This journey formed part of an Imbolc ritual. It has been suggested that Brigid: goddess and saint morped into a far older form of energy as the focus of a bear cult. Hers is a time of coming out of hibernation, when the bear was sacred as possessing the magic of dying and not just coming back to life, but to bring life back into the land.
I lead a journey which we became the bear. Pull your blankets tight around you and i’ll tell you a story:
Curl up foetus like, remember being in that dark place of our mother’s as we return to that dark place of the Earth. Imagine our covers an accumulation of day and night, of all the seasons past until they merge taking us back thousands of years.
The familiar stories we recognise in the stars are no longer relevant. This is a time far more ancient. This is a time when bears roamed in Scotland. You are now the last bear, a lone female. As you prepare to enter sacred dreamtime, returning to the belly of the earth, your dreams will be earth dreams.
Overhead nights chase days and you are emerged in dreamtime. You make your own stories to the constellations that will become ancient tales and will be shared by those who come after you and tell tales of how to live the way of the earth. Make your intentions known to the universe; make them known to every cell and every drop of blood. As you feasted on the autumn abundance feed from the universal abundance.
Paint your pictures in stars; name them, give them stories that you wish to live your life by. Give them stories that tell of how to live with our mother, with ourselves, with each other. Give them stories from your soul, how to live in love. Create what you need to work in this world, gather them together, gather them together. Pull all of this into your sleeping body where they will gestate and come to life when you awake.
There is a deep stirring in the earth, you can hear the whispering of tree roots as they wriggle in the soil. Slowly you are preparing to come back into consciousness, to return to your body. Outside the howling winter gales are taming. All winter that you gathered from sacred dreamtime has been growing inside you. You can feel the energy shift as the Northern Hemisphere slowly awakens. Rock yourself gently and slowly bring movement back into your body. Slowly, slowly make your way to the front of the cave. Make your way to face the East to bathe in the morning light.
This is the time of Imbolc where the Calleach, the winter Crone gives up her reign. She can no longer stake her blackthorn staff and cull every sign of life, life now is growing in energy and her energy is weakening. She returns to Tir na Nog, drinking from the fountain of eternal youth. Turning around she has renewed the face of the goddess and now takes her form in Brigid. Brigid who is the bear awakening from her hibernation. She spreads her mantle across the earth leavening a greening hue.
As you reach the mouth of the cave. Brigid’s light greets you, washing your face in the dew. She is our midwife, assisting our rebirth as you emerge from the bearskins. Stepping naked into the new dawn Brigid takes your hand and recognising you as her daughter. She embraces you and you feel that fire within you smoulder. That fire ignites our head, swells in our heart and emanates from our hands are we are enthused in the work we must carry out. That fire ignites our plans, our loves and so Brigit will always be alive within us. She is that most ancient energy which has travelled life with mankind. Every night you look up to the dark skies recall those stories you spun out amongst them.