Lamp & Labyrinth: What is a lamp? A Labyrinth?

Since the show Westworld stole my main analogy for mysticism, I thought I’d share the analogy that came to me while in devotional practice.  It is important to distinguish between a maze and a labyrinth when comparing my analogy to the TV show:  a maze has dead ends while a labyrinth does not. In the [Read More…]

Star Made Witch: Masks and Guising on Samhain

In the sense that the mask serves to kill the ego masks for the duration of Halloween night, we can face death itself head on. Traditionally masks and guising served to trick ghosts and goblins into thinking the living were one of them and pass us over, or to threaten and scare the dead and unseelie hosts back into the underworld. [Read more…]

Lamp & Labyrinth: A Vision of An Cailleach

I’m learning that we are what propels ourselves, while simultaneously being the largest impediment to our own growth. [Read more…]

Dandelion Seeds: Devotional Techniques from the Heartbreak Trenches

Sometimes we need to take some time to honor our losses. In this post Rev. Hill speaks to her own losses and give examples of ways to build devotional practices to help. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Nine Pure Choice Graces, Part 3 – The Grace of Fortune

The grace of fortune is not the condition of being lucky, but a lighthearted and graceful acceptance of change and loss, a spirit of gratitude without attachment, a conscious embrace of the fact that fortune always changes and will go on changing. Christopher Scott Thompson presents a prayer and ritual for Brighid that emphasizes the transitory nature of fortune. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Nine Pure Choice Graces, Part 2 – The Grace of Voice

The second of the nine “pure choice graces” is the grace of voice. While the grace of voice could refer to ordinary speech, Brighid’s association with poetry makes it especially appropriate to cultivate this grace through singing aloud in a pleasant tone. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Nine Pure Choice Graces, Part 1 – The Grace of Form

Bathing the head, feet and hands was once an important part of the Imbolc celebration. The first verse of the “Invocation” refers to a similar practice, bathing the palms and then the face in the lustral fire. The provided ritual is meant to help the practitioner internalize the nine graces. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Bride, the Cailleach and Nicnevin

Are Bride and Nicnevin estranged sisters? Or, if Mackenzie was right and the Cailleach and Bride are the same entity on some level, then is Nicnevin also the same entity as Bride on some level? [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 7 – The Devotional Moods

In an earlier series of columns on “The Mysticism of Devotion,” we explored the devotional moods of Child, Friend, Strength, Champion, Hound, Servant, Spouse and Parent in relation to the love of the goddess Brighid. Now we will explore the cultivation of these devotional moods through visualization. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Cauldrons of Inspiration

A God Who Makes Fire: The Bardic Mysticism of Amergin includes a new translation of the Cauldron of Poesy, a line-by-line analysis of the translation, a chapter on each of the three cauldrons exploring their symbolism and meaning, a selection of bardic poetry exploring the nine emotions that “turn” the cauldrons, and a new method for practicing the system of “cauldron mysticism” described in the text. [Read more…]