Lá Féile Bríd (pronounced ‘Law fay-leh Breed’) is Irish for Bríd’s feast day. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, if you grew up in Ireland then chances are she will be woven into your consciousness through stories, celebration and culture.
Imbolc and Lá Féile Bríd fall on February 1st, and this year it was auspicious for me to spend the day editing a book. Our beloved Goddess Bríd is the patron of poets and printing presses!
‘Saint Brigid’ is said to have lived in Kildare from 451 to 525 in Ireland where she set up a school that was renowned for the creation of illuminated manuscripts, however her mythology is far-reaching.
As with many deities and symbols, the church took pagan elements and applied a Christian slant to Bríd; she was well-loved by all as a multicultural phenomena before the term even existed. She is also associated with fire, healing, wells, fertility, blacksmiths and Spring.
Here is audio of some of my poetry: https://soundcloud.com/artyshe/imbolc
Brid Brophy is one of the writers involved in the Magical Moments creative writing project (https://artyshe.com/news/) and she sent me news of a beautiful ritual by Email recently. With her permission, here is an excerpt:
“I took the dog out over the fields yesterday and battled my way through briers and across a fairly fast flowing stream to collect rushes. On account of my name I make a few Brigids crosses every year. So after pulling them up I sat on my gloves by the stream and made a cross ,no tools only my hands. I left it up on an ash tree for inspiration for us all .”
As the light returns to the northern hemisphere Bríd, also known as ‘the bright one’ inspires me to kindle to my creative fire daily to keep it burning no matter what.
Trauma and death are all part of this world, but so too is hope and growth. At Brigid’s well near my home, drinking the purest of water feels very healing. Our planet is not just in trouble or in decay; constant renewal is happening too.
Till next time,
Slán go fóill.
(Irish. Pronounced ‘Slawn guh foal’. Tranlates as ‘Stay safe /healthy for a while’. In other words be well, see you soon.