Keeping Her Flame
Frequently Asked Questions
Flamekeeping with Sisters of the Flame is a devotional practice that takes place over a 20-day cycle. It is open to any woman who is committed to fulfilling the shift(s) for which she agrees to keep the flame.
How does it work?
There are two ways to tend a flame with our group. One is for those who occasionally want to tend a flame, the other is our permanent group of 19 women who tend on a rotating schedule. lf our permanent group is full, we encourage you to share with us when you’d like to tend your flame, or perhaps you can fill in when one of our Flamekeepers needs her shift covered.
Permanent Flamekeepers with our Sisters of the Flame group will keep the same shift number and their flamekeeping will occur once every 20 days unless arrangements are made for someone else to cover the shift. An example of what the repeating shift schedule will look like for those who have committed to a permanent shift:
Shift 1: Lisette, Saturday January 31
Shift 2: Annie, Sunday February 1
Shift 3: Laura, Monday February 2
Shift 20: Brigid Herself, Monday February 19
Shift 1: Lisette, Tuesday February 20
… and so on, repeating every 20 days.
REMEMBER THE SHlFT NUMBER lS NOT THE SAME AS THE DAY OF THE MONTH!
Flamekeeping begins at sundown on the day of your shift and continues until the next sundown the following day. Sundown begins wherever you are in the world! Due to time zone differences there will be overlaps and gaps among the shifts; that is fine.
Does there have to be an actual flame?
The various history and stories of Brigid’s perpetual flame in days past are well-known. In the modern world, however, we must make choices that fit in with our circumstance. If you like to be outside and are able to do so, feel free to light a fire for your shift, or perhaps in your fireplace if you have one. You can use a candle, a lantern, or anything that has a flame. If you’re in a place where you cannot safely have a flame, a battery-operated flame is fine, or even a flame on your computer will do. The point is the devotion to and time spent keeping this flame for Brigid, and also, to do so in safety!
What do I do for my shift?
There are many ways you can spend your time with Brigid. The only thing required is a flame of some sort and to begin at sundown; otherwise it’s up to you. Some choose to spend much of their shift praying, or in some sort of contemplation. Some are very structured in their approach, starting at sundown and ending at a specific time. Others are more casual, lighting a flame and checking in off and on. While you keep your flame you may wish to sit quietly with Brigid, or perhaps you will want to engage in creative pursuits like painting, singing or writing. Divination is also another activity that is popular.
It is suggested that you have a space set aside for your flamekeeping. Most choose to have an altar of sorts that holds other sacred items in addition to your flame. Others simply let the flame stand of its own accord within the sanctity of their flamekeeping space. How you choose to decorate is up to you. Be mindful of safety, please!
What is group flamekeeping?
We flamekeep as a group during the four Celtic fire festivals, based on their popular calendar dates:
- Imbolc – sundown January 31 to sundown February 1
- Beltane – sundown April 30 to sundown May 1
- Lughnasadh – sundown July 31 to sundown August 1
- Samhain – sundown October 31 to sundown November 1
Each of these festivals is considered “open keeping” and we encourage everyone to join us as we flamekeep together. Those who follow astrological and/or lunar dates for these festivals are welcome to flamekeep on those particular dates independently.
What if I forget my shift or don’t want to participate anymore?
If you forget a shift, please keep another as soon as you remember. If you know in advance you won’t be able to cover your shift, try to arrange someone to cover it. lf you are part of our permanent schedule and you don’t want to participate anymore, please notify Cairelle or Laura as soon as possible so we can arrange someone to take your shift.
How do I join?
You can find us in our ‘Sisters of the Flame‘ group on Facebook! Our schedule is posted in our group, sign-ups occur in the group as well. Simply join the group to access the sign-up and the schedule.
Would you like a candle linked to the Solas Bhríde flame in Kildare?
Sanctuary of Brigid has a flame linked to the Solas Bhríde flame in Kildare, Ireland. We will light a small candle from this flame and send it along in the mail to you. This candle/flame is NOT necessary for flamekeeping with Sisters of the Flame, however, it is freely available to those interested in connecting their own flame to the Kildare flame. To receive a candle, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Brigid Candle’ and include in the email a physical address so we know where to ship it. Please allow 2-4 weeks to receive your candle. (ON HOLD WHlLE CAlRELLE lS TRAVELlNG!)
Thank you so much for choosing to learn more about flamekeeping with Sisters of the Flame! May Brigid’s love be a guiding presence in your life. Bright Blessings!