August 3rd, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

The Sword and the Leper

In the past few days I did a goddess spread about Bridget, but I pause for a while for a reading alongside this story about Bridget (as a Celtic saint here), to see if this kind of readings work. Besides that, I could not get into the spread. The questions felt far away to me, and the answers as well. What I do now is based on the idea that each person in the story (or even a attribute in the story) represents an attitude in me. If it does not work or bores me, I’ll stop immediately. 

The Sword and the Leper

Brigid’s father was a wealthy chieftain, living in a large, luxurious castle; and in its cellar was a vast larder filled with fine food. Each day the young Brigid took from the larder as much food as she could carry, and gave it to the poor and the sick. This generosity angered her father, and eventually he decided to try and sell her as a slave. So he grabbed her by the arm, and threw her into the chariot. He then rode toward the castle of a neighboring chieftan.
When they arrived at the castle gate, Brigid’s father unbuckled his sword, as a sign that he came in peace, and he left the sword in the chariot. He then entered the castle, leaving Brigid outside. A few minutes later a leper appeared, and begged Brigid to help him. She gave him her fathter’s sword.
In the meantime her father was negotiating a price for her, persuading the other chieftain that she was a diligent and honest worker. Eventually the two men reached an agreement, and emerged from the castle. When her father saw that his sword was missing, he knew at ones that Brigid had given it away. Immediately he flew into a rage, and in his wrath he started to beat her. The other chieftain intervened, and asked Brigid why she had stolen her father’s property. Brigid replied: “If I had the power, I should take all his wealth, and give it to Christ’s brothers and sisters – to whom it really belongs.”
The chieftain laughed, and said to Brigid’s father: “I am afraid your daughter is too honest for me. You’ll have to keep her”. So by her own kindness Brigid was saved from slavery. 

The first question, The Chieftain: 

The chieftain wants to sell his daughter Brigid, because she gave each day as much food to the poor and the sick as she could carry. Who is the chieftain in me who wants to sell his generous daughter?

The card that I have pulled is Three of Quills (Three of Swords) from the Tarot of Jane Austen. Pictured is Jane Benett from Pride and Prejudice, reading a letter by Caroline Bingley. She cries because she thinks her love for Charles Bingley is not returned. 


Hmmm, it is late now, and I have done tons of thinking today. I wrote a little text for a flyer about Candlemas (one has to do these things a long time before they are due). Mistakenly I thought it had to be ready this week. It did not. It had to be handed in on August 15. Ah well, it is finished now.

Anyway, I need to let this card sink in a for a while. Hopefully I understand it tomorrow a little better. 

Story: Robert van de Weyer, Celtic Parables, John Hunt Publishing, 1999.