Her Eternal Flame is a contemplative and mystical journey of one devotee’s personal communion with Brìde, the spirituality this communion suggests, and the practice inspired by it. Being a practice characterized by daily practice, intense devotion, deep contemplation, and an annual vow, I consider mine a monastic* spiritual path, walked in the wider world where I live.
Brìde is a numinous goddess of the Gaelic peoples found in Irish and Scottish myth and folklore, and across the landscape throughout Celtic countries. As the spirit of the Living Flame, She is the Cosmic Fire of All Life, and the Great Transformer. Brìde the Poet’s Fire in the Head inspires inner wisdom and its outward expressions; Brìde the Smith’s Fire of the Forge drives all creative endeavors; Brìde the Healer’s Fire of the Hearth empowers healing modalities and the body’s vitality, and reminds us of sacred Hospitality; and both the goddess Brìde, mother of Ruadan, and the later St. Brìde point to the Fire of Compassion, of the heart, which guides us in right relationship with all beings, and in support of Life and its systems.
Hers is the contemplative shine of starlight, the hospitality of the hearth, the generous warmth of the sun, the eternal gift of morning, and the regenerative force of the land.
Her healing and wisdom have also traditionally been imparted through Sacred Wells. The nourishing power of water brought deep powers from the Otherworld bubbling up to the surface for those in need to partake. Wells must be approached respectfully by walking solemnly around them three times in a sunwise (clockwise) direction, in harmony with the movement of the sun, and leaving offerings of flowers, rags, food, or drink beside the Well before its waters are drunk. In myth, the Well of Wisdom is visited by poets to receive the imbas, or inspiration, and so we too visit the Otherwordly Well of Wisdom for our own spiritual nourishment and illumination.
Brighidine Flametenders honor Her central place in our lives as the Guiding Star who lights our way.
Thanks for reading.
Erin nighean Brìghde
*For others practicing some kind of monastic polytheism who would like to converse with other polytheistic monastics, there is a secret facebook group available for such community.