Saint Brigid’s Day, February 2, is a time of pondering how darkness turns to light, and reaffirming our traditions that support life: poetry, smithcraft, and healing, all special gifts of Brigid.
Climate change can no longer be denied. We are in a serious Extinction Event.
In the midst of this global threat, we have seen only dreadful miscarriages of Justice everywhere:
- children dying in detention because the government deems them unworthy of free flu shots;
- the victims of a notorious and well-known pediophile denied true justice as the offender dies in custody in mysterious circumstances
- Royal familes flying apart and at one another from disclosures of adultery, patronizing sex trafficking distributors, and the awful toll of racism on two young newlyweds
- The denial of military aid to allies who are fighting a hot war
- Wholesale government malfeasance as leaders fire on their own populace for protesting in Iran and Iraq
- The discovery that both the Justice Department, and the Congress in the US are significantly corrupted and compromised
- Illegal international assassinations, for political reasons
- threats of civil war, egged on by elected officials
- gun violence unabated
- an international climate conference ended with no movement on the crisis at our doors
- potential of a world wide pandemic, for which we are woefully unprepared.
Sounding dire? Yes, it does, and our current considitions put us in mind of Brigid’s lessons:
Consider, if you will, this close-up of the hand-made, woven crosses woven in Brigid’s honor on her day. It is woven from FRESH grasses–that is, it uses what is available, however ephemeral. Next, look at how it is woven, with grasses from every point of the compass intertwined in at the center, looking much like ancient heiroglyphs for “city center” in Egypt. EVERY CORNER of our world must be represented and bound together, for that is the only way that the Circle of Life can contintue to spiral into the future.
YES: we must heal from the fear, injustice and hopelessness that can accompany such a bevy of calamities. Brigid’s passions tell us that there ARE healers in our world, and that we must seek them out, listen, and treasure their advice. And we all know that no one can heal while the diseases of body and soul continue to destroy them. We MUST stop inflicting wounds on each other and the world.
YES: we cannot heal without significant attention to the nourishing the soul, which quails before the enormity of the tasks before us to save the world. In other words, we MUST have poetry that can ravish the thoughts with yearning and restore our vision of the planet’s diverse beauty as an Ultimate Good.
and, YES: we need smithys–benders of iron, makers of steel, workers in metals and woods, sun, wind and ocean, to help us build new ways of living with each other and on this planet. Brigid was the giver of knowledge to make weapons with which to fight for survival, against natural forces, colonizers, and cosmic evils. We need not feel unprepared if we seek out this wisdom.
There IS a way forward with Brigid: we must affirm our communities and accept that the peril to us all is real and present. We must heal and sing and work with all our might.
Let this Dark Time be the moment when you slough off the old wounds and disappointments without trivializing them, and rededicate your days and nights to being part of history, part of the Great Change that must come if we are all to live….
and read some more about Brigid if she is new to you: Thoughts on St. Brigid’s Day