This is a reblog from my channel, DruidHeart at SageWoman Magazine’s section on the Witches and Pagans website.
The autumn equinox is upon us today, and we stand on the knife’s edge, leaping, stumbling, tumbling or diving down into the long nights. I love this time of year, as many of you know. The scents of leaves decaying in piles on the forest floor, the brilliant colours and the crisp air fills my heart with such joy. It is a wild cacophony to the senses, one last “hurrah!” before the silence of winter descends.
I love the retreat back into the earth, feeling my energy sinking back into my roots. The crazy time of summer and festivals, camps, parties and revelry has passed, and now it is time of reflection. We turn ourselves inwards, away from the social gatherings and noise, and focus on our own inner selves and what we have achieved. We take stock, we sum up, we begin the journey down into the darkness where one by one our senses are lost, eventually dreaming into the winter and letting go during the peaceful rest of deep sleep.
During the spring months, when the earth was warming under the eye of the sun, I felt Brighde’s energy rising, a large white dragon/serpent beneath the land that connected all of Albion. Dancing in the energies of midsummer, she then slowly began her retreat back into herself, and now at the equinox I feel her pulling back into the earth, the wild ride of her energy sinking back into the soil, the serpent retreating back into the cool nourishing earth, preparing for slumber. I too feel myself riding these serpent energies, ready to dream big this winter with wonderful new plans awaiting me.
Brighde is ancient. She is, for me, the British Isles. She is the bones of this land. She is not a mother goddess. She does not follow cycles of maiden, mother, queen and crone. She always was and always will be. She is as young as the snowdrop and as old as the hills. She has no relation at all to the Bridget of the mixed, revealed Christian and Pagan mythos. She is not all loving, she is not a warrior queen, she is not human in any way. She is the land, in a vast and exceedingly simple but elegant way…
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Another great post and food for thought. I hope readers realize the entire post is not on this page. I can not wait for your new book in November and I feel lucky to have found you and thank moon books for publishing the Pagan Portal series. It’s been a blessing and refreshing to read, and revitalizing and to know I’m connected even alone. I wish you could see where I live In the heart of the mountains with so many wonderful places in the woods that I go. I really want to learn more about Brighe and wonder if she could be the bones of this land too? I’m new to the goddess but the sacred I’m not. I feel Elen and follow her paths. (Literally)I’m looking for Nemetona and I know her well, but not by her name. She has overwhelmed me many times. Thank you for being who you are and sharing.
Bless you, and thank you for your kind words! My friend, Sam, does an Elen Retreat Weekend here in the UK in Essex, and also has a Facebook group which you might be interested in – https://www.facebook.com/groups/278863855190/?fref=ts. x
Autumn Equinox blessings.
Your words on the ‘nature’ of Brighde are most refreshing. It is hard for us as humans to deal with deity as not human, and in this instance considerably more than human. We anthropomorphise to make them accessible, but it also tames them in a way that can disempower them. We have an idea how gods/goddesses should work and so we have a tendency to try and shoehorn them to fit our mold, our ‘traditional’ ideas and ideals. The challenge of differentiating Brighde from the conflated Brigid/Bridget of hagiography and myth rest precisely here. I have worked with Brigid/Bridget, in fact my parents almost named me after the saintly version, but did not. But there has always been a shadow of a deeper and even stronger presence behind/below/transcending Brigid/Bridget. A presence tugging and pushing at the edges of my awareness to be recognised and honoured. But from your description, which makes sense of the sense I’ve felt, will require that I change my approach. Such an alteration in approach is one I am eager to embrace with respect and humility.
I think the retreat time of winter will be spent in part seeking a deeper understanding of Brighde in preparation for Her emergence once again with the snowdrops.
Nemetona and Elen have very different energies from She whom I now understand as Brighde. In reading this post I begin to understand the reason for this. The way I would describe it is that theirs are more focused, and hers is more expansive.
Autumn is my favourite season, though it is a close run thing sometimes with winter and spring. But if I am pushed it will be autumn every time. Perhaps because it honours the preparation for and process of withdrawal, which is a good for us as long as we balance it with emergence and engagement.
Hi Aurora! Your words resonate with me as well. Indeed, Elen and Nemetona are more focused, and have harder boundaries to their being than Brighde. No less than Brighde in their own intention – just different intention. Even though Brighde may be “bigger” physically, if that makes any sense.
Yes – balance in all things. I sit down and sigh with contentment after the summer energies, like after a long hard day. I spend the winter dreaming it all up again, to bring it to life in spring and execute it with all my being in the summer. But autumn – ah autumn! That long exhalation into the twilight – bliss! xoxo
It does make sense. And only does because it has been sensed. It is not an intellectual understanding it is visceral, felt in the gut, known in the centre.
The music of this season being the crackle and crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, which I still kick and toss. The crisp tang in the air as breath is seen in the morning light. The longer shadows making giants of us all in the afternoon. Leaves falling, rocking gently to the ground, teaching the lesson of letting go.
So, absolutely – ah autumn! The exhalation and letting go, the loosing of bonds and the relief of deep rest and dreaming.
It’s almost a return to childhood in a sense, isn’t it? that comforting sense, where we could relax… x