I am very excited to see the number of events happening across Ireland in particular in Faughart - Co Louth and in Co - Kildare as part of the #Brigid1500 Celebrations that mark 1500 years since her death. I personally feel she has never been more alive and is being born again in the hearts, minds and wombs of many people across our Island and the world. The events are happening around her Feast Day Feb 1st and 5th February the Bank Holiday in her honour (thank you to all who made this happen)
My greatest challenge is which of the events to attend as the range of events and the intention and energy behind them is truly inspiring.
The events are rooted in the arts, creativity, spirituality, environmentalism, self expression, healing, divine feminine energy, social activism and many of the other aspects that we associate with Brigid.
In this Blog I would like to share some of my own journey with Brigíd and my invitation to you in 2024.
St Brigíd's Shrine at Faughart has been a part of life for as long as I can remember, I had family who lived nearby and as a child visits on a Sunday afternoon were a regular occurrence. Faughart Sunday in July and cold, dark, candlelit processions on February 1st were an integral part of our family calendar.
I knew it as a place of healing and hope. Growing up I heard many stories of miraculous healing and comfort brought by visits to the shrine and blessings with holy water from the well.
As an adult my connection to Brigíd grew and the shrine offered a healing sanctuary in times of challenge, a place of peace, balance, harmony and at other times a sacred space to connect with nature and the elements.
Since 2018 my connection with Brigíd and my awareness of her presence and guidance in my life has deepened. This is partly to do with being part of a circle of women organised by Dolores Whelan, who became what I call guardians of a St Brigíd healing blanket that was created and channelled by Marguerite Brady. The blanket is passed from person to person with the intention of bringing blessings, comfort, healing and Brigíd's blessings.
In 2016 I became a Moon Mother and in 2019 was blessed to have the opportunity to connect with over 70 Moon Mothers from across the world at the shrine at Faughart.
As the beginning of 2023 Brigíd's call became louder and on the 31st January last year I registered for a year long training with the Carmel Diviney that was focussed on connecting more with Brigíd and her healing ways.
Brigíd has shown up in my life in some very powerful and synchronistic ways the one that perhaps surprised me the most was when my English Friend whom I had connected with through the Alumni group for the Institute For The Psychology of Eating and who lives in Scotland discovered upon applying for her Irish Passport that her Grandfather had been the Church Of Ireland Dean Of Kildare in the 1920's/1930's this is the church that stands on the site on which Brigíd built her Monastery.
In late December 2023 I had shared with a few women in my circles that I was considering offering a 9 Month Journey with Brigíd this year, the details where sketchy, though the seeds were sown. I has the inspired thought to call it " A journey with Brigíd" on ly as gaelige and so the name would be "Turas le Bríd
On 1st Jan, I woke early for a sunrise walk and saw a Facebook post from a page I didn't follow. https://www.facebook.com/OwenandMicheal
As you will see below the signs were clear not just from the words also with the logo on the image.
"'Turas' in Irish means 'journey', but it's imbued with layers of meaning that resonate deeply with us. In our culture, a 'turas' is more than travel; it's a pilgrimage, a voyage that weaves together the physical and spiritual realms. It's about transformative experiences, self-discovery, and a profound bond with our land and its ancient mythology. The word captures the essence of setting intentions, pursuing meaningful paths, and nurturing growth."
Our Turas will begin in February and I will be sharing more details in the weeks ahead. This will be a small circle so if you are interested please let me know.
In the meantime as we journey towards Imbolc and the energy of the 1500 Celebrations builds I leave you with this blessing.
Lá Fhéile Bríde
Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mothers of our mother, Foremothers strong.
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how to kindle the hearth.
To keep it bright, to preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours, Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light, Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brigid about us, The Memory of Brigid within us,
The Protection of Brigid keeping us from harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness.
This day and night, From dawn till dark, From dark till dawn.
Solas, grá, trua
In deep gratitude for all my Teachers and those that have kept Brigid's flame alive so that we today can be guided by the light.
Written By :Joanne Callan
Holistic Therapist & Well Being Coach.
Founder of Changing Cycles Community Interest Company.