As I prepare to lead the installation rite for the Brighid Shrine at this year’s Three Rivers Festival, I’m focusing on three Brighidine virtues: piety, hospitality, and fertility, as represented by three colours.
For this devotion, PIETY is represented by the colour white, symbolizing purity and connection. Piety can be something that we strive for, especially as we balance our lives, and maintaining piety requires work – just like any relationship does. Her nineteen priestesses who tend her flame are an example of piety and right relationship in service to the goddess and what she stands for.
HOSPITALITY is amber, the colour of beer and bread. The richness of amber reminds us to share what we have with others, even if all we have to share is a kind word. It underscores our responsibilities to others in the many ways we may meet them. We are also reminded of the joy in simple abundance and a good meal, and the warmth of the hearth.
FERTILITY is red, the colour of the fires of inspiration and the fires in the head, as well as passion. Though I use the words “fertility” and “passion”, this is not a sexual virtue. Instead, it’s an intensity that we can apply to whatever we are called to, for growth and change. It is the fierceness of love and justice or the brightness of an idea.
For now, I am simply turning these words and ideas around in my mind; I have no formal devotional practice or prayers. I am trying to see my life through this lens and bring them forward, and I am most definitely failing. But along this path, we walk around the spiral over and again, and there is always more to see and do. I’ll get there.