I am presently attempting to create a series of three linked but distinct festival seasons based on my worship of Brighid, Hetharu, and Hekate. The “why” I have thus far been unable to pin down aside from “it feels right”, so that’s what I’m going with for now. The period is about 51 days, though I’m still fiddling; Hetharu’s was from the summer solstice to the last Day Upon the Year (just after Lughnasadh), Hekate’s was from Samhain to the winter solstice, and Brighid’s will be from Imbolc to just after the spring equinox. If you’re wondering about my link between the three of them, it’s a solar/stellar/light thing that I have yet to properly articulate (primarily because I just haven’t sat down and tried for any length of time, I suspect). I did ramble about it a bit in Note to Self and Note to Self #2.
Brighid is strongly associated with the sun; she is the awakening springtime, and for me the quiet dawn. She comes across as gentle and sweet on a superficial level, but spring is a hungry season. For food, for light, for fresh air, for change. Surviving the winter takes strength in more ways than one.
I like having usenames for projects, and “Brighid Festival” is a bit underwhelming on that front. After scouring eDIL, I have cobbled together two possible names, though I make no claims as to their grammatical accuracy: An Lúacharnnasadh or An Fursainnasadh. -nasadh will probably be a familiar word segment to pagans, shared with Lughnasadh; its meaning is apparently unclear but seems to point to a recurring festival. (I briefly considered using the word féil but it seems to have a largely Christian festival connotation.) Lúacharn is a variation of lócharn or lóchrann, meaning “lamp, light, or lantern”; fursainn is a variation of forosna, meaning “to light, illuminate; bring to light, make manifest; light, kindle; shine” and is likely familiar to Celtic pagans from imbas forosnai, a kind of divination or clairvoyance. I am leaning toward An Fursainnasadh at the moment, but it’s just a usename for now.
For this inaugural festival season, I’m keeping my plans relatively low-key: I’d like to tend a live flame every day for an hour; I want to read critically about Brighid, and compile my thoughts and notes into a file with actual citations for future reference. That’s it. There are other things I may do, if I have the motivation, energy, and time all at once- make some paper lanterns (for use with electric lights, not candles), work on devotional jewelry, write some poetry or prayers, baking bread from scratch, doing single-day dawn-to-dusk fasting, doing some spring cleaning in my living space (and especially of my devotional spaces/belongings). But in an effort to not set myself up for failure, I’m focusing on the flametending and the reading, and everything else is just a bonus.
My friend Finn plans to mark the season with me this year; if you’re interested in doing so too, let me know!