Two recent posts, Community Immunity by Natalie Weaver on May 6, and Carol Christ’s May 11 essay, Women Invented Agriculture, Potter, and Weaving…, have spurred me to focus and finally share something that I’ve meant to for a long time. For 30 years I helped my husband realize his dream of a small farm, while I continued working as an artist. We both came from urban backgrounds and both (separately) charged out into the wild world at age 17, inventing as we went along. That fearless approach continued with the farming many years later.
We started with sheep and cows but soon turned to focussing on goats. We wanted to farm organically from the start (1988) and that, combined with a lack of childhood indoctrination into Big Ag Culture had us devouring all the information we could while carefully observing the animals and applying our shared humanistic approach to daily life to the care of goats. I say this last part so no one imagines a slavelike situation as is often seen in images of dairy farms. Continue reading “Caprine Community by Laurie Goodhart”
Brigit is my comrade-woman
Brigit is my maker of song
Brigit is my helping-woman
My choicest of women, my guide
Brigit, celebrated by pagans and Christians alike on February 1, is a goddess who knows how to incarnate. When Christianity came to Ireland, she became a saint without missing a beat and without giving up any of her reputation for healing, poetry, or smith crafting, for being the keeper of the sacred flames and wells. The verse above is one of my favorites from “The Blessing of Brigit,” several versions of which are recorded in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the Last Century (which is to say the nineteenth!)
I adapted the verse and sang it in memory of author, educator, priestess, and visionary activist Patricia Monaghan who died November 11, 2012. Dawn Work-Makinne offered a beautiful tribute to Patricia’s life and work. Today I want to reflect on Patricia in relation to Brigit, a goddess Patricia researched and celebrated (look for the forthcoming anthology she edited with her husband, Michael McDermott Brigit: Sun of Womanhood)—and whose spirit she embodied as vigorously as the legendary Saint Brigit of Kildare. Continue reading “Brigit and Patricia: Comrade-Women by Elizabeth Cunningham”