Well, 2020 arrived with a bang for me. I set a goal to post here once a week and it’s gone beyond that. My apologies. The main reason has been health. I was struck down with an ear infection followed by a headache that lasted about a week. It was less than pleasant.
But on the other hand, it led me to examine my healing practices, particularly in relation to herself. Now, I practice energy work, reiki reflexology, but I will be the first to admit that before Christmas, I had let my own energy levels stagnate, drop, and leak from me. I was doing, doing, doing with little or no work to replenish that energy and allow myself to recover and renew myself. That was not the most sensible thing I’ve ever done.
So, over Christmas, I took a decision to plan something for myself that would allow me to replenish and renew. I should note that I subscribe to the school of thought that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, where it’s at all possible. So I keep myself hydrated and make sure I get plenty of fresh air to prevent headaches. It works… most of the time… but not this time. To be fair, my time in the fresh air has been limited of late. It’s winter in Ireland, which means damp, dreary, grey days – not conducive to venturing outside. But I need that outside time… This is where adulting is hard, making these decisions for ourselves and deciding what we need to do versus what we want to do.
I also agreed with myself and Brigid that I would go for a fancy Balneotherapy bath once a month in the local hotel spa. This fulfills a twofold purpose – it forces me to take a half hour where I can only lie back and relax. I can’t read, watch TV, look at Youtube, etc, I can only lie back, meditate possibly and enjoy the experience. The second purpose is that by doing this, taking a ritual bath, I can go back to reading the odd male author. This time last year (well, more like December 2018), I got this odd notion to only read female authors. It seemed like it was my own idea for a while, but after a few weeks, it became clear, this was an instruction and to be obeyed. It’s rare something like this comes up for me, so I stuck with it – besides, there are plenty of female authors out there to be reading, I didn’t really notice the loss. Until that is, I started looking for research on Brigid, life in Iron Age Ireland, and things like this. It seems in this area, the field is almost as dominated by men as the engineering field is. This posed a problem, because she wants this book written, but I needed to read male authors to do the research. While I’m grand with personal gnosis for personal practice, I don’t want to be passing off the results of my meditations and rituals as grounded fact. So, we compromised and agreed that this would serve the two-fold purpose of renewing my energy and “cleansing” me to allow me to recommence reading male authors.
My first bath was just after Christmas on the 27th December. Just know, I was empty at this point. I mean, if I was the fuel gauge on a car, I would no longer be flashing red, but I was still in the red… I wasn’t sure if this bath would allow me to read male authors again, or not, but I needed the renewal. And renewal I got. That bath felt like 8 hrs sleep in 25mins. The combination of water, lights, soothing music… it was a healing and powerful experience, probably because I was so empty, I soaked it all up like a sponge.
A few weeks later, I had signed up for a cacao (pronounced c’cow for those who, like me, had no idea how to pronounce it!), dance and sound gong experience. I knew no one going, had no idea what to expect, but I had experienced dance and sound gongs before and cacao is close to chocolate so how bad could it be??? It was amazing. The cacao tasted lovely and definitely gave an energetical boost to me. The dancing… oh the dancing…. I love to dance. I really love to dance, but I habitually convince myself it’s too much hassle to go along to events where I can dance as I wish (freeform, spiritual, trance, however you like to describe it – the kind where you move without steps or heed to orders!) I danced for at least 2 hours and I loved it. It was like an awakening of my body, a reaffirmation that this body of mine is here for enjoyment and love, not for just being a workhorse. As we lay down for the sound gong experience, I kept moving. My hips rolled, my backside lifting and lowering, my knees splaying and coming together again… I must have looked like someone on drugs, and I suppose it kind of felt like that, but it was more energy coming back to me. More of my tank being filled. And to be fair, I came home and jumped my husband (with his consent of course) so refilled my sexual energy as well.
What has this to do with Brigid? Well, here’s where the personal gnosis comes in. The energy work I do is closely related to Brigid the healer for me. And when I don’t have the energy, when I allow that energy to run down and be diminished as I have been, I don’t have the energy to facilitate healing for either myself or others. I believe that Brigid’s rituals must have included rituals to replenish this energy for her healers and workers. Healers also need healing. And dance is such a free and easy way to replenish this energy. I know that there are parts of the world where dancing is frowned upon or outlawed completely, but here in Ireland, thankfully it’s not. And so, this needs to become part of my spiritual practice. Dance as healing – it’s something Gabrielle Roth links to in her 5 Rhythms dancing (which was my first exposure to dancing other than prescribed steps. The instruction to just move my body as I felt like was a shock to this Irish dancer!) But this can’t be new. Dance has been part of the human experience for millenia (personal feeling there, I don’t have a reference for that) although throughout history, certainly in the Common Era, there have been plenty of times and places where it has been restricted, outlawed, frowned upon and otherwise controlled.
I don’t have a brat Bhríde right now, but this January 31st, I will be leaving out a red ribbon or two to serve in that capacity in the future. (it doesn’t need to be a red ribbon, it just needs to be a piece of cloth, it’s only that I happen to have two pieces of red ribbon that I can use for this purpose this year) I will be using this ribbon in my new practices of energy renewal and replenishment throughout the year. I don’t know the firm outlines of these practices as yet, but I’m working on them. I’m also looking at ways to improve the foundations of my life: sleep, food, water, movement.
I will share some of these practices with you as I come across them, but for now, the monthly spa bath and regular dancing are forming a major part of it!! As for herself – she’s happy I’m paying attention again and is in agreement with what I’ve decided on so far. Of course there’s a payback as well, but we’ll get into that another time!