Being a devoted follower of Brigid, I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of A Brigit of Ireland Devotional: Sun Among Stars, by Mael Brigde. It will be released on September 1st, 2021, published by Moon Books, and it is ready for pre-orders now. Don’t hesitate, if you are a follower or have an interest in Brigid yourself.
Diving into the book, you can immediately see the care, research and thought behind this devotional. The author Mael Brigde is a devotee of the Irish goddess and saint, Brigit, and the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, which has tended Brigit’s perpetual fire since Imbolc 1993. She publishes a general interest Brigit blog, Brigit’s Sparkling Flame, and a Brigit poetry blog, Stone on the Belly. As well, she teaches courses and webinars on Brigit, including Journey with Brigit, Goddess of Poetry, an intensive class that explores reading and writing poetry as a sacred act. She resides in Vancouver, Canada.
The book itself is book-ended with a foreword by Orlagh Costello (who runs the popular Facebook group, Brigid’s Forge), and an afterword by Morgan Daimler. Morgan Daimler’s Brigid book is a touchstone for many of us who follow the Celtic deity of Brigid (spellings of Brigid differ within the pantheon and are accepted). Noting the liminal space between Christian and Pagan Brigid, she notes: “It has been an education for me to seek her in so many places. I see a greater distinction now between the saint and the goddess, and I increasingly doubt that most of the associations of the one arise from the other. However, I recognise that there has been a relatively recent merging of goddess and saint, and when we address one, we are generally addressing both. You will see this blending in many of my poems.” What is particularly joyful for me as a reader is that the author looks further afield than Ireland to experience Brigid, including Scotland and Wales, as well as other places.
This is a book that you can pick up and put down as needed, to seek inspiration and meditative moments in the personal exploration of what Brigid means to us. Not a follower of Brigid, and only vaguely familiar with what Brigid encompasses? Not a problem, as the themes covered in the poetry are universal to us all. You could read this book from cover to cover, but its path throughout the pages encourages bibliomancy: whenever you have a quiet moment in your spiritual practice, open the book randomly to a poem or passage, and spend some time ruminating on the words, the images it conveys, and the thought it inspires within you. Incorporate your journal in this practice, and you will then experience the devotional aspect of this well-written compilation.
A favorite poem from this book as we head into the inward spiral of the year:
who will tell the story
of the sisters Brigit
there is no harvest of tales gathered for them
as for their saintly heir
but shadows move
in the reeds and rushes
in the ashes and in the springs their deep voice wakens the wild corners of the land in herb and bird and beast in the fading rhythms
of the folk
who will gather these shadows weave for the triple goddess the ancient three-armed cross
In addition to the book release in September, you are also cordially invited to attend the launch party on August 28th. I will be virtually attending the celebration, and reading one of my poems that was published on Mael’s blog, Stone on the Belly. Let’s join together to celebrate a wonderful addition to books about Brigid!
Here’s the link to the invite.