Tonight is my scheduled flametending shift for Brighid. I find it fitting that at sunset, I will light her sacred flame to carry us from the solstice season towards Imbolc. As my focus word for 2019 is ‘foundation’, I am continuing to build my practice back up around the hearth and home, of which Brighid is the centre.
I’m ready for Solstice Tide to be over. I was ready a few days ago, but we still had our Boar Feast to host. On Mothernight, the night before Solstice, we always draw our year-omen, and then take the next ten days to reflect on what it may mean for us, and the Boar Feast is when we share those thoughts with each other. Like other signs, our omen encourages us to leave behind what doesn’t serve any longer so that we can burst forth with new energy when the time is right.
Daily devotions seem to be entrenched as part of my practice again. I’ve not missed a day yet (though I did do them in the car once) and I’m feeling reasonably confident about that. Flametending every 20 days is a little harder – less frequent, yes, but the variability of the day makes it difficult when something else arises.
Brighid’s priestesses had the luxury of tending Her flame in an environment without external distractions (other than men climbing hedges, ahem), and that’s not what our piety is like today. I think that is why the appeal of a nun’s life speaks so strongly to me, so that I could focus on what I feel is my vocation. But fate goes where she may, and I must frame my vocation in the context of being a wife and mother, also the domain of Brighid as goddess of the hearth.
What does this mean? What does it look like? What is my piety in the context of the household? The season of Imbolc is for the first stones of foundation, and I am blessed to do it in Brighid’s holy light.