Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lá Fhéile Bríde!

It is once again the feast day of the great saint and goddess Brigid! In honor of this occasion I'd like to share an excerpt from my forthcoming book ---
Lady of the Sea: The Goddess of the Sea and Stars
(c) Margie McArthur, 2002-2009, All rights reserved

An interesting story concerning Brigid is found in the writings of 19th century writer Fiona Macleod. (1) In this story the author encounters an elderly woman named Mary MacArthur, who tells him of a dream encounter she’d had with St. Brigid many years earlier. Brigid was very precious and dear to the people of Scotland and Ireland. They regarded her as the foster mother of Christ, and this encounter touched Mary McArthur very deeply.

This is the dream that Mary MacArthur recounted to Fiona Macloed. A woman of great beauty came up to her as she was at the seashore gathering driftwood to kindle her fire. The woman took the wood and threw it into the sea, saying she was throwing away Mary’s sorrows with the wood. She identified herself as Brigid, and Mary exclaimed aloud in wonder and praise, and went down on her knee in respect. Brigid looked at her and said:

“I am older than Brighid of the Mantle, Mary, and it is you that should know that. I put songs and music on the wind before ever the bells of the chapels were rung in the West or heard in the East. I am Brighid-nam-Bratta (Brighid of the Mantle), but I am also Brighid-Muirghin-na-tuinne (Brighid of the conception of the waves), and Brighid-sluagh (Brighid of the immortal host), Brighid-nan-sitheach seang (Brighid of the slim faery folk), Brighid-Binne-Bheullbuchd-nan-trusganan-uaine (Brighid of sweet songs and melodious mouth), and I am older than Aona (Friday) and as old as Luan (Monday).

And in
Tir-na-h'oige (Land of the Ever-Young) my name is Suibhal-bheann (mountain traveler); in Tir-fo-thuinn (Country of the Waves) it is Cù-gorm (grey hound); and in Tir-nah'oise (Country of Ancient Years) it is Sireadh-thall (seek-beyond). And I have been a breath in your heart.

And the day has its feet to it that will see me coming into the hearts of men and women like a flame upon dry grass, like a flame of wind in a great wood. For the time of change is at hand, Mairi nic Ruaridh Donn—though not for you, old withered leaf on the dry branch, though for you, too, when you come to us and see all things in the pools of life yonder.”


This interesting passage, in which Brigid refers to a time of change close at hand, would seem to speak of the Aquarian Age which will soon arrive, as well as the major time of changes we are now experiencing and which are leading us into the new age.

Older than Friday—creation’s final day, when all living creatures came into being—and as old as Monday—the second day of creation, when God began creation by separating the waters, creating sky and sea, Brigid is telling us she is older than all earthly life and was there at the very beginning of things.

She is Lady of the Faeries, the sea, and the songs in the wind. Brigid says that she has previously been like “a breath in your heart,” but that the time is coming when she will enter into people’s hearts like a flame upon dry grass and a flame of wind in a great wood.

Thus she identifies herself as a major player in the future; a powerful being who will help bring about the very changes she foretells.

(1) Macleod, Fiona; Winged Destiny: Studies in the Spiritual History of the Gael; pp 207-209

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