Episode 1

Conspiring With Brigit this Imbolc, with Kate Chadbourne | Ep 1

Published on: 24th January, 2022

My guest Kate Chadbourne is a singer, harper, and storyteller, an award-winning songwriter and poet, a scholar and teacher of Irish language and folklore with a PhD from Harvard, and a beloved performer at venues throughout New England.  Kate is also the founder of The Bardic Academy, a school for writers, musicians, singers, and young scholars. 

Learn more about Kate as a performer, teacher, editor, and guide.

Fadó Fadó in Éireann…

In celebration of the Celtic festival of Imbolc, Kate offers us two tales of Brigit, Ireland’s patron goddess and saint. The first story describes Brigit as the Blessed Virgin Mary's best friend and the first celebration of Saint Brigit's Day. The second is a story of resourcefulness and kindness: when Brigit saves a fox and outfoxes a king.

Following the stories, our discussion explore: 

  • Fite fuaite… an Irish phrase that speaks to the weaving together of ideas
  • The meanings of Brigit’s names: “Flaming arrow” and “life force, vitality.” 
  • A reframe of the concept “the universe is conspiring on our behalf”  is that the universe is conspiring on our behalf because we are co-conspiring with it.
  • “Conspiring” means “to be inspirited together.” In these stories, Brigit doesn’t ask God to take care of everything, she asks for the eyes to see the solution and she will do her part. 
  • A new perspective on prayer
  • The power of the Celtic Wheel of the Year, which reminds us of our most treasured values as well as our connection to nature. Imbolc: the feast of Ewe Lactation. A great excuse to have the finest butter, cheese, and ice cream!  

Want to offer someone Brigit’s Blessings?  Say: Beannachtaí lá Fheile Bríde

Our show music is a compilation of traditional tunes, including The Cape Breton Salute, performed by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy: http://billyandbeth.com/

More Ways to Untangle & Weave Your Own Stories

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About the Podcast

KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond
In each KnotWork Storytelling episode, we'll explore a different story from mythology, folklore, or history, particularly from Ireland and the Celtic World. Then, my guest and I dive deep into why these ideas and characters still resonate today.

Your host is Marisa Goudy, author of The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic. She is a Myth Worker, a Story Healer, a Writing Coach, and a has an MA in Irish literature from University College Dublin.

Join us as we wander through these ancient storylines as we set out on a quest to learn from the past, better understand the present, and craft a sustainable future.

Every episode reminds us that age-old stories are medicine for this modern moment.

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.