in my story-weaving way, i found myself this morning following the thread of brigid. i lit a fire. and sat with her in the wayfinding of threads in me that are both ancient and new.
this is my labor, now. to go inward and pay attention to what is arising in me. draw close to it and allow it. as i move through life–carrying those threads through my day. there are many messages in our westernized ways that tell us this is not enough. that it doesn’t matter. that this form of labor isn’t valuable.
i know otherwise. there’s evidence.
somehow, as weaving goes, the thread of bear found me. mama bear joined me by the fire, with brigid. the mama bear has been an animal spirit lately, in this time of hibernation and so i was glad to feel her protective presence this morning. she inspired me to google “brigid and bear”.
intuition is magic. how we know things we don’t even know we know!
there is a long folklore and myth associated with brigid and the bear that go way back. bear, an ancient symbol of regeneration, birth, renewal, sacrifice, and ritual. jude lally’s blog post brought to light for me a lot here, pointing to archeological and linguistic evidence of bear as birth goddess spanning 6000 years ago with bear cults and totems and spiritual practices.
Brighid and the Rowan Tree by Yuri Leitch
what’s clear as i sit here by my fire is that i’m not alone. going inward, turns me inside out. it connects me to the collective of who i am/who we are.
turns out, i ain’t the only fair skinned woman who feels a sacred relationship with brigid and bear and fire. of course it was no accident that brigid brought me to bear. and that something deep inside me knew.
mmmmm. drinking in the bear medicine and my own knowing.
and…to pull in another thread…
i’m actually writing this during what was intended to be an international ceremonial call with water spirit people. in preparing to facilitate the call, i’ve been presencing .. today’s call took shape with only my sister quanita and i present, allowing me to be with water in a different and intimate way.
which brings together brigid, fire, bear, with the water… what are the lessons? what are the gifts of now?
i’m reminded of a recent conversation i listened to with peter levine and thomas hubl about trauma and spirituality. peter told a story about a lesson he received from albert einstein. it was direct and personal. (and yes, einstein is an ancestor. this wasn’t a factor in the story and that’s another story altogether!) the story went that peter asked albert for help in understanding how trauma transfers across generations as energy. as a healer, peter wanted to know how trauma behaves and moves.
albert showed him. he took peter to the edge of water and held up a stick with pebbles laid across it. he picked up the stick and tipped it, spilling the pebbles into the water. each pebble generated a wave and the waves spread out in concentric circles further and further, with the waves eventually merging into one another. energy is like this, he told peter. it flows across generations. all the energy that has ever been is here, now. all our ancestors, live in us. and when the energy gets blocked–when the waves catch one another–that flow gets blocked. this blockage is an ego point or as peter named it, a trauma point.
so, i’m sitting with brigid, the fire, the bear, and the water today. and i’m asking myself, where is the flow of life blocked in me? blocked in my lineages? where do i experience blockage in the flow of life–in relationship with others? in the world?
photograph by Alma Snortum-Phelps
and as the peter levine and thomas hubl conversation amplifed, those trauma points or blockages are invitations for healing:
“when you’re able to open enough, the wave is able to reconstitute itself and move on.” peter levine
i want to open, to reconstitute, to move. i want to participate in the flow of life, to join in the evolutionary impulse that is now. i want to bring forth the gifts of my lineage and contribute to the story of who we are becoming.
and so, here i am. allowing myself to feel. to experience these labor pangs.
the death of my aunt has brought to surface some of these trauma points in my lineage. the waves have moved me, stirring up patterns in my lineage that are asking to be disrupted and healed. patterns that live uniquely in the bodies of white women–mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, granddaughters, grandmothers. patterns that determine worth and value and legitimacy in ways that lead to shame, blame, and guilt. patterns that establish condition and expectation that constrain love and life and liberation. patterns that separate and lead to decay, death, disease. i want to feel these patterns so that i know them. and can choose otherwise.
brigid, as she stands with me and in me at this life threshold supports me as i bear witness to all of this, bringing forth these threads into the weaving of a cloak of forgiveness and compassion. i’m grateful for how much more i can see, standing here with her. i’m grateful for how much more i can see of who we are, who i am.
this labor matters. this labor–like that of the mama bear–is quiet and hidden away in the darkness of cave and winter. and this labor matters. this labor births new life, new worlds.
photograph by jessica weiller
i am a pebble and the waves that i generate extend as far back as the beginning of time and extend as far out as beyond eternity.
i’m birthing and stretching
and allowing life to move through me, in the flow of ever widening circles.
being here and now, matters.