Imbolc will soon be upon us dear friends. As you can imagine this highday is of particular importance to me. It always has been, but this year especially since I am focusing my spiritual work with Brighid this y ear. Sassafras grove back east does nine days of devotionals to the goddess Brighid leading up to Imbolc. Each day they focus on a different quality or aspect associated with our modern concepts of Brighid. They are kind enough to share their ideas and meditations with ADF and I have been working along with them. Today would be day three.
Day 1: Brighid as midwife: Traditionally this was a literal concept, that Brighid was the midwife to Mary and was invoked during times of childbirth by midwives assisting at births. Though this may very well be a purly Christian mythos, I certainly can see the connections as a pagan if Brighid is the goddess of flame and hearth, and the hearth is the center of the home, then she is also a goddess of the home and family and by that a goddess to invoke to aid in the birth as it was going to be in the home, near the hearth and a new member of that hearth fire. As a man in my own spiritual life I have to use this facet of the goddess as a metaphor. In what way has she been a midwife in my life this past year? As midwife Brighid has helped me to birth a new career as an RN at a local hospital. Getting through my schooling was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and long time readers may recall that struggle. As midwife Brighid is currently helping me bring into the world my new self as a Druid Priest in ADF. I see her at work with a woman who is just beginning her first steps along a pagan path.
Day 2: Brighid as foster-mother: Fostering was a common and powerful social glue used in Celtic culture. It tied families together, created alliances and secured trade, peace, and family lineages. Today we no longer carry on fostering as our Celtic ancestors did, though we do have a system. As an aspect of the goddess this again ties back to her being the goddess of the hearth flame, the center of the family unit traditionally, and thus the goddess of hearth, home, and family. Simply put Brighid is the foster mother of us all. She is here to teach, guide, cajole, scold, congratulate and support. In her we have the opportunity to find the mother we didn't have in this world. In my personal life, goddess is teaching me about healing, compassion, balance, finances, mentoring, and time management, depression, and addiction to name a few. Much of this "education" has not been pleasant to learn or easily gained. In the end it's wisdom that I am getting, and wisdom is hard won. If Odin was willing to lose an eye for it, I am sure I can withstand a little ego bruising.
Stay tuned for Day 3-9!
Blessings of the Kindred on you all.