“You’re too smart for that.”


I have heard these words since I was a child.  As females, my generation was taught at an early age  that any show of emotion is irrational behaviour, and that if we want to be taken seriously in any area we must only rely on intellect.  As adults we are accused of histrionics at the slightest hint of emotion and as silly idiots if we follow anything out of pure intuition.  In fact, none of us is trained how to use our intuition as a resource.  We are told instead to ignore one of our most useful navigational tools.  Why is it hard to grasp a well-rounded life in which emotions and intellect don’t need to be mutually exclusive?

I am no stranger to the terms “follow your heart” or “follow your gut“.  These, and many other “do what feels right” adages are all ways of explaining the same thing: intuition.  One of intuition’s easiest languages to learn to read is emotions.  Can you see the pretzel beginning to form here?

The problem here is that we cannot learn to feel and process our emotions while we’re suppressing them.  We make mistakes.  As children we throw tantrums, and at some point we are all emotional, hormonal adolescents, but what society overlooks is a chance in those moments to not only teach us how to cope with emotions, rather than avoiding them, but to read them in others in order to better interact with other emotional humans. Enter: Customer Service.  I have gotten quite adept in my years of teaching, working with children with special needs, and working in Customer Service to know how to identify emotions in others and mold my approach to them accordingly.  I’ve made a sort of side hobby out of observing those around me and figuring out how people communicate their emotions without even knowing it. Imagine what a world we could live in if we were all taught these skills.

With Imbolc approaching the unnecessary disconnect between emotions and intellect has played heavily in my personal meditation.  Intuition might make me more likely to take risks, but even if those dice don’t fall where I want them to I gain something from rolling them.  This is also not a blind science.  Intuition and emotions may draw my attention to a specific area, and from there I can calculate the risks and decide whether the best case scenario is worth the worst.  Being a wife, a friend, a girlfriend, a businesswoman, a lady, and an adult all at once is a juggling act.  One can’t be too cold, too distant, too expressive, too whimsical, to caring, or too trusting of one’s intuition.    Brighid, however, shows us exactly how to juggle all those things without dropping anything or sacrificing quality.

Brighid is healer, midwife, poet, warrior, and smith, among other things.  When I evoke her in rituals I often speak to one of these facets, but I have found recently that calling out to one, powerful, multifaceted Brighid has made me stronger and more focused as a practitioner and as a woman.  Why?  Because Brighid’s complexity is what makes her powerful.  While each of her elements has its unique properties, it is putting them together that makes her Brighid.  She is the light of hope to make it through the rest of the winter because she is not just a single ray of light, she is the dazzling sunlight of dawn.  She is not just a single flame, she is every flame that has sparked from her torch.  She is intellect, art, and intuition, which is what makes her unstoppable.

Looking at Brighid this way has taught me volumes about myself.  I am not either a writer or a photographer.  I am not either a wife or a woman with a career goal.  I am not driven either by my intellect or my emotions.  I am all of these things, and I am stronger and more beautiful because of it.


Go now, feel your complexity.