I belong to Cauldron Cill, a flamekeeping group (no, not that kind of Flamekeeping) dedicated to the Gaelic goddess Brighid. Known by many names – the Scottish Bride, the Continental Brigantia, the Catholic St. Brigit – Brighid is a fiery triple goddess of healing, smithcraft, and poetry, the flames of inspiration as well as the fires that burn brightly in every home’s hearth. In a flamekeeping group, members take rotating shifts over a 20-day period to keep Brighid’s flame – lighting candles, saying prayers, perhaps wearing special jewelry – with the Lady Herself taking the shift on the 20th day. Last night my shift began, and a few hours ago it ended. And wouldn’t you know, I have some experiences and musings I’d like to share with you.
So far over winter break I’ve taken some long, hard looks at my spiritual life and the choices I have in front of me. In the previous post I mentioned returning to Brighid, setting up a small shrine for Her at the top of a bookcase. I have offered Her candles, incense, and prayers, doing something small every day to affirm Her presence in my life again, and the keyword here is ‘small’. I’ve found myself particularly susceptible to emotional burnout in the past, and it seems that the more fervently I dedicate myself to a practice during my ‘up’ periods, the worse the crash is during my ‘down’ periods (or what SatSekhem of Mystical Bewilderment on the Spiritual Turnpike* calls the Fallow Times). Instead of using up all my energy as soon as I have it, I’m trying to spread it out and plant seeds that will help carry me through less energetic times.