Feast of Flames
I love Imbolc. Candles, fire, the days getting longer, knowing that
the cold will give way to the warmth of the sun. And Brigit, Celtic
goddess of smithcraft, healing, and poetry. When She visits us during
our ritual, its like greeting an old friend. Her presence has always
felt, oh, how do I say this, I guess informal is a good word. When
I feel Hecate or other goddesses near, it seems like I should bow
and be very formal. But with Brigit a hug seems more right. Maybe
it is because She has appeared to me many times, and maybe its because
She is the one we work with in our candle business. Whatever the reason,
I am looking forward to Her visit on this night.
Speaking of old friends coming to call, in the last section of this
newsletter is an Imbolc Soup recipe and a quick note from Storm. She
is a good friend of mine and the one who made me an official high priestess.
She has moved to Canada but we still keep in touch. She told me about
this soup and I thought it would be nice to have a recipe included in
Brigit, the Goddess
I have already dedicated a newsletter to the Goddess who claimed me,
Hecate, and now I would like to write this all about another Goddess
whom I have worked with often, Brigit. Brigit is the one we honor when
we create, and ask to bless, our magical gel candles. She appeared to
me the Imbolc before my high priestess ceremony to tell me that She
would be present during the ceremony and I had Her blessing. She appeared
to me last Imbolc and said that She wanted me to work with Her more
and that She would help me with my hobby businesses (the crafts I do,
not my main job). She has given me great inspiration in the past year
but I have not acted on all of it. So I will dedicate this newsletter
to Her and promise to bring those ideas to light.
There is the goddess Brigit and the saint Brigid , I
will talk about the goddess altho the stories about them are similar.
Some say the goddess became a saint when the Christian church was trying
to convert everyone. Some say the saint was an actual women who after
her death and many years of oral translations, became one and the same
with the goddess. What is known is that the goddess was around for centuries
and in many cultures, however nothing was in written form until years
after the saints death.
It seems uncertain exactly how ancient Brigit is or where she originated
from, but she is most connected with Ireland and Britain. There are
hundreds of places that bear her name like Brideswell and Remplebride.
Images of Brigit often have her holding a spear and an orb or globe,
the symbol of sovereignty. Some references have her wearing a green
mantle, which some say is a symbol of the connection to the fairy folk
and some say a connection to healing. Most times described with blonde
hair and being fair and slender. She is a triple goddess and is sometimes
pictured as three women each holding an item related to her triple nature:
a book for poetry, a sword or knife for smithcraft, and herbs for healing.(Note:
She is a triple goddess but not maiden, mother, crone necessarily, her
three aspects are usually the same goddess holding different symbols.
She has been strongly associated with maiden, as bride, and crone, as
goddess of life and death or battles.)
Brigit is fire and water
goddess of sovereignty, the hearth, all feminine arts and crafts,
fertility, childbirth, martial arts, healing, physicians, agriculture,
inspiration, poetry, learning, smithcraft, animal husbandry, and prosperity.
She is strongly connected to the realm of faery. Her sacred number
is 19 (the Celtic Great year -- the number of years it takes
for the new moon to coincide with the Sun's winter solstice).
Animal associations for Brigit are the boar (the king of boars
came from the forest to join her herd), cow ( a magical cow of
white with red ears), fish (small spotted fish were said to appear
in her sacred springs as harbinger of healing), sheep (Imbolc
connection), snakes (healing goddess connection as no snakes
in Ireland), wolf, bear, and badger. The main birds were
swans (when mentioned by the Celts the swans had gold or silver
chains around their necks to show association with goddess) and vultures
(goddess of battlefields).
Plants associated with Brigit include blackberry, grain and hops
(the goddess loves her beer and ale), all early spring flowers,
hazel, oak, rowan, willow, healing herbs like rosemary, dill,
chamamile and red clover.
She has some traits in common with other goddess and has been compared
to Juno, The Queen of Heaven; Minerva, patron of wisdom and handicrafts;
Vesta, a virgin fire goddess; and even Hecate in that both stand at
the boundary of different worlds. Hecate is worshipped at a crossroads
where three roads meet and Brigit is worshipped where three streams
meet, flowers and milk were left there for offerings. As Brigit is also
a water goddess, some believe that Sulis is another face of Brigit.
There are many stories about her and more information than I could
possibly fit in this newsletter. I have tried to cover the basics and
give you correspondences to use when you call upon her and/or honor
her. Today we celebrate this much loved goddess but she is always with
us, ready to help us heal and give us inspiration for our crafts. Call
upon her often and you will find her to be a good friend to you also.
Have a great Feast of Flames
~~~ Rhiannon Rose
So much going on...For those that know me, I am doing well. "Bought
The Farm" so to speak. It is a small 14.5 acre farm in rural Canada
and I am loving it. It is so peaceful here. I look out into the back
40 and can see the goddess's handiwork everywhere. I wish you all the
best as Mother Earth awakens and the Sun God takes over the darkness
to give us warmth and light.
Happy Imbolc, Happy Spring and may you be blessed with the gifts from
1 large ham..I prefer cottage roll
if you are a vegetarian use 1 large can of seasoned canned tomatoes
and equal amounts of water
1/2 head of cabbage
a handful of small new potatoes unpeeled OR 4 large potatoes cut into
small chunks...bite sized
a handful of asparagus cut into thirds
1 bag of spinach
2 onions chopped
Put all ingredients into a pot with enough water to cover and boil
until cooked. Remove from stove and add 1 teaspoon rosemary, a touch
of sea salt- the meat is pretty salty, so taste first - pepper to taste,
a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir and cool- remove meat, cut into small
pieces and place back into the soup. Place in fridge overnight.. the
next day take from fridge, scrape of fat from top of soup... heat and
NOTE; add bit of chicken stock about a 1/2 cup and omit the salt for
a more meaty flavour-