Festival Newsletter for Imbolc 2021

Festival Newsletter for Imbolc 2021

Greetings from Faughart (near Dundalk) regarded as the birthplace of Brigid in her Celtic Christian form 425 CE. However, Brigid has been a part of the spiritual landscape of this island for much longer.

Brigid in her many forms over the millennium is associated with many places in Ireland…especially Faughart her birthplace and Kildare the site of her abbey.

Brigid is a pre-Christian, pre-Celtic Goddess who embodies different energetic forms, maiden mother and Cailleach, at different times in the year. Brigid represents the Divine feminine within the many spiritual traditions that have evolved in Ireland over the many millennia.

At Imbolc we celebrate the young vibrant Brigid who blazes through the land releasing it from winter sleep and the energy of the Cailleach. This maiden energy of springtime breathes life into the mouth of dead winter not only within the land, but within all its creatures including us humans and invites us into a new cycle of growth and possibilities

In this year of 2021, we humans are experiencing such distress in our world and so now more than ever we call on Brigid and her powerful energy to support us to find a new way forward.

Obviously we all want to be healthy and free from the Corona Virus. At a deeper level we need her support to guide us into becoming more aligned with the earth and her seasons, and to live in response to those needs as we learn how to live again in harmony with rhythms of the earth.

Brigid’s Day has always been a day of great celebration at Faughart Shrine in County Louth with hundreds of people coming there to honour Brigid and to invoke her protective energy.

In 2009 a group of people came together to offer events that allowed people to delve deeper into the stories of Brigid and the wisdom held within them. Since that time the Brigid of Faughart Festival has offered many events designed to increase the awareness of Brigid in a contemporary way and to emphasise the importance of each of us embodying the energy of Brigid and her gifts in our daily lives

In Spring 2020 we approached the organisers of The Seek Festival which creates wonderful murals of heroes and heroines and asked if they would consider including Brigid of Faughart in the 2020 festival. The answer was a resounding YES! They commissioned the artist Friz (whose artwork can be found on Facebook & Instagram) to create the mural. Now this wonderful mural is in Bridge Street, Dundalk and we are so happy and proud to have such a wonderful image of Brigid in Dundalk.

This year of course we are doing our festival events in a different, yet effective way (Brigid always found an effective way).

We are offering the following events on-line or self-guided to enable you to celebrate Brigid’s Day and the return of Springtime and empower yourself to become like Brigid – an agent of transformation.

Cross Making

We will offer an On-line Brigid cross making session with Roisin Cotter and will be available on the Brigid of Faughart Facebook & Instagram and also posted on the website www.brigidoffaughart.ie from Sunday 26th January.

Brat Bhride

A very old and powerful custom associated with the Eve of Brigid’s Day is to place a piece of white or red cloth outside overnight and trust that Brigid will bless this cloth with her transformative energy as she travels that land. This cloth which is called Brat Bhride can then be used for healing yourself or others.

Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage has always been an important part of the Spiritual traditions of Ireland. We invite people to walk in pilgrimage on 31st Jan or Feb 1st or 2nd. If you live near Faughart you might wish to walk in Pilgrimage from your home to Faughart if this is within the 5km

You can also walk in pilgrimage mode which means walking with awareness of the earth, its beauty and as you walk making your own prayer)

Cruinniú Lá Féile Bhríde

The Brigid of Faughart will also host an on-line event Cruinniú Lá Féile Bhríde in conjunction with An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk, Ireland. This event will explore Brigid and her qualities in music, movement, art, poetry, short talks and meditation and will feature the music of Padraigin Ni Uallachhain, Elaine Nic Chiardha, Soprano Evelyn Burton, Poetry of  Siobhan Mc Mahon, Art In movement with Tara Carroll Art and Niamh Hanaford, Meditation with Geraldine Whelan, Talks with May Coyle and Dolores Whelan.

This event will take place on Lá Fhéile Bhríde, Feb 1st, at 8pm GMT. The event will be available to view until 8pm Wed 3rd Feb. Tickets can be purchased at www.antain.ie

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