Brighde's CaveBrighde’s Cave is a delightful book by Isabella Weber, who dedicated as a Brighde Priestess in 2007. At its heart is a very personal meditation on the life of Brighde, her arrival in Ireland and her eventual death. Isabella weaves her story from an eclectic mix of tales told by ancient firesides around Brighde’s Isles. But, at its heart the story is a moving tale of Isabella’s own bereavement and loss as her loving and supportive mother died in 2010. It is here that the story shines with love and beauty. A story of delight in a loving family, mother, father, grandmother, sisters. The wonder of a child’s imagination evoked in her own secret world. The first stirrings of a deep emotional intelligence. The joy of loving and caring for others. The discovery of beauty in the natural world. The difficult transition from child to woman is handled with great tenderness and meaningful ritual. So speaking of Brighde’s first moontime she can write, “She would always remember that night and all the kindness and love from all her sisters and her mother and father.”

Brighde’s secret cave is a safe place, a place to grow, a gateway to new worlds and experiences. Brighde is reborn from this cave and like us all leaves home, falls in love, experiences her first utter bliss and surprises herself as a loving parent of a newborn baby girl. Meanwhile at her parental home there is that sense of emptiness and loss we have all felt when a beloved daughter leaves home to follow her own path.

The subject of loss is sensitively explored around tales of Brighde’s own loss of her mother, land and lover. “Every night before she went to sleep Brighde would send love to her mother and thank her in her prayers, as well as … all whom she shared her childhood with.” The importance of tender loving support is explored along with beautiful images of how the world could be with the Goddess at its heart. A child’s secret place becomes for the woman an inner place of the heart where communion is possible with all those whom we have loved.

Around this central story there are 19 ways to personally connect with Brighde and a series of guided meditations to connect with her mythical animals. The book ends with the making of healing oils, details of the Priestess of Brighde training at Glastonbury and a number of personal contributions from some of the Priestesses who have completed that training. Altogether there is a great deal here that will appeal to anyone who has been touched by Brighde or who is coping with loss.

Paul Williment

July 2013

"Brighde's Cave" is available from Amazon