Brigid : The Love Talker?
The Erin An Gáinconáigh, Gean Cannach, Gancanagh or Gabconor is told of as being a fairy lover, maybe the Green Man, who through temptation and debauchery drives woman into passionate frenzy.
"The winds carry me like wild charging stallions
Riding upon the breath of lavender's blending scent
To rest upon the post of your abode
watching you dream your dreams in bed. "
... ...... and then the woman's discovers its is her own spirit that is driving the passion and not an external dream faerie lover.
An Gáinconáigh, Gean Cannach, Gancanagh or Ganconor is called the "Love Talker" and is told of through an infectious arousing of lust, a kind of trickery mating dance, often told by men bards of old to ensure they may have company in their bed during the rest of the nightly hours, before they arise and leave.
So, after being left abandoned from such love, both women and men seek for a love sustaining and instead of being under the spell of a Gancanor discover a new light, and many say it is she, their Brigid, Bhride, Brideog, their guide, their angel that never leaves them ...
voice of the Bard
Co. Cavan Storyteller Tony Cuckson once said
that "true" bards are not bards unless they are "Love Talkers".
The trickster Gean Cannach poem enters into the dreams of women, arouse their lust, and eave them longing, longing for more, but he is gone. As an anonymous old poem says ...
"Beware the tunes that touch your heart.
The Gáinconáigh will play the soul
Beware sweet lass don't crave his art
He'll pierce your heart and leave a hole".
A woman can never be with this Love Talker that seems more and more distant the more she wants him, unless she shuts off her life and give it all to him, only to discover she is him.
At this point what has been shut off are our inner curses that prevent love embracing us.
When a man or woman discovers that their own sacred divine heart is their Love Talker then the Bard within becomes the voice and passion shared out and is all embracing.
Some say this is sharing the flame from the Hearth of Brighid.
It is the voice shared through writing, through singing, through changing, through music, especially harps, through drumming, through prayer bowls, through dance, through drawing, through painting, through sculpture, through our craft, our work, our service for others.
Brighid inspired Love Talker
Fortunately, a lot of folks are inspired to serve as love talkers through going back to their musical instruments, their singing, their poetry, their writing.and their dance.
So I wonder if this time of Brigid, or any day you reserve for contemplation of the Brigid spirit, will inspire you or cause you to yearn for more of the bathing in the love of Brigid.
You do not have to be present in Cill Dara (Kildare), Faughart, or at any Brigid Well or Hearth around Erin. You choose your hearth, your sacred space, even your blanket, or CÃ³ire your sacred valley spot to embrace and accept the flame of Brigid, the flame of the new life of spring for this year's cycle.
There's some nice simple things you can do through Imbolc to make this happen.
Do some house cleaning, especially in the kitchen, especially recycling what you do not need in the fridge.
If you still have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.
Make some Brigid's crosses, if you can, and hang them up, especially in the kitchen to influence Brigid's blessing through you through your food, and burn any old ones you may have. This is time for the new blessings and not the past.
Meditate and pray upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year for yourself, your family, your garden, your community, and beyond, Doing this while making your Brigid's crosses is a wonderful way to enter and carry this prayer.
Touch something new born in nature, if you can, such as that new bud unfolding from a tree or, if you are lucky, the new snowdrops opening.
Then see if any of these tasks and rituals inspires you to write, compose, paint or making something, and then you'll find yourself being a new Spring "Love Talker".
let us not also not forget Candlemas
The Brigid's Day of February 2nd, is regarded as the feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, forty days after childbirth.
The story is that this the day that Mary entered the Temple of Jerusalem and an old man, Simeon, called her baby the "Messiah of Israel, a light to lighten the Gentiles.". This symbolism converted the faith of light bringing regeneration and creativity into the divine light of Christ shining into the darkness of human sin.
February 2nd, was also regarded as a Brigid Day, and still is with some people, because some tales tell of Brighid being present at the Birth Of Jesus, so some Brighid Well Masses are still held on the 2nd for that reason, as well as well masses and gatherings at some Tobar Maire or Tobar Murray or Our Lady wells too.
Also February 2nd was, and in some rural areas still is, a time when European farmers, particularly in Italy, Austria, Romania and the Balkan lands, used their favourite divination skill to prophesize if winter is over or will last another 6 weeks. That ties right in with the USA Groundhog Day tradition..
In Britain, Candlemas was celebrated by each member of the congregation carrying a lighted candle to be blessed by the priest and then taken home to keep away demons and evils. Eventually this ceremony was banned due to a belief that it promoted the rising of harmful magical manifestations.
However,the symbol of the lighted candles has always been a potent to many people, even today. Many Christians and even full church congregations still maintain this old ceremony.
In some English and Welsh counties fresh bloomed snowdrops have replaced candles for this ceremony. Snowdrops are locally called "Candlemas Bells" and "Purification flowers"
Interestingly, traces of this light festival is in the USA with the Groundhog Day custom on February 2. If the groundhog sees his shadow on this morning, it means there will be six more weeks of winter.
Outside of these faiths, beliefs and traditions a lighted candle at this time inspires many people, especially if their home is unable to have a hearth of flames, which many homes cannot have today. The candles, its light colours and warmth are an incredible re-kindling embrace on our imagination, inspiration and even confidence. A candle alone can motivate the Love Talker way.
Brigid & Imbolc Gatherings around Ireland
There are Brighid's Day and Imbolc gatherings around many of the Brigid Wells around Ireland, to join in with.
This is also a grand time for sharing the gathering of rushes and making of Brigid Crosses, talking about Brighid, and sharing love meditations, around a fire dedicated to be your Brigitd's Hearth.
This is a a time for lighting and sharing of candles, praying, singing, drumming and making, baking and sharing Brighid Breads with tea.
You could gather friends and family to visit you and your hearth share reverence there.
There are several regular events and festivals around Ireland around Brighid's Day too. The best known seem to be at Solas Bhride Kildare, Brigit's Garden Co. Galway, Faughart Co. Louth, Glendalough Co. Wicklow, and Shannon Pot Co. Cavan.