I’ve always loved the story about how God sent the rainbow as a message to humanity that He’d never again send a flood. Mind you, in Ireland, we have tested the “40 days and 40 nights” thing to it’s limit. Like to “40days and 39.5 nights” type thing. Be that as it may, I’ve always associated the rainbow with hope. But I don’t often see Brigid being related to hope.
I know, I keep going down rabbit holes with Brigid and associating her with different things, but really, truly, I mean this. Now, I’m not talking about the annual listing of Brigid as a “Spring Maiden Goddess” – there are associations with Brigid and spring, in both Ireland and Scotland, but the whole yellow, cheerful, sun associations I’m less keen on.
But, hope, now, I do link to herself. It became clear to me a few years ago, when I was taking part in a shadow work group. All around the group, women were saying “I can’t…” as if that put a stop to it. As if “I can’t” indicates a position that meant it could never be changed. And it’s not the case for me – mainly because of work. As an engineer, pretty much anything is possible, given enough resources. And by resources, I usually mean time and money! When I said this in that group, there was incredulity. Because what came out then was that people assumed things weren’t available for them to do whatever it was that they were claiming they couldn’t.
I took the notion that with the right resources, anything is possible, as a sign of hope. They took it as further proof the thing couldn’t be done, because obviously the resources weren’t available. For me, it’s hope. This came up again during my impromptu shadow work sessions a few weeks ago. Brigid asked me to do certain things and my response was “I can’t”. What I meant was “Are you fucking joking right now? Can you not see what I’m doing here?” And her response was “What resources do you need to do this?”
From previous experience, I knew not to say that I needed time. I did point out the conditions required for me to achieve what I was being asked to do. And I felt the hope rising. Because, at her heart, Brigid is an engineer – I firmly believe this! (Although I should note, is it UPG. As in there is no mentioned of engineers in any of the lore regarding Brigid. In saying that, the word engineer only came about in 1325. The lore is based on oral traditions going back well before then, so…)
But seeing a bad situation as a temporary thing, only continuing until certain conditions are met, is a hopeful way of looking at things, in my opinion. Now, we also have to work towards those conditions being met of course. The good old engineering approach of getting your hands dirty!
But in other ways, I find Brigid hopeful. I associate her with childbirth – an incredibly hopeful time. Her connection with grieving – ok, not hopeful in and of itself, but the notion that life goes on, even with grieving, is hopeful. Her work with healing and poetry and social justice – all give me hope. All ways in which there is light at the end of tunnel for us poor humans. Brigid works hard with us, to ensure we have the ways, the means and the resources to work out our issues.
Even when you look at the big things: the environment, poverty, homelessness, hunger. We have the means to solve these issues. It would mean certain people giving up wealth and status, maybe, but still possible. Have you ever heard of golden rice? This product solves a lot of food related issues in deprived parts of the world. It doesn’t suit many large corporations to have people growing it though. That led to a lot of publicity about the horrors of genetic engineering. Humans have been engineering food for millennia. Do you know what an original banana looked like?
Genetic engineering didn’t start in the 20th century. As humans, we have been at it for pretty much all of our existence. If you don’t believe me – go check out a google on ancient cattle, horses. Hell, go look at the types of horses medieval knights were riding.
But back to Brigid. And hope. She’s not going to solve our problems for us. That’s not what any of the Irish deities are about really. They’re big on giving you the tools to do the job yourself, most of the time. But. Brigid will help. She will coach and assist. You can reach out to her and ask for help. Why would we work with her otherwise?