We just finished celebrating Imbolc, so I have been thinking a bit about Brigid, the Celtic goddess who is most commonly associated with the Sabbat. Brigid is a triple fire goddess, known for her patronage of the fires of the forge, the fires of the hearth, and the fires of creativity. In the middle of cold winter, all that warmth is truly welcome!
It’s the creativity part that’s my focus today. After all, creativity is important—it feeds the soul and nourishes the spirit. One might even argue that it is one of the elements that makes us human. Certainly a spark of creativity makes us more well rounded people, and allows us to express our inner selves, or to relax and let go a little.
The problem is, many of us don’t take the time to be creative. We have all those things to do: people depending on us, jobs that won’t wait, work, cooking, cleaning, kids or animals or significant others making demands on our time and energy. Sometimes creativity feels a little too much like playing hooky. We don’t have time to just stop and have fun.
Or do we? I think it’s vital to feed our own fires, or in the end, we burn out and don’t have anything to give to anyone. (And if you can’t do it any other way, try sharing the hour with your family, and have everyone do something creative!)
I’m as guilty of this as most people are. Don’t get me wrong—I do creative things all the time. After all, I make part of my living from writing and jewelry making, both creative endeavors. The problem here is that they ARE part of my living, and hence, work, not play. I enjoy doing them both, but because they’re work, they don’t really count as relaxation and down time. Creativity needs, in part, to be an escape from the rest of our lives. So I’ve decided to make the time to do something else occasionally. Something creative that isn’t work. Something…dare I say it…fun.
Here’s what I’m going to do, and I’m hoping a few of you will try it to, and come back here to tell me if it works for you.
I’m using a small cast iron cauldron, since the cauldron is one of Brigid’s symbols, but you could use any bowl or dish you happen to have handy. Or even treat yourself to something new and special, just for this.
In the cauldron, I am going to put a number of slips of paper. Each one of them is going to have the name of some form of creative activity that I enjoy. I might even put in a few that I’ve been meaning to try out, and haven’t gotten to (you know—because I was too busy WORKING). My cauldron slips are going to include things like the following: paint a picture, write a poem, learn a chord on the guitar, learn to spin, learn to crochet (again), sew something, put on music and dance for no reason. There might even be a few options that are a little less creative, but more about just relaxing: take a bath with a book, meditate, do a picture puzzle.
The main point is that I will be gifting myself with a space in time that isn’t about work, or achieving something concrete, or pleasing someone else. Brigid’s cauldron will give me the gift of time spent at play, something many of us forget to do as we get older.
Your cauldron may have completely different thing written on its slips of paper, depending on which creative things excite you: journaling, drawing, knitting, singing, playing a musical instrument, decorating things around the house—whatever makes you happy.
I’m going to start by committing myself to an hour, once a week. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a start. And you can do that too, I’m sure. One hour a week, as a gift to yourself. You’re worth it. Don’t believe me? Just ask Brigid, and I’m sure she’d say the same.
And if you feel like it, I’d love it if you come back here and tell me what things you’ve put on the papers in your cauldron—and then tell me what you ended up doing and how it made you feel.
Let’s all dive into Brigid’s cauldron of creativity together, and let Her fire spark a flame in our own spirits…no matter how cold it might be outside.