Celtic

St. Brigid’s Day

I am not a religious person.  I wouldn’t put myself in that odd “spiritual, but not religious” group.  I guess, I just don’t faith in anything anymore.  But today is St Brigid’s Day.  For the Celts this was also known as Imbolc, and for some reason, the first day of spring.  Seems a bit early for spring to me.  I guess they were wishing for spring like weather.

Brigid was, before the early Roman Christians subverted her into a saint, worshiped as a goddess by the Celtic people.  I’m not going to get into the history of Brigid, either as a goddess or a Christian saint.  But from what I’ve read, she must have enjoyed her beer.  There is a wonderful story of how she turned water into beer.  And for me personally, that’s much better than turning anything into wine.  The only thing better would have been turning the water into a nice malt whisky.  But that’s not how the story goes.

The story goes that one day, while working in a leper colony, she discovered to her horror that they had run out of beer.

It’s important to understand that in those times, centuries ago, beer was consumed on a daily basis as a source of hydration and nourishment.

In any case, back in those times many of the water sources close to villages and towns were often polluted to the point where consumption would likely result in illness or, worse still, death.

Alcohol offered an (almost) germ free alternative and was almost as good as any meal of the era.

So, to be faced with a beer drought was nothing short of disastrous.

Not that it mattered all that much to St Brigid.

Channeling a little divine intervention, she answered the prayers of the thirsty lepers under her charge by turning the water they used to bathe into not just any beer, but a genuinely brilliant beer that was enjoyed by one and all.

Her water-based exploits don’t end there either.

Another part of the legend says St Brigid also succeeded in turning dirty bathwater into beer for the clerics visiting the leper colony where she was based.

There’s even a tale of her supplying some eighteen churches with enough beer to last from Holy Thursday through to the end of Easter despite only having one barrel to her name.

Whether fact or fiction, one thing appears undeniable: St Brigid liked beer.

In any case, her legend lives on through St Brigid’s Day and literature like the famous 10th century poem that speaks of her efforts in giving “a lake of beer to God.” Amen to that.

https://www.irishpost.com/news/story-st-brigid-turned-bathwater-beer-178498

Beat that (Saint) Patrick.

And here’s the poem the above post mentioned.  I would also like to point out that wifey posted this poem many years ago over on FarceBook, I mean Facebook, and a shit storm followed.  Several folks of a much more conservative religious view than ours took much umbrage at the mention of beer and god in the same article.

It would appear that these folks didn’t seem to understand that in the 10th century or so, when the poem is said to have written, the water wasn’t fit to drink as the post quoted above mentions.  Some folks just don’t get it.  </sigh>

 I'd like to give a lake of beer to God.
 I'd love the heavenly
 Host to be tippling there
 For all eternity.
  
 I'd love the men of Heaven to live with me,
 To dance and sing.
 If they wanted, I'd put at their disposal
 Vats of suffering.
  
 White cups of love I'd give them
 With a heart and a half;
 Sweet pitchers of mercy I'd offer
 To every man.
  
 I'd make Heaven a cheerful spot
 Because the happy heart is true.
 I'd make the men contented for their own sake.
 I'd like Jesus to love me too.
  
 I'd like the people of heaven to gather
 From all the parishes around.
 I'd give a special welcome to the women,
 The three Mary’s of great renown.
  
 I'd sit with the men, the women and God
 There by the lake of beer.
 We'd be drinking good health forever
 And every drop would be a prayer.

A blessed Imbolc to everyone!

Peace,
B

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Skeeter’s Family

16 April 1746

Is that a date that brings up any images in your mind?  For fans of Outlander it should, as well as for the Scots and those (like me) of Scottish decent.

Well over two and a half centuries after the event, the Battle of Culloden, fought on 16 April 1746, still means many things to many people. To Scottish expatriates, no matter how many times removed, it is an emotional touchstone to their Scottish identity and commonly regarded as the opening act of the epic tragedy of the Highland Clearances; to those with nationalist inclinations it is held up as an example of England’s terrible maltreatment of its northern neighbour; to Unionists it is seen as the final gasp of a divisive movement hell-bent on returning Britain to monarchical despotism; to romantics it marks the end of one of those great lost causes, pitching the Highland underdog against the might of the Hanoverian war machine.

Culloden; The History and Archealogy of the Last Clan Battle – Tony Pollard 2009
Plaque on the cairn on the battlefield

Wifey and I were able to visit the battlefield in May of 2019.  Here are a few pictures we took while there.  For a battle of only 40 minutes or so, the effects were devastating on the Scots way of life.  I will not even attempt to write about the whys and wherefores of this event.  Many folks have studied and written about this battle with more knowledge than I; they can carry the day. 

Some sources for you;

Wikipedia (I use this resource simply because it is available in so many languages. Not for its accuracy.)

Culloden: why truth about battle for Britain lay hidden for three centuries

National Trust for Scotland

If you wish to read my posts from our trip to Scotland, start here. Or jump to our visit to the Culloden Battlefield. It was a very emotional day for me, epsecially as i poured out a dram of whisky at the Clan Campbell marker.

This lovely tune may (or may not) have been written about the battle, I’ll let you decide.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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It’s Samhain Again!

Or for the new world folks, Halloween.

Once again, I will be my usual psychotic self for Halloween. I have saved a ton of money this way. I don’t have to buy a costume. Let’s face it, psychotic folks looks just like ordinary folks. We blend it quite easily. That is, until someone hits that trigger button. Then all bets are off!

Instead I’ll post some pictures from the past years.

This is from 1983. That’s son-the-elder that Wifey is holding. I bet if I quit shaving my beard would be the grey now!
Son-the-elder, 1986.

I can’t seem to find any pictures of son-the-younger in costume. But I do have his daughters all Halloweened up.

But we will always do a Jack O’Lantern.

Son-the-younger and his wee bonnie lasses did the carving this year.

Even the computers are getting into the act!

How are you celebrating the day this year?

(Previous Samhain posts are here, here, and here.)

Peace,
B

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