Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 3 – The Three Sisters

Gaetano Previati, The Dance (1908)

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

Marie Spartali-Stillman, By a Clear Well with a Little Field (1883)

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

John Everett Millais, The Lost Piece of Silver (1864)

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

William Baxter Closson (1848-1926), The Angel, ca. 1912

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

Anne-François-Louis Janmot (1814–1892), The Soul's Flight

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

Cufollowswheel

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

Devotional mysticism is based on yearning for the divine.

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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