Brighid Aspect Healing Prayer Beads


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Since early in its history, my local ADF Grove, Sassafras Grove in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, has been working with nine aspects of their patron goddess Brighid at Imbolc (what they typically call “Brigantia”).  They honor and work with one aspect each day leading up to their Brigantia rite and share this work with the greater community so others can participate if they wish.

I have been somewhat successful in creating prayers and prayer beads for various purposes, and last summer a friend reached out to commission a set of Brighid healing beads from me for a loved one facing a health crisis.  I turned to the nine aspects for inspiration, and I created these prayers to go with the beads.  As today is Healing Day in the Brighid “Novena,” I thought it might be appropriate to share them here in case others may find them useful as well.

Bright Blessings of Brighid,

Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz

Brighid Watertaking framed

Healing Waters (photo by the author)


Hail to you, Brighid the Midwife!
Careful tender of mother and child.
You lead ready souls back into our world,
Helping the new-born draw their first breaths.
May your skillful hands soothe my fears.
May your knowing mind guide me back to health.
Brighid, Goddess of Midwifery, I honor you.

Foster Mother

Hail to you, Brighid the Foster Mother!
Loving nurturer to those in your care.
You teach the children their ancestral ways,
Strengthening bonds of kith and of kin.
May your wisdom guide me to fulfill my potential.
May your example help me to care for myself.
Brighid, Goddess of Fosterage, I honor you.


Hail to you, Brighid the Initiator!
Discerning guide through life’s dark pathways.
You bring the worthy to the heart of the flame,
Immersing them down in the depths of the mystery.
May your key unlock the secrets of my soul.
May your magic renew me and give me new life.
Brighid, Goddess of Initiation, I honor you.


Hail to you, Brighid the Blacksmith!
Powerful artist of iron and steel.
You temper and shape us to bring out our lustre,
Transforming brittle weakness to supple strength.
May your work give me resilience to recover my vigor.
May you create in me a lasting masterpiece.
Brighid, Goddess of Smithcraft, I honor you.


Hail to you, Brighid the Poet!
Eloquent crafter of music and words.
You move our souls with your compelling phrases,
Weaving imagery and verse into spellbinding speech.
May the power of your poetry renew my persistence.
May the beauty of your song inspire my strength.
Brighid, Goddess of Poetry, I honor you.


Hail to you, Brighid the Warrior!
Stalwart guardian of the vulnerable.
You shield us from the harshness of the world,
Defending us as you teach us to defend ourselves.
May your fierceness spark the courage within me.
May your power feed my will to fight.
Brighid, Goddess of Warriors, I honor you.

Mistress of Sacred Wells

Hail to you, Brighid of the Sacred Wells!
Keeper of ancient and holy places.
Your waters bestow deep wisdom of the land,
Connecting us to ancestral memory.
May your waters refresh and replenish my spirit.
May your magic grant me miracles of healing.
Brighid, Goddess of Sacred Wells, I honor you!


Hail to you, Brighid the Hearthtender!
Protectress of the living flame.
You warm us through the uncertain night;
Illuminating truths of the realm divine.
May your fires burn away all sickness and fear.
May I bask in your restorative light.
Brighid Goddess of the Hearth, I honor you!


Hail to you, Brighid the Healer!
Learned master of prevention and cure.
You quickly discern by your insight and knowledge,
Curing and mending our illness and hurts.
May your healing powers strengthen my physical self.
May your remedies return me to perfect health.
Brighid, Goddess of Healing, I honor you.


Winter Solstice Night


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On this second night of Yule we call out in darkness.

As the Sun stops descending in the southern sky

And the Earth turns its northern face away from its rays,

We stand in the silent stillness of the Winter Solstice;

Taking time away from the holiday bustle to contemplate

The miracle of our planet’s life-sustaining tilt

And the majesty of the changing seasons.

Winter Solstice Night, we honor you.

Mothers’ Night Prayer

I finished up this prayer last night just in time for Mothers’ Night.

On this first night of Yule we call to the Mothers;
Those who bore, loved, and raised us and all those who came before;
Those women of our Ancestral lines who watch over us still;
The Three Sister Rivers who bring life to this land we call “home;”
And the Three Sisters of Fate who weave the threads of our lives into our family tapestry.
At the Yuletide we carry on the sacred and secular traditions you handed down,
Bringing peace, warmth, and cheer into this darkest time of year.
Great Mothers: We honor you!

Into November


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Hermes Pompaios, Blessed Guide;
Lead us through the veil of grim November,
Shepherding us into the increasing dark of the waning year.
Guide the souls of our Beloved Dead
That they may join us at the Feast of Remembrance
With places set for the Living and the Dead.
While candles light the early night
We welcome. . .
We dine. . .
We remember. . .
Listening for Their voices in the joyful and solemn silence.

Hermes-Dead 11-1


Aphrodite Patronage Prayer

Aphrodite announced her presence in my life when I was 23 years old, and I have been her worshiper and Priestess ever since (see “Remembering Morning Glory” for that story).  Today is Thursday, the day I typically honor her specifically in my weekly worship cycle, and I felt compelled to recite the prayer I wrote many years ago pledging myself to her service.  As I haven’t shared anything here in quite some time, I felt it would be appropriate to share it today.

Heavenly Aphrodite, beloved from afar; ever chaste, always longing, glowing pure but ever burning with a needful desire. Golden Aphrodite, shapely and enchanting; the curve of your hips and your breasts and your lips, whispering words wickedly wondrous, setting pulses racing; entangled, entwined, enraptured by your whiles, at your whim as you beguile. Black Aphrodite, Mistress of Night, when lovers meet with shades drawn and lanterns low; indulging in your gifts of love, laughter and sweet fulfillment, finally falling exhausted into sated sleep.

Beloved Goddess, I cherish your many blessings and I pay you due honor. I pray you accept my words as an outward sign of my love and devotion, but ever know that I will always hold you fast within my heart.

In The New Year: Back To Reality


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Like most people, I see the start of a new year as providing an opportunity to make a fresh start in some areas of my life. I haven’t made any official resolutions this year, but I did sign up for a 365 day meditation challenge, I mean to finally get back to exercising regularly, I want to eat more healthfully, and I’ve been planning on picking up an instrument again.  This morning I had cookies for breakfast.  Yesterday I took two naps and exercised not at all.  I have this feeling that the New Year hasn’t really started yet, that I’m still on “holiday time.”  And holiday time is permissive.  Holiday time is for napping and feasting and slothing.  Holiday time is not for starting new projects and working on healthy habits.

I realized that I do this every year.  I make some positive plans for the New Year, but when the New Year starts, I don’t start, too.  I have this vague notion that the New Year will really begin when I go back to work, but I’ll still come home to a festive house stuffed with booze, cookies, and cheese.  I know I’ll snuggle up with a plate of leftovers amid the glow of the tree and watch a Christmas special I hadn’t gotten to yet.  And before I know it I’ll find myself in the third week of January with a dead tree, another 10 lbs of holiday weight, and broken dreams of healthy habits and time spent productively.

I’m decidedly not one of those people who drags out the Yuletide decorations right after finishing their Thanksgiving pie.  And I would enthusiastically vote in favor of a public ordinance prohibiting Christmas lights on all buildings before December 1.  But when the Yuldetide really gets going for me, I do love it.  And like many Pagans I know, I celebrate it as a true 12-day tide, starting with Mother’s Night right before the Solstice and ending with the secular New Year.  I know a good many people who take their Christmas/Yule stuff down on New Year’s Day, but that’s always seemed way too early to let go of it for me.  Granted most of those who take it down so early are the Thanksgiving decorators, so I can understand how they have gotten their fill of the merry twinkling and sparkling by January 1.  Years ago I decided that waiting until the Epiphany, Christian Twelfth Night, to take down my decorations seemed a reasonable amount of time to leave things up (regardless of the fact that I wasn’t Christian).

But having the Yule up that far into January (let’s face it, I never actually get it down on January 5 or 6; I just start to think and feel guilty about it still being up), delays for me the onset of the New Year.  Most people I know are no longer celebrating the Yuletide at this point. Almost everyone is back at work, the kids are back at school, and the gyms and Weight Watchers meetings are packed with those who have accepted that Christmas is over and the New Year has begun.  But as long as my Yule is up, I’m still in that permissive holiday time, and I can’t take advantage of the enthusiastic New Year’s élan permeating my social sphere.  I remain stuck in the hedonistic past instead of advancing toward the healthful new day.

So today, January 2, 2017, I am taking the Yuletide decorations down.  The tree will lay in my back yard, providing shelter for the birds a few weeks earlier this year. I’ll pack up the leftovers to take to work for my coworkers (on a different floor than mine). And instead of Christmas lights, I will bask in the glow of the year’s new dawn.  May it light my way as I create a more prosperous and productive me.  And I’ll start right after this last cookie. . ..


Happy New Year!

Midwinter’s Eve

Stars softly shine in silent stillness
In a Midwinter sky so cold and clear
Nature is swathed in deepest darkness
As we stand on the threshold of the year

Outside our walls the night’s uncertain
But inside we are warm and keep good cheer
Yule fires burn to light the darkness
And their glow helps us all to persevere 

Gathered together our hearts grow hopeful
For the end of the longest night draws near
Joyous we wait within the darkness
As we sing for the Sun to reappear

You can hear a rough recording of the tune to this song on my YouTube page.

Blessed Solstice and a very Merry Yuletide to one and all!


Observations About Depression

Depression is a disease that makes you feel ashamed just as part of its symptoms. Doing things, everyday things like dishes, cleaning, laundry, can just be beyond me. I feel lazy and useless and I fight with myself and maybe win a minor victory. Today I put the leftover spaghetti sauce in a Ziploc and put it in the basement freezer. I put the ice cream maker bowl down there, too, to make room in the freezer upstairs. I got my clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket. I put in a load of whites that had been sitting down there a long time. I brought the clean clothes upstairs. I gave Lord his meds and fed the cats. I put the dishes in the drainer away. I fed myself a real dinner.

There was a point today where giving Lord his meds, feeding the cats, and putting some sort of junk in my tummy would be as much as I could manage. So fighting through and doing some things on my to-do list felt like a victory. And then I could do no more. The migraine almost felt like a relief–I had an excuse for being useless that my mind would accept. I reflect on this evening’s struggle to keep from curling up in a ball in bed and it occurs to me that there are people for whom these things are not a struggle. They just come home from work and do the chores and answer their emails and listen to their voicemail and open the mail without a second thought. I try to remember a time when I felt like that. There was a time. There still are to some degree. But most often I go back and forth in my head a hundred times, making a plan, paring it down, throwing it out, and then maybe doing some things. I tell myself, “just do another task, and then one more. Keep going. Fight.” I may win a skirmish in this hour, or maybe the next one. But I’m just so sick and tired of the War.