I wrote this post several years ago, but everything that it contains is still true, so I wanted to repost it here. ❤
I hope you don’t mind, but I wanted to talk about what exactly it means to tend Brigid’s sacred flame. It’s not just lighting a candle and keeping it lit all day, there’s a lot more to it than that. Atleast for me there is.
When I first started tending the flame, probably close to a year ago now, that was what I did. I simply lit a candle and went about my day, really doing nothing else special to mark the day. For awhile, as I got used to the routine, this was fine. Even though I’ve been told that it’s okay to keep the candle lit for only as long as you can actually watch it, I wanted to find a way to keep it lit all day–so I found battery powered candles with flickering flames and used those. But still, even though I was able to keep the candle going all day, I knew the day wasn’t what it was supposed to be.
Flames and fire mean many things to different people. It can mean passion, love, anger, heat, warmth, life, a spark of creativity, destruction, death, healing…and the list could go on and on. To me, those things that I just listed are what fire is and means. It’s not just the physical candle flame flickering in front of you, it’s also the fire of passion that burns between two lovers and that spark of inspiration that compels someone to create something.
If you know anything at all about Brigid you know She is highly connected to fire–She carries a flame with Her wherever She goes, held only in the palm of Her hand. That flame has so much meaning, it could be so many different things. The flame could be the spark of a new life, a soul, that is about to be reborn. It could be an idea She’s about to give to someone to birth into creation. It could contain the perfect temperature to burn away illnesses and hurts and past wounds that have yet to be healed. It could even be that tiny little spark that flies between two lovers when they first meet across a crowded room, or when they are alone late night and admiring eachother’s beauty.
That is the flame I tend. It is represented by the physical candle flame I keep lit for a solid 24 hours. When I tend the flame, I don’t just keep that candle lit–I write and honor that gift, I try to let my partner know how much I love them or how much they mean to me, if I’ve done something that needs apologizing for I do it, I create whatever I feel compelled to create.
To me, that is what flamekeeping entails. Not just keeping a simple candle lit on a special altar used only for that purpose. It’s honoring Her gifts to me, tending those things, the special skills She has given me, the delights that set my heart aflame. In doing that, I honor Her.