Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great Radio Show / Podcast on CBC Tapestry

Tapestry is a CBC radio program that covers a variety of spiritual topics.  A recent episode was about Our Lady Brighid - and is very much worth the listen.

On the CBC site here - http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2010/030710.html

and on Itunes - http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/includes/tapestry.xml

It is a deep blessing that we can have such open and widespread acceptance of our Pagan beliefs.  

Tapestry, and it's American Public Radio equivalent "Speaking of Faith" are excellent programs for understanding religious diversity from a scholarly and philosophical point of view.  I would encourage everyone who is on a spiritual journey to listen to them - there are many amazing lessons in listening to such a wide variety of faith-based topics.  


Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 19 - Blowing on the Coals


My Flamekeepers night this cycle came at the midpoint of a very hectic week at the end of a very hectic month, and it was upon me almost before I realized that it was my day.  I was exhausted - energy at a low ebb.  I felt like I was a fragile uncertain flame that needed tending more than having energy to do my sacred duty.

Funny, it is when the universe rises against us that we find ways to dig a little deeper.  My "falling asleep" meditation, in the deep cold dark of the night where my heartbeat was the only flame I could light for My Lady after blowing out the symbolic candle I lit earlier.  I imagined that my heart was a piece of charcoal - glowing softly red and warm in my chest.  With each breath, I drew in the blessing of the Lady - thinking of each good thing that I have been given in this past cycle.  Mentally, I placed a small piece of tinder on the coal of my heart, and the exhale of my breath was a soft blowing of air on the coal.  Breathe in, be grateful, add fuel to the fire, and blow on the coals.

Over the few minutes it took me to really focus on this exercise, my started feeling myself renewed.  Not in a raising of energy kind of way - it was bedtime, after all, but in a restorative heart-fire kind of way - filling up my energetic tank, stoking the fire of my engine for the next day and week ahead.  I put up a good supply of fuel, and a strong fire glowing in my being for the adventures of the future.

I drifted off gently into sleep, warmed from the inside out, immersed in my blessings, feeling the gifts of the Goddess surrounding me in warmth.  I slept deep, dreamed even more deeply, and awoke refreshed.

Thank you, Brighid, for tending the fire in my heart, and keeping me safely centered in the flame of your blessed care.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 19 - Sharing the Abundance

Greetings of the Sacred Flame - may it keep you warm during these cold days and may it light your day and your way.

My shift this cycle started last Thursday, at about the time that I had to be at my Organic Food buying group to help sort out the most recent order - we unpack and distribute the food amongst the members of the group. Its quite the organization.

I was helping weigh out dry goods, and thought about the journey that my food takes to get to me - and marveled how abundant our world has become for those of us lucky enough to live in a "first world economy."  We eat good, simple, hearty food - for the most part - but we still have more food than most of the world.  Just the food we have in our house - in the cupboards, fridge, 2 freezers and pantry would be considered amazing to so many of the world's peoples.

I thought about the point of origin for each piece of food I packed into my cloth bag - wondered who planted it, who picked it, who sorted and weighed it.  Did they ever think of the person who would be eating this food at the other end of the supply chain?

Some time ago, I got to meet the man who, with his wife and fellow villagers, actually harvested the coffee that I was buying from his coffee collective in Central America.  It was humbling to shake his hand, knowing that my consumption of his wonderful coffee had contributed to the visual and tactile evidence of his calloused hard working hands.  His wife gave me a bracelet that she had woven. These people, from thousands of miles away put joy and alertness and great flavor in my thermos each morning.  Their coffee cost more than other brands - but - while I could get it - it was worth it.

The abundance of the Goddess and her gifts is like that - an ongoing exchange of energy that sustains us.  there is always exchange - in some energetic form.  There are sacrifices - and callouses and distances to be traveled - because life is an adventure of sharing.

We are surrounded by abundance both visible and invisible.  It is everywhere we look - and where we forget to look.  It makes us whole - because recognizing it contributes to our sense of wholeness with the Divine.  From our gratitude for all we have, we are able to move forward, to prosper.  We must be grateful for this abundance - and remain thankful that our needs are met - our wants are often granted, and we have enough to share.

Some of you may recognize the Spirit-Haven food blessing within the last paragraph.  It has served many of us well over the past decade or so since its creation at one of our Weekend Retreats.  I invite you to use it, if it fits, to bless your food, and to receive the blessing that is given to you through the abundance of the Great Mother.

The Spirit-Haven Food Blessing
It is not we who bless this food, but this food that blesses us.  Abundance is a wholeness of being, and from this, we prosper.  We are grateful for this abundance, and thankful that our needs are exceeded.  And so it is.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Join the Imbolc Art Card Exchange

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you know that I am hosting an Imbolc Art Card Exchange on my blog Chasing Domestic Bliss. If you are feeling inspired by our Lady and wish to make some art to share this month please head on over and join in the fun. Details can be found here.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Would Light A Candle...

... to chase away the darkness, and I would light your candle from mine.  Each of us can light another, tending the flame, helping the hopeless to see that each of us can make a difference if we really care. Yes, each of us can make a difference when we choose to share.  

One can light another, and two can share the brightness, and four can chase the darkness away, eight becomes a hundred, then a thousand or more, turning the night into day. A hundred thousand candles spreads a glorious light, an everlasting beacon on the stormiest night. 

Light the light! Share the vision. Show the world what one light can do. Be the one to set the brave example - maybe what the world needs is you.

You can be a beacon when hope lies in the shadows, a tiny light to light another's way. Keep the candles burning bright when trouble appears, turning the night into day. A candle loses nothing when it lights another flame, and any journey's possible when you can see the way.

Light the light! Share the vision. Show the world what one light can do. Be the one to set the brave example - maybe what the world needs is you.

These are the words of I Would Light A Candle, by Joyce Eilers, a song in the repertoire of Musique Magique, the vocal ensemble in which I sing tenor.  It speaks to me of both the Light of Solstice and the Light of Brighid.

This Friday, we settled in for a quiet evening at home, lit candles and incense, and had a glass of wine, letting the craziness of the week and the bustle of the season fall away.  It was peaceful, and we felt the presence of the Divine around us in a quiet, calming, comforting way - in the gift of a good dinner, a cool beverage, the warmth of touch, the companionship of our animal companions, the comfort of our home, and the ability to have "downtime" in a world that seems to be spinning far too fast some days.

Satuday was a day of doing - and there was some quiet carved into the late afternoon when we lit the 3ft red Brighid candle, and incense, and watched the sunlight fade from the sky as I prepared to pass the flame to Brighid Herself, that she might watch over us all.  There was stillness - a moment of absolute calmness - then I blew out the flame, and got on with my plans for the evening. Blessed be.

That would be my last shift as a flame keeper for 2009 - and I look forward to catching the flame again in 2010.  You can argue that the division of days by dates is a human construction - that the "new year" is our own way of imposing measurement on an eternal cycle.  Matters not.  We look, as a culture, to the shift in date as a new start, a new opportunity, a fresh page.

I have been somewhat faithful in the observing of my flame keeper shifts, but less faithful about posting the thoughts, transformations, and insights gained through this very important (to me) spiritual practice.  I am not alone in this delinquency.  In the new calendar year, I will endeavor to do better.

There are still shifts to be filled - and I would like to see more energy moving through this group - so to that end, I am creating a FaceBook page for this gathering to open it up to all those who would like to add their lights to honor Our Lady of the Well, Flame and Forge.  Spread the Word! Spread the Light.

Blessings of the Forge,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Warming fires

Greetings all. I wanted to share this poem that I wrote back in July on one of my nights with the flame. I was hoping to share it before now...but time marched on and here it is October. Hopefully this will be a reminder of the season we have left and of the promise that it will return.

Call of the Forge

her forge burns bright
it dries the milk from my breasts
it stokes the sun
droplets of sweat beading on my back

she whispers to me that the mother fire
is slowing down
it will burn on without constant vigilance

and now the artist in side calls
she yells for attention
deep inside the womb
cradled by my soul
the creative fire begins to crackle
to burn more brightly once again

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009 - Day 9

Hail Brighid mother of it all

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Welcoming a New Flamekeeper

Betty joins the circle and takes on Day 8 - just a day from now.  Welcome, Sister.

I have added a calendar widget that lists the dates and who has the Flame - so this should help us keep track more easily of "when we are".  I look forward to your posts, and to writing my own.

Blessings of the Flame and the Well,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of the Day

Originally uploaded by hecatesbrat
Traveling back from one of my Winnipeg trips, I had to get out of the truck and take a picture of the setting sun.
It set in less than 5 minutes in total.

It was almost a sense of sadness, like a candle burning out when you needed it most. The sight however took my breath away and left me pleased to have captured some of the setting sun.