The tarot card reader told me I needed to change my perspective. She told me I was looking at it all wrong, and that if I would just tap into the well of power that I already knew existed, things would be fine. She was not the first to say this to me.
I went to Lilydale many years ago, a Spiritualist community in south western New York. The medium I saw told me I was psychic. At first, I thought maybe this was a gimmick she used on folks, after all, I’d never had a reading before. But then she asked me if I just knew things. I do, all the time. She told me there were spirits there wanting to speak through me, not just to me, but I couldn’t hear them because I wasn’t quite in tune enough to their frequency. She told me I was the most psychically in-tune person In the group I was visiting with, and I should consider studying…maybe even there at Lilydale someday. I assumed, still, this was a ruse of some sort…a way to drum up money for the community. But at the end of the day, no one else in my party was told they had a gift; just me.
Then, Salem last week. The reader was on the money about everything, so I’m going to assume she’s right about perspective, too. I wrote a piece in my Patreon about how the Salem Witch Trials affected me when I was young, and how it was difficult for me to understand why I was so deeply saddened over something that happened hundreds of years before I was born. And not like how I was over learning about a war, or even learning about the Irish potato famine with which at least my heritage identified. No, it was the Salem Witch Trials in 3rd grade that made me cry unexplained tears. A couple of years later, my parents and I took a vacation to New England and went to Salem, and I remember my excitement and joy and how I gobbled up every morsel of information presented to me. I wanted to see and do everything, but we were only there for a couple of hours. I do recall a live reenactment of Bridget Bishop’s trial…which leads me into my name.
I was named after St. Brigid of Kildare. I knew no Brigid’s other than myself, though a couple of “T’s” (that’s what I call the “Bridget’s,’) crossed my path. When small, I loved that my name was similar to one of the “witches,” so when my parents suggested we go to the reenactment I was delighted. Then, in high school, I read a book one day, on Celtic folklore…just for funsies. What a rabbit hole that turned out to be! I discovered that there was not just a masculine god, but a feminine goddess…many of them in fact…but the main one, the goddess of the country of my ancestors? BRIGID. With a damn “D!”
Naturally, I needed all the information on that immediately, so off I went to the library where I learned all the things as a child. It was right around this time that I learned that St. Brigid of Kildare may have been a real person, but it is far more likely she is someone that the early church in Ireland used to appropriate the goddess form Celtic belief structures to lure folks to Catholicism, which is of course exactly something the Church would do. So, from that point on, I started the practice of remembering who shares my name when I am feeling powerless: a might powerful goddess.
The tarot card reader told me I needed to change my perspective, and I have. I won’t lie, I have felt a complete shift in my perception of the world in the last few days, which has made me question many things. Part of me, the part that is trained to silence myself, says these are all silly thoughts and to pay them no mind. But the part of me that knows, the way I knew where our car was parked that time it was stolen, or how I knew that there was a spirit talking to me when I was five, or how I knew that my best friend was throwing me a surprise party for my 16th birthday, or how I knew Mark was going to propose….in that way, I know-there is indeed a greater power within, and perhaps it is time to cultivate it.