Brigid and Imbolc 2016 ~ ADF High Day

the My work with Brigid began the morning of February 8. I grabbed the newest roving I received in the mail, my spinning wheel, and heading out the dobrigitimbolcor for work. All I could think of all day was the working with Brigid I was to do that evening during the New moon. When I arrived at the metaphysical store and asked if they really wanted me to spin, they stated they would be thrilled if I would spin for Brigid. Upon further research, I found out that she was closely connected to sheep, wool and spinning. Therefore, I sat down and started spinning my roving. I set up the lengths of fiber so they would be ready for when I began running out. Yet, when the meditation started my roving began twisting and knotting up. When we finally got to Brigid’s forge she told me to start spinning again. As I spun she talked to me. Sekhmet and Freya were also there at Brigid’s forge. She talked to me about the struggles I was having in writing my dissertation proposal. She showed me the metal she was forging and how with each hammer strike she knocked off a little more and shaped her work a little more. She also showed me that the yarn I spun was the color of the ashes from her forge. She wanted me to give it time. I also talked with her about the path I was meant to take and whether I needed to make a change. Once I entered the forge, Brigid, Sekhmet, and Freya stood around me. The flames of the forge served as a transformative process toward opening m crown chakra to allow for my creativity to flow. In the process, they crowned me with golden light. When I left the forge, Brigid told me to listen for her again.

fc490d1ccc04bfe88c40603735e39e4eThis brings me to the Imbolc ritual with Ravenshollow Proto-Grove. I brought stout to give to Brigid and a meditation derived from the forge meditation and my Hypnobirthing meditations. This ritual was pieced together quickly from the Yule ritual. With that said, it seemed to be more indicative of what a Druidic ritual should be. We purified our hands in buttermilk, called on the ancestors, and set up the ritual space. Once finished with the opening portions, I began the meditation for Brigid. I attempted to take my time, being aware that if I rushed the meditation those in trance would not benefit, yet knowing that the meditation should have some parameters. I know I saw that many had relaxed and meditated and I could only hope that Brigid met them at the forge and gave them the message they needed. (No one expressed their experience in the meditation.) After the meditation, when we sang and gave offerings I could feel Brigid’s presence. I could hear her voice and she began speaking to me about the writing I needed inspiration for must advocate for the weak. She told me that if I created a song or a poem, it must advocate for those who couldn’t speak for themselves. She wants my voice to be the voice for those who are unable to speak out. This is the task she has given me. In the omens, one of the runes called for helping others. I knew that this was the task she gave me, the omen I was meant to hear and work toward for the coming year. I am finding that the ritual form causes me to quietly converse with the gods. Though I did not see Brigid, I could hear her words and requests, her hopes for the future. While the omens seemed heavy, the sacrifice they demanded should be seen through the perspective of Brigid. What type of sacrifice is she asking of us? We honored the warriors returning from the woods, being reclaimed and transformed to become part of society again. What if our sacrifices the omens suggested were placing us in the footsteps of these warriors who must change through Brigid’s fires in order to help those in needs in today’s complex society? What if the transformation is not just a transformation of our selves but the transformation of the grove as a whole?

 

Wisdom and Courage and Vision.

Wisdom: noun – 1. the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

As a practicing Druid since 1996, though not in ADF originally, I have found that there are moments in which wisdom is seen in the silence of your voice. There is an inner-knowing that you cannot place a finger upon in specific moments where you are aware your voice is not being heard. Standing up and shouting and screaming to get your way, like a petulant child serves no purpose, and gets your voice hushed further. Therefore, it takes the wisdom of knowing when to remain silent until you are requested. You may at any time offer you services and help, but it takes the wisdom to know your offer is not accepted for whatever the reason it may be, and not be hurt or insulted. It may take time to understand, which equates to building your experience as you walk with the guidance of the goddess.

Courage: noun – 1. The ability to do something that frightens one. 2. Strength in the face of pain or grief

While I may not be facing my fear of heights, I am facing those who may judge my writing and practices each time I attend ritual and participate actively. As a sensitive person, when I write a meditation and create something new, if those who receive it say nothing of its impact or lack of impact, I immediately feel as if I have failed those who depended on me. For instance, I prepared a meditation for Imbolc derived from my hypnotherapy materials to help guide participants through change and transformation. I received no feedback, which means I have no way of revising for future rituals and knowing what was successful and what was unwelcomed. As a teacher who faces middle school students each day and expects them to perform, I provide them with feedback so they can master the areas they lacked in. To expect students to present a project and then not give them feedback, is unethical as a teacher. Therefore, I believe that as practitioners in our faith, we must provide our peers with feedback on how they did in ritual. Failing in this act weakens the bond of the grove.

Vision: noun – 1. The faculty or state of being able to see. 2. An experience of seeing someone or something in a dream or trance, or as a supernatural apparition.

During the New moon women’s circle on Monday, February 8, I participated in a ritual to Brigid. In this ritual I had a vision while walking the path toward her forge and met her, Sekhmet, and Freya in conversation with each other. Sekhmet and Freya sat watching Brigid hammering on her anvil at her forge drinking ale. They waited on my approach. When I arrived they told me they were here to help in the process of transformation. I entered into Brigid’s forge, and listened to the words they told me. The area that they worked on was my head, knowing that I am needing inspiration for the dissertation I am writing in my doctoral program. They crowned me with a crown made of golden light and surrounded me with their blessings. As I left the forge, Brigid told me to look for her later. Visions serve as means to access our subconscious and find the guidance through imagery and symbolism we need in life. I believe visions activate a part of our brains that we leave dormant in everyday life. Yet, through meditation, relaxation, and ritual we have the tools to delve into our minds and discover the things we need through the visions we experience.

 

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