Seekers and Guides: Imparting the Mysteries – Helping Your Students Find Personal Gnosis

How do you impart a personal experience of the Divine that may not be at all like your own? How do you teach the sound of one hand clapping? The answer is: you don’t. You teach the skills needed in order to make this very personal discovery instead. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces, A Brigidine Sacred Text – Part 9

On Patheos Agora, Christopher Scott Thompson concludes his study of the Invocation of the Graces as a Brigidine sacred text with an overview of the virtues and powers granted by this traditional Gaelic charm. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces, a Brigidine Sacred Text – Part 8

On Patheos Agora, Christopher Scott Thompson presents his own translation of the "Ora nam Buaidh" or "Invocation of the Graces" from the original Gaelic of the Carmina Gadelica. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces, a Brigidine Sacred Text – Part 6

As part of his exploration of Brigidine Paganism, Christopher Scott Thompson looks at how “Invocation of the Graces” draws images from the natural world to convey another set of eight blessings granted by Brighid. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 5

In his ongoing exploration of Brigidine Paganism, Christopher Scott Thompson analyzes the original Gaelic text of the "Invocation of the Graces" to uncover a list of eight virtues: enchantment, virtue, faith, deeds, elegance, character, boldness and charm. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 3

The power of the “Invocation of the Graces” to grant victory over one’s enemies should not be seen as something given in addition to the feminine charms listed in the first verse, but because of them. The word buaidh, after all, means “victory.” When Brighid bathes your palms and cheeks in Her “lustral fire,” in Her milk and sunlight, in Her honey and wine, She not only grants you Her beauty and elegance but makes you “more victorious than all persons.” [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 2

The “Invocation” is not only a piece of folk magic but a commentary on virtue ethics. Many systems of virtue ethics seem to come from a very masculine perspective. For instance, the “nine noble virtues” of Asatru are courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industriousness, self-reliance and perseverance. These are not portrayed as being “just for men,” but their relationship to the masculine warrior ethos of the Icelandic sagas is clear. As a discussion of “virtue ethics” based on a distinctly feminine perspective, the “Invocation of the Graces” provides an interesting contrast to the nine noble virtues. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Invocation of the Graces – A Brigidine Sacred Text, Part 1

The “Invocation of the Graces” is a charm or blessing that was recited over young people in the Scottish Highlands to protect them from various potential threats while endowing them with a number of virtues or powers Carmichael’s translation refers to as “graces.” [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 6 – The Seven Elements

There is an interesting gloss on the story of Conlai in the Senchus Mor, to the effect that the druids claimed to have created the earth, sea, sun and moon. If druidic practice contained rituals dramatizing the creation of the world and the elements, this could be seen as a similar concept to theurgy, henosis or deity yoga. [Read more…]

Loop of Brighid: Private Practices 5 – The Manor of Tara

Turn toward the east again to gaze up at the Sky, the upper realm of Celtic myth. Feel the power of the Brig coursing through you from up above, flowing through your body and into the Land. The spot where you are standing is the sacred center, the place of the Sovereignty. [Read more…]