A week or so before Imbolc I changed my altar over to honour Bridgit. At first it was hard to find things, apart from my two images, a Bridie cross, snake and white cloth. I covered the altar with other figurines, candles and stones to fill it up. After the training weekend I came back with a new (more natural) Bridie cross, Bridie's Eye, Bridie doll, a 'forge' key, sheep wool, a Flame of Avalon candle and a newly purchased swan vase!
Altar for Bridie
I was so excited for this training weekend. I longed to be in Avalon. I had the great honour to represent Bridie on the first day and I totally loved it. At the back of my mind, however, I knew I did not want to be typecast as the Maiden in the group for doing this... But I do treasure that inner child and have learnt to treat Her with kindness, as if She was my own daughter.
I found this weekend, as before, emotionally difficult. First of all, I confess, I was not at all happy with my homework poem. I know I could have done better, had I been inspired and made the time (rather than delaying with Danu). But I just did not get into it. I WILL be doing a new poem for Bridie very soon and sharing it with the group; I want to give this to Bridie. Secondly, I had poured love into preparing an outline of a Bridie doll (thinking it would save time for me to decorate it exactly as I wanted it) only to be told I had to make one from scratch that day. This really upset me as I had worked really hard, was excited about it, and I detest sewing... Once again, I did not voice my frustration at the time, and let it eat away at me, denying my feelings to others. I didn't want to draw attention, make a fuss, seem spoilt or ungreatful.
I wanted to be a nice, good girl.
But I realise now, why I was asked to do this and I appreciate the reasons. Interestingly, it was not just the group who benefitted from this, but being told 'no' benefitted me too. I sulked and my inner brat emerged. She had to be confronted! And that is why I felt ashamed and would not admit I was upset. First I had felt fear of being told off for already starting my doll, then I felt shame at having a silent tantrum. But I now understand why I did not like being told 'no'. For the last 8 years I've been told 'no'; over the last year I decided that I would do what I want and be independent. I'd indulged myself and said 'yes'. This brought me back to a balanced centre, of 'yes you can have that' and 'no you can't have that at this moment'.
My Bridie Doll (who I love by the way...)
I spent the evening thinking about the day and bringing up feelings of disapointment.
The next day I returned feeling distant again. I expressed some of my frustration to a Lovely, as I knew I had to let it out. She responded happily saying that it was excellent for me to notice how I felt and to explore it. She pointed out that it carried themes of wanting to be a 'good girl' and my competitiveness with myself... I was actually very inspired by how she viewed my distress as a good thing - something to learn from. I spent the day hugging my doll, trying to bond with it and push away the negative energies I had made it with. That was when She (my doll/Bridie) informed me that She needed to have red hair instead of green...
The next resistance comes from identifying with the Maiden archetype. I had previously expressed to my support group how I was frustrated with always being seen as a maiden. I did have initial concerns when I was told I'd be calling in Bridie, for this reason, although I was perfectly happy to still do it. When I represented Her in ceremony I was felt empowered by this archetype. I was able to own it. Rather than seeing the Child/Maiden as vulnerable, lesser and small, She became Enchanting, Innocent and Powerful, And so did I.
I was very happy after (until later on). In life however, although I do feel that I am in touch with my inner child and she manifests often, recently I have been pulling against Her. One reason for this is that I am trying to face the new trials of adult life: living without a student loan, trying to get a job to cover rent, learning to drive and figuring out where I'm going to live. This is all new to me and everyone goes through it. But how can I embrace my inner care-free child and cope with this? I have to make mature decisions and try to be independent.
The other reason is that I'm so totally in love with Rhiannon (the Lover) and it's tricky to embrace wild and free sexuality when I am still viewed as a maiden... I fear that people are seeing something external (my youth) rather than who I feel like inside. Or am I missing something deeper there? I had received some very kind comments saying how I was such a lovely Bridie, and a brilliant Maiden. These were wonderful things to say, but I couldn't help but yearn to have that said about me for Rhiannon and the Lover instead. So I felt frustrated.
I never got into the energies of that weekend and Bridie's influence and left feeling flat and worried. Should I be on this course? But actually I DID connect to Her energies - Her energies within me. I tapped into my inner child - both the carefree excited maiden and the spoilt sulky brat!
But after gaining some advice and venting my feelings I feel SO MUCH better. I will follow up another post with new thoughts about this training. On Monday I decided to refresh, reflect and manifest Bridie. On the train to my interview I added red hair to my Bridie doll (identifying Her with me, and me with Her). I hummed songs to Bridie and prayed that she'd help me to see the (scary) journey as an exciting adventure to somewhere new. The journey did not go well, but I got there in the end and Bridie's zest for life came across in the interview!
I have lots of creative projects to do and Her spark is alighting. After all of Danu's stillness I feel Bridie's energy rising up from the earth. I have so much hope and prayers for the success of the interview (and my back up interview that was also this week), and this means success and security for the rest of the year, and my future. It means I could find somewhere to live, learn to drive and continue to pay for Priestess training. It all lies on the job - which is why I've been so agitated about it!
I am seeing Her as the young maiden, excited for life, who quickens the land with Her white rod of power and sets everything in motion. It feels like a beginning.