Altars and Shrines

Brigid’s Day

Where I live, the flowers are far from blooming, the trees nowhere near budding. The only ploughs we might be charming would be the snowplows, and really that should have been done back in October. (Winter is long in these parts. :))

So for me the traditional associations of February 2 have always been distant ones, symbolic only, something that will happen at some point in the near(ish) future. The new-growth energies still lie buried and will for some months.

What that means is that, here, seasonally-based Imbolc rituals have always felt a little weak. The connection isn’t quite there yet. You don’t quite feel it. It’s too soon.

So for me, Imbolc has to be about the goddess herself, Brigid.

brigidaltar

Brigid of the mantles,
Brigid of the peat-heap,
Brigid of the twining hair,
Brigid of the augury,

Brigid of the white feet,
Brigid of calmness
Brigid of the white palms,
Brigid of the kine,

Brigid, woman-comrade,
Brigid of the peat-heap,
Brigid, woman-helper,
Brigid of the kine,

Brigid, daughter of the Dagda,
Dagda, son of Danu,
Danu, mother of all,

Every day and every night
that I say the descent of Brigid,

I shall not be slain,
I shall not be wounded,
I shall not be put in a cell,
I shall not be gashed,
I shall not be torn asunder,
I shall not be made naked,
I shall not be rent,
nor will I be forgotten.

Nor sun shall burn me,
nor fire shall burn me,
nor beam shall burn me,
nor moon shall burn me,

nor river shall drown me,
nor brine shall drown me,
nor flood shall drown me,
nor water shall drown me.

Nightmare shall not lie on me,
black-sleep shall not lie on me,
spell-sleep shall not lie on me.

I am under the shielding of good Brigid each day,
I am under the shielding of good Brigid each night,
I am under the keeping of Brigid the good,
each early and late,
every dark, every light.

Brigid is my comrade-woman,
Brigid is my maker of song,
Brigid is my helping-woman,
My choicest of women, my guide.

(from Carmina Gaedelica, variant)

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