As I write this we are in the midst of a classic winter storm. This year it almost feels as if the weather hereabouts has gotten back to “normal” (whatever that is). I can remember 20 foot snow drifts, higher than a school bus, back when I was a teenager and going to the Putney School in Vermont. I remember wind so cold I had to wear an old nylon stocking over my face, just to keep it from frost bite. Now they call that kind of cold a “Polar Vortex” and everyone acts surprised.
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal are sheltering in the Rhododendron bush next to the living room window. Other birds are chomping away at the seeds and suet I put out and I have seen fresh Coyote or Coy-Wolf tracks in the snow every day. The flock of wild turkeys that has adopted me hasn’t been around for a few days. Hopefully they are roosting high up in a conifer somewhere, safe from the snow and predators. When the storm is over I will put out my usual cracked corn for them, at the edge of the driveway.
I love late January and early February because that is the time of year when my Patroness, the Goddess Brighid, is honored. I don’t know what happens in other parts of the world but here in New England we have a yearly event called “The January Thaw” when the air gets warm for about a week and water drips from roof tops and puddles and mud form in driveways. In Celtic traditions it is said that when Brighid walks the countryside, everywhere She steps the ice melts and the Earth turns to green. It is far from green here, but we certainly get hints of Spring at the time of Her festival.
I always know that Brighid is here by the weather, and I put out a candle in the snow, oatmeal or oatmeal cookies for Her and her donkey, and a basket of cloths to be used for healing throughout the year, for Her to bless. That magical time is now over and the snow is dropping on us in buckets, by this evening we will have a foot or more.
Here are some prayers and invocations that I like to use.
INVOCATION OF BRIGHID
(from PRIESTESS OF THE FIRE TEMPLE – A DRUID’S TALE)
by Ellen Evert Hopman
(translation by Alexei Kondratiev)
A Brigit, a ban-de beannachtach
Tair isna huisciu noiba,
A ben inna teora tented trena,
Ocus isin chiunn,
Cossain inna tuatha.
O Brighid, blessed Goddess
Come into the sacred waters
O woman of the three strong fires,
In the forge,
In the cauldron,
In the head.
Protect the people.
~ ~ ~
Brighid, Patroness of the Druids and Bards
By Ellen Evert Hopman
(From A DRUID’S HERBAL FOR THE SACRED EARTH YEAR, Destiny Books)
Beloved Brighid of the triple flame
Daughter of the Dagda
Guardian of the sacred spring
Whose voice is the soul of the harp
We call on thee.
Teach our hands to heal
and our hearts to sing.
We entrust our life’s progress to your care
and ask that you shape us
bending and turning our hearts
on your bright anvil of flame
till we are made perfect jewels
fit to be set into the eye
of your timeless harp
to play for the soul of the people
in times of sorrow and times of celebration.
We thank you for your gifts to us
of poetry and music
of laughter and tears
and for the healing balm of your wisdom.
May we always remember to meditate
on the gift of your sacred waters
which surround us at our birth
and sail us to our destiny.
Our hearts are open
to receive your blessing.
Midwife of our souls, rain on us.
Shower your inspiration
in curtains of song
from sacred waterfalls
in the realm where you dwell.
Come to us as Virgin
with the soft smell of flowers.
Come to us as Mother
and feed us your fruits.
Come to us as the Wise Woman
in the stark blasts of Winter.
Help us to see your Mystery in all creation
that we may know gratitude
Our hearts sing to you with love.
Teach us to change
like the revolving seasons.
Teach us to grow
like the green corn that feeds the people.
Teach us to fashion beauty
like the stillness of the forest pool
and the roar of the ocean wave.
Teach us to heal
like the soothing gem
which cools the eyes and Restores the limbs.
With humility and bright expectation
We invoke thee this hour!
- See more at Brighid, Patroness of the Druids and Bards
- Here is a site that collected all my Brighid poetry in one place.
- A lovely new group dedicated to Brighid
SOME RECENT ARTICLES
- This month’s herbal blog over at Witches and Pagans is about Winter cold
- I have an interview in the Imbolc issue of AREN Action
- Sagewoman Magazine – The new issue is all about herbalists (and I have an article in there)!
Below you will find the usual collection of the last Moonth’s media. May
these tid bits inspire your path.
*** If you order books or DVDs from this website you will get a signed copy
with a personal note! Be sure to add a request if you want the books signed
to someone else! ***
- Was Noah’s Ark round?
- The Viking stones of Govan
- Early Europeans had blue eyes, dark skin
- A late Iron Age village
- An Iron Age strap from Scotland
- Ancient Roman Cosmetic ointment jar found in London
- A Celtic brooch is found in a Viking tomb
- A second Lascaux cave?
- PLEASE SIGN these petitions to save aboriginal sacred sites
- Organic farming may be the key to human survival – UN report
- Using mushrooms to clean waterways
- Mushrooms heal PTSD, brain trauma
- Fire Cider controversy heats up – a petition
- Kudzu for food and medicine
- Foraging recipes
- Plants can learn and remember
- Eating Shagbark Hickory bark
- Winter foraging for Wild Garlic
- Linden leaf chocolate
- Linden leaf porridge
- Edible leaf litter
- Plantain has many uses
- Who stole the Pope’s blood?
- The only thing that matters – love
- The Dharma of climate change
- Religious minorities suffer in Christian dominated school systems
- Pope Frank does it again, firing corrupt Vatican Bank officials
- This is another example of how we are still discriminated against – Paganism, Wicca, Druid are lower case while Christianity is upper case. A prime example of how editing rules need to change. You can sign a petition to make that happen here.
- Rise and fall of the Druids (note* we are still here today!) (video)
Oddly, this video has little to do with Druids. It’s mostly about the Bronze Age megalithic monuments in Britain
- Imbolc is here! (In my area the sheep give birth mid-February)
- Sea views from Ireland, and a free Irish language course!
- The Ogham alphabet
- Airport mistakes a Haggis for plastic explosives
- A free download of Gods and Fighting Men
- Ekeltoi A Celtic cyber Journal
- Professor Fergus Kelly’s 2013 Statutory Lecture is now available on the web
- Forgotten history – the Irish Slave Trade
- Ancient Sacred Sites in Britain (video)
- Celtic inventions in use today
- The Mari Lywd (video)
- About the Grey Mare
Y Tylwyth Teg o’r teulu
A ddewch chwi’r golau heb gelu
I weld Wasael yn ddiaeth
Nid oes eu bath hi’n Nghymru.The fair folk of the household,
Come to the light without hiding,
To see the wassail without pain,
There’s not one like it in Wales. (Trans. By T. Owen)
- Jonas Trinkunas, Pagan Lithuanian Priest and head of Romuva, has passed tothe Otherworld
View a video of his funeral (video)
- Traditional Lithuanian folk music (video)
- Are past life memories encoded in our DNA?
- Coy-wolves have moved into my area (New England). Here is an impressive collection of articles about them.
- Fukushima update
- Man revives dying bee with honey (there is hope for some humans, after all) (video)
- How plants get energy using Quantum Mechanics
- Aurora Borealis Forecasts
- Bee shortage now threatens crop yields in the UK
POLITICS AND ETHICS
- Negotiators are once again crafting a massive job-killing bill, the TPP. Please follow the link to contacts your reps.
- Walmart’s biggest nightmare
- The Obamacare we deserve
- Robert Reich on income inequality
May Brighid bless your fields and your flocks!