Saturday, February 2, 2013

Practical Actions to Celebrate Goddess Brigid's Feast Day

Although today (February 2nd) is known in popular western culture as Groundhog Day and a day to forecast how long the winter will linger, this day is steeped in ancient spiritual lore.  Those who came before us looked to the Sun and the Moon, and to Nature's cycles to mark the passage of time and plan agricultural seasons.  Today, a mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox has traditionally been a time of increased hope and light.  The days are getting longer, and the sun is getting warmer.  It's a time of purification and healing from the dark forces of winter.

I find today particularly meaningful to me, because it is Goddess Brigid's feast day.  It was in 1998 that I attended an Imbolc ceremony.  It was very powerful and continues to influence me to this day.  My promise to Goddess Brigid that way was to make known the way of the Goddess.  She has worked with me and lent me her healing energy since then, in my own healing process and in my work healing others.  I am very grateful for having her energy in my life, and I am happy to continue to build a relationship with her.

 Brigid is the Lady of the sacred well, the Lady of the sacred flame, and the Lady of healing: a penultimate triple goddess.  Her waters would heal everyone who asked for healing.  Her sacred flames were also for purification and healing.  She had knowledge of healing herbs and taught that knowledge to the people.  With her fires, she taught people to work iron (a very important thing in iron-age Britain).  She also invented the written language, so that her knowledge could be passed on to all, and since it is easier to remember sacred texts and information when it rhymes, she is an inspiration to poets, singers and writers.

She was so important to the Celtic folks that she was later "transformed" into St. Brigid, and her sacred fires who used to be tended by sacred virgins, the Daughters of the Flame were then tended by christian nuns.  Her feast day, one of bonfires and blessings of water before letting the animals out for pasture has been transformed into Candlemas.  This ancient goddess of fertility and wisdom has traversed the ages, and her energy is strong to this day.

So, how can us solitary practitioners honour the Goddess on this beautiful day?   Here are a few ideas of activities you can do on your own or with a group of like-minded people.

  • Go outside, and notice the change of the seasons.  Commune with Nature and its abundance.
  • Journal on what is your passion - how will you keep your inner flame alive and thriving?  What support would you need?  To what do you commit yourself so that your flame can grow?  What shadows are you willing to relinquish to the new light?  What are you willing to let go, so that new ideas, projects, relationships, abundance can grow?  Write down the steps or actions you are willing to take to live your dream life, your passion.  Trust that the divine will meet you on your path and support you in your journey.
  • Write a poem or a song.  
  • Bless the water in your home.  Take a long bath and intend it to be rejuvenating and spiritually cleansing.  Give words of thanks to the water coming into your home and bless it for sustaining your life and your health.
  • Have a great cup of tea.  Inhale its aroma as you become conscious of your breathing.  Enjoy every sip.  
  • Work with metal.  Design a necklace or bracelet.  
  • Light a candle and look into its flame.  As your focus softens, invoke Brigid and allow yourself to have a conversation with her.  What support do you need from her?  What can you do to share her knowledge and energy to the world?  Does she have a task for you?  Remember your role as co-creator:  she will hold her end of the bargain if you do yours.  Once you conclude your conversation with Brigid, take a beautiful ribbon and tie it to a tree as a reminder of your divine partnership.  Ideally, tie it to a tree branch where you can gaze at it everyday, and notice how the tree changes through the seasons.  If the ribbon is still in the tree by Imbolc next year, take it down and burn it; you will replace it with a new ribbon as symbol of your renewed partnership with Brigid.
  • Celebrate the Goddess within you.  Look into the mirror and say, "I love you!"  Give yourself a hug.  Take care of yourself, body, mind and soul.
  • As much as possible, try to include these three elements in your day:  fire or light (e.g. candles, sun-gazing); water (blessing, bath); and signing or writing about your life's passion and dreams.
Enjoy this beautiful day.  Sending you lots of good vibes, Love and Light!  May your spirit be renewed and your passion blossom.

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