One of the topics that came up on my recent request for blog topics was ways to honour Brigid. Now I feel I’ve been fairly clear on this blog that for me, honouring her, working with her, etc comes with my daily life. The best honour I can pay her is to live a life she might be proud of. Or at least not objecting to…
But I appreciate there are people out there that prefer a different type of relationship with their deity. And sometimes it’s nice to do a bit of specific rather than generic honouring.
I suppose one of the issues I have is that I don’t see my relationship with her as needing honouring as such. I mean, we’re not equal partners in this, but I have rights as well as her. And I think that’s important to remember. Honour her first and foremost by knowing yourself. Know your boundaries, your limits, your abilities, your weaknesses. Admit to yourself who you are, what you are, where you are… be clear on all this. Trust me, it makes life in general easier, never mind relationship with deity.
But we’ll go from quick and easy to the more complicated stuff here.
So first off – lighting an auld candle rarely goes astray. I mean, if I was living in California, Oregon, Washington or anywhere else there’s wildfires raging, I wouldn’t be adding fire energy to the conflagration without serious consideration of the consequences. But here in Ireland, we’re unlikely to have those issues, even with the week of fine weather we’re currently having. Lighting a candle and just thinking about herself is a pretty straightforward and easy way to pay her respect.
Meditation is a great to connect with herself as well. I read something long ago that said prayer is when we speak to the gods and meditation is when they speak to us. Meditation is both extremely simple and extremely difficult. I find visualisation helps me a lot with meditation, but also saying the rosary can get me into a meditative state – it’s not one I usually encounter Brigid in though. Mantras can help. Guided meditations can help. You can check out the journeying methods taught at the Irish Pagan School for specific journeys to meet herself (journeying isn’t quite meditation, but it’s linked and well worth learning. But be careful and learn from a decent source. I will recommend https://irishpaganschool.com/ for this – not only cos I have a few classes on there, but I do believe this method is as careful as it can be.)
Now I mentioned praying there in the previous paragraph. Either composing a prayer of your own or using one already in the public domain, it’s up to you and the resources available to you. Prayer doesn’t always mean asking for things, praising deities is an old, old tradition as is the tradition of just reminding them we’re here. No harm in either type of praying.
After that, well she’s never been adverse to a glass of wine in my experience, although she does have history with beer and stronger spirits as well. If alcohol isn’t an option, milk, cream, butter, dairy products in general are no bad idea. For a bit more effort – home baking is a way to go. I mean the Dagda is the big one for food, but Brigid has the links to the hearth fire (and to me this includes the modern gas or electric oven!) so the fruits of said fire are always welcome. I’ve heard people asking how long to leave out offerings like this – honestly, I don’t think it matters and it will depend greatly on your own personal circumstances. If you have small children or animals about the place you may not want to leave out things that would be harmful to them. At the very least, try to remember to through the offering out before it goes off anyway. Not for any deity related reason, but more for hygienic issues. Equally, how you dispose of your offering will depend on what it is and your circumstances. I either throw a glass of wine down the sink or else onto the grass in a particular spot.
If you want to get a bit deeper but still keep this honouring to yourself, have a look around in your local area or community and see what needs doing. Is there a well about the place that needs weeding and clearing up? Is there an abandoned graveyard of a religious tradition you understand that needs upkeep? Is there a playground that’s covered in litter?Have a look around and see how you can do something to make things better.
You can always donate money. I’m a firm believer that energy follows money, so use what money you can to support causes in her name. Environmental issues, women’s and children’s rights, LGBT+ rights… any minority is probably a way to honour her. And this way you choose to support something you care about as well as something she cares about.
If you have the ability and resources, you can join or found a group to help with any of the above issues. Is there a well that continually gets overgrown or littered? Can you gather people together to take care of it? Many hands make light work. And setting up and running a group like this required the help of a deity in my opinion. It’s easier to herd cats than people, but a group of people tend to get more done than one person alone.
If you haven’t the resources to get directly involved yourself, promote those who do. Online activism or armchair activism is almost pejorative these days, but sharing a post to spread awareness of something is valuable as well. Basically – do what you can do. She’s hard on her tools, but she doesn’t usually intentionally break them…
You can create in her name – while she is listed as the goddess of poets, it’s really not just poetry she’s interested in and poets in Ireland were expected to do a lot more than just declaim a few rhyming couplets. So, writing anything at all. Painting, sewing, embroidering, knitting, weaving… there are a load of crafts out there that allow you to be creative and honour her in the doing of it.
I have mentioned before I believe my work as an engineer to be work in her name, with engineering being the descendant in the modern world of blacksmithing. Careers in the law, in the arts, in caring for others, in healing, in looking after the home ,in caring for children, in caring for the oppressed, caring for animals, both wild and domesticated… all these can and will honour her.
You can make her crosses – whether a 4 armed cross, a 3 armed cross, a lozenge or many other kinds.
Best of all – tune in, use your discernment and find out what she needs you to be doing. Honestly, that’s probably best in the end.