In the last posting, we looked at stories of Brigid that reflect her central place in the Celtic spiritual tradition. For the Irish, Brigid is the face of the Sacred Feminine.
On February 1st, Brigid’s Day, a frigid morning (-31 degrees celsius with wind chill) some ninety women gathered in Sudbury Ontario to spend a day celebrating Brigid with story, song, dance and poetry. A gigantic Brigid created of coloured cloth and papier mache oversaw the event from the stage.
Was it our hunger as women for a powerful and radiant, compassionate and focused role model that drew us there? Or was it Brigid herself, and through her the Sacred Feminine presence, longing to enfold and embrace us? Surely it was a sacred presence that stirred the embers of joy and hope among us. Surely something sacred fanned the embers into a fiery passion to transform our planet and all that lives in and upon her sacred body.
Jean Houston, one of the great women/ spiritual teachers alive today,speaks of the Rise of Women to full partnership with men as one of the most compelling historical happenings of our time, even of the last 5000 years. See the website: Rising Women, Rising World (www.risingwomenrisingworld.org)
Within this rising there is a powerful spiritual energy which we may name Sophia.
This is her time, and we are her partners.
Out of the mists of history, out of the fragments of ancient stories, out of the almost- but- never- quite- lost memories of a sacred feminine, a new-old presence is coming into our awareness.
The Irish poet Anne Frances O’Reilly writes of that emergence in the form of Brigid.
These words will never carve
your image out of bog oak
but that is what they want to do
to dig down into the moist wetness
to touch the layers of centuries
that have made you
woman, goddess, saint
to see your shape emerge intact
from the dark earth.
My instruments are crude for such a work
the bog resistant to intruders
as an ancient tribal memory
in its dark and secret places.
But I must search out these roots
this memory as vital as breath.
I must drag this ancient oak
from the centre of the bog.
I will wait as I must
until I can see
the shape of what you were
and what you are.
The fine coat of resin will preserve your beautiful shape intact
and I will call on you great woman
to grace me with a golden branch and tinkling bells.
And I will polish you then with images of
sun and moon, cows, sheep, serpents, vultures,
bags, bells, baths and sacred fires
so that you become a fiery arrow
and breathe life into the mouth of dead winter
O beautiful vessel still intact
where we have unearthed you,
remind us of your many manifestations
and let us smile again in memory
of when doddering Mel pronounced you bishop
or your cloak spread over the green fields of Kildare.
You who turned back the streams of war
whose name invoked stilled monsters in the seas
whose cross remains a resplendent, sparkling flame
come again from the dark bog and forge us anew.
Anne F. O’Reilly
For the added joy of hearing this poem read by the author, visit her website: http://www.bluehorsemusings.com
There you may listen to other tracks and find out how to order the CD of her spoken poetry: Breathsong