Saturday, February 2, 2008

blessings abound

Today is Groundhog Day. It's also the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, Imbolc, and the feast day of St. Brigid, patron of home, hearth, forge, and poetry, and my patron saint. In honor of Brigid, I'm posting this for the 3rd Annual Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading today. While it's not directly a prayer to Brigid, it is an old Celtic household prayer for weavers, for blessing the loom:

Loom Blessing

Bless, O Chief of generous chiefs,
My loom and everything a-near me.
Bless me in every action,
Make Thou me safe while I live.

From every brownie and fairy woman,
From every evil wish and sorrow,
Help me, O Thou helping Being,
As long as I shall be in the land of the living.

In the name of Mary, mild of deeds,
In the name of Columba, just and potent,
Consecrate the four posts of my loom,
Till I begin on Monday.

Her pedals, her sley, and her shuttle,
Her reeds, her warp, and her cogs,
Her cloth-beam, and her thread-beam,
Thrums and the thread of the plies.

Every web, black, white, and fair,
Roan, dun, checked, and red,
Give Thy blessing everywhere,
On every shuttle passing under the thread.

Thus will my loom be unharmed,
Till I shall arise on Monday;
Beauteous Mary will give me of her love,
And there shall be no obstruction I shall not overcome.

(from The Celtic Vision: Prayers and Blessings from the Outer Hebrides, edited by Esther de Waal)

I don't know if Phil saw his shadow or not, but I can already see buds on some of the trees -- tiny ones to be sure, but what I love about winter is that when it seems like it's going to be cold forever, there are subtle signs of life and the coming spring all around, if you slow down and look and listen.

Bright blessings and grace to all.