Spring is coming – St Brighids day


St Brighid crosses, made on the eve of St. Brigid’s Feast (Imbolc) were hung on doors or in the eaves of the roof for protection from fire and mishap. Brighid is known as the goddess of healing, inspiration, creativity, poetry and fire. Imbolc meaning ‘in the belly’ refers to the pregnant ewe, the lambing season when after the long cold winter the green shoots of spring start to appear. To mark this creative renewal I thought I’d have a go at making one from the rushes of a marsh plant –  here’s a video of how it’s done in Co.Sligo.

Imbolc / St Brigid festivities on Feb 1st & 2nd celebrate the coming of Spring as a time of purification and cleansing (Spring cleaning) centred on the fire, the hearth..

In Celtic tradition the ty teallach or ‘hearth’ was the heart of the home, and fire was often literally placed centrally in ancient dwelling places, such as Bronze and Iron Age roundhouses…It was the centre of activity, where everyone gathered to eat and cook, to sit and warm themselves, and listen to the stories of the bards. The Latin word for it was focus, since it is the focus of the home. Anne Franklin

I like this connection between hearth & focus – reminding me of our firesides, the basic energy of such a simple ritual where we share food, stories, poetry and music. Yesterday I saw a campers review of Treloan on Cool Camping ” … our highlight was the weekly bonfire story telling and music session.”

As we begin a new season of growth, in the garden and with new projects at Treloan my focus / hearth needs to be kept alight so as to emerge renewed from this lengthy incubation of PhD research…this ‘holding’ (David Peat – ‘holding’ as intention).

SMALADH AN TEINE

A chumhnadh,
A chomhnadh,
A chomraig
An tula,
An taighe,
An teaghlaich,
An oidhche,
An nochd,
O! an oidhche,
An nochd,
Agus gach oidhche,
Gach aon oidhche.
Amen.

SMOORING THE FIRE

To save,
To shield,
To surround
The hearth,
The house,
The household,
This eve,
This night,
Oh! this eve,
This night,
And every night,
Each single night.
Amen.

Prayers to Brighid in the Carmina Gadelica

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