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Monday, February 4, 2013

The Gift of an Hour of Joy- Brigid’s Cauldron of Creativity

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.


  1. Wow, what a fantastic post! Even though I'm booking up all my time to get ready to move, maybe I can still put in an hour a week to do something fun and creative and non-threatening. I'm going to think about what I could put in a bowl. I actually have a just-right little iron cauldron, but it's in storage in Oregon and as such is not available. So it will be a bowl. :)

    I look forward to hearing what you do.

  2. I love this idea! I also make creativity part of my work, but I try to regularly have a project going that is for me or for a family member. I dye and spin yarn for money but I knit or crochet just for fun. It helps me strike a balance. I also love to quilt/sew and that's supposed to be one of my "for fun only" activities but I all too often don't get around to it. I should put little sewing projects in my cauldron!

    1. A couple of my coven members are seriously into fiber--spinning, crocheting, knitting...we're probably going to do a little of that as a group this winter. I have my grandmother's old spinning wheel sitting upstairs. And I've been thinking of trying to learn to crochet again. I did it when I was younger, but I was never very good at it :-)

  3. I do much better with a drop spindle, then I do with a wheel.
    I find time to work in some hand~crafts, the hardest thing for me to find time for, is studying. After working all day and raising a grandson in the evenings, when I sit down for reading time, I fall asleep.
    The perils of being a Crone

    1. I tried a drop spindle and was hopeless with it, but some of my friends are quite good.

      And I laughed at the Crone comment :-)

  4. What a lovely idea! It is so important to take time to allow some creative energy, and this is an idea that keeps coming to me in the past few weeks, through one avenue or another. I think the universe may be trying to tell me something...

    I've been miserably busy over the past six months or so and have hardly taken any time for creative endeavors, but your post did remind me of one great creative task I give myself frequently: cooking meals with my loved ones. Instead of making a simple frozen dinner or eating out, I have taken the time to create something new out of raw ingredients, and doing so with friends and family makes it a nice social activity, too. Just my two cents.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful suggestion!

    1. It's true--cooking can be quite creative. I love coming up with fun new dishes to serve the witchy gang at our post-ritual feasts. Luckily, most of us are good cooks, so we always have a great spread!

  5. I like this, Deborah. I struggle with creative-time often, and recently realized that yes, writing is a lot of work! Non-fiction in particular, for me, since I don't write fiction and haven't touched poetry in years, although songwriting, for me, is very creative. Then there's the craft room...
    Anyway, thanks for a great post and a great idea, I too am a lover of Brigid.