From sundown on July 27 to sundown July 28, I kept Brighid’s flame. It wasn’t a continuous, literal flame. As the daughter of a former firefighter, cat owner, and mother, there are times when I need to put it out. I always say a prayer when I do:
Though I put the flame out in the physical realm, it is always lit in my heart.
Some people will turn their noses up to that, but Brighid has not shown any displeasure with it. As a protector of children, domesticated animals, and homes, being practical and not tempting fate makes sense. Part of learning about the magic of her flame is respect, after all. And I don’t have extra money to spend on anything that could safely allow me to burn an unattended candle. Maybe in the future.
There are areas I’d like to improve upon. There was a time, five or six years ago, where I would treat my flame keeping time as a retreat. I stayed away from electronic entertainment (although I would sometimes allow myself to watch educational documentaries related to my Druidism). I read and studied. I spent a lot of time outside. All of that changed, especially when I became a mother. My quiet moments come early in the morning and at night.
Right now, my biggest focus is keeping track of my times to keep the flame, and to have some intention. I decided to blog about it this time because a Twitter friend inspired me when she posted about her own creative work during her flame tending night. I cannot remember who that was, but she really got me thinking.
Except for Naturalist studies and continued practice with divination, most of my more intense Druid studies have halted. I only have so much time as a mother, teacher, and Senior Druid of a grove. The last several months, I’ve given my spare time to writing a fictional book. I tried my best to do that during my flame tending shift. I also made a point to give gratitude for Brighid’s blessings of talent and inspiration. I always ask that she continue to guide and help me nourish that to improve.
I set aside some quiet time to go through my Druid Animal Oracle cards to basically renew my relationship with them. I thought about which of the Nine Virtues each card mostly embodied, and then thought about whether the cards where mostly connected with spirituality/intellect, creativity or fertility of the land, warfare and death, or family and community. It was a fun exercise and I got a lot out of it!
I also used some of my time last night to do a bit of candle magic. It’s one of the first forms of magic most of us learn, but it’s continually a favorite of mine. It’s tried and true for me, and I can really feel my focus and the energy when I’m doing it. It feels especially appropriate to engage in candle work in conjunction with Brighid when I’m already keeping her flame. Added a bit of extra power.
My next shift begins August 16th. I’m hoping the magical working I did will manifest then and help me set a new focus. I have a good feeling. Slowly but surely, I would like to move towards once more treating those shifts as days to focus on anything related to Brighid and my Druidism.