I’ve made a habit over the past couple months of lighting a tealight on my kitchen windowsill above the sink before starting the morning cooking and getting into the day. After my son wakes up and we head downstairs, I turn on the lights, turn on the heaters, and head to the kitchen, where as a homemaker I spend a great deal of my day. Before the coffee gets brewed, breakfast cooked, and dishes washed, I light the candle and pray to Brigid, Frigga, and Eir.
In August, I shared a morning devotional that worked well for me for a little over a month, but which was too ceremonial for me to maintain through a rough patch during which my son and I were temporarily displaced. When we regained our home and some normalcy in our lives, and I was able to reclaim my role as homemaker, I erected a simple little shrine on my kitchen windowsill (previously solely a home to plants) to Brigid, and the practice of praying to her in the morning developed organically.
This was valuable in developing a deeper relationship with her. I’ve never had much in the way of a direct communication line with Brigid, but that’s okay — not every relationship with deity has to be direct and ecstatic. However, as I began to develop a relationship with Frigga (which is much more direct, though that directness waxes and wanes), I found it very valuable to pray to both Brigid and Frigga at this kitchen shrine, a practice I have not received any negative responses from them about — and indeed, any divination I’ve done during such interactions with both goddesses has been positive. (I have no trouble hearing and observing omens when the gods dislike what I’m doing, so if they ever object to being honored together, I’ll be sure to cease my activity. So far, no smiting.) There was much syncretism and intermarriage between the Celtic and Germanic tribes, after all, and many similarities in practices and philosophies.
On days when I’ve struggled with serving and taking care of my family due to health issues (endometriosis being the most aggressive and debilitating of these), I’ve turned to Eir — and when I have done so, she hasn’t minced words about self-care. She is more direct than any other being I’ve encountered about the need to take care of one’s own physical and ultimately mental health in addition to taking care of that of others. When my husband is unwell, when my children are sick, and especially when we all are unwell, I still need to perform often-times overlooked but extremely important activities: eating proper balanced meals (not just stealing quick bites while moving through the kitchen), bathing (not considering a shower a luxury), sleeping (not thinking I need to make up for “lost time” when my body and mind need what rest they can get while co-existing with a breastfeeding toddler).
I view Brigid, Frigga, and Eir as having three unique though at times overlapping relationships with the hearth-fire. Brigid kindles the triple-flames of inspiration and creativity (in our minds), industriousness and competency (in our hands), and love and frith (in our hearts) — these three form what I conceive of as the hearth-fire; Frigga keeps and tends the hearth-fire and these virtues, and enforces them; and Eir relies on and draws from the hearth-fire. All three embody these virtues and can inspire and aid us in all things related to the hearth-fire, but they all have their specialties, preferences, and nuances, and I find it valuable and have felt the call to honor all three.
May Brigid, Frigga, and Eir bless your hearth, heart, head, and hands this day.