A Pilgrimage with Brighid

brigid

I have been following Brighid’s her call for many years now. She has led me to mountain tops,  down winding paths leading to the depths of the underworld. We’ve travelled through forest and frustration, and at times I’ve felt like I’ve lost her, only to realize she has simply shape shifted, yet again.

It wasn’t long after we had been introduced that she threw off that mask of the girl with fiery red hair, changing it for a darker hue of skin, and a head full of blonde tipped dreadlocks.

Celtic Goddess DollBreejah

She emerged from the wool and announcing herself as Breejah and so again I followed this shape shifting goddess and this time she lead me through shamanic work, dreams and numerous tributaries of books and articles. Our journey took us way past Irish roots and the rise of Celtic nations, to a far older time of the great mother. This was a time when we were nature, the great mother provided all: life, fertility, plants, birth, cycling of the seasons and of the sun and the moon.  We journeyed to be in the presence of those ancestors  who met in dark caves in ceremony and rite, and called upon their guides, and offered sacrifices to keep the balance between the worlds.

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Yet alongside my explorations lay a question, wondering if the consciousness, much-needed in our modern world lie in these roots of an ancient spirituality?

And for me the answer is yes, to paraphrase Max Dashu the very image/sense of an ancient mother, a lineage of female divinity rejuvenates women, bringing them to the deep well of spiritual inspiration, weaving powerful soul connections into our lives.

As part of my journey with Brighid I’m honored to have an essay in the recently published Brigit: Sun of Motherhood edited by the late Patricia Monaghan. (click on book cover to go to Amazon). Brighid is many things to many people, and that is why she has travelled alongside us. She is a shape shifter, urging us to continually be seeking beyond what we think we know.

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While the core truth remains in a story or legend, ideas shift and morph as we embellish and reinterprets to keep them relevant and meaningful. In my essay we’re back at the most ancient Imbolc with Brigid embodied as the great bear mother. Through the eons we have lost our integral was of being in the world and so our ecological self shrinks from being the shape shifters we once were, reduced to a mere shadow. Reconnecting is just one route to wholeness, resembling our missing parts, working out what exactly is missing.

That journey of discovery is inwards, although many male archeologists dismissed Marija Gimbutas theories – guided by the thousands of figurines she dug from the earth they told the tale of the gret mother they revered  Myths are the language of the soul, and the essence of the myth only comes alive when it resonates in the soul of the recipient.

Brighid has the power to regenerate us, as she regenerates the land each Imbolc. Her roots lie far beyond Irish shores, as Mary Condron wrote that the warring tribes of Ireland came together under Brighid’s banner (as she was not tied to one locality like their local deities). We too can unite under Brighid’s banner working towards an integrated life in balance with each other, the land and  our nonhuman relatives. Brighid is the great mother who midwives our continual rebirth, a fire goddess transforming the flame within.

loch lomond

Click on the photo for full tour details

Brighid is very much my guide this September with Celtic Soul’s  tour of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs area. This is my home turf as I grew up in this area and so can guarantee an insider’s view. We’ll be based in a Victorian Carriage house for the week, on the shores of Loch Lomond. We’ll take day trips out into the surrounding area while we listen to the local legends, let them resonate as we stand rooted in this place connecting to the ancient goddesses such a Brigid/Cailleach, and Clutha.

Myself and Byron Ballard are hosting a book launch in Asheville on Thursday 13th June at 7pm at the Mother Grove Goddess Temple (Click on link for directions).

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