Yesterday I used the broom of leaves, brought in to my home by a friend at Yule, to sweep winter out of the door. I set the altar ready for this morning. Upon it I laid the fresh spring flowers, the metalwork, the invocation, the sunwheel made of straw, the apple, the dish of healing spring water collected from a sacred wall font dedicated to Bree (Brighid) in Bodmin, and of course the Flame.
This morning the storm they called Brigid, with her "three days of torrential downpours" and "savage 150mph gales" seems long gone here in the New Forest ... she swept through leaving a trail of spring light at her feet. Today the trees look skeletal still, but vibrant, poignantly waiting to reveal their buds. The sky is blue and the sun is brilliant.
The maiden has arrived bang on time, for today is Imbolc and today I begin a twenty day honouring and contemplation of the Goddess Brighid. It begins with a ritual bath. Next comes the lighting of the Flame, my prayers and the invocation.
May the flame of Brighid burn bright in our bellies, hearts and minds. May the alchemy of the soul and the tempering of our inner metal be done well in the cauldron and the forge. May the grail overflow with healing waters and love down through our arms and hands, out into the world. May the lantern burn bright in our skull, shining upon our path and inspiring our thoughts and words. May the energy of spring put a lightness in your step and quicken the seeds of ideas.
A Brighid, scar os mo chionn ... Do bhrat fionn dom anacal (O Brighid spread, above my head, your mantle bright, to guard me)
Later today I will join with others in ritual and prayer, crafting and puja, honouring both Brighid and Saraswati, the fusing of traditions as we honour both these Goddesses at this time of year, their energies and symbolisms being very similar. Both of these grand dames are fond of milk, white swans, sacred springs and pools, poetry and books of knowledge. Both have the ability to infuse us with burning passion and inspiration, and basically kick us lovingly, but firmly up the tush and into action ... just as all of nature is roused from wintry slumber and motivated to burst forth by the coming of these white clad maidens.
Brighid Blessings One and All