The Busy Witch: DIY with Brigid

Last week, my husband and I decided to renovate our bathroom.  The old vinyl floor was peeling in places, and I was constantly worried about mold.  After doing some internet research, I convinced him that it really wouldn’t be that hard to put down ceramic tile ourselves.

I was incredibly wrong, but I think he still loves me anyway.

The entire project consumed our lives for days, and it quickly lost its luster.  When I was ready to just rush through it to be done, my husband insisted we take the time to go slowly and do it right.  In the end, the bathroom does look beautiful, but it’s not the floor that feels important about last week.  It’s the connection this project made me feel to Brigid, and the lesson it taught me about myself that really matter.

Brigid was one of the first goddesses I discovered, and although I do not frequently work with her, she’s always on my mind at this time of year.  She’s a poet and a craftswoman, but despite her fiery attributes, she’s a fairly mellow Goddess.  What does this Celtic Goddess of smith-crafts and writers have to do with a DIY project?

Plenty.  Brigid values hard work, but she puts less emphasis on quantity than she does on quality.   Although I love to do hands-on craft projects, Brigid does not want me to dedicate my work to her unless I slow down and take the time to use my hands with intention.  My tendency in life and magical workings is to rush, and although that sometimes gets me short-term results, it doesn’t usually leave me feeling proud and satisfied.

I think I have instinctively known this for some time, for in my magic at least I have been striving to be more patient and intentional, but my mundane actions hadn’t caught up until this bathroom project.  The longer it took, the more frustrated I got, but even in the midst of my frustration, I was able to hear Brigid whisper in my ear that a slow, careful craft is better than a sloppy, quick one.

Honoring Brigid is deceptively simple.  The best way to connect with this Goddess is to do something with your hands and take your time.  She is there smiling when I bake bread for my circle, and I feel her watching me whenever I revise a piece of writing.  I can honor her by honoring myself and creating things that represent the best of my abilities.

When I was in college, I thought Brigid might be my patron.  I think it’s the poet in me that was first drawn to her (or the fact that I have quite a bit of Irish heritage in my family), and I tried to think of  way to mark my dedication to this Goddess.  Eventually, I designed a tattoo with the intention of having it done when I decided the time was right.  Years later, I do have one devotional tattoo, but it marks my relationship with another Goddess: my patron Isis.

You see, it took me a long time to realize that just because I felt drawn to a particular Goddess didn’t necessarily mean she was calling me to be hers.  With Brigid, the impulse was raw, and I’m glad I didn’t act on it at the time.  I think she stayed my hand; Brigid doesn’t need impulsive declarations.  She values the projects that take time to come to fruition.  Think about her connection with the birthing of lambs.  Brigid offers incubation to dreams and living things, and she’s a great Goddess to talk to when you’re trying to get a creative endeavor off the ground.  She will spark your creativity, but if you listen, she will also whisper encouragement to you along the way, even in the long darkness.  Working with Brigid is not a quick fix; journeys with this Goddess may take years, and we could all learn a little patience from her.

Even though I’m not devoted to Brigid, I still love to work with her, especially as winter slowly gives way to spring.  Luckily, Isis doesn’t mind sharing, and Brigid is still there when I call.  We may have a slightly nontraditional relationship, but I am thankful for her influence.   Her quiet presence is easily ignored if you’re in the habit of moving through life at a fast and furious pace like I am, but whenever I stop and slow down, I know that Brigid’s guidance is still available.

In the coming weeks, I resolve to treat the work of my hands and my heart with more respect in her honor.  I want to rush less, even if that means my productivity slows.  This is going to be challenging for me, but I’d rather know that I have crafted something to take pride in with Brigid’s assistance than something that is just good enough.

After my DIY epiphany, I’m not eager to tackle any other house projects soon, but I know that when I finally do, I will dedicate my efforts to Brigid.  In the meantime, I’ll light a slow-burning candle to remind me not to rush through my creative endeavors.


The Busy Witch is published on alternate Tuesdays. Follow it via RSS or e-mail!

About Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”). She is a poet, a novelist, and a goddess-centric witch with a love of all things magical. Her first nonfiction book, Goddess Spells for Busy Girls: Get Rich, Get Happy, Get Lucky, is now available from Weiser Books wherever books are sold. Check out her website (jenmcconnel.com) for more information.


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