Imbolc


This year Imbolc fell on one of the days my son goes to preschool.  Great!  I thought, I’ll be able to get my ritual done without him here.  I love my son dearly, but it’s much more relaxing and easier to concentrate on doing rituals and spells without the fear of him waking up or having to accommodate him.

Then it snowed and his school contacted me to say they had to shut the school down.  So I waited for him to go to sleep and did a scaled-down ritual inside.  I normally use nine flames in nine jars with salt and milk, but this time I only used three as the area I have to work with is small.

The ritual went well, even though I’d decided to leave the cat in the room.  She looked settled and would probably have spent the entire ritual miaowing at the door and distracting me if I’d thrown her out.  Thankfully she stayed where she was, as cats seem to have a natural instinct for where magic or ritual is being performed and will happily wander across a circle as they choose.

Afterwards I made my Brigit cross and performed the house protection spell.

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Midsummer


This is the first ritual I’ve done in a while. All the tests came back from my doctor negative, so I assume the tiredness was my fibromyalgia stepping up a gear. I say “was” because the last time I was flametending I asked Brigit for healing. Last Monday I tried to walk around the sward and felt knackered after it. The next day I felt fine, despite going out to a toddler group. The third day I weeded the drive for half an hour and felt fine, where normally it would have had me on the sofa. It looks like Brigit has answered my prayers, although I’m being cautious and taking it gently for now.

The ritual went well and was lovely. All my rose bushes were out, which added to the atmosphere. The first one to come out was my old-fashioned pink climber called Celsiana, which smells how you think roses should smell and is now past its best. The second is in the height of its glory and is an old-fashioned off-white rambler called Garland. The last is a red tea rose called Fragrant Glory which has a strong smell.

Altar to Brigit


I am in the process of making an altar to Brigit. I confess that what is holding me back is that I am broke, but hopefully I will get things together and buy what I need next month.

An altar to a deity is so that you can connect more with that deity; also it will hopefully aid focus when I am flametending.

So, what am I going to put on it? A candle is a must. Not only to connect to any entity, but because Brigit is a goddess connected with fire. I am going to leave any other elements out. While the Celts had their own elements of water, air and earth none of them seem to be particularly connected to Brigit.

The altar cloth will be green and I have an LED candle already consecrated to Brigit. I always change the colour to green as it starts off white. A bowl to put offerings and healing requests is needed, but I can get one from a charity shop and consecrate it.

Brigit has various animals connected with her; I will buy some toy animals from a children’s toy shop and consecrate those.

It seems a pretty bare altar; most of the pictures of those you see on the net are stuffed with all sorts of artifacts. If anything occurs to me to put on the altar or Brigit asks for it, then I will add to it but I am not going to put crystals on it just because someone has done some hard work working out what deities are associated with which crystals when Brigit is not connected with crystals or the earth in particular.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

Relationship with Deity


I originally wrote this to answer a friend’s Facebook query, but thought it would make a good post so I’m reproducing it with some slight alterations to make it read better.

It may have been only priest/esses who had a personal relationship with deity, but when paganism was reviving there were no priest/esses. In order for belief to be revived, deities would have to contact people personally, especially as the structure for supporting said priest/esses financially to be priest/esses is no longer there. Also I suspect that deities are adhering to the way things are done in the modern day (deities having a personal interest in people) which didn’t start in the modern Church until the Protestant Reformation, which (in my opinion) did it to stop the Church having so much power over ordinary people.

Unfortunately we get a lot of pagans who represent deity as something that they’re not. In my opinion some of these are people who the deities have tested and failed, although some will be nutters or special snowflakes. Once I was doing a meditation and had Herne the Hunter turn up. It was an Irish sort of meditation so I gave him a hard stare and told him he wasn’t Herne the Hunter. It was Angus Og mucking around and I wonder how many he’s conned who didn’t know better.

For those who are not into deity, I’m telling you a few of my experiences to show you that some people have real experiences with deity and not all of them are nice.

The first was with The Morrigan. I was in serious trouble at work and I prayed for help. A thought instantly came into my head to contact the union, which had just started up at work. I went to the local union rep, who told me to join the union and they’d represent me. I didn’t learn until much later that he shouldn’t have done that, the union rules were that they couldn’t help anyone who was not in the union at the time of trouble and he should have told me he couldn’t represent me and sent me away. Two and a half years later I walked out of there with £7K in redundancy plus shares. My rep later told me that he’d overheard my boss’ boss say “Fiona’s off with stress, let’s get her out of here”.

The second was with Siannon. For fifteen years I rented various properties and in all of them something went wrong with water. I had it all : showers and toilets leaking and in one case the circuit board of the shower went on fire! This started before I became pagan, so I didn’t think about it until my normally very cautious now-husband left the taps on in the bath and flooded our flat and the two below it. I meditated and got Siannon. A while later, she wanted me to do something for her. We were going away for a day and staying overnight, so I said I’d do it soon. The hotel we were staying was 300 years old and was fine when we went to bed that night. The next morning we woke up to no cold water. This was just us. We were transferred to another room which had enough cold water so we could wash etc and then it ran out. The poor manager was having kittens in case the kitchen was affected (it had happened once before) but we were the only ones affected. Nowadays, when Siannon says “jump” I ask “how high”.

The latest was with Brigit. She asked me to follow her and I wasn’t keen, but I said that if she gave me a child I would do so. At that time we had tried for two years with one miscarriage and had been trying for a further two years after that. I was forty-two years old and had been refused IVF because of age and being too fat. She gave me a son and now I follow her. I’m still not keen, but I have to uphold my end of the bargain.

Catching Up


At the moment I have a lot of things to catch up on, as it’s taken me awhile to get used to having and caring for a baby.

Some of them are mundane, like weeding the drive. Others are not so mundane, like weeding the garden, which has some humungous weeds on it since it’s been left for five months or so.

Others are magical. I have my yearly house defences and cat health protection spell to do. Also my hubby knocked the wing mirror off someone else’s car. Years ago, after three accidents in a year including one where a suicidal pheasant took his windscreen out on the motorway, I made him a travel protection device. My reaction to this accident was that it wasn’t working. My hubby then informed me that he thought it wasn’t in the car, and lo and behold when I checked I found it wasn’t, so that needs replacing.

I also have to finish writing one ritual to introduce my son to the ancestors and another to introduce him to our tribal tree, plus I have an oath to write so I can flametend for Brigit. It’s a busy time…

Brigit


A long while ago Brigit came to me in a meditation and asked me to follow her. I didn’t particularly want to follow her, so I made a bargain with her.

The bargain was that if she gave me a child, I would follow her. If the child was female, one of her names would be Brigit, if male one of his names would be her father’s, who was The Dagda.
At the time of making the bargain we had been trying for four years with one miscarriage. I was 42 years old and time had nearly run out.

Now more than a year on I have the longed-for child and I must complete my end of the bargain and follow her. This means I have to become a flametender. I’m not looking forward to this duty, especially as I’m time-poor, but she has certainly held up her end of the bargain so I must hold up mine.

Bargains


I meditated the other day and talked to Brigit. We made a bargain, which was that I would follow her if she gave me a child and if it is a girl her middle name would be Brigit.

Confusing Irish Deities


Unlike the classical deities there may be more than one deity for a certain function. For example, both Ogma and Brigit are deities of poetry.

Deities also have more than one function. Ogma is also one of the three champions of Ireland so has a fighting function and Brigit is involved with domestic animals, fire and smithcraft.

Add to the fact that a number of people in the myths are called the same name (e.g. there are seven persons called Donn) it can get very confusing!

So how do you straighten out the confusion? You read the texts and not the internet, which can have a lot of misinformation and are careful not to ascribe attributes of one Donn to another.

Imbolc


As usual I cast the circle for my ritual. I’m not using a lighter to light candles again : that was the third time running that a lighter’s failed and I ended up lighting the candles from each other.

In the circle I welcomed Spring in, calling it by its Irish name of Earrach. I said a short piece about it being Brigit’s day. I then did the snake dance to wake the land up and cause things to grow.

I then broke the boxty bread I’d made, which is traditionally made in Ireland at Imbolc and placed each farl (which is a quarter) in the circle as an offering along with some milk. I then unwound the circle.