The 1998 Brideog

As part of our Imbolc celebrations/rituals, a small group of us (Fox, Rob Henderson, Marae Price, Chris Ottolini and Annette Gabriel) reenacted a traditional Irish custom. The biddies (the name for these traveling Imbolc "carolers") visited the homes of a few Grove members on the evening of February 5th. We brought along the corn dolly of Brid that the Men's Group had made a few weeks earlier. (It was traditional for the men to make the dolly and for the women to make the bed for her to lie in on Imbolc night.) When the recipient of our "blessing" opened the door, we barged right in, singing:

What Do You Do When the Brideog Shows Up?

What do you do when the Brideog shows up? (x3)
Early in the evening

Open the door and let 'em in (x3)
Early in the evening

Give 'em a hug and greet them brightly (x3)
Early in the evening

Sober 'em up with a cup of coffee (x3)
Early in the evening

Hear the biddies sing and clap along (x3)
Early in the evening

Say it sounds great even if it doesn't (x3)
Early in the evening

Treat 'em all well and Brid will bless you (x3)
Early in the evening

While Fox held the dolly, Annette then read:

Invocation to Brid

Bright Brid, our Queen
Seen as Guardian of our home
Dome to found
Round all four walls
Halls and rooms
Looms, spindles, yarn
Barn, cattle, sheep
Asleep or awake
Baking or mending
Bending or stretching
Fetching for a guest
At rest or at rise
Wise-woman and midwife
Life you bring forth
North, east, south, west
Best at all arts
Part never from our kin
In need or in wealth
Health-keeper be near
Year after year and a day
Say we, "Welcome here"
Dear lady day and night
Bright Brid our queen

Fox then carried the dolly around the home as Marae read:

House Blessing

Brid bless this house,
From site to stay,
From beam to wall,
From end to end,
From ridge to basement,
From balk to roof-tree,
From found to summit,
Found and summit.

It was traditional for the biddies to demand some kind of food before they would leave. We weren't quite so rude as that, but we did ask for non-perishable food items from each place we stopped, which will be donated to a local charity.

After the "ransom" was paid, the biddies left, singing the traditional SLG song:

Hail to the Goddess Ana

Hail to the goddess Ana
Hail to the god Manannan
Hail, hail to Aren, Danu,
Brid, Lugh and Bel

Hail to the goddess Ana
Hail to the god Manannan
Hail and be welcome here
By fire, tree and well