She That Is: A Meditation on Brighid

Imbolc CandleI gather together the candles, the prayer beads, the scattered objects and tools I’ve consecrated to Her over the years, and I set them before me on the altar. Three candles burning. One flame flickering deep, half-hidden in a thick, white pillar mostly melted down, its edges sculpted in soft dips and peaks like slowly collapsing snow or the heights of a mountain. One pillar still like new, solid sculpted wax, churning the cool rusted copper of LED electricity, nestled in its hurricane vase of cracked orange and red glass. One small candle floating, a dull gold ring around a bright, steady flame, hovering suspended by clear water studded with glints and glitter in a dark, blue bowl rimmed with black.

What is She? Who is She? Celestial, ephemeral, pristine and pure, delicate, new, grace itself, fresh and bright. Earthy, dark and grounded, sweat and dirt and hot breath, the hard flex and tension of muscle, the rough power of fire and stone, the burning fluidity of molten ore. Primal, deep and ageless, utter stillness and distance, utter light in the darkness, spun out, flung out, fragmented, holographic, the whispering wholeness buried within each disparate glint of limit and form.

And the hammer, the anvil, the spark — the sweat and hot breath of the universe, the work and labor of the cosmos brought to bear on itself, the earthy Ground of Being lifted, deepened, expanded to fill a sky overwhelmed with the clamor of stars, each forged, each made new, pristine, a shining fragment of light. And the stars, the infinite suns, perfect spheres in a great dance of beauty, humming with song, swung in great arcs as though in one another’s arms, spinning into newly created moments, new beginnings, like a child spinning around her center in a fresh spring meadow, arms flung out, effortless in grace and welcome.

And the hiss of the steam, the pulsing of groundwater, the twining thrust of energy rising in the mound, a serpent of stars in the dark earth. The tongue of flame licking dark and bright above the wellspring, the purity and intensity of all-consuming heat, soften, tempered by the fresh, cold waters.

She is too much. I cannot hold onto Her, I cannot see Her — I can only follow the winding, spiraling connections, dynamic and always changing, fluid, fleet. Sometimes She is overwhelming, even austere, so hot and great that Her fire burns cold. Sometimes She is all innocence and promise, coaxing and gentle and warm, caressing and playful. Sometimes She is so intimate I cannot tell Her from my own passion, the drive that spurs me, the energy that courses through my blood and lashes out in righteous anger or sharp, clever words like a long blade. Sometimes, She is absence, void, the emptiness of death or grief, the keening of wind whistling through the hollow, the barely glimpsed sliver of light reflecting off the rainfall in the dusk, wane, distant, not enough.

Who is She? I don’t know. I cannot describe Her outside of poetry, and poetry cannot do Her justice. She is creativity at the heart of existence, tempered and expressed in culture and art, the resistance and pressure of material forms that force us into relationship and engagement, and the release from those heavy forms afforded by inspiration and the spark of light and insight that lifts us up beyond ourselves, seems to defy even gravity itself. She is my Goddess, my Sun, my Center, my Light, my Starscape, my Tongue, my Fire, my Draught, my Forge…


This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2012.
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Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

1 Comment

  1. dc
    Apr 11, 2014

    Thank you! This was beautiful!

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