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Ask brigit Anything!
brigit has been a member since September 16,1999.
# Asked: 269 # -- Answered: 2856
Average: 0.66 -- Average: 4.70
Rank: 49 -- Rank: 20

i doubt you have any questions for brigit; nevertheless, i am here. remember, i am shy, and may not be perfectly clear... but i am taking questions, and to each i shall devote my full attention.

for dilbert: Where are you? What do you? What makes you happy? What do you do for fun? What do you want us to know about you?

i live in the state of tejas (the original native american word for this region, and the spanish pronunciation for it - tay haas)

i am a paraeducator in a school for students with multiple profound and severe disabilities. most of them use wheelchairs; few have any language, not even signs. in my classroom we have three students who are either blind or have very significant visual impairments. two have varying degrees of autism. one is my special friend, and seems to know in some mysterious fashion when i have entered the room. as he is exceptionally tactile, being blind and seriously hearing impaired, we communicate by touching. i have several signals that indicate to him what is happening, and what i want from him. and he feels free to ask me to rub his neck or head... he also loves long, gentle fingertip strokes down the inside of his arms.

what makes me happy? on some days, everything. on other days, nothing.
in the merry, merry middle: a job well done. a breakthrough in communications with a student. a fine new book. catching the right word, or line, for a poem. just recognition. finding a long sought song on napster. a question with which i can grapple...

for fun?
why, kp, of course! or blowing bubbles, or listening to music, reading, cuddling with my cats, or rooster (yes, rooster, long story), or sleeping - i have wonderfully entertaining dreams...

what do i wish you to know about me?
i am not afraid to love; profligately, irresponsibly (to myself), irremediably, vulnerably. the only way i have found for my heart to grow is to allow it to rend itself, stretch so far past its limits that it tears, rips, breaks open, so that it may grow again, only greater, larger than before.

for prncss: I know that you are a Wiccan, which many people have misconceptions of. My cousin is a Wiccan, and I know that these people just don't understand this religion, but I do not have the knowledge to refute them. Can you explain what Wicca is, what its basic beliefs and foundations are, etc.?

A compliment: Even when I don't understand it, I have always admired your poetic writing.
wicca is a branch of paganism (some say neo-paganism, but most of us want to claim unbroken descent, as it was never thoroughly repressed). below is an answer i gave to a similar question on paganism. i hope you don't mind the cut and paste approach. it is an extensive topic.

paganism is a nature religion. we worship, or revere, the Earth, or Gaia. it is She from whom we spring and to whom we return. indeed, all that is necessary for our sustenance and joy comes as a gift from Her.

The Lady is worshipped in rites based upon the changing of the seasons and the cycles of the moon, along with Her consort, The Lord. The Lord is associared with the sun, and thus He dies every autumn, after the last of the crops are in and He has served His function, and is reborn every midwinter, at the time of the winter solstice, to grow ever stronger and more vigourous, until midsummer, when he begins to weaken steadily if subtly, until his death in autumn again.

the rise of the concept of Gaia, or planetary consciousness, gave paganism, which had already reemerged, a terrific boost. what if the Earth IS alive, a true sentient entity? then we are Her children, a part of Her... also, i believe that the environmental movement, born as it was with the women's movement, sent many searching for new answers. environmentalists were beginning to think more of themselves as coinhabitants of the planet, along with all the other creatures with whom we share it. women were searching for a spirituality that did not exclude them, or view them as the weak-minded originators of sin.

paganism answered the questioners and seekers alike. it sees the Earth as a living, feeling, thinking Goddess, and it raises the status of women to that of matriarchs; powerful, beautiful, deeply connected to the divine.

thus, we reclaim Isis, Demeter, Inanna, Kali, Persephone, Diana, Hecate, Danu, and a host of other Goddesses Who wer/are representations of the Lady, Gaia.

womyn's mysteries have been reinstituted: menarche, the onset of menstruation; pregnancy and childbirth; and the climacteric, cronehood, or menopause. in some circles men's mysteries have come about as well.

paganism teaches deep reverence for the Earth and all Her children. it teaches us the everywhere present lesson of death and rebirth. it teaches respect and reverence for women. it teaches that everything needful is already supplied. it teaches that there is darkness to balance the light. it teaches that all is sacred, not to be sullied, ruined, or used for personal gain, which will dissappear at death.

one of the branches of paganism, wicca, sums it up succinctly: "an ye harm none, do as thou wilt."

the roots of paganism, and wicca, are mired deeply in the ancient past. forms of it were practiced all over europe and parts of asia. anywhere one finds matrilineal succession one finds at least the traces of paganism, as only in this unimaginably old religion are women given the respect and authority commonly given to men in other faiths.

there can be nothing evil, or satanic, about wicca since it arose and became semi-codified before the christians or jews invented the devil. when one religion conquers and supercedes another, the gods of the old become the demons of the new.

for scrooge: Roger that, dilbert! Tell us what makes you tick, brigit!

that ticking sound you hear, scrooge, is my automatic self-destruct timer. no one has been able to accurately predict just when it will go off. so i live with it. what else can i do?

for greyeyes: Hi Brigit! What makes you smile? What makes you frown?

what makes me smile? .... falling asleep. a cat in my lap. a student reaching for me. being served a grilled portabello mushroom sandwich with home-grown tomatoes and a horshradish mustard sauce. a new toy (and i definitely mean toy, like a giant bottle of bubbles or a wee teddy bear coloured pink/orange sherbet). finding a truly groovy shirt at the thrift store. new shoes! new incense. a cloudy day. discovering a faerie ring of mushrooms in the dewy grass.

what makes me frown? ..... intolerance. ignorance, especially wilful ignorance. fear. violence. abuse of the helpless. bigotry. shame. guilt. the inability to keep a promise. lies.

for heyteach: It's clear you care very much about your work AND that it emotionally involves you (sometimes draining you). What things, if any, would you change about your job?

there are a number of things i would like to change about my job.
first, and most important, i think that more staff, more trained, knowledgeable staff is needed. many of my students, and many i see in our school, would benefit enormously from having one-on-one help. these students are sometimes so complex, so people-avoidant due to past experience, and so difficult to truly understand, that even the good staff to student ratio we have (three staff members to eight students) is insufficient. with some of our kids, it takes weeks to begin to understand their communication patterns, and to make them feel safe enough to use them. then you find the teachers and assistants who are clueless about how to relate to these kids. we try to educate these, but you can lead a horse to water.... still, i would like to see only the best, the most willing to endure, the most loving and openhearted persons doing this work. harsh words and punitive measures, although officially disallowed on my campus, still occur. perhaps we can most charitably attribute these to burnout... but i believe that one person, working with one student, could achieve extraordinary, highly significant breakthroughs in two semesters. i would like to see "gentle teaching" used in every special education classroom, all over this country, by trained educators. we have students sent to us all the year from programs out in the district, students with such severe behaviour problems that no one can handle them. using our methods, we soon find that they are no different from other students. they settle in and start to learn. what these teachers fail to realise is that every behaviour is a communication.

i really could go on, and write a treatise on gentle teaching, but i fear i would my audience. and besides, i'm tired. thank you for asking...

for lldy: You often mention Ireland in your answers and soaps. Were you born in Ireland, or is it your heritage? What fascinates you about that country?

i suppose i must credit my mother for much of my fascination with Eire. as i grew, she read Yeats to me, and incessantly reminded me that we were Irish. she had a few of the old tales, given her by my grandfather. we had upon the wall, in addition to the requisite portraits of the pope, my grandfather, and my half-brothers and i, a representation of St. Patrick. later, the martyred Kennedys would join that gallery. she adored John Kennedy, as did i, but for her, the Irish catholic president represented a triumph i would only later come to understand.

i have read everything i could obtain about Eire, and possess a nice collection of books on it. i am primarily fascinated by the ancient land and its culture, but i am intensely interested in Her struggle for freedom from the yoke of oppression, both in the past and the recent troubles.

i was not born there, you will have gathered, but i do firmly believe that i once was. the tenet of reincarnation explains many things, for me at least.

i have two celtic tattoos, a celtic cross over my desk, the song of amergin hung in my bedroom, and the Irish flag on my wall.

someday, goddess willing, i shall go there. it is the only country i know of that grants a stipend to writers considered worthy, so that they can be free of financial concerns, and commit themselves wholly to their work. in addition, no monies earned from writing is taxed. thus is the bard still honoured there.

for solana: Are you putting together a book of your poetry, your musings, your thoughts? Please say the answer is yes, as you have a gift worth sharing.Rare it is to find one who can turn a phrase like our brigit.. (and fortunate are we you share them freely here.. and truly blessed are those of us who can call you friend)

i very much appreciate you asking. i have been published, but i find that after receiving a few rejection notices, my pathetic excuse for an ego quails at the thought of sending out more of "the children of my heart" to be judged and possibly yet again sent back with a note of dismissal.

breaking into print can be difficult, wearying, and usually offers the promise of much pain before triumph. i don't think i am presently ready for that.

self-publishing is becoming easier and easier, and at least two of my acquaintance have gone that route, only to be picked up by major publishers afterward. in all honesty, i may consider that option.

but the much ballyhooed renaissance in poetry and web publishing notwithstanding, it is an axiom that a poet is forever poor. you may have noticed that, although some of you seem to relate to and enjoy my poetry, you are a small minority. that is the example which proves my point.

i often think that i shall leave it all in a trunk, to be discovered and published after my death, a la emily dickinson.

but for now, i am still between decisions.

at any rate, solana, i thank you for your more than kind words. you have warmed my heart.

for meadow: What lead you to follow a religious path that many believe is evil? I'm just curious about how other people have found the Goddess!! And by the way.... I like shy people, they calm my extroverted personality!

it's such a long story, how i came to follow the path of the Goddess... i think i was born a pagan. my mother used to be aghast, exasperated, and amused at the things i "collected": empty wasp nests, various spent blossoms i found about the place, althea, jasmine, fir cones, fallen rose petals, wisteria blossoms, wild berries, seed pods, twists of bark, shed snakeskins (!), pebbles, mimosa seeds, dead butterflies, cicada shells... i told her that they were "magick". and indeed they were, as i would later discover...

although i loved jesus, i held in my heart a special place for "the Blessed Mother".

as an older teenager, i learned, by accident, how to scry in water and through those coloured flat ovals used now in flower arranging.

a number of years ago, when womyn were questioning patriarchal religion, i was right in there, and found the writings of starhawk; i knew i had found my niche spiritually. but even before that, i was making bundles of seeds, flowers, and leaves. i did not know precisely what i was doing, but it felt right.

of course, there was much more literature to be combed through. but after my divorce, being the contemplative sort i am, and released from the church, i met the Goddess personally through meditation. Her voice was irrefutable, calming, comforting, rejuvenating. i became Her child.

as far as following what others might consider an "evil" path; i have been a nonconformist all my life, and the sheerly genuine experiences i have had have left no room in me for doubt, never mind what others think (or fail to).
i have found the uses of all those seemingly random and inconsequential things i collected as a child. i have found a religious tradition which makes ultimate sense to me.

my only fear is that there are not enough of us, and that we have found Her too late.

for charlesc: It's never too early for Christmas, er, um, Solstice shopping. Which Knowposters would you like to give you gifts, and how would you like those gifts presented? What gifts would you give in return?

*sigh* the word you want, charles, is yule.

from solana - a hug, presented, naturally, in person. and my gift in return would be a reciprocal hug...

from lawboy - one real, unguarded gaze into his eyes. how presented? willfully, openly, unrestrained. my gift in return? the same, of course. i am a great believer in reciprocity.

from darklao - an answer to my question posted in "ask me anything". presented with all the truth and poetry of which he is capable.
my gift in return? hard to determine. i'd have to ask him.

from heyteach and lovell - their continued prayers. presented in whatever manner they might choose.
my gift in return? a spell of protection, cast on midsummer.

from scrooge, obbop, and dilbert - a firm understanding of my (perhaps undue) sensitivity. presented in all sincerity and resolve.
my gift in return? a greater attempt to be neutral and undismayed.

from waterlin - more communication. presented in any form.
my gift in return? the very same.

from meadow, whillow, swillpig, et al - more postings about the Great Mother, and Her designs for us. presented here on kp.
my gift in return? the same again.

from hedges - truce. presented publicly or privately.
my gift in return? to reassure him that i do not hold him personally responsible for the history of Ireland with regards to english occupation.

from you, charles - a silver chalice, filled with the tears your life wrings from you. presented metaphorically.
my gift in return? a japanned box filled with dreams. a silver ring to make you invisible. a golden thimble holding my blood. a book, charles, a book unlike any you have ever come across. a chased, embossed flask of water that never empties. a carpetbag containing a circus. an ostrich plumed quill pen.

for waterlin: is there a poem that best represents your true heart? will you post it?

every poem represents my true heart. i don't have any other way to write. i seldom ponder long over a word or a phrase; they flow out of me, like blood from a mortal wound.

i would be hard-pressed to choose one that best represented my whole self, rather than the parts of myself which comprise most poems. i am a bit afraid that were i ever to pen such a poem, my life would then inhabit it, and i, the corporeal i, would die.

i should love to honour your kind and flattering request, but i really cannot. for this moment, at least, i want to continue to live.

but i promise you i shall go through my notebooks, and should i find something near to filling your petition, i will post it.

again, i must thank you for your praise and kind interest in my poor work. i am more than gratified. thank you.

for swillpig:

i jump on no bandwagons. i was invited here.

the above answer was in response to swillpig's ubiquitous question,"why are you jumping on this bandwagon?"

for hedges: What do you think about wealthy Americans going over to Ireland and buying up rural housing stock as holiday cottages, therefore inflating the prices to such a point, that only a small amount of the local population can afford to buy a place to live in ?

i find it unconscionable. exploitation of that sort is always anathema to me. the same thing happens here, too. the "gentrification" of america's inner cities has been a thorny issue for some time now.

unfortunately, it has become quite fashionable here for the upper middle class to buy up block upon block of older homes to renovate and live in. the real estate prices in these neighbourhoods have often quadrupled, leaving those older folk still in residence with insurmountable tax burdens.

i assume the same principle applies to those far richer americans buying up land and homes in rural Ireland. the consequent displacement of large numbers of the Irish people is a crime, in my opinion.
i see little difference in this and the plantation instituted so long ago by elizabeth I and cromwell. the end result is the same.

i think it intolerable.

for savia: May the light shine where it is needed most. What does this mean to you?

may the light shine where it is needed most. for me, this means several things. first, i see it as a prayer, a prayer that we find within us the strength and clarity of purpose to bring the light to where it is needed, as we find these dark places, day by day. for we are the bearers of divine light, always and everywhere. it is through us that the light of eternity radiates, if only we will let it. i know you have had the life-changing experience of feeling that golden light emanating from you, to touch another. we all have. it is part of our task, as immortal beings, to become clear enough, willing enough, to allow that light to radiate from us at all times.

the other meaning which comes to me is that this clear light of divinity, of eternity, always and ever shines where it is needed. we, trapped in time and space, are simply not cognisant of it. so there is much that appears to be dark, shadowed, painful, tragic. we see these things not as She sees them, but through a glass, darkly. it is only pure faith which will allow us to understand that there is meaning and purpose behind every event, every life, however terrible it may seem. this does not exempt us from our responsibility to attempt to bring light to these misfortunes. after all, that is our primary reason for being in these bodies, at this time.

for ingrid: Brigit, I vaguely remember reading that you have children? Do you have a family and can you tell us a little bit about them? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

i am sorry to skirt your question, but it is exceptionally difficult for me to talk about my children. i had two. now i have one.

where do i see myself in five years? another tough one. i am not a goal oriented person, and therefore i make no plans nor do i attempt to visualise where i will be at any given time. to use a worn but time-honoured phrase, i "go with the flow." i want from life what life chooses to give me. i discovered long ago that if you make plans, you will be dissappointed. so i don't!

for babytisa: Hi :) I am not of the Wiccan religion but I find that I am drawn to it, in some ways. I've studied it, share in many of the beliefs, have read many books, find myself looking at everything on the net that I can find, etc. Why do you think this is when I'm perfectly satisfied with my faith and beliefs in christianity? Also, what is your favorite website that you could share with me? Mine is Wisteria's Realm.

wicca possesses a powerful fascination for many. i think that this is partly due to the undeniable presence of the living, reawakened Goddess. She it is upon whom you stand. She it is who provides everything necessary for us to live, love, and enjoy life. almost all of western culture has forgotten that taking joy from our day to day lives is essential.

the judeo-christian paradigm, in which man is given dominion over all the earth, and over women and children as well, has brought us all to the very crumbling brink of extinction. i believe that many of us subconsciously recognise this, understanding that the patriarchal world is a failure, and so we search for alternatives.

wicca teaches reverence for the Great Mother, Earth, and for every soul embodied within flesh; man, woman, child. there is a co-equality within the craft that reaches back to the days when women were sacred childbearers, not the weak-minded progenitors of sin, nor the vessels of vile temptation.

i believe that wicca has experienced such a powerful resurgence because Gaia sees it as our last hope. Gaia being the name for what some scientists are coming to conclude as the true consciousness of the Earth, including all Her inhabitants.
a new, Earth-based religion may be Her last ditch attempt to save us and all of the life now on the planet, Her grand experiment.
wicca fulfills these requirements, and is spreading exponentially.

as we are all united in consciousness with Her, this would explain, in part, your newfound fascination with this faith. She needs as many of us as She can find, to honour and revere Her, and to help save ourselves.

continue to explore, dear. find out all you can.

for Lawboy: If I could let you soar like an eagle, run as a cheetah after prey, or swim the depths effortlessly like a great whale, which would you choose, and why?

ah, Lawboy, believe it or no, this choice was almost a tossup. i think that traversing the great oceans of the world would offer almost as much freedom as wheeling high above the earth...

but i would have to choose flight. i have so often dreamed i was flying... i cannot imagine anything more freeing. the dream of humankind has always been flight, from as far back as icarus. or farther. "to escape the bonds of earth..."

to feel gravity slip loose my limbs, and to rise, rise, until all the world is naught but a speck; not even a memory.

why is this my choice? because flight seems to me to be the penultimate freedom. what in any fantasy could be finer than to lift into the sky and ride the air currents?
to see everything as a whole, undivided, untroubled, pure and serene? no borders, no boundaries...

no words can express how i would love to fly.

for kilnamar: How do you continue when the pain of life is great? when shards of heaven pierce you and dark hands grasp? How do you continue when life is too much?

how do i continue when the pain of life is too much? i write. i weep. i bathe and take to my bed.
i ask for help: from my deity, from my friends, from my future self, and finally, all else failing, from professionals. it is no secret that i am, at times, suicidally depressed. when i am so far beyond the pale that only men in uniform and women in hushed shoes, with their keys and their medicinal concoctions, can bring me back. i am no blanche, but there are times when i must depend upon the kindness of strangers.

for lounds: brigit, from the answers you give, and the soaps you post, I gather that you have lived a life from which you have learned much, and like myself many of this lessons were not always learned the eay way. What was one lesson that you learned that was pivotal in changing who you were/are or the direction you were taking in your life?

ah, lounds, only one?

if i must pick one lesson... it would be that when love comes to me, i must never refuse it. neither fear, nor disbelief, nor propriety must be allowed to prevent me from loving those the Goddess has put in my way to love.

loss? i have endured more losses in love than i can count, yet still i give my heart away again and again.

the sneers and jeers of an ignorant society?
o, those i have taken as badges of courage, medals of honour.

the pangs of love unrequited? mere growing pains.

jealousies? puzzles to be unraveled.

no. i made a promise, a vow, long ago; too long ago to be counted as time, to love. to love everything, and everyone. if i must do it a soul at a time, or even two or three souls at a time, still, i shall do it. and no pain, no fear, no rules will stop me.

to deny my love is to deny myself, and lose what i have learned.

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