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Author Topic: What gifts do you offer?  (Read 2736 times)

AlisonLeighLilly

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What gifts do you offer?
« on: July 04, 2011, 09:28:14 am »
I'm in the midst of my Flamekeeping Shift right now, which I began last night at sundown.

During my opening-shift ritual (when I light my candle and re-consecrate my Brigid's Cross), I did some meditative work... and it seemed Brigid was prodding me to ask the question, "What gifts do I offer to Brigid and to the world in her honor and service?"

I want to spend my shift this cycle thinking about that question more deeply - but I was wondering how others might answer that question for themselves.

I think I spend a lot of time asking Brigid for things - inspiration, support, guidance, etc. - to help me accomplish my own goals, but I don't spend as much time as I should asking her what it is that she wants from me and how I can better serve her in my everyday life. Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

--Ali

Sage

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 10:05:00 am »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?
--Ali

 
All the time. :)

I've been contemplating this for awhile. Though I don't make the time for my spirituality that I should (why are you so crazy, life?) I feel that my relationship with Brighid is and must be active and dynamic. Part of it is just the transformative nature of fire - it must be tended, fed, and channeled to give warmth, food, and life. Looking at it from the four classical elemental paradigm, it's very much the opposite of earth. Earth is stable, grounded, and familiar - though it can also be stagnant and home to procrastination and settling for "good enough." (I know because my life has been filled with waaaay too much of this negative earth energy lately.)

Fire, on the other hand, will absolutely kick your ass if it's not in gear. And while I feel that Brighid is a goddess with huge reservoirs of patience, understanding, and tact, I also feel that She embodies positive change, transformation, and rebirth. You're going to get better with Her whether you like it or not! ;D

Part of what I offer is just my own experiences with pain (physical, mental, and emotional) and the desire to get better. Finally, for real this time. It's the willingness to learn compassion, perseverance, and courage in working through my depression. I absolutely identify with Her imagery at the forge, making things stronger and new. (I'm actually in the planning stages of a book right now on Brighid and depression, which I may end up sharing with the Cill...)

I think I just offer my very self, and that's a hard enough offering right now. She hasn't seemed to mind so far. :)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Juni

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 12:08:33 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

 
Oh, absolutely. I dearly want to be more involved in social activism and justice, and to develop some kind of community. At the moment, though, my focus needs to be on myself- on pulling all my wayward pieces together and trying to fashion a functional whole. Until I can do that- with her help- I won't be much use in anything else.
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Sage

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 12:12:46 pm »
Quote from: Juni;681
Oh, absolutely. I dearly want to be more involved in social activism and justice, and to develop some kind of community. At the moment, though, my focus needs to be on myself- on pulling all my wayward pieces together and trying to fashion a functional whole. Until I can do that- with her help- I won't be much use in anything else.

 
My friend trained to be a lifeguard and one of the first things she learned was you cannot let a drowning person take you down with them. When you're sitting through safety lectures on airplanes, you're advised to put your mask on first before helping someone else with theirs. At a certain point, we have to take care of ourselves and make sure we are strong and secure before going out to change the world. For me this is difficult because I like to put off my own problems by helping others with theirs. :) It's something I need to work on. It's hard to focus on myself and my own problems. I feel like I'm not worth it, and Brighid has to constantly remind me that I am.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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AlisonLeighLilly

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 02:34:25 pm »
Quote from: Sage;684
My friend trained to be a lifeguard and one of the first things she learned was you cannot let a drowning person take you down with them. When you're sitting through safety lectures on airplanes, you're advised to put your mask on first before helping someone else with theirs. At a certain point, we have to take care of ourselves and make sure we are strong and secure before going out to change the world. For me this is difficult because I like to put off my own problems by helping others with theirs. :) It's something I need to work on. It's hard to focus on myself and my own problems. I feel like I'm not worth it, and Brighid has to constantly remind me that I am.

 
I really like this metaphor of the lifeguard or the oxygen mask on the airplane... but on the other hand, I also feel that sometimes I need to remind myself that life - mundane, daily life - is not a disaster scenario. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and come down really hard on myself for not living up to my own standards. And the result of that can be stagnation - a fear of trying to do anything before I'm sure I'll be able to do it absolutely perfectly. I guess this would be the flip side of the "you have to help yourself before you help others" approach, putting off the commitment to help others because I still feel like I'm in need of help myself. Yet some of my most worthwhile accomplishments have come about because I managed to put that anxiety aside and say, "You know, I might not have all my shit together yet, but damn it, I'm gonna put myself out there anyway." When I manage to do this, it seems to turn out that not only am I able to rise to that occasion of service for others, but that I actually have my shit together more than I thought I had!

Still, it's an on-going struggle for me to let myself not be completely on top of things, and to not let that stop me from trying to give back.

--Ali

Garnet

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 03:35:52 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

 
I offer creativity and passion. (Interestingly, in the elemental pentacle derived from the Iron Pentacle, Passion is connect to water - that which flows and sustains.) I offer communication. And although I do it for Wepwawet (and myself) first and foremost, I also bring my work of way-opening. Sometimes all of the above is the same thing. :)

Aster Breo

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 04:19:26 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

 
This seems to be a recurring theme.  ;)

I have also had to learn the lesson of taking care of myself so I am able to help others.  Recently, that's been much harder because of my health issues.  It often feels like I have nothing left to offer others.  Sometimes, that's even true.  But not all the time.

Over the years, I've tried to offer many different kinds of things to Brighid.  First and foremost, of course, I offer Her myself.  That was something She explicitly asked for, and I try to re-confirm that every evening when I extinguish my lamp for the night.

After that, the biggest and most useful gift I can give to Brighid is my time, energy, experience, and perspective to help others find their way to Her, or to whatever path they're meant to follow.  That's actually why I spend a lot of time here on TC and why I reply to as many of the beginner "how do I find my path/god/religion" posts as I can.  Even when I've posted the same message over and over and over.  ;)  I've done other writing for Her, including a contribution to a book on people's experiences with Brighid.

I'm also in the (very long) process of trying to work out a structured practice focused on Her.

Other than that, I've made offerings to Brighid in the form of monetary donations to organizations that I think are doing Her work (Solas Bhride, Heifer International, Humane Society, ASPCA).  I offer the flame of my lamp each evening, as well as other candles now and then.  One of my tats was an offering to Brighid, as were a few of the symbolic pieces of jewelry I wear for Her.  And, when I do theater work, I offer my lighting designs and other aspects of the show to Brighid.  (Unless I'm not happy with it.)

I feel like there's something else, but I can't seem to think of it right now.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Morag

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 08:49:47 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
I think I spend a lot of time asking Brigid for things - inspiration, support, guidance, etc. - to help me accomplish my own goals, but I don't spend as much time as I should asking her what it is that she wants from me and how I can better serve her in my everyday life. Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

 
I often have asked my mom what I can do for her to make her happy, what gifts I can offer her. And she tells me that the best gift for her is if I take care of myself first and foremost.

Right now, I'm in a place where that's all I can do. And not very well, at that. But I feel that Brighid feels roughly the same as my mom as to what gifts I have to offer -- any gifts are meaningless if I'm killing myself to provide them. If I'm dead, how am I supposed to continue Her work?

When times are better for me, I offer up my writing, first and foremost. I'm not talking about my poetry -- it's pretty, and sometimes I can really turn a phrase, but many people don't actually read poetry. I'm talking more about my blogging -- there are blogs out there that have completely changed my worldview, so I know my blogs are doing the same for other people, even if it's only 1 or 2 -- and my fiction writing, which is much more subtle in its worldview-changing, like a brain ninja.

Writing can reach many people, and I do it for [great] social justice.

In my daily life, I try to change minds with my spoken words, which is the same as my writing but more one on one and more exhausting. I can't do that with very many people. It's too tiring and depressing, and there are not enough spoons in my inventory.

There are other things, I'm sure, but I'm pretty tired right now and can't remember what specifically.
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JuniperMorgan

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 11:05:47 pm »
Quote from: Juni;681
Oh, absolutely. I dearly want to be more involved in social activism and justice, and to develop some kind of community. At the moment, though, my focus needs to be on myself- on pulling all my wayward pieces together and trying to fashion a functional whole. Until I can do that- with her help- I won't be much use in anything else.

 
I'm with Juni on this one.  I've been having to learn to take care of myself first, then help others.  Mostly to not help others to the point that I can no longer take care of myself!  So I had to step back from a lot of people in my life (weeding the friend garden as it were).  Now I'm endeavoring to recapture the deep daily connection I had with my spiritual life before I let other things get in the way.  I did a reconsecration and dedication of myself to Her, and shortly there after (within 24 hrs) found this group.  I've taken it as a sign that I'm on the right track in recovering my spiritual self and connection with Her, and for right now, that's enough.
You can also find my ramblings at my blog although I\'m not the best at regular updates.  I\'m working on fixing that. Or look for me on FB here or Google+ here. :)

Finn

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Re: What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 11:32:58 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616

I think I spend a lot of time asking Brigid for things - inspiration, support, guidance, etc. - to help me accomplish my own goals, but I don't spend as much time as I should asking her what it is that she wants from me and how I can better serve her in my everyday life. Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

 
I think I have the opposite experience: I spend a lot of time thinking about what it is She wants from me. In fact, you could easily say thinking about this question, and thinking about what answers there could be, is the central concern in my life, on several levels.

Perhaps it is a symptom of being twentysomething, or even just a symptom of my general way of looking at things, but I think about vocation a lot: about what it means to be "called;" to do "service;" to "find your place" and "live a life deeply rooted in soul".

I feel very deeply that the latter, in particular, is directly related to what gifts I can offer, and that part of finding my place in this world is cultivating those gifts, and, more so, that part of my ultimate place, calling, whatever... is service to Brighid.

This feeling is, surprisingly, a very recent development in my thinking. So, for all the time I spend thinking about what gifts I bring, I still don't have a clear answer. :rolleyes:

But perhaps this willingness to keep searching for the place where my soul, my gifts, and Brighid meet, this natural curiosity and urge to quest for answers is the gift I am giving her now.
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rocquelaire

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What gifts do you offer?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 12:16:18 pm »
Quote from: AlisonLeighLilly;616
Have you ever felt that way? What work do you do in her honor, what gifts do you offer?

I feel this way all the time. Almost every time I pray to Brighid I ask Her what I should be going for Her and in Her service. I don't have an asset yet though.

I'm not sure if She has been trying to tell me and I'm just too dense to get the hint or if She wants me to work it out for myself. I guess it's also possible that I'm already doing whatever I should be without realising it lol.

I have no idea what I have to offer Her or why She would want me but She's here so I guess there must be something. If I figure it out I'll let you know :)
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