I’m Jennifer Elen Bríd – lover of the wild Earth below, the Cosmos above, and the Magick that streams beween.
Two years ago, I moved to the most incredible place on Earth I had ever been – the Keweenaw Peninsula in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. And two years before that, I came upon a spiritual path that helped me understand why my rekindled love for all places wild, holy, and free – a love that had burned brightly in childhood but was lost in my teen years – carried such a profound spiritual charge.
Though my spirituality is fluid, eclectic and ever-evolving, Druidry as defined by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids gave me a framework within which I could conceptualize my beliefs. It also helped me to better understand the importance of deepening my relationship with nature, and the indescribably profound spiritual experiences I had while exploring outdoor spaces. It began in the summer of 2016, when antlered reindeer goddess Elen of the Ways appeared to me in a vision, and a Sagittarius Full Moon exactly on my Sun not long after landed me on my first solo camping and hiking trip along the North Country Trail.
What’s happened long since is history – the beginning of a lifelong journey back to the wilds, Love, Truth, and ultimately, myself.
Though I had cultivated my intuition and abilities as a healer beginning at the age of 19, I found that spending time in wild spaces – even just standing barefoot while meditating in the back yard – brought immediate feelings of peace and wellbeing through a deepened sense of grounding. My intuition and Otherworld awareness increased exponentially, allowing me to navigate the worlds more deeply and adeptly for communion in the physical and nonphysical.
Since my deep dive into nature while walking the Druidic path, I have explored countless spaces within and without; of desert canyons, red rock hoodoos, and deep forests and the shores of vast inland seas. I have kept watch for dreams not yet realized on the shores of Lake Superior, her flow and prowess bringing visions to help me turn the tide. I have communed with backyard lilac trees, seeing beyond the veil into the worlds of the Fae and nature spirits who act as guardians and are the bringers of healing, gifts, and visions there.
I have hiked countless miles of northwoods trails beneath the leaf-hidden sun and immersed in moonlight, each journey a rite of passage into a new way of being. And through it all, I learn more and more the power of the wilds to bring us to ourselves, and honor the awe-inspiring power they carry as portals into imagination, whole-self awakening, and the dimensions that exist beyond our immediate awareness.
Elven Fae Ulchabhán – A Portal For My Thoughts, A Place to Share My Passions
I find my greatest peace, healing, and sense of wonder and belonging in the forest. There, the energies of the nature spirits come to greet me, and I am at once more anchored by the sprawling roots of trees and rocks who speak an ancient language, and all the animals and insects and vastness of life that surrounds me there.
Merlin. Elen of the Ways. The Faeries. Pan. Cernunnos. Green Man. Elves from other worlds and countless other forest beings and guardians, their presence made known through the “thin veil” energy portals anywhere and everywhere if we follow our nudges where they lead, and open our sense of perception to extra-sensory attunement that is naturally heightened in wild spaces.
Elven Fae Ulchabhán – a synergy of things I love, things I channel, things that I am. I am a lover of all things J. R. R. Tolkien, especially The Silmarillion, and have felt a deep kinship with the elves of the ages of Beleriand of which he wrote long before the saga of Lord of the Rings came to pass. I use the term “fae” or “faery” instead of “fairy” because of its folkloric associations with supernatural beings of all kinds predominantly found in nature, not just the perception of fairies as sweet, dainty creatures as perpetuated in pop culture.
And from “ulchabhán,” the Irish word for “owl,” my heart’s power streams forth. For I am learning to speak Connemara Irish, this language which feels like home, and feel my strongest and most empowered when I allow myself to channel the energy of the owl that is within me. I am forever a lover of the night, of the moon’s evocative feminine power, the flight into darkness that is required to seek deep truths, with all the wisdom and spiritual associations of the owl guiding my own healing work and ceremonies, and the healing work I do with others.
I come to this blog with stories to share, thoughts to process, and creativity that stirs beneath the nighttime canopy of my heart that must be shared. One of the core tenants of modern Druidry that called to me was the encouragmenet towards artistic expression – the branch of The Bard – to channeling our Imbas (Awen), akin to Dharma or Chi. As a percussionist and writer making my way back to the arts after a concussion in 2013, this principle of Druidry has not only been a constant hum in the background towards self-expression, but given me an ideologicaly home where I feel seen and upheld as an artist, and ignited in me a feeling akin to responsibility to make my way back to creating once more, no matter how long it took to begin once more in earnest.
Though my return to the artist’s life has been years in the making, I feel that every moment leading to it has been exactly what was needed to come back with a new perceptions, wisdom, and maturity to bring into being what I was meant to channel uniquely. And I arrive back with hand drumming/shamanic drumming and learning how to play the bodhrán in exchange for the structured Western musical path I had been traversing, with music composition ideas and messages asking to be shared from worlds whose energies intermingle with ours.
There are stories both fiction and nonfiction to be written, too, along with channeled messages from the Fae, nature spirits, spirit guides, elves and other beings from what I call “The Tolkien Realms,” and so much more asking to be shared through me.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And I am so looking forward to sharing the journey of artistic birthing, spiritual questing, wild adventures, and life ever-unfolding with you.
In Love and Light to you on the path,
Jennifer Elen Bríd
© Jennifer Elen Brid, 2020. Unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to this writer with appropriate and specific direction to the document containing the original content. All photos taken by Jennifer Elen Bríd unless otherwise stated, and may not be used without permission.