I attended Twilight Covening, a pagan retreat in Massachusetts over the weekend of October 8th, 2016. It is a large gathering held by the organization know as the EarthSpirit Community. It is a lovely gathering that I’ve attended several times, but this time was by far the most impactful. People register for their top four choices of “clans,” which are themed focus groups that meet together in between the larger rituals of the weekend. I was in Horse Clan, which focused on using Shamanic Journeywork in conjunction with elemental focused questions and activities which also created a five card tarot spread over the course of our work together to read about our higher purpose.
I’ve quite a bit of experience with Shamanic Journeywork and an obsession with the magical elements, which is why I elected to chose this clan as my top choice. The clan work was great. We started with a Journey to meet our power animal on Saturday morning, which was Air time. Air time was about what we needed to know about our higher purpose. As I already knew my power animal who is Komodo Dragon, and our leader provided an alternative Journey for those of us who already had our animal. I met with Komodo in the Journey and we spoke about my need to work on becoming more confident.
Well, one of the things I threw into the ritual releasing fire the evening before had been my belief that magic isn’t real, something ingrained in me in my Christian upbringing. And boy did the weekend prove to be magical.
I focused on this idea of self-confidence and belief in magic throughout the weekend. On Saturday evening, I sat down with my clan over dinner and was recalling the story about when my partner, Jake, discovered his patron Goddess. He’d been practicing paganism for only about two weeks after I introduced him to it when he went on a Journey and the Morrigan presented himself to her. Thinking back, I’m not entirely sure how I knew it was the Morrigan from his descriptions, but he had no idea who it was and as he described his journey to me, I exclaimed her name. To this day, I’ve little education on actual Celtic Gods and Goddesses – prior to this weekend, I knew of Morrigan and very vaguely had a sense of Cernunnos because he is featured in one of my tarot decks (though I know nothing about him other than his general appearance). I reflected on how, at the time, I had been very jealous that my partner had discovered his patron deity two weeks into his pagan path when I had been pagan for about five years at that time and felt desperate for a patron Goddess. I laughed, thinking back, about how I had thought I needed a patron to be worthy of the path and had been immature and upset. In that moment, I realized it was okay that I didn’t know my patron or may never have a patron and that it was totally okay.
Sunday Morning, we were doing our Water themed clan time. My partner helped the clan leader in a beautiful hand cleansing ritual while I lead the rest of us in a chant (Ra Ma Da Sa, the mantra for universal healing of the Kundalini tradition). Afterwards, we did another meditation.
In this meditation, two incredible things happened. One, my Komodo Dragon told me his name, which I had longed to know for years. And then, my patron presented herself to me.
I had no idea who she was, though her name came up in the Journey. My judge stepped in momentarily and told me that what I was experiencing was not real. After silencing my judge, I took a good look at her. She had golden red hair which was wavy like subtle ripples. Her eyes were a soft sea green-blue and her skin was dusted faintly by a few freckles across her nose. She wore a white gown with a long green draping jacket or vest… I’m not sure the name of the garment, but it hung down to the floor with her dress. She wore a belt around her middle and a golden circlet around her head. I met her in the Upperworld on a island with a waterfall spilling into a well and a circle of standing stones.
When the Journey was over, the clan was actually going into ritual silence and I could not ask anyone if they could confirm who she was or if she sounded familiar. I wept. I wept because two major things had just happened, and it felt like my world had flipped on its head.
Later, I talked to two different members of my clan and gave them just the description. They both said the same name: Brigid.
I spent my evening thinking about this Goddess who I knew nothing about. Several images came up: harps & healing water in particular. In my journey, she had given me a malachite necklace and told me it would help me. After I returned to “the real world,” I happened to flip through a crystal oracle deck and the meaning of malachite was essentially everything I’d been working on over the weekend, especially negative self imagine & new beginnings.
SO. That weekend, I definitely had affirmation that magic is real. I saw a Goddess who I knew nothing about and upon further research… I’ve found an image that looks EXACTLY like her, and knowledge that she has healing wells and is sometimes called Brigid of the Harp.
In my meditation, Brigid said she wanted me to work on alchemy, potion making, and crystal healing. I’ve purchased a book reviewed favorable by Philip Carr-Gomm called Grail Alchemy: Initiation in the Celtic Mystery Tradition. I am hoping, also, to find some potion making resources.
And thus, the story of how I came to meeting Brigid as my patron.