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Posts Tagged ‘Brigid’

If you haven’t finished season one of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, fair warning: there will be some slight spoilers below.

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If you’ve been watching the show, you’ve seen the amazing armorer who dwells in the enclave amidst maze-like sewers. We don’t know much about her, but the main protagonist of the show clearly respects her as a leader of sorts. Ever since she wielded her tools in episode one, the unidentified armorer hammered her way into my heart.

When fellow polytheists and Druids refer to Brigid, we most often think of her healing and bardic talents. We often link her to the fire of our hearth and ritual center. Yet in our modern world it’s easy to overlook her association with blacksmiths.

Intellectually, I’ve been aware of this side of her for years, but I’ve always struggled to connect with it, in part because I rarely see female blacksmiths. When I first sat down with my family to enjoy “The Mandalorian,” I was treated to the sight of a woman using her power and talent to create functional art to defend one of her warriors. My heart skipped a beat.

That’s Brigid, I thought. Not literally, of course, but she manifested in that form for me and, no doubt, other Pagans watching.

Fast forward to episode number eight and, my gods, what a masterpiece of a character! Like the goddess Brigid, the armorer is an artisan and keeper of traditions. She remains in the sewers collecting the armor of her fallen kin to preserve their ways. As Brigid would, she works to protect her clansman and the child he has taken in. Their creed demands the protection of children, and she gives the protagonist parting gifts to accomplish his duty as a guardian. Finally, even as she knows Storm Troopers will come after them, she remains at her forge as if meditating before an altar. When the Imperial soldiers arrive, she takes them down… with her tools!

I was floored and moved. This was a side of Brigid I had always sensed but never really saw outside of Ashley Bryner’s art. I’ve read bits about Brigid as a warrior, and I found that spirit in the armorer of “The Mandalorian.”

I now have a new cosplay goal.

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Turning on the Heat

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The inside of one of our baseboard heaters. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2019

Last weekend, my husband and I performed an annual ritual: cleaning the heaters and turning on the heat. We were extra thorough this year. He dismantled and even removed them from the wall to perform additional maintenance. I cleaned the inside, wiping the metallic vertebrae that distributes heat.

I used this time to reflect on how we warm our home in the colder months. For better or worse, the house we bought uses electric heat. As I understand it, we’re lucky to be on municipal power. The warmth doesn’t come from a central flame, but it is heat all the same – and that, in my spirituality, is Brigid’s power.

Perhaps, in the future, I will mentally prepare myself for this yearly rite. Maybe I’ll write a formal prayer with rhyme and meter to recite as I perform my chore. Perhaps I’ll do it some cold winter day as I reflect on how blessed I am to live in a cozy home. This year,  I didn’t make the connection that this could be a sacred act until I was in the middle of it.

As I turned the dial on each unit, I quietly prayed to Brigid – a simple declaration of gratitude for her warmth and safety. Though I lamented my lack of foresight, I walked away feeling satisfied – and warm.

 

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