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, the Foster Mother.
This aspect comes mainly from early stories of the Irish saint of the same name having served as foster mother to the Christ-child. While historically impossible, these stories show the importance of fosterage in Irish culture, which far predated the arrival of Christianity on the island, and very possibly similar stories and qualities in the goddess from whom Saint Brigid’s cult assumed so much.
Cha loisg teine, grian, no gealach mi, No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
Cha bhath luin, li, no sala mi, No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown me,
Cha reub saighid sithich, no sibhich mi, No arrow of fair nor dart of fay shall wound me,
Is mi fo chomaraig mo Naomh Muire And I under the protection of Holy Mary,
Is i mo chaomh mhuime Bride. And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride.
From “the Geneology of Bride,” Carmina Gadelica, Volume 1, by Alexander Carmicheal, , at sacred-texts.com. Available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg1/cg1075.htm.
Again, regardless of its origins, working with Brighid in the aspect of Foster Mother has brought us members of Sassafras Grove many insights and blessings over the years. See what building such a relationship with Brighid can bring you. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
Brighid Along Day 2—Foster Mother
Heart full of caring,
You comfort, sustain, teach
A life and mind grow strong with love devoted. (Rowyn CleerDawn)
The Nine Virtues of Brighid: Foster Mother/Hospitality
The ancient concepts of fosterage and hospitality go hand in hand. By sending a child to fosterage, families built bonds of reciprocity, just as hospitality builds bonds of *ghosti between guests and hosts. While the practice of fosterage does not exist in our society in the same way as in ancient Ireland, the bonds adults and children forge with one another still strengthen families—and Groves [and covens, etc.]. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
How will I show hospitality today? How will I remember and honor those who have fostered me? How can I foster and nurture others?
Foster Mother Invocation to Brighid: Sassafras Traditional
Siul Linn, a Bhríd* (Walk with us, Brighid)
Hail Brighid, Foster Mother of us all
Teacher, Guide and Nurturer
Whose love and training aid us on our path
Your teaching turns our ignorance into wisdom
Your guidance turns our helplessness into strength
Your nurturing turns our weakness into a zest for life
Radiant Goddess, receive us into your nurturing arms that we might strengthen and grow
Fairest of Guides, take our hand that we might learn your ways of wisdom and power
Brighid, Foster Mother of us all, Siul Linn, a Bhríd. (Diana Paar et al.)
*”Shoe lean ah Breejah”
Gemstone – Aventurine
Aventurine ranges in color from golden brown to green. It is used for activating growth and renewal. It’s excellent for clearing the heart chakra. It helps us get moving again after we’ve been stuck for a while. Known for inducing the ability to see the potential in a situation, as well as enhance the intellect and mental clarity. (Michelle Handa)
Essential Oil Blend
Jasmine, sandalwood, and orange (Victoria Grammer)
Elhaz/Algiz – The duty of the foster mother is to not only protect her charge, but also to teach him and guide him as he grows, much like the legend of Brighid fostering the reborn and fragile light of the Sun through the rest of the winter until he is mature enough to survive without aid. Thus, I would choose Elhaz (often called Algiz) for this aspect because it represents not only powerful protection, but also spiritual guidance.(Victoria Grammer)
Foster Mother Meditation
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, calm and soothing, the Mother’s embrace. These are the waters that connect us to all our family, our blood and those we have chosen as kin, the waters that embrace our past and flow into our future, the waters that nurture the growth of our bodies and our spirits. This is the well that nourishes and sustains all life on Earth, the well that holds our memories and our dreams for ourselves and those we love, the well that nurtures us through each stage of our lives.
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 nurturing silver resting at your center. Calm and expectant, the well rests at your center.
Remember your connection to the waters below.
With your next three breaths allow your attention to flow upwards toward 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 a fire that comforts, the light that chases away shadows and banishes fear, the light in the window that welcomes you home. This fire illuminates each moment of growth and learning, it nurtures your desires, it shines for you at your darkest hour.
With your next three breaths, draw that illuminating fire down from the sky, through your head, through your chest, down to your center. Filling the darkness, the fire embraces the calm waters pooled at your center, illuminating your interconnectedness to those who share your life. The union of fire and water wash away your fears, your tears. This union below and above nurtures your heart, inspires you, comforts you. 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 gentle waters to flow downward from your center, through your legs and feet and down, down into the earth, keeping only what you need to nurture yourself. 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 comfort and support yourself.
Turn your attention to your center and take three deep breaths. When you are ready, open your eyes. (Maria Stoy)
Brighid Healing Prayer: Foster Mother
Hail to you, Brighid the Foster Mother!
Loving nurturer to those in your care.
You teach the children their ancestral ways,
Strengthening bonds of kith and of kin.
May your wisdom guide me to fulfill my potential.
May your example help me to care for myself.
Brighid, Goddess of Fosterage, I honor you. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
Brighid Foster Mother Prayer
Brighid, as foster mother you guide us toward our greatest potential.
Shaping our futures, you give us the gift of humanity
You care for the forgotten, the abandoned, the lost
You reach out to us when we feel alone in the world and embrace us with your compassion
Goodwill, generosity and kindness are your teachings
Brighid, Foster Mother, we honor you. (Diane Dahm)
Brighid Foster Mother Affirmation
You are the Foster Mother of us all.
Bless the work of my head, heart and hands.
May I understand my responsibilities, my strengths and my limits.
May I love and nurture myself as I love and nurture others.
May I recognize and honor the lessons each new day teaches. (Maria Stoy)