Crafting and Creating; Photography and Poetry
We celebrated Imbolc at my Holt last weekend. I especially asked folks for lamb, dairy, and egg dishes for the potluck feast. To that end, I cooked a lamb and chickpea stew for the main dish. We also prepared some rice to serve it atop. The stew turned out amazing, everyone raved, and my hoped for leftovers were nonexistent. I need to make this again. Soon.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
500 g diced lamb
1 (425 g) can crushed tomatoes
1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
1 (300 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon, juice of
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
fresh ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until the onion is tender.
- Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute or until aroma is released.
- Add the lamb and brown well, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the tomatoes, stock and juice.
- Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the herbs and pepper and serve.
Moderation in all things leads to wellbeing in spirit, body, and mind. Healers discern where we are out of balance and judiciously use their skills to bring us back to health. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
mending minds, bodies, and souls
cleansing away pollution
walk with me, Healer
The hearth fire flames at the heart of the home. As we each worship at our own hearths, we feed the flame of devotion and sacrifice, both without and within. Tending the hearth fire is the most basic act of piety. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
keeper of the flames
over our homes and loved ones
walk with me, dear Brighid
Like pilgrims who travel to sacred places in search of answers, as we travel through this life we gain wisdom if we actively seek to learn from our experiences. As Mistress of the Sacred Wells, Brighid bestows the waters of wisdom upon those who seek her blessings. (Diane “Emerald”)
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit St Mary’s Chapel and St Mary’s Well in Newcastle upon Tyne in England. Remnants of offerings, candles, and flowers remained at both locations. My sister sacrificed yarn from her scarf so that I could add my offering tied to the tree above the well.
No matter how strong, well-armed, and fully-trained a warrior may be, they would be unable to fight without courage. Like warriors, we all face situations in our own lives that inspire fear, and we must have the courage to overcome that fear and do what needs to be done. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
wearing the warrior’s cloak
wit sharpened by whetstone
watching throughout the night
wielding spear in defense
warding down the hedgerows
weeding out weaknesses
walk with me, Lady Brighid
Poets see beyond their narrow, everyday lives. They have the vision to step outside of themselves and channel the pure essence of inspiration. Their dreams of perfection beautify the world as they manifest in artistic expression. Art moves our souls, showing us the interconnectedness of all life and helping us to understand our place in the cosmos. (Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz)
Goddess of Poetry, walk with me, Brighid
As a goddess of fire and inspiration, it seems natural that Brighid presides over the seemingly magical art and craft of forging beautiful and functional objects from raw metals. She bestows her blessing on smiths and craftspeople of all kinds. In a metaphorical sense, when you open yourself up to Brighid’s touch, she can forge and shape you in ways you may never have imagined. See how working with Brighid the Smith will temper and transform you.
– Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz Egelhoff, on behalf of Sassafras Grove, ADF
Crafting integrity in life
Lady of the Forge, Divine Blacksmith, walk with me, Brighid
This aspect coalesced mainly around the Wiccan tradition of Imbolc being a time to celebrate initiations and rededications. As purification plays an important part in Imbolc, and in February in general with its Roman associations, holding initiations and rededications at this time certainly make sense. Brighid, as a goddess of both fire and water, is perfectly suited to serve as Initiator and to hear our oaths and vows.
-Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz Egelhoff, on behalf of Sassafras Grove, ADF
beginning a new journey
each step a discovery
walk with me, my Goddess Brighid
This weekend, I celebrated Imbolc with friends. I created and led my first group ritual, at my house. Mildly terrifying, but with good friends to keep me grounded. We ended up with nine folks, a proper number for a celebration of Brighid, I thought. Ritual, feast, and games to celebrate the middle of winter, the growing light, and the returning spark of spring.
This aspect comes mainly from early stories of the Irish saint of the same name having served as foster mother to the Christ-child. While historically impossible, these stories show the importance of fosterage in Irish culture, which far predated the arrival of Christianity on the island, and very possibly similar stories and qualities in the goddess from whom Saint Brigid’s cult assumed so much.
— Diane “Emerald” Bronowicz Egelhoff, on Behalf of Sassafras Grove, ADF
Brighid, Foster Mother
adopting us as your own
your divine children
you watch over the seeker
behold, teachers appear
nurturing and mentoring
your presence is felt
instilling in us
the virtues found in ghosti
the strands of community
binding us as one
not all family is blood
holds the web of my clan strong
Walk with me, Foster Mother
drinking calming tea
after disastrous events
This happened this past summer, at a gathering at a friend’s house. One of the other women crashed her car in the driveway. First responders, fire trucks, rescue trucks, ambulance, commotion and uproar. After the ambulance left, three of us sat in the living room, drinking tea, waiting for the shakes to slow, before journeying into the city to the hospital. (She’s recovered now, had a couple broken ribs, more likely from the airbag than anything else.)
I am partaking in Sassafras Grove‘s “Brighid Novena” this year.
For many years Sassafras Grove members have engaged in a tradition of The Brighid “Novena,” and once again we are inviting our community, both local and online, to participate with us. For each of the nine days before our Brigantia rite, we each focus on one of the nine aspects of Brighid we honor and work with in Sassafras Grove. Activities for the day can include saying aspect-appropriate prayers, making offerings, doing crafts, etc.
your guidance essential
unlock my potential
walk with me, Brighid
Slow Cooker Lime Chicken with Rice
One of my goals (not resolutions) for the new year is to try cooking some of the hundreds of recipes I have pinned on Pinterest.
This one succeeded! The only alteration I made to the directions, I shredded the chicken when I added the rice, and mixed it all together. Not as pretty to plate, put easier to pack for lunches. Still tasty even after the fourth meal.
1 1/4 lbs chicken breasts
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups uncooked instant rice
- place chicken in slow cooker; pour in lime juice and chicken broth. add garlic, thyme, pepper, and butter.
- cover, cook on low 8 – 10 hours. stir in rice during last 15 minutes.