I guess it was obvious that my first B post would be about Brighid as She is the core of my religion. Brighid is a popular deity and there is a lot of information about Her on the internet – especially if you accept the idea that Saint Brigit is really the goddess Brighid, as I do. So instead of rehashing information that is already available (and probably more eloquently written) I decided to write about a few of my own experiences with Her. I’d like to stress the fact the everything from here on in is UPG. As always, your mileage may vary.
There are two specific experiences that I’d like to write about today. The first is when Brighid claimed me. A few years ago I was reading about Celtic deities looking for some information on Cerridwen whom I was considering reaching out to. I came across a story about Brighid and was fascinated as I read it. I felt like someone had tapped my shoulder and I thought/heard/felt a voice say “What took you so long?” Having never experienced anything like this, I was sure I had imagined it but at the same time knew that it had felt very real. Later that night I decided to meditate on the experience and what follows is the result of that meditation:
I was walking along a path that I know towards a cabin in the woods that I often visit in meditation. This is my safe place. As I walked along, I became convinced the Brighid was waiting for me and I began to run. As I reached the edge of the woods, I felt that I had to stop, that I was not yet ready for this experience and I sat down in the middle of the path and began to meditate (yes meditation within meditation. That was weird). I focussed on the sun and I became aware that I myself was burning. Fire raced over and through me, burning away all of my fear and pain and doubt until I was a pillar of flame. I felt refreshed, purified and now I was ready. I made my way through the woods toward my cabin, flame still flickering along my limbs. As I neared the cabin, I saw a woman, waiting for me. She was so bright that I could barely look at her and yet I could see her clearly. At the sight of her, my heart was filled with joy and awe and I fell to ground, prostrating myself before her. She laughed, the way a mother does when her child does something cute, and told me to stand. I knew that this was Brighid before me and a part of me was terrified just as a part of me would have been happy to stay there with her always. She led me to a table that was set for lunch and asked me what I had brought. I reached into my backpack and drew out bread, cheese, fruit and sparkling water and we sat down to eat together. I know that we talked but I had no memory of the content of our conversation when I came back to myself. And that is what is was like – coming back. It as as if I had been somewhere else and I fell back into my body and my life. I was so full of joy and awe that I wept. I also felt a loss, as if I would never again feel the same way.
After this meditation I felt sure that Brighid had claimed me and that I had work to do for Her. I read all I could find about Her, learning and discussing Her with others and after a time I joined the Cauldron Cill to tend flame for Her. Jump forward several months and I was drifting. Life was stressful. In many ways I was at a crossroads and I had no idea which way to turn for the best. I had forgotten one of my Cill shifts and I no longer felt Brighid’s presence. I started to doubt my previous experience. I mean, what could She possibly want from me anyway? There’s nothing special about me. Surely it had all just been a big mistake? At my lowest, I thought about leaving the Cill and walking away from Brighid. I felt alone and unworthy.
Just at this time, a good friend gave me a gift at work. It was glass jar that she had painted for me to use as a candle holder. It showed a flame, floating above water. Fire and water. Brighid. While my logical mind argues that this was just a coincidence, my deeper self is sure that Brighid acted through my friend that day. I felt strongly that She was telling me that She had not left – I had just been unable to hear Her. Since then, I have kept a small desk shrine with that jar at the centre. On my flame keeping shifts, an LED candle lit the jar, keeping me mindful. My life has taken a different direction since then and my priorities have shifted and along the way I have felt Brighid nudging me. I now believe that She wants me dedicate myself to Her and I plan to do this at Imbolc.
I don’t know where this path I am on is taking me or what obstacles I will be faced with along the way. I do believe that as long as I make space for Brighid and listen for Her voice, She will be there to guide my feet. Whatever happens, the journey is exciting!