Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An Imbolc Charm for the Beer

Readers know that the goddess Brigid is the chiefest god of our house. Such a thing is not easy to say, meaning no slight to the Dagda, her father, nor any other mighty one. Still, Brigid the Inspirer is close to both me and my wife, and Brigid the Hearth Mother has been kind to us over the years. In the ways of our Paganism, Imbolc is the special feast of Brigid, and we're working our Grove to work a big ol' sacrifice for Her this coming weekend.

Last night L and I kept our monthly Druid Monday work, which involves checking in with certain Inner contacts. I often spend a certain portion of that work asking for teaching, and the result is often a whirl of brain-contents and attempted clue-bricks, that sometimes knock together. Last night I was given most of this charm in a bag, and told to manifest it in the morning.

Like most of the Gaelic deities, we know of Brigid only by hints and reflections, especially in stories of her namesake St. Brigid of Kildare. This semi-historical figure is so surrounded by tales of magic and wonder that it is impossible not to suppose her a reflection of the earlier Celtic goddess. It is in stories of St Brigid that we hear of her connection with beer. 

It is not often that I link to Franciscans, but do have a look here for a marvelous 10th century poem about offering a lake of beer to god.
"St. Brigid also was a generous, beer-loving woman. She worked in a leper colony which found itself without beer, "For when the lepers she nursed implored her for beer, and there was none to be had, she changed the water, which was used for the bath, into an excellent beer, by the sheer strength of her blessing and dealt it out to the thirsty in plenty." Brigid is said to have changed her dirty bathwater into beer so that visiting clerics would have something to drink. Obviously this trait would endear her to many a beer lover. She also is reputed to have supplied beer out of one barrel to eighteen churches, which sufficed from Maundy Thursday to the end of paschal time."

This verse is especially meant for the brewing of beer, but I'm sure it could be used to bless any beer you might drink in celebration of the Power of Good Welcome, the Inspiration of Arts. Later today I mean to go brew beer for the coming season with fellow-Druid AJ. Perhaps he'll let me charm it with this verse:

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