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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Aeusos: The Dawn Fire

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Eos, goddess of the dawn, by Evelyn De Morgan

NOTE: anything to do with Proto-Indo-European religion is highly speculative, and the material in this article is no exception. This article does not represent any official opinion of Clann Bhride as a group.

According to the Nine Elements of Clann Bhride:

“Children of Brighid honor and reverence Her as a goddess of Gaelic origins, but also consider Her to be a much older and vaster deity known by different names and by different peoples… All goddesses associated with the sun, moon, and stars, fire, fresh water, fertility and abundance, healing, knowledge and the crafts necessary to society may be honored as part of this practice.”

In the religion of the ancient Indo-Europeans, sacrificial offerings were given to the deity of the fire, who took a portion of the offering and conveyed the rest to the other gods. The Indo-Aryans who composed the Rig Veda conceived of this deity as a god named Agni, and also worshiped a goddess of the dawn named Ushas.

Cesiwir Serith, in his book Deep Ancestors, uses comparative mythology and linguistics to reconstruct a Proto-Indo-European hearth goddess named Westya and a dawn goddess named Xausos. The author of the Proto-Indo-European Religion homepage, using strictly linguistic methods of reconstruction, argues that these were originally the exact same deity- a goddess named *Haéusos or “Aeusos.”

Aeusos was the goddess of the sun, the dawn, the hearth-fire and the stars, especially the planet Venus or the “morning star” as it is known. These characteristics make Aeusos the most ancient version of a Brigidine goddess known to us, and one who combines solar, dawn and hearth-fire symbolism in a way no other goddess does except Brighid herself. It is easy enough to see how a goddess originally named Aeusos could come to be known by a title instead – perhaps “the Exalted One.”

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