The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “water”

Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head

This is the time of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of many aspects.  She is the guardian of the hearth, smiths, warriors, and poets.  Brigit was born at sunrise, just before dawn, and a tower of fire burst from her crown and leapt to the heavens, making the house look like it was on fire.   She is the daughter of the Dagda and one of the Tuatha De’ Danaan.  Variations of her worship was found throughout the ancient Celtic lands and she had many names.  She was deeply revered.  When the Romans invaded the Celtic world, they called her Minerva and when Catholicism spread, they made her into St. Brigit.  Thus is the extent of her power and influence.

Her name has many meanings including “power,” “fiery arrow” and “she who exalts herself.”  She has responsibility and power over much of life.  She is the patroness of poetry and inspiration, patroness of hearth and home, patroness of the forge.  Through that triple responsibility, she rules  fertility, healing, creativity, the crafts, spinning and weaving, goldsmith and smithcraft, poetry, and bardic lore.  Her power was imbued in the countryside, so that the highlands,  hills, wells, streams and rivers were her body.  Her symbols speak of her power:  fire, wells, cauldrons, the forge. mistletoe, and the Rowan tree.  She is associated with animals emblematic of the bounty of the world, the ewe, boar, and cow.  Snakes are also sacred to her as a symbol of transformation and change.  She invented whistling so she could bring friends to her side in time of need; and she invented keening to express sorrow too great to be held inside.

Her magic is born of mystery.  She is a triple goddess, but not in the Maiden-Mother-Crone aspect revered by modern pagans.  Her triplicity is expressed in her most potent symbol, fire.  She is the Muse, the Fire of Inspiration, of poetry and lore.  She is the Fire of the Hearth, the patroness of childbirth, fertility, home-crafts, and of healing.  She is the Fire of the Forge, patroness of smithcraft and the art of war.  She is protection, creativity, procreation of all sorts, healing, transformation and renewal.  Her triplicity has been expressed as “Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head,” with the fire in the head denoting the fiery power of poetry and eloquence.  And so we get fired up by her and her inspiration.

 The Charge of the Goddess Brigit

I call to you my children, my sisters and brothers to hear my charge

I, who am Brigit, Brid, Brigantia, Braga, Branganca, Fraid and many other names,

Do charge you to find the fires of life within your soul

And forge yourself to be strong, sharp and powerful.

Pull the elements of the earth into your being;

Breathe the inspiration of poetry, song, and art into your soul;

Be heated by the flames of the fire and ember;

Be tempered and soothed by the cool waters from my sacred well;

And be shaped and fused into magic at my hearth


Come to my wells for healing and wishes

Be nourished and soothed by the waters

Tie your wishes to the branches of my trees

And know that wishes spoken

Become the magic of the world

Become your wishes, the magic at my well.

Sing the inspiration of the mystery with your voice

Inspire yourself with joy and love

Delight in the blessings of creation

Become the Art you were meant to be.


By the Sea, by the Sea, by the Beautiful Sea

I’m just back from a week visiting my mother who lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, part of the Delmarva peninsula. She lives half-an-hour from the Atlantic oceans beaches. The farm where she lives was my grandparents and the place we spent our summers. We also camped along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean on Assateague Island and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. One of my dream vacations is to visit all the National Seashores. The other is to stay in-season on a hotel with a pool on the boardwalk of Ocean City, like the Comfort Inn but maybe something with a bigger pool.
The beach is a wonderful place. The sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, the smell of salt water in the air, the heat of the sun, and, in the summer, the sounds of people talking and laughing. It’s an incredibly magical place. Sometimes you can see a school of dolphins swimming on the horizons while gulls fly overhead. Further out, larger birds such as osprey and brown pelicans fly and hunt in and out of the waves. It’s peace and mystery.

We saw an ocean kayaker suit himself up to go out onto the water. First he zipped himself into his kayak, and then he waited on the sand until the tiniest wave went underneath his kayak. Using his fingers, hands, and arms, he inched his way further into the water. When the waves receded, he waited until another came. Again, using his fingers, hands, and arms, he moved a few more inches into the water. Again and again, the waves ebbed and flowed as he inched his way further away from land and into the water. Finally he was afloat with not a lot of water. Then he was able to use his oar and move more quickly and gracefully into the water until he got beyond the breakers.

While on the beach, read a bunch of books. One of them was Sea Magic by Sandra Kynes. It is full of wisdom and power. She provides facts and information about the oceans and seas, the currents, the inhabitants, the myths, and the stories. There is a lot about shell magic and using shells and ocean waters in devotions, oracular work, and magic. It’s very well-written with an inviting style–you want to keep reading. In some ways she’s captured that magical rhythm of the waves in the cadence of her writing. It’s a strong book, well written and researched.

Deep River Woman

Deep River Woman

I love rivers. Actually I love all bodies of water, but rivers are very special. The Severn and the Susquehanna are all rivers in the journeys of my life. Following them, crossing them and diving into them. Taking the waters and moving with them and finding wisdom and peace as I interact with them.
I’m just back from Aksasha Con sponsored by The Dreaming Goddess in Poughkeepsie, NY [], a wonderful conference that shifted time and transformed me. I’ll talk about that over the next couple of weeks, and drop some names, a fun thing to do. More importantly, I’ll talk about how the magic of that gathering created an alchemy and fired transformation. But first I want to talk about the Akasha Con opening ritual in 2004 and my connection to the Hudson River. Flow with me as I tell the story.
Several years ago I was with a man who was damaged and our relationship, which included a lengthy attempt by me to end it, was difficult, stormy, and painful. He died very suddenly, a young and fit man. Long story that included my dance with Sekhmet if you see an earlier blog entry. When he was alive he was difficult and so was his death.
I met his parents for the first time after his death when I went to their place near the Hudson River, about 3.5 hours from where I live. I went alone even though they told me I could bring a friend because, as I said, I was in the relationship alone. Unsupported by my friends, the relationship was a lonely one because even he wasn’t in it. So I met his parents and it was clear that their disappointment and grief over their son extended to me. They were a family that prized fitness and my tall, round body was a disappointment. I had none of the grace or athleticism they expected their son to be in love with, another reason to be disappointed in him. That coupled with their bewilderment over losing a second child– a difficult one– at an early age made for a very strange and awkward visit.
They took me out in their boat. We motored into the Hudson River where the water was deep and gently flowing. Alone, I jumped into the water, feeling the shock of the mildly cold water take my breath away. I couldn’t hear them and for some reason, my inner critical voice was silenced in the presence of this large, primal river. The river held me and rocked me and I moved slowly through the water feeling the vastness of the Universe envelope my body and rush over my skin. It was comforting, sensual and calming. I realized then and there that the Universe was too large and too vast for my resentments and sense of betrayal. I deserved to feel that way and I felt that my feelings were acknowledged and honored, but I also knew that clinging to them was petty and not right for someone who wanted to dance in the ecstacy of the Universe.
So there in the middle of the river, surrounded by banks of lush old trees, I asked the Universe to help me. I gave over me feelings and asked for peace. Then I could hear the harmony singing in the quiet river. I recognized that they were doing the best they could as they struggled and so was I. I understood forgiveness and I asked the River to help me find forgiveness in me for him. The River and the Universe answered my prayer over the next long months.
That was in 1998 and in 2004, I went back to that area. Poughkeepsie is only 11 miles away. The opening ritual was fabulous and was aimed at honoring their River, the Hudson. So I was able to stand at the altar and express my silent, vast gratitude for the River. The Deep River flows inside me as I sing its song as best I can. For that understanding and magic, I thank the Ancient Ones Above and of the Waters for their wisdom and live.

May you find your own deep power.

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