Brighid, My Anam Chara

As a mother-priestess of a Brighidine Flametending Order, Nigheanan Brighde, I have a deep and close relationship with the Celtic goddess Brighid.  I am also a member of a devotional community to Her called Clann Bhride.  A new blog post by one of its founders asked how we each relate with our Lady, and on reflection, I sensed that my relationship with Her differed somewhat from that of the other devotional polytheists’ relationships I’ve read about, which seem to primarily focus on worship of Her, ascertaining Her desires, and seeking to learn and do Her work in the world.  In my own relationship with Her, I don’t feel compelled to make Her an object in that fashion.  She has come to me offering me Her help– if I seek to heal, She will help; if I seek to remember ancestral ways, She will help; if I seek to write, She will help; if I seek to forge sacred relationships, She will help.  As my spirit seeks centering and my soul seeks connection, She leads the way; She helps. Through communion with Her, she guides me to the Center, that I may connect with the Source there, and holds the space in which I might do so, yet She Herself is not that Source.  She, like myself and all living beings, emanates from that Source.

I most relate with Brìde is as Guide, as She is invoked in a Scottish prayer in the Carmina Gadelica, which refers to Her as a helping woman, a constant companion, a maker of song. I pray to Her for spiritual and daily living guidance, to be my companion on my always-unfolding spiritual journey and growth, to inspire me and my expressions as my maker of song. Muse of poets comes somewhat closest to this idea, but not necessarily so literally as that, although at times that is the case. But in relating with Her as Guide and Companion, She is more akin to an anam chara, soul friend, who leads me to the center, to the edges, and into sacred relationship with everything in-between. Communing with and listening to Her helps me on this journey, but the journey isn’t all about Her, or meant to end with finding Her, or meant to be focused on Her as its main object or subject. She points the way, She holds my hand, She whispers wisdom, but the point of the journey is that which She points me towards, and the wisdom She imparts, towards living a life grounded in sacred relationships of mutual benefit and respect, expressing my unfolding destiny in ways which support all life by giving blessings, as does the bright sun of Her fire, and the nourishing spring of Her healing waters.  These I give thanks to, seek to learn from, and hope to emulate.

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