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.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 15 - sunset Aug.18

I began my turn of the cycle on the evening of the 18th at sunset. As I lit the candle I noticed how much earlier the sun is setting since last time. It reminds me that autumn is drawing nearer and while there is still some summer left, we are getting closer to the time of year when there is more hours of darkness than light. For me the time of year between Mabon and Yule is my favorite, so I look forward to this. I thanked Brigid for helping to inspire me creativly over these summer months and asked her continueing help in this area. As I have this week off for holidays, it was wonderful to be able to have the flame lit during the day, and be able to spend the day working on my creative projects, honoring her. Finally, as the sun set on the envening of the 19th I celebrated the dark moon, and I honored her crone aspect. I look forward to my next turn in the cycle in 20 days time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 17 - August 1st - Lughnasadh

Happy Lughnasadh (or Lammas) to those of you who celebrate it :)
Today has been we say...auspicious. Not only is today Lughnasadh, but it is Day 17. My day to hold the Candle of Brighid
These days are always full of inspiration, inner-desires coming to the surface, and a kind of "full-moon" quality for me.
Inspiration, which is said to come as a fire from deep within, has seemed to come to me more like a little mushroom today...something coming out of nothing, needing loads of water and a certain amount of shade to pop up. Mushrooms are linked to the Full-Moon for me...could be the shape of the cap, and the color, or the fact that they come out of cool, shady spots...
I'm not sure if I can explain the connection, as it comes straight from my GREEN HEART.
But, today has been the day of all sorts of inspiring thoughts coming to the surface...I've wanted to make these necklaces, and crochet, and have been planning the colors to paint my kids' rooms, and thinking about creative scheduling and planning for the year,
playing in my garden and talking to my tomatoes (which have made one tiny green edible bubble - joy!!!)

I go into this evening with a cloud-burst outside, and think of how appropriate to the Goddess this is...all this heat, flame-like, and then a sudden burst of inspiration and creativity.


As a side-note, if any of you haven't read Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley, I highly recommend it! It struck a cord deep in my bones, and I think it might for some of you.

Blessed Be & Peace! - Katie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

7th Eve, July 2nd.

As the sun sank, I had started to lay out my paints and brushes for an unknown project. I had my candle ready to be lit on the far side of my art desk, and started my music. I lit my candle, and watched the flame engulf the wick. I had no idea what I wanted to work on or create that evening, but I knew I had to do something creative!
My music played on, and as I was rummaging around in my basket of things to be touched by creativity, I found myself singing along- which I hadn't done in a long time.
I'm not even sure what it was that I painted that evening, but I could feel my paintbrush being guided not by my own hand which I found was extremely freeing.
When it was time for bed, I transfered the flame of the physical to the internal l kept it going until the next mroing when I mentally passed it on to the next keeper

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Setting Sun

As the sun sets I thank you.

For the strength to move through this day.

For the peaceful sleep of last night.

And for the fuel you graced to this humble keeper of your flame.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shift 19 - Monday sunset to Tuesday Sunset

I carried the Flame in my heart as a group of us gathered in sacred space to drum away grief and drum up power and joy in living fully in each moment. The circle of women sang, we cried, we danced, we drummed, we wailed, we howled, we chanted, we invoked the Fire of Her Bright Spirit to be with us, to give us strength, to light the darkness, to melt the frozen places, to boil the righteous anger into action, and to make us feel and embody the passion of Her presence in all we do.

From a woman in her 70's to a woman of barely trips around the sun - from all paths of life, from all corners of the circle, we created the fire, we warmed ourselves with the warmth of sisterhood, we dried our tears of grief, and we went singing into the night.

And the next day - with a sore voice whispering Her name, and sore arms raised in prayer - I passed the Flame to She who Bends and Shapes us All.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

welcoming Ian to the Circle


We welcome Ian to the Circle, and he will be taking Day 16.

Just to make sure we are all moving forward together - it is "sunset" on June 10th, and as the sun starts his descent into the mystery of night, so the Flame is being passed from Day 7 - Jazmine - to Day 8 - which does not yet have a flamekeeper - so we can all hold it in consciousness.

We have almost filled up our initial 19 - we only have Days 8, 10 & 14 remaining.

I look forward to hearing about your journey on your Flame Days - and am mindful that I also need to be more diligent in sharing my own Flame Day stories.

blessings of the Fire of Life,

From the Well to the Flame

Hello everyone.

I am very honoured to be a part of this circle. With my sun sign in water, and both my rising and moon signs in fire, I guess I am called on an elemental level to tend Brighid's flame.
I am an artist working in fibre (quilting, embroidery) and creative in every life aspect possible. Mothering is taking most of my time these days. Participating in this project allows me to step outside the usual routine and tend my inner flame along with Brighid's.
My ancestry is from the British Isles: Irish, Scottish and English. Brighid's energy is one that I often feel coursing through my veins, as much a part of me as my breath. The depths of her well amaze me repeatedly.

Many blessings to you all.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Welcoming a New FlameKeeper


We are blessed to welcome Jennie to the circle - and we look forward to her posting an introduction. She is taking the watch for Day 6.

Blessings of the approaching Solstice -


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday May 5, 2009

Through this exciting and difficult time I remind myself I asked for the help of Brighid to help forge my life.
Her heat warms my heart and gives me hope and reminds me not to stall to long lest I light myself on fire.
Today has been the most grounded balanced day of my week, and it will carry foward just as the flame does.

Blessed be.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Night #7

The candle flame dances
just like my paint brush across the canvas
My inspirations mimic the
Flickering, alternating strong and soft light

She, in her infinite routine
that is not just a mere routine but a joyus gift
strikes another blow to her anvil and
the metal's song dances about

I'm not much of a poet, which is why I paint and draw! I have finished the votive holder I am using for my shift. It's nothing that looks special, but to me it is special- it holds the ancient candle light(s) of intention and creativity. Somethign that is much bigger and much older than I am. It's extremely humbling and yet, I feel honoured to be part of the daily shifts.

Alas, 'tis time for bed...

Sunday, April 26, 2009


BLESSED BRIGHID: On the eve of a baby's funeral I ask for all of us who gather here to worship and honour you, that you give us the ability to see what we have in our lives and be grateful. We have not won the lotto,that's okay, we all, most of us, are employed. We have roofs over our heads and food in our bellies. I have not had to watch a child of mine, die slowly. I have not had to hear the last breath leave her body,or feel her warmth fade away. I have not had to pick out funeral clothing or wonder which toys should be put in her casket.
I have everything I need, in front of me, all around me, and that which I do not have, I know it is within a hands reach. Heal us Brighid, heal our greed and blindness. Let the spring rains cleanse our soul and ego. I receive the flame and graciously pass it on to the next follower. With the feel of your breath so close I am always in awe of how I love you,worship you, and strive to always be better because of you. Blessed Be, Blessed Brighid.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Welcoming a New FlameKeeper

Greetings on this changing day of the Brighidine Cycle - at Sunset - Brighid passes the flame to Lisa and we begin again.

We welcome a new flamekeeper - Joanna - to our Circle - she will catching the flame on Day Four from Lesley and passing it to Cyd. I have invited her to join our blog, and ask that she tell us something about herself.

Looking forward to the next cycle - and to learning from the wisdom of the circle...

In Her name and in Her service,

Day 19 - Reflections

Sunset is coming later and later as the seasons dance their way across the face of the planet, and my flame burned quietly on my altar and in my heart as the evening dark crept into the room.

My thoughts were of Brighid the healer - a dear friend is in the hospital "doing poorly" as my Gran would say - and we offer prayers for her speedy recovery. Jacinthe's dad was in the hospital with a virus, and in great pain. Various other friends and family members have their own healing journeys - and I'm overdoing it a bit in the Spring Cleaning department and finding out that "My bendy is broken" - those pesky abdominal muscles that were surgically invaded are not as strong as they should be / could be - and I'm paying the price. Here's to the concept of pre-Folk Festival sit ups - we'll see how that goes.

I've been dreaming deeply and marginally prophetically this week, in the days leading up to my Flamekeeper day. Dreams of strong women doing great things and being very wise ... if I could only remember what they say and figure out how "what I dream" is to influence "what I am to do". Maybe lavendar tea at bedtime?

The Goddess has been gracious, and sustains me, like a gentle rain on the dry winter-dehydrated earth - and I am grateful.

In Her name, and in Her service,

Day 19

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 17

Brighid, at the gate
cloaked and quiet
I am bid

You stoke the flames
keeping me warm

Burning bright as flame
inside my eyes
down deep
I am mute

Smoke-sharp is your tale
enfolding me
strongly -

Enclosing and silent
quiet secrets

Ashen from the fire
spiraling in
and again

~inspired by Brighid on Day 17 as Katie kept the flame

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 13

Since we're just starting up on this, I'm still working on how best to endulge in Brighid's creative inspiration these days.  This round, I wasn't inspired to writing as I usually am, but was drawn outside to the gorgeous spring scenery that was around my work.  So instead of anything Goddess inspired, you get the work of Her hands themselves!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A New Flamekeeper for Day 18

We welcome Max to the Circle of Light. He is taking Day 18 - receiving the Flame from Katie and passing it to me. We look forward to him sharing his journey with us.

Just to ensure that we are all on the same day - at sundown tonight, it becomes "Day 9" and Alex receives the Flame.

Blessings of the Forge, where I am being reminded that I did not post my own devotional observations for my Day 19 shift. Let me get that posted up later this evening. Mea culpa...


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Welcoming a New Flamekeeper to the Circle

We welcome a new Flamekeeper to our Circle - Katie from Oregon.  You can visit her blogs at 

She will be taking Day 17, and we look forward to sharing Light, Warmth and Sacred Space with her.

In the Lady's Name,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 15

Orange and purple sunset
Firelight in the sky
The evening darkens
Lighting the candle
Brightens my heart
Inside I am glowing
Like the fire in the sky

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 25th; 5th Night

My night as flamekeeper, the fifth day was partially done in the ER.

It was my last day for my ER clinical rotations and even though I couldn't hold a candle or a flame, there were many lights that could have acted as one for me.

The EKG monitors in the nurses station had flickers of yellow and red; aptly colored for flame, the changes of the heart causing the lights to change. From yellow to red and then of course we would check on them to make sure they were okay, even though we could tell by the monitors.

No physical flame, but one held mentally.

For the rest of the night once home, I kept the mental flame. To light a candle seemed to almost diminish the connection I had with the fire of Brighid. Perhaps it was because I held it in my mind and within my soul for the start of the night.

I was awake until the sun crept it's way into my room. I thought of passing the light on and gave into the sleep my body wanted.

It was interesting to start this at work and to carry it through at home.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Night of Light

It was my first time lighting a candle that had such an ancient history attatched to it- or rather being mindful of the history behind the reason for lighting it. I've lit plenty of candles for other dieties, but nothing that has been carried on in such a rich tradition.
I picked a votive candle and a glass holder and thought of all the women (and men) before me that had held their match to the wick - and goosebumps came over me.

I think I"ll be painting the votive holder to distinguish it from the other candle holders in the house.

At the moment, this is all I have to share. I'm sure there will be more later!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

the light of day 3...oh candle of mine

i did light the candle on this fair night
for Brighid for hearth and home
and upon my statue i saw a light...
that was not one of my own..
it glowed so fair it glowed so bright...
but did not come from anywhere
must have been brighid herself..
showing me that she was there.

indeed a message so small it seems might have gone easily astray
but there was acknowledgement for me there... and i will tend the flame another day

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 2 - The Flame Glows

I got home from a wonderful dinner just as the sun was setting. We already had a candle and holder picked out for this. So I hurried off to gather it up and set it on the alter. As the sun dipped below the horizon a few minutes later I lit it.

It was a feeling of being apart of something bigger, something that could easily have a global base. With the candle lit I returned to the tasks I knew must be done with a renewed vigor. A bit of writing and a bit of house work. I had the urge to set aside my regular project and worked on Questions of Faith, a much more spiritual project then the others.

Brighid was there and she moved on. Leaving a small piece of herself and her flame with me to connect me with the others and as a reminder of our time together until the next time.

Crossed posted to

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AS #1 Brighid follower, I find myself weak in the knees when I am"receiving"the flame. I never feel worthy, but to have it passed to someone else would do me in. I am "in the space"for about 48 hours and find it hard for everyday life. I talk to her all the time. I feel fine when she is near.
She shows me the way, she lights my soul. She is the driver in my volvo of life.
I look forward in sharing this with you all. I feel a t-shirt coming on...

Lisa, daughter of Brighid.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 20 - Brighid takes the Flame

and spreads Her mantle over all of us.

Mighty Brighid, keeper of the flame,
blazing in the darkness of winter.
O goddess, we honor you, bringer of light,
healer, exalted one.
Bless us now, hearth mother,
that we may be as fruitful as the soil itself,
and our lives abundant and fertile.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Counting Down to Day 20 - Brighid's Day

Blessings of the Hammer and Anvil to you, My Sisters and Brothers of the Flame and the Well,

We are in the final weeks of Preparation, as we prepare ourselves to embark on this great new journey as Flamekeepers of the Goddess Brighid.

We will begin our observance on Day 20 - March 15th at Sunset - when Brighid will take care and custody of Her Flame and watch over us all. On Day 1 - March 16 at Sunset, Brighid will pass the Flame to Lisa, and our first Brighidine Cycle will begin.

In the interim, I will continue to add the Flamekeepers to the mechanics of this blog, to allow each of us to post our thoughts - large, small, fleeting, profound, exploratory, revelatory - whatever they may be. I have assigned the days based on first response, and adjusted as best I could for duplicate requests. Happy to change what needs changing. There is more to be done, and it shall be done (but not tonight).

If there are others who wish to join us in this Observance of Dedication, please contact me, and I will gladly share our vision to see if we shall walk together for a while. You can see the days available. And should we exceed 19, we can begin to double up for each day. It can be an individual or a family observance - it is up to each person to determine what is best for them.

We are creating-bending-shaping something - and through that, we create ourselves anew.

Blessings of the Lady of the Forge, (for this is how She appears to me - your vision may vary)
Susan (19)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Striking a Match

in so many more ways than one.

A few years ago, a group of us committed to "tending the flame" of the Goddess Brighid, who goes by many names, and is a Saint in Ireland. Each night at sunset, one of us would light our Brighid candle, and symbolically tend the flame until the next sunset (with the liberal application of common sense about not sleeping with burning candles, or not leaving candles burning when we went out).

Some of us had virtual candles that we kept lit during the day. Some had battery powered ones that we "burned" on our desk at work. Those who could, kept a true flame burning as best they could. We would be mindful of opportunities to learn Her wisdom as the day progressed.

At sunset the next day, we would mentally "pass the flame" to the next person in the list. They would carry the flame, in truth and symbolism, until the next sunset, then they would "pass the flame" to the next person.

On the 20th day, we would pass the flame to the Goddess, who would then tend it, and shelter all of us under Her mantle of light. And then the cycle would begin again.

Many of us found our day of observance to be full of creative impetus, or of a deep and abiding calmness. The 20-day cycle provided a "break" from our standard ways of measuring time - not based on a 7-day week, or a calendar, or even lunar month. It created a deep awareness of something greater than ourselves.

We are honored to begin this journey once again, with some new faces, and some familiar faces - and look forward to seeing the evolution of this space as we each find our way to a deeper connection to our Goddess, and to each other as those who keep Her flame.

Blessings of the Forge,