Gateway Goddess: Summer Samhain Feels Both Wrong and Right

Memorial Day is a kind of summer Samhain, and it can feel so odd in the Pagan context. And yet, in another way, it perfectly fits with my new traditions, all of which emphasize the importance of maintaining connection with ancestors. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 4 – The Four Treasures

In the fourth of this series on private practices, we’re going to visualize the four Cities of Heaven and the four treasures, with Brighid as the sun of heaven imparting Her power to them all. Unlike the three sisters visualization, this version of Brighid is not in human form. In Her role as a blazing sun above the heavenly cities, She embodies the Brig, the transcendent power of all creation. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 3 – The Three Sisters

In Celtic Christianity, it is said that prayer should be continued “until tears come.” Not everyone can cry so easily, but that isn’t a bad guideline for a devotional ritual. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 2 – The Fiery Water

The practice of making pilgrimages to holy wells is so ancient it is probably pre-Celtic in origin, but many of the traditional holy wells in the British Isles are now dedicated to St. Brighid. Central to the concept of the healing well is the image of sunlight reflected in water- the power of heaven and the power of the underworld combined in one, Sea and Sky united in the Land. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 1 – The Circle of Fire

The title of this column, the “Loop of Brighid,” refers to a traditional charm called the Caim or Loop, which can also be translated as “encompassing.” The words of this charm invoked St. Brighid for protection, envisioning her power as a fiery circle surrounding and protecting all those who invoked her. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Brig – Divine Energy of Creation

You often hear pagans say that our religions are defined more by practice than by ideas, but there are some practices you can’t even access without engaging the ideas that make them possible. If we refuse to engage with theology, we also limit our practice. So, for followers of Brighid, the concept of Brig as a universal creative power is a way to start to see Brighid in everything- a way to see everything in the universe as Her divine fire. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Mysticism of Devotion, Part 4

Just as in bhakti, you can either focus on one of these moods exclusively or you can practice different moods at different times. In the context of Brigidine worship specifically, the type of devotional mood depends on which aspect of the goddess you intend to approach. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Mysticism of Devotion, Part 2

In the ancient Celtic world, there were people with names such as Giolla Bride (“Servant of Brighid”), Mog Nuadat (“Slave of Nuada”), and so forth. We can’t really say exactly what these names meant to the ancient Celts, but we can get a glimpse of different types of devotional relationship that are possible for any worshiper. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: The Mysticism of Devotion, Part 1

Part 1 of a series on devotional mysticism in Brigidine paganism. Devotional mysticism focuses as intensely as possible on the presence of the beloved deity, so that the passionate love of the deity carries the worshiper through to the mystical experience on a wave of ecstatic joy. [Read more…]


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