*Opening for first Sunday ~
Begin by lighting your first candle, remembering that you will be proceeding sunwise around the candles each following Sunday.
Recite this Flame Lighting Prayer ~
Brìde, Excellent, Exalted One,
Bright, golden, quickening flame ~
Shine Your blessings on us from the Otherworld,
You, Radiant Fire of the Sun.
*Inspirational Reading and Song ~
I am older than Brigit of the Mantle,
I put songs and music on the wind
Before ever the bells of the chapels
Were rung in the West
Or heard in the East.
I am Brighid-nam-Bratta:
Brigit of the Mantle,
I am also Brighid-Muirghin-na-tuinne:
Brigit, Conception of the Waves,
Brigit of the Faery Host,
Brigit of the Slim Faery Folk,
Brigit the Melodious Mouthed
Of the Tribe of the Green Mantles.
And I am older than Aone (Friday)
And as old as Luan (Monday)
And in Tir-na-h’oige my name is
Suibhal bheann: Mountain Traveler,
And in Tir-fo-thuinn, Country of the Waves,
It is Cu-gorm: Gray Hound,
And in Tir-na-h’oise,
Country of Ancient Years,
It is Sireadh-thall: Seek Beyond.
And I have been a breath in your heart,
And the day has its feet to it
That will see me coming
Into the hearts of men and women
Like a flame upon dry grass,
Like a flame of wind in a great wood.
-Fiona MacLeod –
Listen to, and try to use the given lyrics and pronunciation key to sing along with, a traditional song for Brìde, Gabhaim Molta Brìghde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP5FS6IXJJA
*Recitation of relevant passage of the Four Fires of Brìde prayer ~
“Brighid, my head is on fire for you-
Kindle thou my inspiration, as you passionately do.”
*Prayer, Offering & Silent Meditation ~
The ‘fire in the head’ was traditionally the flame of the poet’s inspiration. The poet served an important role in traditional Celtic society, speaking to cosmic truths, and reminding some when they were no longer living in alignment with it, especially when those in power failed to do so.
Close your eyes and take three cleansing breaths, breathing space into yourself, and sinking into yourself as you exhale.
Hold up your plate of cheese, bowl of yogurt, or cup of milk as an offering to Brìde:
“Brìde, Giver of Light and Life, I offer You this gift of nourishment in gratitude and joy for Your many blessings.
Glory of kindred,
Queen of Summer,
She of the high heavens,
Support of strangers,
Spark of wisdom,
Daughter of an Daghda,
The living one of life.”
~ adapted from In Praise of Brigit, from the Old Irish
Warm your hands over the lit flame, imagining her energy and essence collecting there. Place them over your forehead, cupping your Cauldron of Knowledge, your cranium, and blessing your seat of inner vision and wisdom with Her Light—
“Brighid, may the illumination of your starshine and sunlight fill my Cauldron of Knowledge. May my inner vision be ever honed to glimpse your insight, and my inner ear be ever tuned to hear your voice. May I be ever able to perceive the world through your wisdom, and ever able to embody it in my daily living. May your living flame be kindled within my head.
“I honor Your poet’s gift of wordsmithing. I pray for Your inspiration and guidance to please show me how I might best use wordsmithing to bring Your Light into the world at this time. How would you like me, in this moment, to keep Your Living Flame alight?”
Make yourself like an earthen temple of the Sun, directed towards and welcoming within its rays of light and illumination. Sit and allow Brìde’s light to work within you, to guide and inspire you. You might hum or play the song above to aid your meditation. If your attention wanders, recite or repeat the word, ‘welcome,’ or fàilte,’ in the Gaelic.
When you feel you have received some kind of guidance, insight, or inspiration, close the meditation with thanks—
“Brìde, Constant Companion and Maker of Song, I thank you for your inspiration and insight. May Your Flame remain within me, lighting my way, and blessing my work. May I remain ever open to your signs and whispers. Mar a bha, mar a tha, mar a bhitheas gu brath.”
(The Gaelic is pronounced, ‘mar a VAH, mar a HA, mar a VEE-us guh-BRA,’ and means, ‘as it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be.’)
Journal the signs, insights, and inspirations received, and share them with your Brighidine community, along with any plans you have for manifesting them. Watch and listen over the week for further guidance which may come, journaling that, also. How are you moved to respond? What does She ask of you? How can you generate more personal awareness of Brìde’s poetic inspiration in your life, and how you might bring Her light to the world around you through that? Lastly, consider and journal how you use your words with others, the power of words, and how you might best use them and their power as you engage with others around you.