We are Celtic Reconstructionist women who are devoted to Brighid, and who tend a perpetual flame in Her honor.
We are based on the traditional format of nineteen women tending the flame in turn, while Brighid Herself tends it on day twenty. This is a tradition that is still practiced in the living Celtic cultures, by the Brigidine nuns, and it is widely believed that the nuns were preceded by priestesses of Brighid who served in a Celtic Polytheistic tradition. We are dedicated to reconstructing the Pre-Christian styles of honoring Brighid, while honoring the extant lore that we have.
Many of our best sources have been maintained by the nuns who maintained Her traditions. So we have no conflict with our Christian sisters. However, we also acknowledge that the Christian era brought in some patriarchal attitudes which we do not choose to maintain.
While other orders to Brighid exist, and some of us are current or former members of some of these orders, ours is specifically a Celtic Reconstructionist, or Pàganachd agus Págánacht, women's order.
We are committed to maintaining this tradition of flamekeeping as a women's rite. We believe that, while men can worship Brighid and make offerings at her holy wells, it is traditionally forbidden for them to enter the enclosure where the perpetual flame is kept, and that to do so would be dangerous for them. While the nuns of Kildare have now also lit a public flame in the town square, the nuns themselves are still an all-women order. It is in this spirit of the living and ancient tradition of priestesses that we keep this inner circle to women only.
In this spirit, men who support the importance of women's space, who would perhaps like to express their devotion to Brighid by guarding outside the hedges, and participate in other forms of devotion to Her, are welcome to check out out_hedge, an "outsiders/warriors" community, and brighiddevoted, which is for those who are devoted to Brighid to discuss non-flametending forms of honoring Her. We envision out_hedge as a place where men, and women who are not sworn to Brighid, can discuss their roles as guardians of the flametending traditions, as well as their devotion to other Deities who support that work, such as the related traditions of the Morrígan which many of us believe are tied in to the protection of women's space. out_hedge, and brighiddevoted are also places where a diverse group can discuss our roles in the broader CR traditions of Brighid, such as the household/hearthfire flames and the bonfires at the fire festivals.
Perhaps these other two communities, with their more open membership, can also serve as places for women who we don't yet know, who are applying to brighidwomen, to get to know us all and decide if we're on the same page.
Women who are not yet sure if they want to take a shift as a flametender, but who agree with the principles of this community, are also welcome to apply for membership. At this point, joining this LJ community is not yet the same as joining the order, as we are still working out some of the details of what we want the order to be, as well as working to develop some basic liturgy and resources for the eventual order. Once we have nineteen women who are committed to flametending, we will assign shifts.
We envision this community as a place for developing the liturgy, vows and priorites for the order. We have no intent of sharing our flametending liturgy with men, nor with women we believe will pass it on to men. In this spirit, we ask that posts to this community be locked "friends only" so they are only readable by community members. Also, if you are applying, you must have your own e-mail and LJ accounts. While women who live with men are welcome to apply, we need to know that by admitting you those men will not be reading the posts when you step away from the computer.
How to Join We ask that you apply for membership only if:
1. You are a woman. 2. You are committed to the principle that tending a perpetual flame for Brighid is a women-only tradition, which deserves to be maintained as a women-only tradition. 3. You swear to keep the materials in this group among women only, to not share them with men, nor with women you believe will pass these things on to men.
Please send a letter of introduction to the mods at caitriona_nnc at livejournal dot com, stating clearly that you agree with these three principles. Please feel free to introduce yourself if we don't know you already, and when you join the group make an introductory post so the other members can get to know you.
If you do not agree with these principles, we kindly suggest you look into one of the other communities out there.
Once approved, you will also need to click the "monitor community" option above to make sure that the community is readable on your friends list. Beannachd Bhrìghde Leibh!