba, another Gaulish Goddess who was worshipped in the Black Forest and surrounding areas with connections to Diana (another favorite Goddess of mine).  Do you see a pattern?  They’re all Celtic Goddesses, yes, but more specifically, they’re all Gaulish.  I think I’ve found my pantheon 🙂

This kind of surprised me as I had expected it to be more of an Irish pantheon, but the feeling of connectedness just isn’t as strong as it is with the Gaulish pantheon.  Perhaps because of my Ancestors?  I will freely admit that yes, I am a mutt – Sicilian, Polish and Czechoslovakian on my father’s side and Irish, German, Polish, English, French and Dutch on my mother’s side.  Now, I know that there are people who say that ancestry doesn’t have too much of an influence on what deities call to you, and I agree with that; however, I feel that sometimes, it does.

Onto a different topic now…

I’ve just now discovered a very yummy and acceptable offering to the Shining Ones – Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.  It caught my eye one day as I was walking through the PX looking for a bottle of whiskey to use for my offerings, especially after our very successful garage sale we’ve been running all this past week.  I felt a collective acceptance from the Shining Ones as we gave offerings of thanks for our blessings we had received.

That then inspired my husband…mead making.  Eventually, when he retires from the military, we would really like to live a self-sustainable life.  My aunt and uncle are beekeepers and sell their own honey.  I one day want to learn this skill and sell honey and make soaps and skincare products.  My husband sees an opportunity to make and sell mead as well.  Perhaps some Divine Inspiration?  🙂  Who knows…we’ll see where this dream takes us…

Goddess Brigit

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

“Brigit’s themes are health and inspiration.  Her symbol is a cauldron.  Brigit is an Irish Goddess known throughout Europe as ‘the Bright One’ because of Her inspiring beauty and fiery qualities. Today is Brigit’s festival in Ireland because it’s the traditional first day of spring there, when lingering winter shadows are banished by the sun’s radiance. Anyone desiring fertility, health or creativity should invoke Brigit’s blessings today, as the ancients did.

During the winter months it’s easy to get a case of the blahs of sniffles. Brigit comes to our aid by offering us the spiritual elixir in her cauldron. Make yourself a nourishing broth today (like chicken bouillon) and serve it in a cauldron (a three-legged bowl). If you don’t have one, any cup or mug would do. Bless the broth by holding your hand over the top, visualizing golden light filling the liquid, and saying something like this:

‘Brigit, hear my Prayer
and bless my Cauldron (or cup) of inventiveness
Renew my body, inspire my heart
Throughout my life
your wholeness impart
So be it.’

Drink the broth to internalize inspiration.

For health, take any candle (a green one is ideal for healing) and carve nineteen crosses into it. The number nineteen and the symbol of a cross are both sacred to Brigit. Light this candle for a few minutes every day for the next nineteen days. Or, you can let the candle burn for nineteen minutes instead.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Brigit is a beloved Celtic Goddess associated with Healing Waters, Wells and Springs.  She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of Creative Consciousness.  Brigit is the “Bringer of Prosperity,” Goddess of Fertility, New Growth and Birth.  She is the Patroness of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, Midwifery and Animal Care & Breeding.  Brigit is Warrior and Healer, Protectress and Goddess of Healing Grace.

“Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Brigit is said to have been born at the exact moment of day break, She rose with the sun, Her head radiant with rays of luminous light, associating Her with ascended awareness, enlightenment, new beginnings, sun beams and warmth. She is celebrated on Imbolc, falling on February 1 or 2, celebrating the return of the light and the coming of the spring.  Thus Her solar aspects may also represent Brigit as the Promise of Spring, the Bringer of Light after the dark months of winter. This energy brings with it HOPE, renewed enthusiasm, renewal, and new beginnings.

Imbolc and Brigid the Triple Goddess

Brigit is considered a Triple Goddess, yet many references distinguish Brigit differently than the traditional Triple Goddess aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone.  Rather Brigit is frequently referenced having three sister selves with three distinct roles, Lady of Healing Waters, Goddess of the Sacred Flame and Goddess of the Fertile Earth.  These roles are then multiplied through Brigit’s vast and varied responsibilities . . .

As a Fertility Goddess, a patroness of domestic animals and crops, Brigit is the Bringer of Prosperity through the abundance and wealth of the land. In addition to its healing associations, Brigit’s Green Mantle may also be associated with the green fertile earth, bringing the wealth of well being, and the remembrance of our own innate fertility to grow and prosper. A Goddess of Sovereignty, her Green Mantle may also represent the remembrance of our Sovereign Self, remembrance of our Divine Authentic Self.

“Imbolc” by Nicole Samlinski

She is the Lady of Healing Waters, Wells and Springs; many wells in Ireland are dedicated to Brigit and the waters are believed to be blessed with the healing grace of the Lady.  Combining the solar light of Brigit’s birth with her healing waters, the sparkling light dancing upon the water’s surface is believed to have spectacular healing attributes, especially healing for the eyes. Also associated with divination, Her wells may represent portals to portend the future, windows to glean helpful guidance and insight.

“Keeper of the Sacred Flame” by Elfdaughter

Brigit is probably most frequently associated with Fire, She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Eternal Flame of Life, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of our Creative Consciousness. This luminous, bright, fiery energy is the energy of creation, the creative power of our consciousness and the creative power of all that is.  Her Sacred Flame brings inspiration and ignites our calling to create, illuminating our personal creative talents and gifts.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

From her Fire aspects, Brigit is also associated with the fire the forge and the fire of the hearth. Goddess of Smith Craft, she is patroness of metal workers and crafters of all kinds.  Through the fire of the hearth, Brigit brings the blessings of warmth and light to the home.

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

“Brigid” by tattereddreams

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

Aligned with the Divine Flame of Inspiration, Goddess Brigit is a magnificent muse, illuminating our natural and true state of inspiration, allowing for our creative energies to flow freely.  We are empowered, motivated and inspired to create. With this energy we realize our innate and eternal connection to the Divine Universal Source, we realize our own Inner Light is illuminated Divine Essence. We remember that we are an aspect of the Eternal Flame of Inspiration and that we are always aligned with divine inspiration.

Goddess Brigit inspires, empowers and encourages us to express our Truth through our purpose.  She offers assistance in releasing and transcending fears; self-limiting patterns and unhealed energy, helping us to feel protected and supported through any and all aspects of self-expression and communication.

This Celtic Queen of Creative Expression reminds us of the power we wield with our words and encourages us to utilize our Empowered Voice.  When we use our Empowered Voice we align our words and thoughts with affirmative language.  We ascend from the passive voice and align with firm, focused, decisive, empowered energy that carries a creative force channeled through all aspects of our communication.  Whether through written word, verbal communication, song lyrics, poetry and/or through our thoughts, Brigit reminds us to align our language with the Empowered Voice, to wield the magic of our words with that which we desire to create, realize and experience.  With this energy, Brigit reminds us of our True Power, with this remembrance we are able to recognize the tremendous creative essence of our Being.

Brigit also supports and encourages us to Speak our Truth. Brigit explains that being able to speak our truth is a tremendous gift.  When the power of our voice rings with the purity of our personal truth, the harmony of our Ascended Self is expressed. This expression wields such blessings of empowered grace, for the truth expressed resonates throughout our consciousness with a cohesive energy, raising the vibration and bringing into harmony the body, mind and spirit with the high vibration of our essential truth.  From this expression of truth confidence is born, the strong and graceful confidence of our Higher Enlightened Self. From this place of empowered truth, confidence and grace, our experience is that of perfect peace, peace with our self and peace with all that is.

“Brigid” by Sharon McLeod

A Goddess of Healing and Midwifery, Brigit lends healing grace within all aspects of health and healing, aids women and animals in childbirth and will also support the birthing process of our creative projects.

Brighid the Warrior

In Her aspect of Warrior Goddess, Brigit is the Protecress of Her People, a devoted and steadfast guardian to all who would call upon Her. Brigit shields those who call upon Her from harm, being kept lovingly guarded within Her protective embrace.  Within the cover of Brigit’s colossal cloak, we feel safe and supported; we transcend the fears founded within illusions of separateness and ascend within the illuminated essence of our True Essential Self.

She is both a warrior and a healer, aligned with fire and water; Brigit helps us to honor our polarities, bringing balance within these polarities and utilizing the vast and infinite nature of our consciousness for the greatest benefit of the whole.

Brigid: Saint and Goddess

Brigit’s name is said to mean “The Exalted One”, “The Bright One”, “Bright Arrow”, “The Powerful One”, and “The High One.”  Known as a Great Mother Goddess of Ireland and also as a Saint, Brigit provides a beautiful bridge between beliefs and practices.  With this energy, Brigit brings the remembrance of our Oneness and is an awesome affirmation of the Eternal Essence of the Divine Feminine.

Some of Her symbols and correspondences include fire, sparks of fire, candles, forges, hearth, sunrise, sunbeams, springs and wells. Oak trees, acorns, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, milk, spears and arrows, snowdrops, blackberries, ivy, crocuses, clover, heliotrope, heather, and the colors green, white, black, red, and yellow, St. Brigit’s Cross, and Corn Dolls.

Goddess Brigit is an all encompassing aspect of the Divine Feminine, reminding us that our own True Potential is beyond any means of measurement.  This lovely, illuminated aspect of the Lady is dedicated to the rediscovery and remembrance of our Divine Power. Goddess Brigit is a devoted and steadfast ally to any and all who call upon Her.” (Rhiannon Barkemeijer de Wit, 2011) [1]

For a collection of links to lore, books and jewelry related to the Goddess Brighid, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND visiting Brigid – Celtic Goddess and Saint.

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

General: Fire (especially sparks, sudden flames), hearth, forge, light, candles, sunrise, springs and wells, poetry, whistling, embroidery, arrows, bells, thresholds and doorways, sandstone rock formations (i.e. large monoliths like those found at Stonehenge), St. Brigid’s cross, cloak, midwifery, middle of winter (Imbolc), corn dolls, and the number 19.

Elements: Fire, water

Sphere of Influence: Abundance, fertility

Preferred Colors: Red, yellow, orange, blue, white, black

Associated Symbol: Eternal Flame, mantle, well

Animals Associated with: White, Red-eared cow, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, bees, owls, serpents (especially two entwined), and all hibernating animals (i.e. snakes, badgers, grounhogs).

Plants: Dandelion, snowdrop, crocus, trillium, acorns and oak tree, corn, oat, sage, pumpkin seeds, heather, chamomile, broom, shamrock, rushes, straw, and all field flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Heather, wisteria, violet, lavender, lemon verbena, and heliotrope.

Gems and Metals: Gold, brass, silver, carnelian, agate, copper, amethyst, jasper, and rock crystals.

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Time to Work with: Sunrise

Strongest Around: Imbolc

Suitable Offerings: Coins, fire, blackberries

Associated Planet: Venus                                               [2] [3]

 

 

My tribute to the Blessed Brighid

 

 

 

Sources:

Barkemeijer de Wit, Rhiannon. Pyramidcompany.com, “Who is Goddess Brigit?

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Brigid“.

Pagannews.com, “Brighid“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Brighid“.

Catsidhe, Grey. Ditzydruid.com, “Brighid: My Muse“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Brigantia

Jones Celtic Encyclopedia, “Brigit“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Brigid“.

Ord Brighideach International

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Brigid: ignite your passion – goddess of the flame“.

Rhiannon. Faeryshaman.org, “BRIGID, BRIGHDE, BRIDE, BRIDEY, BRIGANTIA, BRIGANDU, BRIGGIDDA,BRIG, BRIGHID, BRIGIT, BRIDGE,  BRIGITTE“.

Shee-eire.com, “Celtic Goddess Brigit Datasheet“.

Bridget’s Song

So, here is a little video I put together earlier today in honor of Imbolc, but a few days away and of course, the Goddess Brighid; one of my most favorite and beloved Goddesses.

The song in this video is set to “Bridget’s Song” by Celia and can be purchased at Celia Online.

Brighid Turns the Wheel

As it has always done, and will continue to do, the Wheel turns. Yule is over, the old year is dead and gone. Though you can’t see it, new life stirs. Of course, it may not feel like it in Upstate New York right now as I look out my window at all the snow coming down. But the days are growing noticeably longer and we know that change is taking place all around us, no matter how small. The Bright One is with us. You can’t help but feel Her presence and Her warmth – Her spark urging and drawing us to awaken from our midwinter slumber.

“Spring” by by Ruth Sanderson

Traditionally, Brighid presides over Imbolc and for good reason. She is the Maiden in which new life rejoices. We invite Brighid into our homes and lives to help us purify and clear out that which no serves us or is needed from the year prior with Her fire and watery aspects. We ask Her to assist us in divination at the crossroads so that we may know which direction or path to take in the hopes that our efforts will yield a successful and bountiful harvest in the year to come. We call upon Her as midwife to help us take the steps we need to take, no matter how small, to transform our hopes and that which we dreamed of during our long winter’s slumber into reality. As She did so delicately with me, She calls us to come forth and to seek healing if we need it; to guide us to those with warm hearts and strong hands to help us emerge from the winter within our souls and face the challenges and lessons that lie ahead.

“Luna Meets Brigid at Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Ostara is a very powerful time to take the steps, whether physically, mentally or magically, to attune to the earth’s balancing energies and rebalance what needs balancing in your life. It is time to clean out (if we haven’t already started doing so) to make room for new growth and facilitate creativity. Also take this time to make ready your “tools” (magical and mundane) you’ll need and prepare the “seeds” (spiritual and physical) you plan sew so that they may have enough time to grow and properly come into bloom. I believe it wouldn’t be at all inappropriate to call upon Brighid during this time to lend Her assistance in our efforts as creativity and blacksmithing are both included in Her many fortes.

“Brighid’s Walk” by Helen Nelson-Reed

Beltane is a time to revel in the creative heat of the Bel-fires that act as a catalyst for all kinds of sacred fertility and growth. The fires revitalize and renew us. The Goddess Brighid being a Goddess of forge-fires and the fire of inspiration was no stranger, I’m sure, to the fever-fire of passion. As such, Bel, Lugh or Oghma would make appropriate Consorts for Her if She so chooses. This sacred union between the God and Goddess is sacred to us because fertility is sacred. Without the sacred act of the union, there would be no fertility; there would be no life.

“The Beltane season is a time of fertility, not only for people but for the land as well. In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself. To cultivate something in the black soil, see it sprout and then bloom, is to watch a magical working unfold before our very eyes. The plant cycle is intrinsically tied to so many earth-based belief systems that it should come as no surprise that the magic of the garden is one well worth looking into.” (Wigington, Patti, Magical Gardening Around the World)

Next, the Wheel turns to Litha, or Midsummer. Like Ostara, it has been questioned as to whether or not Midsummer has always been celebrated by our ancient ancestors or whether the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many Neo-Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June. “This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life. Flowers surround us with bright colors and seductive fragrances drawing the bees in to ensure fertility and reproduction of the species; which in turn provides us with sweet honey. All the seeds have been planted and the crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive.” (Wigington, Patti, Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice)

I draw associations here between Brighid’s fiery and watery aspects and the need for balance between the hot, blazing and fiery sun and the need for cool, replenishing and healing water. We also observe the balance between light and the darkness, both in the physical world and within ourselves. Take the time to appreciate and love all the beauty and blessings that have blossomed in your life over the course of the year thus far. There is so much beauty not only in the world and in nature, but also within ourselves. Find it, find your confidence and love. Celebrate it, dance joyously in the sun’s warm and healing rays as this is one of the most cherished duties we have as children of the Goddess.

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

What does that mean for us? No such great festivals bind us together today as they did thousands of years ago to promote survival. However, we can learn from them that connection is vital for a happy and complete life. Coming together for ritual confirms, builds and strengthens Community. This is also a good time to focus on preparing one’s family and home with some magic around the hearth and home.

“Decide which events, goals or relationships no longer serve your highest and best, make preparations to remove them from your life.” [1] Throw symbols of them into Brighid’s fire. Now is also the time to finish long-standing projects by the fall. It would also be a good time to bless the tools of your trade in order to bring a richer harvest next year. Again, Brighid being a Hearth Goddess and Goddess of blacksmithing would be more than willing to lend Her assistance if asked in both of these tasks.

“Brigid” by Nefaeria

The autumn is the season of death; it is a time of transformation. When things are stripped away from us or we feel the need to clean out that which is no longer needed, giving up old habits and attitudes that no longer fit us, we ask Brighid to help us understand the wisdom of transformation. She helps us when we seem to have nothing left or are in pain of loss. She helps us understand that when something is truly finished and no longer useful to our soul’s purpose, we can find ourselves happy at the change. We are renewed. This is the hope hidden within the apparent darkness of transformation.

“Brigid: Bardic Spirit” by Lindowyn

The veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest, as it was at Beltane. This is a time to remember and honor all who have crossed over and all that has died. We recall with a sharp pang of memory, the loves so full of promise, the ideas that seemed to gleam, the plans that called to us. We move on, eventually past broken hearts and shattered dreams, stronger for the losses we have endured. But to live most fully, we must make time to grieve the pain of these losses, to give time to the sorrows as well as the joys of life. This is a time that we turn to Brighid to light our way through the darkness to receive warmth and healing at Her hearth. We become still and quiet to acquire or gain any wisdom and knowledge that She has to bestow. We watch as she works and hammers away deep in Her forges, shaping and tempering strong tools from crude metal, transformed by fire and water.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

The Wheel turns to Yule. The cold and darkness of winter has been long and hard. The daylight does not seem to diminish or grow as though at a standstill. We seem to be holding our breath, waiting for change. The soul holds still like this, just before great change occurs. It is a silence so profound that it seems as though time has stopped. In this magical moment, we have the chance to set in motion great changes, great happenings. This is the moment when the seeds of new life, new growth, must be planted.

“Promise of Imbolc” by Adrian Welch

The Winter Solstice, or Yule, was an incredibly sacred time to our ancestors. They recognized and celebrated the “rebirth” of the sun, for they knew that they had made it and the sun was returning. They knew that the worst was over. “Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.” (Akasha, The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore)

How we yearn for the light in the dark times of winter. Even knowing how important rest is to ourselves and to our planet, how happily we greet the dawn and the spring! Brighid’s flame shines like the flame of a new light and it pierces the darkness and shines into our spirits. Even to this day, we celebrate, laugh and tell stories and seek out companionship during the darkness of winter. Mythically, our role in the cosmic drama is important, for without laughter the sun will not return. So in this dark time, let us all laugh as loudly and as long as possible. For as the ancients knew, the worst is over and we will survive…just to do it all again next year!

“Maiden Goddess” by Wendy Andrew

Brighid Bright 

by Autumn Sky

Brighid my Mother
nurture me
so that I may nurture and nourish
Brighid my Maiden
make me fertile, sensuous, feminine
so that I may know the power of my female form
Brighid my Crone
make me quiet
so that I may know the patience
to grow wise with time
Brighid my Blacksmith
forge me strong and true
so that I may stand tall and solid
Brighid my Poet
give me eloquence and a moon-graced tongue
so that my words may find their way
to open eyes, hearts, and minds
Brighid my Healer
wash me clean in health
so that I may touch and heal
myself, my land, my people
Brighid my Warrior
imbue me with courage and dignity
so that I may fight an honest fight
for respect, equality, and freedom
for all minds, hearts, souls, and bodies

Brighid my multifaceted star
no matter how cloudy the night sky
a spot of clarity
all sides combine
one bright one shines
to give me what I need
one woman, one heart, one soul, one mind
but with her on my side
I am so much more
every step a new door
to who I can be
because she makes it so
I can be free to be
who deep down I know
is the woman i have always been


The lunar month of Rowan offers you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve and nurture your dreams.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the plowing of the soil to prepare it for the seed; any magic performed now is groundwork.  The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life-force is stirring beneath.  Ask yourself what you need to prepare to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The White Month

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (February 2) falls in the Rowan Moon, and is associated with the Goddess Brigid, to whom the festivities are dedicated.  Also known as Bride, She represents the mother of the newborn Sun, and all candle magic is sacred to Her.  During the Rowan Moon, wear white to cast spells, use white candles, and feast on white foods to attune to the season.

 

THE TREE OF PERSEVERANCE

The rowan terrain or mountain ash often grows on craggy mountains, higher than any other tree.  Its ability to flourish in bleak places teaches you perseverance.  The rowan berries reveal a natural pentagram at their base – a symbol of the womb of the Earth Goddess and of protection.  These physical attributes give the tree associations of healing and guardianship.

The rowan berry has a tiny five-pointed star or magical pentagram (an important symbol in magical traditions) opposite its stalk.  This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.

Rowan Charms

Sprays of rowan berries were once  hung in cattle barns to protect livestock from disease and sorcery.  The leaves and berries can also be used to make a divination incense, and carrying the bark is believed to promote healing in the bearer.  The name “rowan” even comes from the same root as the word “rune”, in its meaning as a charm.

ROWAN MOON MAGIC

When you collect wood from a tree, remember to leave an offering on a branch in return.

The Wheel of Bride

This protective charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

1. Collect two straight sticks of rowan or mountain ash wood.  Leave an offering of thanks on a branch, such as a strand of hair, thread or ribbon.

2. Hold the sticks in a cross and say, “Spirits of this wood, I bring you together for the good of all.”

3. Bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure with red thread.  As you do this, visualize a powerful white light.

4. Hold the charm up to the Sun and say: “Behold the Wheel of Bride, blessed be.”

Magic Mirror

Use this meditation and a magic mirror to help increase your psychic powers.

1. Prop up a round mirror on a table, surrounded by rowan leaves, berries and three white candles.  Close your eyes and say aloud, “My Lady, open my inner eye to grant clear vision.”

2. Focus on the center of your forehead and “direct” your breathing on this spot.

3. Half-open your eyes and gaze in the mirror.  Focus on your breath and register any images that drift into your mind.  Repeat this process regularly and your visions will improve.

Candle Magic

Combine the magic of the Rowan Moon with the candle magic of Imbolc.

1. Fill a small pot with earth and then hold a white candle in your right hand.  Concentrate on what you want to grow this year.

2. Plant the candle in the soil saying: “Mother Brigid, I ask you to nurture my dream, may it grow with your blessed light.”

3. Light the candle and see its flame expand, taking strength from the Sun.

4. After seeking the help of the Goddess through candle magic, plant a seed as an offering of thanks to Her in a favorite place and wait for your wish to grow.

 

Attune to the Moon

  • Harness the growing potential of the Rowan Moon in your life and make a new start by following these resolutions.
  • Begin spring cleaning now.  As the light increases, you need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth.
  • Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask you guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.
  • Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one.  Snowdrops hold potential of spring.
  • Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love.  The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Source:
“Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD 6.

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The Goddess Tree, “Rowan“.

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