Tonight I begin my first shift as a flamekeeper with Ord Brighideach, an international Brigidene order dedicated to serving Brighid. For me, it is a deepening path of devotion. She continues to call me as goddess, yet in my Christian fringes she is still there as saint. She is Healing, Fire, and Awen. She is not a cosy goddess, but burns us into the authentic being we are created to be. I have walked with her since my baptism in St Ffraid’s Church, Treaddur Bay (Ffraid is the Welsh for Brighid), through my Carmelite profession at Imbolc many years ago, and she calls me in my inner journeying.
I dedicate myself anew to her this sundown, the beginning of the Celtic day.
May I carry Her Healing into the world. May I carry her Flame out into the world. May I carry her Inspiration, her Awen, out into the world. May I serve Her in whatever ways she calls me to.
For those interested in the path of the flamekeeper, the Ord can be found here online http://www.ordbrighideach.org/raven/
My harvesting of this essence tonight was blessed with two strong images.
Firstly the Cailleach came to me, broom in hand. Broom to cleanse, to sweep away all that no longer serves me. All that is no longer helpful in my life. You do not argue with Her. She is strong, dark, powerful – yet not to be feared if you are brave enough to embrace her. In the darkest depths of winter she will cleanse with her power, sweep away all that stagnates within. In the spring, when Brighid returns, broom will be there in all her lightness to carry us forward into spring.
The second sensing I had was that the broom she showed me was made up of all the individual reeds of my dissociated parts, fragmented through trauma, yet integrated by the power of the Cailleach. United they serve a purpose. Right now I do not know what she has planned, but there is true hope in this image.
As we are pulled forwards into the depths of winter, may the strength of the Cailleach and the cleansing of Ngetal bring you blessings of hope.
Harvesting the essence from my Muin Ogham ahead of the New Moon tonight I was overwhelmed by her complexity.
Muin can be Vine or Bramble/Blackberry. In Celtic Reiki she is Bramble, and that is how I met her as she rambled at great speed through me. Bramble weaves connections, aids learning.
She is also a great Protector. Muin offers her sweet berries to those you meet who are benign. To less benign people around you, she offers her thorns as protection. My harvesting today felt chaotic. I sense she may take her time in coming through with clarity.
To all who need her protection yet also her sweetness, I send Ogham-Muin out to you now.
Quert – Apple. The gentle, graceful loving energy harvested at the last New Moon. Living with her since then she has challenged me, not quite settled with me. She is too gentle.
Brighid stepped in the other day. She too is love. Not always graceful – but she showed me love is strong. Love is not sentimental slosh. Love can be deeply fiery, as is her love. Not a love that pussy-foots around us, but a love which challenges, digs out new spaces for Her within.
Fire is also Light, blazing its way through our darkeness. As Brighid gives way to the Cailleach Her Light will still shine on through the winter.
The Cailleach has been calling me these past few days.
Her time is approaching. The Hag of the Hills, the Highlands.
She is a Dark Goddess, the one who rules the winter. We meet her at Samhain, not far away now.
She is the ruler of winter, and her sister Brighid the ruler of the lighter spring and summer days, yet they come to me as two faces of the One.
Brighid came to me first in a deeply personal way as the Scar-Faced One, showing me first Her ugly, scarred side before transforming into a light, beautiful faced Goddess. The Dark Scarred One, whether we call her Cailleach or Brighid, is not to be feared. She will lead us through the darkening days of autumn and on through winter, before showing us her Light in the spring.
Quert (Apple) is traditionally about love, healing, cleansing, the underworld. Some of these came through as I harvested the essence from my Quert Ogham stave tonight. She came to me with a beautiful lightness and grace, dancing through my body. I could smell her, sense her sweet juice washing me inside and out.
Rather than taking me to the underworld, she took me back in time to younger me – a me in shame, feeeling defiled by years of sexual abuse. Her cleansing reached back in time – unprocessed trauma memories continue to live within us until they are processed, placed in the past where they belong. She is a gentle yet powerful ally.
I send her out now as a blessing to all who particularly need her cleansing from shame.
Ogham Coll (Hazel) had some surprises as I harvested her from my ogham stave today. She is Inspiration, collector of Wisdom. She bridges the unconscious and the conscious, making connections.
An earth-bound Capricorn, I found her delightful. She danced through my conscious and unconscious being, showing me that we do not always have to plummet to the absolute depths and darkness of our being in order to tap into her Inspiration, her Wisdom.
I can see her smiling at me, ‘Lighten up’. ‘Dance’.
To all who need to Dance, no matter the depths of their Despair and Darkness, I send her out to you now.
Harvesting the essence from my Tinne ogham stave earlier was a powerful experience. Tinne is Unconditional Love, Balance.
Tinne can be experienced as the love of a mother, or a very masculine love. For me today, it was a strong masculine love which came through, a warm and all-enveloping love.
The Holly King of the darker half of the year, but also the love of Jesus came through as well, totally unexpectedly. This love brooks no compromise. This love is pure. This love will strip away all that poses as pseudo love. Pretend love. Sugary love. This love is raw, is real.
As soon as I held my ogham stave for harvesting, I knew this was an essence I stand greatly in need of right now. Gaslighting from one direction as to the ‘happy times’ we had on holiday when I was growing up; another person betraying my trust in other ways, yet who would claim love for me; these are not love. Not the Love the Holly King and the Christ bring us.
Abuse can pose as love. The Holly King and the Christ offer true love, unconditional love – and ask that we grow in this in how we in turn love.
Tonight I send this essence out to all those who need this Love, and who are tired of behaviour posing as love.