14 October 2010

Healing with the Goddess Brighid

Following a rather inpromptu working with Brighid last night, a number of aspects about this Goddess have been rattling around my head this morning that I thought I would share. 

These days, Brighid is more commonly associated with the early Spring festival of Imbolc - and rightly so, after all her sacred day is 1 February, the day of Imbolc for the Northern Hemisphere.  However, here in the South, with Imbolc not occurring until August, people still associate the festival with her.

While I do understand this train of thought and have myself invoked Brighid during the Southern Imbolc, I have always had an "issue" when it comes to moving sacred days for Deity around to align with our hemisphere. I mean we don't do it  for our own sacred days. Then again, maybe if we did, what is called "tropical" astrology (where the interpretations and meanings of tropical signs are seasonally based) may make a tad more sense. For example, Aries, ruled by the Ram, is the first sign of the Zodiac, and has a lot of Spring associations attached to it - new beginnings, new energy, spring growth, etc. however, here  in the South, March/April, the time of Aries, marks the beginning of Autumn, not Spring, thus the time of gathering, taking in, harvest, etc. The point that I am making is that we don't swap the zodiac around so that Aries is realigned with Spring now do we??

(There is an interesting exchange of views on this subject here for those more astrologically minded -http://astronuts.tribe.net/thread/f5821631-5d19-4197-8b27-22cb80b6719e)

Anyway, I am digressing. Back to Brighid.

There is another aspect of this triple Goddess that is not often mentioned and that she is a Fire Goddess. Especially for us in Australia, February usually heralds in our hottest month so honouring Brighid on her true sacred day of 1 February tap into her fire aspect, she is a Goddess of smith-craft after all, and as Lynne Sinclair Woods reminds us in her book "Creating Form from the Mist", even in Catholic myth, she is connected with the sacred flame - being born as a result of lightning striking the ground, not to mention the well known sacred flames that were originally tendered by priestesses and later by nuns at Kildare. 

Brighid herself in whatever aspect has always been connected with healing. The following healing request (adapted from the original which itself was an adaptation from "A Pagan Book of Prayer" by C Serith) was, in one form, used for a cat who was diagnosed with stomach tumours, after which the said tumours shrunk.

Never under-estimate the power of prayer, my Gran used to say to me. Prayer, after all, is a heart felt request to whatever Deity you align with. So here is the healing prayer to Brighid should people wish to use it.

Light a green candle and some mugwort* and say:

"I call upon thee, Lady of Fire
Great Brighid, Goddess of the Triple Ways
____________ needs you for they are ill.
Great Goddess, I ask that you bring your healing flame
Brighid's Cross
And the warmth of life into _________________.
Burn away all that is making them sick.
So that I might always have cause to praise you.
As I will it, so mote it be."

* Mugwort is a herb that has long been associated with protection and healing. In Europe it was hung in doorways to ward off evil spirits, and simiarly in China and Japan, to exorcise the spirits of disease.

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