Welcome to the “Brighid-Along” aka the “Nine Days of Brighid.” Below are some resources to help you connect with today’s aspect of Brighid, Initiatrix.
This aspect coalesced mainly around the Wiccan tradition of Imbolc being a time to celebrate initiations and rededications. As purification plays an important part in Imbolc, and in February in general with its Roman associations, holding initiations and rededications at this time certainly make sense. Brighid, as a goddess of both fire and water, is perfectly suited to serve as Initiator and to hear our oaths and vows.
“The older women are also busy on the Eve of Bride, and great preparations are made to celebrate her Day, which is the first day of spring. They make an oblong basket in the shape of a cradle, which they call ‘leaba Bride,’ the bed of Bride. It is embellished with much care.
“Then they take a choice sheaf of corn, generally oats, and fashion it into the form of a woman. They deck this ikon with gay ribbons from the loom, sparkling shells from the sea, and bright stones from the hill. All the sunny sheltered valleys around are searched for primroses, daisies, and other flowers that open their eyes in the morning of the year. This lay figure is called Bride, ‘dealbh Bride,’ the ikon of Bride. When it is dressed and decorated with all the tenderness and loving care the women can lavish upon it, one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Tha leaba Bride deiseal,’ Bride’s bed is ready. To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Thigeadh Bride steach, is e beatha Bride,’ Let Bride come in, Bride is welcome.’. . .The women then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony in the bed they have so carefully prepared for it. They place a small straight white wand (the bark being peeled off) beside the figure. This wand is variously called ‘slatag Bride,’ the little rod of Bride, ‘slachdan Bride,’ the little wand of Bride, and ‘barrag Bride,’ the birch of Bride. . .A similar rod was given to the kings of Ireland at their coronation, and to he Lords of the Isles at their instatement. It was straight to typify justice, and white to signify peace and purity. . .The women then level the ashes on the hearth, smoothing and dusting them over carefully. . .In the early morning the family closely scan the ashes. If they find the marks of the wand of Bride they rejoice, but if they find ‘long Bride,’ the footprint of Bride, their joy is very great, for this is a sign that Bride was present with them during the night, and is favourable to them, and that there is increase in family, in flock, and in field during the coming year. Should there be no marks on the ashes, and no traces of Bride’s presence, the family are dejected. It is to them a sign that she is offended, and will not hear their call. To propitiate her and gain her ear the family offer oblations and burn incense. . .”
From “Sloinntireachd Bhride,” Carmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmicheal, , at sacred-texts.com. Available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg1/cg1074.htm
Working with Brighid as Initiator over the past years has taken us members of Sassafras Grove deep into her mysteries. See what working with her in this aspect will reveal to you.
Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz Egelhoff, on behalf of Sassafras Grove, ADF
Brighid Along Day 3—Initiation
Will of steel and silk
To hold secret mysteries
Safely hidden truths revealed to those who seek (Rowynn CleerDawn)
The Nine Virtues of Brighid: Initiation/Perseverance
When initiated into a new mystery or phase of life, we take the first step on a journey. It takes perseverance to keep following the path to where it leads, even when the initial rush of excitement wears off and obstacles crop up in our way. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
How can I follow-through on something I have begun today? How do I do what is necessary to achieve my goals?
Initiation Invocation to Brighid: Sassafras Traditional
Siul Linn, a Bhríd* (Walk with us, Brighid)
Hail Brighid, Goddess of Initiation
You who guide the soul to the light of awakening
It is your breath which gives new life
Your fires inspire us to adventure across uncharted seas
It is your love we feel when we give birth to our dreams
Brighid, Goddess of Initiation, Siul Linn, a Bhríd. (Diana Paar et al.)
*”Shoe lean ah Breejah”
Gemstone – Amethyst
Amethyst is a stabilizing energy, thought to assist in learning to trust your connection to the Divine and acknowledge the Guidance received. It also supports and assists in stopping self abuse. It brings calm, inner peace, courage and balance. It has been used to protect against psychic attacks, and has also been used to help ease the pain of grief. In Crystal healing Amethyst is said to be beneficial when overcoming any kind of addiction. It is also used for compulsive behaviors and addictions of all kinds. (Michelle Handa and Deana S.)
Take three, deep, cleansing breaths.
Exhale fully…let go of the tensions and distractions of your day.
Take three more deep breaths. Breathe into any part of your body that may be uncomfortable.
Allow your breath to fill you, cleanse and ease you.
Turn your attention to yourself, to your center.
Take three more deep, cleansing breaths.
In your mind’s eye, see yourself in your sacred space, at your shrine, in a cave, sheltered beneath a tree, the place where your magic runs deep.
Focus for a moment on your center, and breathe into your core.
Allow your attention to flow downward from your center, through your legs and feet and down, down into the earth, through the soil, until you touch the water below.
Feel the cool, silver waters swirling below you, slow and dark. These are the waters of change, the waters whose path leads us outwards from ourselves and the safety of what we know, the waters that return us again, different, but better than before. This is the well of purification, the well of transformation, the well that is the doorway to the next stage of your life
With your next three breaths, draw these dark, quiet waters of into yourself….up through your feet, through your legs, through your body. Draw the waters into your center, a pool of glowing, transformative, light. Swirling slowly, the waters rest at your center.
Remember your connection to the waters below.
With your next three breaths allow your attention to flow upwards to the heavens through your chest and neck and out through the top of your head.
Piercing the midnight blue of the night sky the stars shine their light, guiding you upward. Find your star, the one that shines for you alone. Turn your attention to your star. It is the fire that burns away fear, the fire that illuminates and informs your choices. It is a fire of purification, of transformation, your guiding star on the next step of your journey.
With your next three breaths draw that illuminating fire down from the sky, through your head, through your chest, down to your center. Embracing dark waters the fire stirs them into action.
The union of fire and water creates opportunity, opportunity to change, to grow. This union below and above brings the courage to move forward, the strength to complete your challenges, the confidence to share the changes you have made. Connected below and above, you are upheld by the embrace of the oneness.
Allow that oneness of fire and water flow through you, around you, and over you. Join your heartbeat to the heartbeat of creation, feel that heartbeat connecting you to the mysteries above and below. Rest for a moment in the mystery.
Now slowly, bring that pulsing energy back into your center, flowing back through you to your center. Let the heartbeats separate, and allow the waters to flow downward from your center, through your legs and feet and down, down into the earth, keeping only what you need for your own transformation. Allow the fire of the stars to return through your chest, through your head and upward into the heavens, keeping only what you need to strengthen your resolve.
Turn your attention to your center and take three deep breaths. When you are ready, open your eyes. (Maria Stoy)
Day Three: Initiatrix Meditation (audio)
Brighid Initiation Prayer
Brighid, we search for the key to unlock your mysteries
Hoping to transform ourselves, we open our hearts and minds to your teachings
We seek to learn your ways
Dedication, sacrifice and piety are given freely to you
The veil lifts and your knowledge is bestowed upon us
We listen to your whispers as you unveil your secrets
Brighid, Goddess of Initiation, we honor you. (Diane Dahm)
Brighid Initiator Affirmation
You are the Initiatrix, who guides each new beginning.
Bless the work of my head, heart and hands.
May the wisdom of the ancients inform my path
May my heart be open to the opportunity of rebirth and renewal.
May my eyes be open to the magic of this world and all worlds. (Maria Stoy)
Brighid Foster Mother Virtual Shrine (Michelle Handa)