It’s that time of year when daylight hours increase and Spring is almost here—but not quite. It is Imbolc, the second of the greater holidays in the Wheel of the Year. We celebrate the first stirrings of life returning to the earth. During this time, the ancient Celts identified the Goddess as Brigid, patroness of Healing Waters, the Forge and Sacred Flame, the Flame of Inspiration, Bringer of Prosperity, of Fertility and Birth, Midwifery, Animal Care and Breeding, Warrior and Protector. Brigid is significant to me, particularly in Her aspect of Fire.
Lisa Thiel’s “Song to Brigid” comes to mind:
Blessed Woman (BW) come to me Woman of the Fires, Woman of Poetry BW come to me Woman of Healing, Woman of Skillful Means BW of the land Guide my heart and guide my hand BW of the streams Guide my soul and guide my dreams BW come to me Woman of the Fires Woman of Poetry, BW come to me Woman of Healing Woman of Skillful Means. BW of the hills Heal all wounds and heal all ills BW of the flame Awaken me to renew again.
These words succinctly describe active aspects of ministry, beliefs I hold dear, and to which I am committed. I see Brigid as Fire, energizing the heart and soul of Mother, Teacher, Healer, Inspirer through these aspects. But She is also Goddess of the land, with strong Earth connections. To me, Fire elementally balanced with Earth. And, the poetry of the Word, of Air, elementally balanced with the healing and clarity of Water. Brigid holds this center.
I’m an Aries. A fire sign. I’ve spent my life in environments where nearly every quality of Fire was squelched, but Fire will not be limited. Constraining Fire or any Element is controlling that Element. This is antithetical to the magical practice I embrace; working in partnership with the Elements, with Creation, not with power-over thinking and doing, but in cooperation with them. Over time, Fire’s brilliance has provided me with personal enlightenment. I’ve been helped with the whole process of “one foot walking the mundane path, and one foot walking the Other path, and both feet treading the path of Between.”
As we journey around the Wheel this Imbolc season, I wish you joy and enlightenment.