Friday, February 01, 2008

Because Brigid loves to laugh

Goddess Bless the Bard Holly Tannen, who brings us songs channeled from the half-astral plane, and all those who love words and music.

Blessed Imbolc to all here,



Brigid: The Survival of a Goddess

Wheat Weaving

Sacred Places in the Modern World - A wonderful post by Hecate on Imbolc, ritual and finding sacred place in urban settings.

Welcoming Brigid - from Lunaea Weatherstone

Practical Alchemy - A one woman show by Holly Tannen


Barm Brack - Speckled Bread

Other recipes from Ireland

About Holly Tannen:

CD - Crazy Laughter

more of her music can be found at Serpentine Music

Folklore and magic provide the foundation for Holly Tannen's music. While her repertoire includes many traditional folk songs from England, Scotland, France, and the United States, Tannen has attracted more attention with her own songs, including "Online Romance," "Song of the Suburban Shaman," and "Lily of the Net," which she claims were written while channeling entities from what she calls the "half-astral plane." Her ability to straddle between the two worlds has transformed her shows into highly spirited experiences. Reviewing one of her performances, The Oakland Tribune called her "a master at taking a small club and turning it into a magical forest." Studying magic since 1980, Tannen was initiated as a princess in 1984. Four years later, she studied folklore at the University of California at Berkeley, writing a master's thesis paper on the ballads of the nomadic travelling people of Scotland. An associate professor of anthropology at the College of the Redwoods in Mendocino from 1989 until 1996, she continued to lecture on contemporary magic at such locales as the University of California in Berkeley and Yale University. In February 2000, Tannen debuted a one-woman show, Practical Alchemy, at the Helen Schoeni Theater in Mendocino, based on the life and writings of French existential poet Arthur Rimbaud.
~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

Goddess & Saint

Brigit Haggerty writes this about The Goddess Brigid and her connection to the Catholic St. Brigid

What we do know of her is mainly through anecdotes and miracle stories, some of which are deeply rooted in Irish folklore. She is said to have been born out of wedlock to a maidservant seduced by a prince, sold into slavery by his jealous wife, and then raised by Druids near Kildare where she later founded a monastery on an ancient pagan site. It was there that a fire, tended by twenty nuns, burned continuously for hundreds of years after her death.

So, who was she really? A figure based on a Celtic goddess which was later adapted by the Roman Catholic Church when Christianity came to Ireland? Or was she the daughter of a pagan prince? While many Roman Catholics are often troubled by the inconsistencies of our spiritual heritage, she is so deeply rooted in our Irish customs and culture that the majority of us find ourselves accepting her existence simply on faith.

So, every year, on the eve of her feast day, I will continue to fashion a cross of straw in her honor, call on her for inspiration when the inevitable writer's block occurs, and, most of all, try to live the legacy she left us - especially that of giving to those in need.

A sweet, funny poem about St. Brigid (posted by Brigit Haggerty's on the site Irish Culture and Customs)

The Giveaway
from The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley

Saint Brigid was
A problem child.
Although a lass
Demure and mild,
And one who strove
To please her dad,
Saint Brigid drove
The family mad.
For here's the fault in Brigid lay:
She WOULD give everything away.

To any soul
Whose luck was out
She'd give her bowl
Of stirabout;
She'd give her shawl,
Divide her purse
With one or all.
And what was worse,
When she ran out of things to give
She'd borrow from a relative.

Her father's gold,
Her grandsire's dinner,
She'd hand to cold
and hungry sinner;
Give wine, give meat,
No matter whose;
Take from her feet
The very shoes,
And when her shoes had gone to others,
Fetch forth her sister's and her mother's.

She could not quit.
She had to share;
Gave bit by bit
The silverware,
The barnyard geese,
The parlor rug,
Her little
niece's christening mug,
Even her bed to those in want,
And then the mattress of her aunt.

An easy touch
For poor and lowly,
She gave so much
And grew so holy
That when she died
Of years and fame,
The countryside
Put on her name,
And still the Isles of Erin fidget
With generous girls named Bride or Brigid.

Well, one must love her.
In thinking of her
There's no denial
She must have been
A sort of trial
Unto her kin.
The moral, too, seems rather quaint.
WHO had the patience of a saint,
From evidence presented here?
Saint Brigid? Or her near and dear?

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