I was in Ireland researching Holy Wells and ancient rituals. In my research, I had found out about the Solas Bhride Center, where the restoration of the ancient fifth century Order of St. Brigid of Kildare had reignited Brigid's fire. The Solas Bhride Center is dedicated to unfolding the legacy of St. Brigid and its relevance for our time.
I decided I needed to visit the Center and Brigid's Well. So I rented a car and took off to Kildare with my pilgrim companions.
We were able to meet with the Sisters and hear about their love and connection to Brigid. We got to sit and meditate with the restored flame. We then headed over to the old Cathedral, the home of the fire pit where St. Brigid's fire was kept burning until Cromwell's army extinguished it.
From there we headed to Brigid's Well. And it was at the Well that I had my own personal transformation. A conversion if you will through my visceral connection to meeting the Divine Feminine. Not as a Saint but as a wellspring of Life, the moving of Spirit.
My young nephew was with me, and he had just learned to pray the rosary that year. And so he began doing the Stations of the Cross and going through his beautiful rituals and process like the mini-mystic he is. I went to be with the statue of Brigid.
To get to the statue, you have to cross a little bridge, though it didn't feel little as I crossed it. It felt monumental to pass over it. That bridge was the path into another world. As I arrived on the other side of the water and made my way to the statue, I was awed by the intensity of what I was sensing. The air felt hazy, and I could no longer feel my feet, it was like floating as I moved closer. There was a stillness as if time did not move on this side of the bridge. I honestly expected the statue to turn and begin speaking to me. I am not sure I would have even been shocked for it to have happened that way. But with the statue, all the words spoken came directly and fluidly into my heart.
I was carrying a small raw rose quartz crystal that I was giving to the statue. The crystal was my gift, an act of love and devotion. It was a symbol of my desire to experience and to be opened to something, though I could not name it. It wasn't a real articulate intention; it was just pure desire that had begun to spark and was starting to become ablaze within me.
I had not been interested in goddess stuff, though I had been reading about the Goddess Brigid who St. Brigid was said to be her avatar. I was utterly unprepared for the palpable energy I was meeting. It felt like I had stuck my hand into a wall socket! And at that moment my heart understood that I was meeting the Spirit of the Feminine God, the Goddess. I didn’t know until that moment how much I had desired this meeting. I had been thirsting after this connection and yet I had no conscious idea. But I knew in that meeting that every part of my life had led me right there for this very experience. It was one of the most meaningful moments of this life.
I'm sure I said some dramatic words. I know I cried. I know some of those dramatic words, included things like "I surrender" and "I commit."
At the time, I had no idea what surrender was. I definitely did not know what I was committing to. Nonetheless, these words were the truth. They were the words spoken from my heart to the Divine Feminine.
And it felt like coming home.
After some time in my Feminine cocoon, my fellow pilgrims and I did a group ritual I had created through my research around the wellhead. And then we placed our clotties that we breathed our intentions into on the faerie tree.
And the rain began to drizzle.
We began walking back up the lane. Heading back toward the Solas Bhride Center, all of a sudden, filling the air is this LAUGHTER. This joyful, blissful sounding laughter. Feminine laughter. As Megan was beside me, I knew it was not her laughing. My nephew was walking behind me, and while it didn't sound like his voice, he was the only other person around, so I turned to him, and I said, "Were you just laughing?" He said, "No, but I heard it too. I thought it was you.”
And I just stopped in my tracks.
I just stopped, and then I felt like I was standing inside Her flame. And I was feeling Her smile. I was feeling Her welcoming me, receiving me. She let me experience Her joy at my recognition, my remembrance, my willingness, and my desire.
After a few minutes, I resumed walking, checking in with my fellow pilgrims that they did indeed hear this laughter too, and holding the gift close to my heart. I felt so honored, so blessed, to have had that experience, a truly profound experience of meeting the Divine Feminine.
Since that trip, I've been able to take other women to the Center and the Well. And I don't know that they have had the same experience as me in meeting Brigid, and the Divine Feminine there in Kildare. But I know they've had a profound experience of their own.
When we welcome the Divine Feminine into our lives, when we say yes to the call of the divine feminine, we invite ourselves to open to a mystery. This mystery is more magical, more mystical, and more beautiful than we can imagine. The returning and reclaiming of the Divine Feminine is an essential part of our story and a necessary part of humanity's story. It is through this returning that we remember our wholeness. And it is my honor to be a vessel and channel in this process.
Hail to Her Who Keeps the Eternal Flame. Hail to Brigid. Hail to Our Lady.