The Goddess Brighid, Crosses And Imbolc


Still there are FlameKeepers who tend the sacred flame of Brighid on a 20 day cycle – 19 shifts, plus one day upon which Brighid tends the flame herself.

Brighid's Cross for Imbolc
Brighid’s Cross for Imbolc

Photo by Amanda Slater under Creative Commons ShareAlike License 2.0

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:

http://www.irishsong.com/

 

 


Blessings Of Brigit Of The Twining Hair

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.

Goddess Brighid, Brigit, Brigidm Brig or Bride.
Goddess Brighid

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.

– The Moors