Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos. We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.Looking back through my diaries, I discovered that I did a B&S at about this time last year. I am loathe to reprint but being as I have a lap full of cat, a cup of hot chocolate and absolutely no idea of what to write, I'm going to borrow from it. I hope you will forgive me.
Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love! ~~ Sitting BullWhen my old coven would get together for Imbolc it was almost always inside. Up here in Washington it's usually far too cold to hold circle outdoors and forget about skyclad! But one year we took advantage of the snow we received the night before to have a lovely setting for a somewhat brief circle. We grabbed every candle we could find and placed them around the circle, along the path, on every stone... candles everywhere we could put them! It took 6 of us 20 minutes to light them all but the effect of all the candle flames glowing softly in the snow was well worth it. In our stone circle in the Cascades, the snow glowed as if lit by tiny spirits and the return of the light was indeed magnified. The warmth of the candles was not enough to seriously breach the cold but we had a glow inside our hearts that kept us warm. For a little while, at least.
So I'd like everyone to imagine a place - a stone circle covered by a blanket of snow. Beside the path, a small stream ripples over a stone bed. From within the snow, dozens of small lights glow, giving the snow the appearance of a fairytale come to life. The cedars rise heavenward above us as we step carefully down the path, over the tiny trail of water, under the menhir and into the circle. Candles mark the boundaries, sit atop every stone and cover the altar. Let us celebrate the rebirth.
Let us join together in unity and the growing light. For as we are gathered here tonight we have many things to think about. In the last year we have been blessed to witness amazing things. We worked hard and have been rewarded. But we have lost, as well. Let us remember both the wonderful and the sorrowful things. Let our memory become a powerful presence in unity with our community and each other.Normally, I'd give everyone a candle and light it from my own. But I'll trust you to light your own or use this:
Know you are loved.
Know you are worthy of that love.
If I could, I would give each and every one of you some kind of symbolic gift. Some seeds, a new candle, A Brighid cross... but since I can't do that I will give you images instead..
Finally, a prayer to Brighid:
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.