Marion Atmo on the goddess of poetry and fertility – in prose and with a poem.
The first of February is special – a herald of something new around the corner, even if I don’t know what it is. Back in 1989 I did a three-week therapy group in Pune called Fresh Beginnings. Ever since, I’ve had hints that February is bringing fresh shoots, new opportunities. That group – a week each of Primal, Tantra and meditation practice – certainly catapulted me onto new paths.
Brigit is the Celtic Irish goddess of fire, fertility, cattle and poetry. Aspects of her personality passed to the Christian saint Brigit (St. Bride) who lived in fifth-century Ireland. She was so generous she drove her father to despair, freely giving the family property away to the poor. Brigit – Goddess and human – embodies new growth, celebrating spring, planting seeds. Spring is a generous season, giving away her fresh goodies.
I spent a few months on the West Coast of Ireland in 2001, and visited St. Brigit’s Well on the coast of County Clare. I met people who came to the Well for healing, especially for eye problems. Around that time a sea-change was happening in my life – the old was finishing, the new not yet arrived. I spent time in the Burren, a place of rock and barren beauty, imbued with centuries of Celtic spirituality.
Ireland is full of poets and the landscape feels poetic too. Poems came to me on that exposed coast but it was only today I found out that Brigit is the goddess of poetry and fertility. This poem below I called ‘Limestone Offering’, and it’s also about ‘becoming fertile ground’. Thank you, spirit of Brigit.
In this landscape – barren and fertile
tiny wild flowers, breathtaking,
spring forth from cracks
in cradles of bare limestone.
I’ve always been afraid to be bored,
to be no one.
Addicted to speed,
only performing excellently.
Here on this windswept coast
I hear water dripping slowly,
move with Irish music
and rhythms from the land.
I see the innocence in peoples’ eyes.
Here on this barren rock, my thighs open
to the boundless, life-giving
force of the Mother.
I have become fertile ground.
Previously published on Marion Atmo’s blog: pleasejustsit.blogspot.com
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