Brigid’s , Brighid’s, or Brigit’s cross, also with the “Saint” prefix, or (in the Irish language) Cros Bríde, Crosóg Bríde or Bogha Bríde, though not recorded before the seventeenth century, is an Irish symbol. Though regarded as a Christian symbol, it may possibly derive from the pagan sunwheel and is sometimes mistaken as such. It is typically made from rushes or, less often, straw. For kids crafting activities, we’ve even made them from colorful pipe cleaners with good effect. It is comprised of a woven square in the center and four radials tied off at the ends.
Brigid’s crosses are associated with Brigid of Kildare, who is venerated as one of the patron saints of Ireland. The crosses are traditionally made on February 1st, which in Irish Gaelic (Gaeilge) (is called Lá Fhéile Bhríde (St. Brigid’s feast day), the day of her celebration. This feast coincides with the more ancient one of her pagan namesake, one of pagan Ireland’s most important Goddesses. Brigid, is associated with fire, healing and holy wells, blacksmithing, crafts and poetry. Her feast day celebrates the earliest stirrings of Spring, and is called Imbolc. Many rituals are associated with the making of the crosses. It was traditionally believed that a Brigid’s Cross protects the house from fire and evil. It is hung in many Irish and Irish-American homes for this purpose.
She is, perhaps, one of the most complex and contradictory Goddesses of the Celtic people. Brigid can, in many ways, be seen as the most powerful religious figure in all of Irish history. Numerous layers of separate traditions have been interwoven, producing Her story and impact on generations of those who venerate her. She moves effortlessly down through the centuries and has succeeded in travelling intact through time, fulfilling different roles in various times.
Sé do bheatha a Bhríghid, bandia na beatha. (Here is your life, Brighid, Goddess of Life.) – Pádraigín Ní Uallachaín
For more of her beautiful words and music please visit:
Last night I celebrated New Year’s Eve with some friends at my favorite local hangout spot, Danny’s Celtic Pub. So, I thought this morning I’d like to share some pictures of the fine Celtic Pub Grub cuisine, games and shenanigans we’ve gotten ourselves up to over the past couple of years at Danny’s.
Don’t worry, we helped her with that mass of cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, peppers and other goodness. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser when you have some mouths to feed.
Ya know what? Not bad and not as filling as my usual Guinness. I was able to enjoy a nice game of darts and then some giant Jenga on the patio without feeling bloated from anything other than the marvelous food.
Here my dear friend Anna marvels at her score on the dartboard after telling me she’s half blind and doesn’t know how to play darts. You have to watch out for those dart sharks ya’ll. They’ll get ya. I only learned how to play Cricket on the dartboard the last time we visited when a nice couple who were playing taught us the game. Jay (next to Stevie in the top picture with the native chief shirt on) was cleaning up the dartboards that night. Lol! It’s much easier to track the score on than my usual game of 301 which is very helpful when you’ve had a few drinks and math becomes a challenge.
Anna is pretty crafty at this game too ya’ll but it was Jason and I who had the most intense game of the night. We built a pretty tall and wobbly tower before yours truly ended up pulling the block that brought it all down. Watch out for those falling two by fours! We enjoyed this game so much when we first played it we built our own for home and camping events. As you can see, the set at Danny’s has had a LOT of use.
Back To The Food At Danny’s Celtic Pub!
My two, all time favorite dishes to get at the pub are probably these right here. They are delicious and filling. Since I work second shift it’s very happy news for me that Danny’s now keeps the grill open until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in case I have a case of the hangry’s after work. It hasn’t happened much lately with all the holiday food going around these days. But maybe after I lose a little weight and can splurg a bit again. 🙂
The Menu At Danny’s
Here’s where it all is. Other greats I highly recommend there are the Sheppies which are potato skins stuffed with Shepard’s Pie (Oh my gawds ya’ll!). The Fish n Chips are great and if you’re in to Corned Beef and Cabbage I’m told theirs is pretty good too. In fact, I’ve never had anything at Danny’s that wasn’t good. That’s why I keep going back. 🙂
There’s my Guinness in the back too. 🙂
Okay ya’ll. I need to close this post out. I’m just making myself hungry here. Lol! One last thing before I do. Always remember, there’s blarney spoken here:
A little info, invocation and ritual in honor of one of my favorite gods today. Enjoy!
The Dagda is an important god among those of Irish heritage as well as a father-figure. He is also known as Eochaid(h) Ollathair, or “All-father” and is considered a tribal protector. According to some tales his father is Elatha while others say his mother is Ethniu. Other stories say that his mother is the great mother Danu; yet others claim he is the father of Danu, perhaps because of her association with Brigit, daughter of the Dagda. The Dagda’s siblings include the gods Ogma and Lir.
The Dagda is a god of immense power, who is armed with a magical club and cauldron. Legend says that the club is able to kill nine men with a single blow; while with the handle he can restore life to the slain. The cauldron is known as the Undry and is said to be never empty and from it no man shall ever leave unsatisfied. His finely decorated magickal harp, Uaithne, when played by the Dagda , puts the seasons in order; other tales tell of the Uaithne being utilized to command the order of battle in war. He also owns two pigs, one of which is always growing whilst the other is always roasting, and his home posesses ever-laden fruit trees.
The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann after his predecessor Nuada was injured in battle and some sources say his reign lasted 70 or 80 years. The Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians, who inhabited Ireland previously, prior to the coming of the Milesians. His lover is Boann and one of his daughters is Breg. Prior to the battle with the Fomorians, he coupled with the goddess of war, the Mórrígan, on Samhain in exchange for a battle plan to be victorious.
The Dagda is also the father of Bodb Dearg, Cermait, Midir, Aine, and Brigit. He is the brother or father (depending on who is telling the story) of Oghma, who is probably related to the Gaulish god Ogmios; Ogmios, depicted as an old man with a club, is one of the closest Gaulish parallels to the Dagda. Another Gaulish god who could be related to the Dagda is Sucellus, the striker, who is often depicted with a hammer and cup.
An invocation by Silver Wind on Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:01 am
• Now let the Gate be as a window to our vision… opening to reveal the Otherworld… and let us behold the ancient and mighty one, In Dagda Mor, the Great Good God…. he is seated in beauty and bounty, in a nimbus of nineteen colors… fire and gold and green, shining and arrayed around him… flowing and changing, emerging from a white-gold brightness at their center… at that Center the Red God is seated… clothed in the colors of fire and earth… leather and iron, white tunic and nine-hued cloak of plaid… with his mighty arms and legs bare… a huge torc of gold rests around his neck, with silver bands on his wrists, reflecting the flickering flames… and at the center is the face of the god…
• See the eyes of the Lord of Wisdom… gaze into them, whether or not they see you yet… see his features, his flowing red hair and mustaches, the tips gold as flame… He sits cross-legged on a richly carpeted seat… before him burns a good fire, on a square fire-platform… above the fire a great iron cauldron is suspended, and it bubbles, giving off a scent of perfect delight… in his right hand he bears his great striking staff, and in his left hand his beautiful harp rests upon his knee, that fills the air around him with a wonderous music…
You approach the god… and he towers above you on his seat… let your vision rest in him… as we make our invocation…
b: Invocation & Offerings
• Dagda most honored, to you we make sacrifice, to Eochaid the All Father, Son of Elatha, Chieftain of Danu. All-skilled King of the Tuatha De Danann, Hoster of the Hall of Heroes,Keeper of the Feasting Cauldron, Wizard Harper, Lord of Secrets, Hear us, Red God, as we offer!
• Stallion of Fathering, Mighty Clan Chieftain, Great Cauldron-Feaster, Red-Bearded Giant who mates with the Mare. Abide with us Eochaid as offering we give:
(oil offering made)
• Guardian Warrior, Club-wielder, champion, Nine-slayer, Sun-eyed, Slay and Unslay with the stroke of your Club. Abide with us Dearg, due offering we give.
(oil offering made)
• Wise Druid, Fire-keeper, Harper of Seasons and Master of Secrets, Oh Lord of the Sacrifice, Great Ruadh Ro-fhessa, abide with us here as due offering we give.
(oil offering made)
• Dagda most honored, to you we make sacrifice,
that you be the warmth beneath the Cauldron,
that you be the Fire of Sacrifice,
that you be the giver of bountiful Blessings.
• Flame in the belly that sustains life,
Flame in the heart that illumines life,
Flame in the eye that comprehends life
Be in us, and let us be in you
• O Father of Clans, Red Stallion of Hosting
O Sun-Eyed Champion, Slayer and Healer
O Lord of Wisdom, Fire of Sacrifice
O Dagda most honored, to you we make offering.
As each of the Nine Gifts are given, the whole company responds by singing the charm:
Dagda Mór, bheith linn
Dagda Mor, Dia linn
Dagda Mor-Great good God,
• Porridge I give, because you feed every honorable guest.
• Pork I give, because you give the Champion’s Portion.
• Ale I give; because you strengthen the spirit in the corn.
• Silver I give, because you bestow wealth,
• Iron I give; because you bring sharp magic
• Oak I give; because you bring strong law
• Flame I give, because you keep the Sacred Fire
• Herbs of vision I give, because you keep the Gates of the Otherworld
• Mead I give, because you keep the Draught of Inspiration.
c: Final Sacrifice
I call with the voice of the Cauldron of Wonder, I call with the voice of the Hearth of Welcoming. Oh Dagda Mor, be welcome at our fire. Receive these gifts, and with them our love, our honor, our aspiration.
My patron goddess Brigit is the exalted one and a goddess of pre-Christian Ireland. Her stories are told in Irish folklore acknowledging her as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and a daughter of the Dagda as well as a wife of Bres, with whom she had a son named Ruadán.
She is associated with the coming of spring season, fertility, healing, poetry and smithcraft. According to Cormac’s Glossary which was written in the 10th century by Christian monks she is also “the goddess whom poets adored” and that she has two other aspects as Brigid the healer and Brigid the smith. The Christianized version of her, Saint Brigid shares many of the goddess’s attributes and her feast day was originally a pagan festival (Imbolc) marking the beginning of spring.
The above is a statue I use on my own altar as a representation of my goddess while making offerings and honoring her.
Brigit, daughter of the Daghda, daughter of Dugall the Brown, Son of Aodh, Son of Art, Son of Conn, son of Criara son of Carbre son of Cas, son of Cormac son of Cartach son of Conn.
Brigit of the mantles
Brigit of the peat-heap
Brigit of the twining hair
Brigit of the augury.
Brighid of the white feet
Brighid of the smithcraft
Brighid of the white palms
Brighid of the poetry.
Brigid the Goddess
Brigid of the Spirit
Brigid of the fairy-mound
Brigid of Essence.
Brig of the moon
Brig of the healing
Brig of the common fire
Brig of the Fairy Woman.
No sun shall burn me
No fire shall burn me
No beam shall burn me
No mon shal burn me.
No river shall drown me
No brine shall drown me
No flood shall drown me
No water shall drown me.
Long before I knew about Samhain and that most of the fun traditions of Halloween were brought over to America by Irish and Scottish immigrants I have loved this holiday. As a kid I enjoyed dressing up in costume, going trick-or-treating, visiting haunted houses, carving Jack-O-Lanterns (Seán na gealaí ) and just scaring people for fun more than even opening presents on Christmas morning. Later, as I learned about the roots of Samhain and it’s original purpose and meaning it only made me love it even more.
Samhain is a Celtic festival and last of the three major harvest festivals marking the summer’s end and the beginning of winter. Traditionally it is celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, which is nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. Along with Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh it makes up the four Gaelic seasonal festivals. It has traditionally been observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man and is now recognized by modern Pagans with Celtic leanings throughout the world. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany).
Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and is believed to have pre-Christian origins. Many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Beltane, special bonfires are lit which have protective and cleansing powers and there are rituals involving them such as passing cattle and people between two fires for cleansing or in some cases jumping over the fires. Samhain is seen as a time when the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest and spirits or fairies (the Sidhe) can more easily come into our world. Feasts or dumb suppers often mark Samhain as a time in which the souls of dead kin are beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Sometimes, however, spirits or the sidhe can also cause harm and so the custom of wearing costumes so as not to be recognized began as a way to disguise oneself from wandering spirits. Divination is a big part of the this time of the year. Oftentimes folks get a tarot card reading or do some scrying in a mirror as a way to make contact with the other side or get clues as to what the future may hold.
In the 9th century, the Roman Catholic Church shifted the date of All Saints’ Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls’ Day. Over time, Samhain and All Saints’/All Souls’ merged and helped to create the modern Halloween. – Source Wikipedia
In any event, however you celebrate this time of year, I hope you have a delightful time.