most of you are familiar with Brighid as she is known in Ireland and
Scotland, but as the chief goddess of all these islands, she is also
to be discovered in the spiritual heart of England – Glastonbury,
which has long been associated with the legendary Isle of Avalon. Here
she appears in her aspect of St. Bride, the 5th century Irish saint,
who settled on a small low island called Beckery and founded ‘a
monastery of holy virgins,’ which became known as ‘the women’s
quarter.’ It is tempting to speculate that this may have continued
the tradition of a pre-Christian community of priestesses in Glastonbury.
The following inner journey from the book, Grail
Alchemy, takes you to
meet her here. You can also listen to a free recording of this VisionJourney
on the album, Grail Alchemy Meditations.
Sit in a comfortable position, relax and take some deep breaths. Imagine
you are breathing in a soft amber light. The light fills your body
and swirls around you like a mist . . . When the mist lifts, you see
a huge orange sun low down on the western horizon, turning the sky
a deep rose-pink. You find yourself standing in the thick grass of
a low-lying green island in the lee of Wearyall Hill. This is Beckery,
the Beekeeper’s Island, sacred to Bride, Queen Bee of the Isle
of Honey, the first name ever given to this land. You see several
skeps – hives like round baskets of coiled straw – where
the bees are flying purposefully in and out as they gather and store
the nectar from the many flowers that blossom in this place . . .
On the summit is a mound surrounded by a grove of ancient trees. They
stand with a knowing, quiet presence as if they are fully aware that
they are guardians of this place. As you approach the grove you see
two gnarled old oaks on the edge, standing with a space in between
them as if to form a gateway. As you enter the archway of the trees,
the light becomes dim and dusky purple, and all around you are the
shadowy shapes of other trees: Among the oaks, there are hollies, alders,
and hazels. In the center of the grove is a clearing, pierced by a
few amber shafts of light from the evening sun. . .
In the middle of the circle of trees is a stone carved with twisting
Celtic knotwork into an equal-armed cross. On it burns an ashless flame
of bright yellow tinged with violet. Standing over the flame is a woman,
Bride of Beckery. She is dressed in white, and around her shoulders
is a mantle of forest green. Around her head is a glowing orb of golden
light. Beside her is a pure white cow with a brilliant star glittering
between the wide curve of its horns. . .
As she turns to look at you, she smiles and in that moment you see
that her mantle has become vast and endless, spreading out in every
direction, for it has become the wide green earth and in it you can
see every animal, bird and living creature that ever walked, crept
or flew, and all the trees and plants that ever grew are flourishing
here. . .
You feel a great longing to be sheltered under her mantle too, and
she wraps it about you so that you feel encircled with her warmth and
deeply protected by her loving arms. You remain in this peace for what
seems a very long time, and then you feel drops of moisture falling
upon you. Looking up, you see that the face of the goddess is deeply
anguished with sorrow and that she is weeping, as one after another,
the animals and birds, the plants and trees beneath her mantle go out
like flames extinguished one by one. Brigit is weeping for the folly
of her human children and the dreadful damage they have done in rending
the fabric of her mantle, slaughtering so many of her beloved children,
even to the point of extinction.
Her tears pour down the mound and become a small pool which will ever
after be known as Bride’s Well. But one of her tears falls upon
the ashless flame on the carven stone, which is suddenly extinguished,
and in that instant Bride is no longer there. In fact, all manifest
creation has vanished and you are alone in the utter darkness of empty
space. For what seems like an eternity, you float in the vast sea of
infinite night, utterly alone and separate. . .
Then a point of light pierces the darkness and begins to grow. The
voice of the goddess speaks:
“I am the Flame that comes forth out of the darkness.”
The flame grows in size and brilliance and now you can see that it
is streaming out of Brighid’s heart. As the Universe lights up
in glory all about you, she scatters her fire on every living being
to call them to awaken to the glory of her creation. It is the green
fire that forges springtime out of winter’s sleep and rouses
the human race from the sleep of fear, and the nightmare of separation,
violence and despair. See now the world on fire with Brighid’s
power of inspiration, healing, and renewal like a flame upon dry
grass, like a flame of wind in a great wood. . . .
You are swept up in the wind of the firestorm and swirled through space
like a leaf, with no choice but to surrender to this inexorable power. Then
suddenly you are right side up and standing once more in the quiet
grove of Beckery with nothing but the gentle rustling of leaves and
the low hum of the bees. The ashless flame burns bright upon the stone
and Bride is standing before you. . .
The goddess looks into your eyes with a piercing gaze and you know
she can see all that you are or have ever been. She motions you to
step into the flame, for this is a sacrificial fire that purifies the
heart and mind of dross. You are deeply afraid, yet you know you must
pass through the Fire of Purification for your soul’s sake. As
you step into the flame, Bride looks at you with ancient, wise
and loving eyes. Although the fierce pain may take your breath away,
you remain steadfast of purpose. Then above the crackle of the flames,
you hear a new sound – Bride is weeping because of your pain
and all that you have ever suffered in your life or many lives, for
she is the Mother of the World, and there is not one whose pain she
does not feel as if it were the sorrow of her own child. The fire has
become a roaring furnace of flame that now engulfs you. When
you feel as if you can go on no longer, two hands firmly clasp your
own and Bride leads you out of the flames to the other side. She carries
you down to her spring and bathes you in its healing waters and you
emerge feeling refreshed and somehow made anew. . .
You return to the Grove and Bride invites you to take some of the flame
before you depart. You place your cupped hands into the flame and now
there is no pain. She tells you to place the flame in your heart, which
you do, breathing it in deeply, so that the flame grows and glows within
you with a clear lambent light. The goddess has awakened your soul
flame, your true essence, and illuminated the core of your being. .
. You know you will never forget who you are again. Bride smiles and
gently smoothes some honey from her bees upon your lips so that you
may always speak the truth. . .
Now into your mind come images of people or other beings, or places
that are especially in need of Bride’s fire of healing and regeneration.
Cupping your hands, you take some of the flame in your heart and send
it to the ones in need as many times as it takes. . . . . . .
Then Bride swirls her green mantle around you and you are engulfed
in its whirling folds as if borne away by a green wind. Through this
vortex, you can see the tiny image of your familiar room. It becomes
bigger and bigger and then you come all the way back, in light and