There are dozens of sites around which talk about who Brighid is, and quite a few that discuss flamekeeping cills. I’ll add a few links at the end of this post to some of those sites.
What I want to talk about is my own relationship with Brighid, and how She has influenced my life in the past few years.
You may recall that back in 2012 I began covering my hair after Brighid asked it of me. Over time, the need to cover my hair lessened, and now I go out most days with me head completely bare. Interesting that my internal need to cover my hair has decreased the longer my hair grows, but I’ll look at that another time.
I began a daily devtion to Brighid and these days the only time She really voices a request for my to cover my hair with when I am sitting at the simple devotional altar I have set up for Her and Herne.
Brighid came into my life during a time of intensely painful upheaval. In one swift moment, I lost my marriage and my identity as a woman, I had to give up my role as a volunteer in my children’s school, and dreams I had bringing into being for a move to Scotland were gone. I sank into a very hard, severe depression and became somewhat agoraphobic. I started having panic attacks and in the midst of those would have to fight urges to self-harm.
If not for the kindness and caring of good friends, I would have sunk into a pit of aloneness and I am not sure I would have been able to find my way out again. But, I had friends who contacted me every day, even if it was just a quick message online. I had a doctor who took the time to see me every week for a while, then as I improved we tapered things back. Friends who made sure I got out to get groceries, or just to socialise.
And, I had Brighid.
Who asked me to cover my head, saying it would help. And it did. Because I did not have to expend as much of my personal energy on shielding myself from
the emotional energies of others, I had more to spare for getting myself better.
Who asked me to start lighting a candle and saying a devotion to Her each day. I’m not generally one for lots of long, flowery orations, but a simple chant was given to me and I use that each day.
After I had been saying that devotion to Brighid regularly, another chant was given to me to help me recover my inner strength. I use that one each day as well, and whisper it under my breath during the day as needed.
Today, I realise that this spiral into darkness, or what I sometimes call my personal Long Dark Teatime of the Soul was a necessay journey into the Underworld. A journey which I needed to take, and which in retrospect I had a lot of advance notice of.
Many months after the precipitating eveny which led to my spiral downwards, I reread some of the notes I had taken after doing shamanic journey work.
During one jouney, I was given this message:
That which is you will be burnt away until all that remains is You. Then you will be rebuilt.
Along with this, I kept getting internal messages of needing to follow Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld. During journeywork I would find myself stood on the edge of a high precipice, and be told I needed to trust enough to be able to let myself fall. It was only afterwards that I was able to put it all together. This was part of the process that I needed to go through, travelling through the Underworld, experiencing a death of my old self, in order to embark on the next stage of my life.
Brighid showed up in my life at a time when I needed to spend time discovering who I am when I do not bear the title of Mother. She has also shown up in a time when my role as a Mother is drawing to a close, and I am drawing closer to becoming a grandmother. My children are growing, or are grown and ready to begin a family of his own, and I am moving closer every day to menopause. While Modron has been my Patron Goddess for many, many years She has indicated that Her time with me is coming to an end.
I have considered becoming a flamekeeper for Brighid, but for now I need to keep my devotions to myself, without worrying about the time schedules of others. I know that this is always my choice.
Meanwhile, I do still cover my head for Brighid, but only when I am sitting at my altar doing my daily devotions.
A further note:
After Herne whispered in my ear that He was feeling neglected I began doing a daily devotion to him as well. He wanted to remind me that before he was Patron God of my marriage and family He was Patron God to me and He was still with me.
My devotion to Brighid consists of filling a small bowl with water and saying Her chant aloud many times.
Herne gets a small glass with a small amount of whisky. And I say another chant for Him.
I then light a candle for both.
I finish by saying my strength chant. My personal reminder that while the Gods are with me to give me strength when I need it, I have an inner core of strength to call upon.
For further information about Brighid
Blogs from Brighid Flamekeepers