Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Garden Forge; a visit to Brighid

You are standing in a clearing on a hill, surrounded by woods.
Before you stands a stone tower, the surface half-covered with moss.

There are ancient symbols carved into the stones and as you try to decipher them you notice a rough wooden door, dark with age.

You pull on the latch and slowly, the door opens enough to allow you to enter.

Inside it is quiet. Light filters in from windows high above and the air smells of wood smoke and blackberries. The floor is smooth and worn.  There is a stair to your left spiraling upward and to your right leading down.

You turn to your left and begin to ascend the stair.  The stone steps are even and smooth and easy to climb.  The light and air are warm and fragrant.  You can see glimpses of blue sky through the high narrow windows above you and you climb step by step up and around and up and up and up and around.  You can no longer see the door but you keep climbing wondering when you will reach the top.  Just as you are considering turning back you come to another door. 

The stair continues to spiral even further upward and you consider continuing your ascent but you notice a hammer hanging by the door. 

The door is a warm golden wood finely carved with intricate spirals and graceful symbols.  You test the latch and the door opens smoothly and easily outward into an orchard, filled with the sunshine of a bright summer day.  There is a path through the trees in front of you lined with blackberry bushes full of ripe black sweet berries.

You hear the sound of a hammer striking an anvil in a regular rhythm and you follow the orchard path to the source of the sound.   The trees are large and in full leaf and you cannot see beyond the ones immediately surrounding you. But you keep following the sound until just when you begin to think that the sound is actually your own heartbeat you step out from the next tree and find a roofed structure with no walls. 

Beneath the roof is a Forge.  The coals are glowing and a woman stands at the anvil beating the metal she is working, with the hammer in her hand. She is tall with a strong body and a presence that is even larger.  She seems to take up all the space within the forge.  Her short red hair, her entire body, seem to glow with flame. 

She plunges the piece into the basin of water beside her and the steam rises.  She then looks at you with bright hazel eyes and smiles a warm and welcoming smile, wiping sweat from her brow with her forearm.

This is Brighid, the Goddess of Smiths, the Mother of Midwives, and the Muse of Poets.  Warrior, Healer and Fiery Arrow.  Go to her and she will transform you, speak with her and she will heal you, listen to her and she will inspire you. 

When you feel it is time to go, thank the Lady and take your leave of Her.  Follow the path through the orchard back to the tower. The door stands open and you enter and descend the stair then pass through the open door to the place where you began.

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