Clann Bhride on Kiva

We at Clann Bhride believe that our Lady has called us to works of charity, justice, and compassion. Our Touchstones urge us to “offer generosity and hospitality to those in need, without judgment or expectation of reward” and  to “work for peace, freedom, and justice for all.” Our Nine Elements reference Brighid in Her manifestations as Brig Ambue, who advocated for the disenfranchised, and as Brig Briugu, who offered food and shelter to all in need. Because our goddess is generous and calls us to be generous in turn, we are taking the first steps to actively encourage generosity among our members by announcing the Clann Bhride team on Kiva.

What is Kiva?

Kiva is a non-profit organization whose primary mission is alleviating poverty through microfinance. Entrepreneurs around the world connect with local financial institutions, who vet their clients and establish a loan process. Members of Kiva then lend as little as $25 at a time to finance borrowers’ requests. The “micro” part of “microfinance” means that Kiva users collectively fund these project, often through many individuals donating the minimum $25 amount, rather than one organization like a bank loaning the full amount.

Who uses Kiva?

Kiva sponsors microfinance institutions across five continents. Borrowers are seeking to fund projects such as buying livestock and feed, returning to school, repairing fishing boats and equipment, and switching to clean energy. Fewer than 2% of Kiva borrowers ever default on their loans, with the vast majority repaying their lenders within a year.

Lenders come from all walks of life and donate for a variety of reasons. Lenders have the opportunity to join teams of other like-minded individuals organized around religious groups, charity interests, or even shared hobbies. Teams allow lenders to fund projects together and keep track of everyone’s lending statistics.

How do I get started?

To lend with us, you first need to sign up as a member of Kiva and join the Clann Bhride team. You control your money at all times, choosing which projects to fund and by how much. To make your contribution count toward Clann Bhride’s loans, you select our name under the drop-down menu titled “Apply to Lending Team.”

Who you decide to lend to is up to you, but consider making donations toward Brigidine causes such as buying pigs and cattle, promoting education, empowering craftswomen, and providing solar power.

Announcing the Clann Bhride Advisory Council

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The Founders of Clann Bhride (Aster, Gilbride, and Sage) are very pleased to announce the establishment of the Clann Bhride Advisory Council.

As 2015 drew to a close, Clann Bhride held its first member survey.  The survey revealed a very strong interest in the development of new written materials – essays on Brighid and related topics, prayers, rituals, etc. – as well as projects like study groups, logo merchandise, and an original divination system.  We realized that the scope of the work was far beyond what the three Founders could accomplish alone.  So, we decided to establish an Advisory Council.

The current members of the Council are Nic an Dair, Mac de Bride, Erin Lund Johnson, Chris McCoy, Marcelo Paschoalin, Jennifer Parsons, Ristoria, and Rocquelaire.  They were invited to participate based on their own demonstrated interest and offers to assist with Clann Bhride projects.

The purpose of the Council is to assist the Founders in making decisions regarding Clann Bhride and to take on the primary responsibilities for many of the upcoming projects.  Some of the projects already underway are:

  • expanding the Book of Hours
  • running the Ogam Study Group (on Facebook)
  • organizing the 2015 Imbolc Exchange
  • researching and testing various online communications possibilities (such as websites, forums, chats, etc.)
  • setting up online shops for Clann Bhride logo merchandise
  • creating an original divination system
  • researching ideas for group and individual public service

The Founders will continue to retain decision-making authority for Clann Bhride for now.  Ultimately, we foresee the possibility of transitioning to a different form of governance for the group, but that will require substantial discussion and deliberation.  In the meantime, we will be focusing on creating new materials, study groups, and other projects for Clann Bhride members.

In addition to this website (https://clannbhride.wordpress.com/) and the Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/clannbhride/), we have also set up an informational Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/clannbhride/timeline.  Bios for all Founders and Advisory Council Members can be found there, as well as here on the WordPress site.

If you have any questions or suggestions, or if you’re interested in joining the Advisory Council, please contact us at clannbhride@gmail.com.

Clann Bhride Imbolc Exchange 2016

REMINDER: January 1 is the last day to sign up for the Imbolc Exchange!

 

The founders of Clann Bhride would like to offer all of our members the opportunity to take part the first of what will hopefully become an annual tradition of exchanging Brighid’s crosses or Brat Bhrides to celebrate Imbolc.

Here’s how it will work: Anyone who wishes to participate, will e-mail their “real name” and snail mail address to Rocquelaire (specific details below). Rocquelaire will then carry out a mostly random draw (adjusting for shipping preferences, again details below) and will e-mail participants with details of their gift recipient.

Participants then make a cross or brat. If you can ship it in time for your participant to receive it for Imbolc Eve (January 31st) then please feel free to do so. If your gift would not arrive in time, please keep it and put it outside for Brighid’s blessing as she passes on Imbolc Eve. All gifts should be shipped no later than February 15th.

I assume most members are familiar with Brighid’s cross. If not, here are a couple of links showing the variety of shapes and designs they are made in, a traditional method for making them, and another method. Traditionally, Brighid’s crosses are made of rushes, but people have used all sorts of materials, including corn husks, pipe cleaners, wire, paper, and fabric.

Brats might be a little less well known, so here’s some information about them:

A brat symbolizes Brighid’s mantle and is basically any piece of clothing or fabric that is left outside overnight on Imbolc Eve (the night of January 31-February1) for Brighid to bless as She visits each family.

There are many different ways to carry out the tradition of leaving a brat out for blessing. There are numerous regional variations on the theme. For example, people who lived on the coast would often leave out the coats worn by the men involved in seafaring. In other places, the brat was simply a handkerchief or just a piece of cloth, pieces of which would be cut or torn off and used throughout the year to foster healing (especially for headaches), ease the pain of childbirth, protect the cattle, etc. In some areas, the brat had to be a specific color or had to be put in a particular place (a bush or just outside the door, f’ex) or had to be brought inside before sunrise, etc. (Sean ODuinn’s book, The Rites of Brigid: Goddess and Saint, is the best source I’ve found for Irish Imbolc traditions.)

Many people knit or crochet squares to represent Brighid’s mantle, but really a brat can be any type of fabric: a coat, a ribbon, some clothing, strips of spare fabric, etc.

Just to be clear: the idea is that participants make a cross OR brat OR both. No one should feel as though they have to spend lots of money on this project. We strongly encourage people to use found items or things they have lying around the house. If you do buy materials for this, they would ideally be inexpensive. This is about sharing community to celebrate Brighid’s feast day – NOT spending money.

Now, to the specific instructions.

If you want to participate, please e-mail Rocquelaire (rocquelaire@gmail.com) BY END-OF-DAY on JANUARY 1 and give your “real” name and your snail-mail address. Also, note whether you are OK with sending a package to someone in a different country. (That can be important, since the postage on international packages can be significantly higher than on domestic packages.)

Rocquelaire will acknowledge your e-mail within 24 hours. If you do not hear from her within this time, assume something has gone wrong and send your e-mail again.

By the end of January 5, Rocquelaire will PM you with your recipient’s name and address.

Please EITHER plan to send your package in time for your recipient to receive it on or before January 31 so the recipient can put it out for blessing on Imbolc Eve OR plan to put the materials for your gift out for blessing yourself, and then send it after Imbolc. Either way, the item will receive Brighid’s blessing.

If you plan to ship your gift BEFORE Imbolc, ideally, you should aim to get your package in the mail at least one week before January 31. So, people could go ahead and start planning and making their crosses and/or brats, so they’re ready to go when you get your recipient’s contact info.

If you plan to ship your gift AFTER Imbolc, please try to send it by February 15th, so it doesn’t get put off indefinitely and then forgotten.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Rocquelaire, or ask them here in comments.

Clann Bhride Survey Results 2015

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Clann Bhride Survey Results 2015

We’d like to thank all of you for participating in our first member survey. The results of the survey are now available in PDF form.

Clann Bhride Survey Data 2015

Clann Bhride Survey Summary 2015

There are two PDF files here for you to look at. The first one shows all the charts and graphs, and the second one summarizes all of the comments and the answers to the open-ended questions. Have a look and let us know what you think.

If you volunteered to help Clann Bhride with future projects, you should hear from us within the next week or so. We’re looking forward to the next step!

Survey Reminder

Hi everyone! – the survey is still open until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (US), Sunday, October 18. After that, we will compile a report on the survey results, which we hope to release around Samhain.

If you have any questions or comments about this survey, please contact us at clannbhride@gmail.com.

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/clannbhridesurvey2015

Thank you!

~ Sage, Gilbride, & Aster
Clann Bhride Co-Founders

Clann Bhride Needs Your Help!

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CLANN BHRIDE SURVEY — PLEASE PARTICIPATE!!!

The founders of Clann Bhride have been honored and blessed to see our idea grow from a tiny seed to an active devotional group made up of more than 260 members. We are enthusiastic and optimistic about our future as the Children of Brighid. But we need your help!

Whether you consider yourself an “official” member of Clann Bhride or not, please take some time to fill out this anonymous survey and let us know what you have gotten out of Clann Bhride so far and where you see us going in the future. We are as strong as each of our members and friends, and we value the diversity of your opinions and experiences.

We hope you’ll click the link below now and complete the survey right away, while it’s fresh in your mind.  But we’ll keep the survey open until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (US), Sunday, October 18, to make sure everyone has plenty of time.  After that, we will compile a report on the survey results, which we hope to release around Samhain.

If you have any questions or comments about this survey, please contact us at clannbhride@gmail.com.

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE!

Thank you!

~ Sage, Gilbride, & Aster

Clann Bhride Co-Founders

About Clann Bhride

Clann Bhride

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Clann Bhride, or the Children of Brighid, is a small group of people who have come together to build a religious structure and practice devoted to the Celtic goddess Brighid and Her Mysteries.

Clann Bhride relies on a solid foundation in history, surviving folklore, tradition, and myth. However, this foundation is only the beginning. The ancient Celts depended on history and lore, but placed even greater emphasis and reverence on Imbas, inspiration, and adaptation.

As members of a modern-day Western society, we seek inspiration and contemporary creation, and to use the various tools of scholarly interpretation of texts, creative work, and synthesis with other religious insights to build upon the foundation of history. Although we do not consider ourselves Celtic Reconstructionists, our goal is to create a spiritual path focused specifically on Brighid and Her Mysteries, grounded in history and informed by inspiration. Through Clann Bhride, we hope to share…

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