stacks



brigid

Gimme Shelter



Brigid, the Mother of Wisdom, had a maternal function and was closely identified with the land.

The Celts formulated female triads to overcome the bicameral mind.

Brigid is a prime example of this type of deity which is associated with the sacred number three, the triple aspect of the divine.

Brigid had two sisters, patrons of healing and smithcraft.

She was venerated not only as Brigid, but also as Bride, Briginda, Brigidu, and in North Britain as Briganda, translated as High One or Exalted One.

Other titles include:

'Ashless Flame', 'Flame of Two Eternities', and 'Mother of All Wisdom'.

One of the most potent symbols of the triple nature Brigid is FIRE:

the flame of life and healing;

the fire of the hearth and smithy;

the flame of divine inspiration.



Journeying Home

Can't Find My Way Home


The hearth is the focus of the
home and integral to everyday functions.


"The circle of the campfire divided the world into two parts: the safe, domestic part, and the Wild.

Here was the hearth, the center of the circle of domesticity.

Here was warmth, keeping the cold world at a distance.

Here was safety, keeping predators at bay.

Here was light, defining a human realm but making the night beyond all the deeper, all the more alien.

Outside the circle of firelight was the other, the wild, the unknown."- Charles Eisenstein



simple sun campfire of the hearth complex


In many ancient traditions the hearth is connected to the sun, the source of warmth and light.

As the patroness of filidhact (bardic lore) Brigid guides the flame of inspiration, poetry and divination.

Heroes on spiritual tasks request protection and guidance from Brigid.

A symbol of Brigid is water, in all its forms venerated.

Sacred springs, associated with Brigid, were a focus of Celtic rituals.

Spring water symbolically unites the underworld and the upper world by rising out of the darkness of the Earth and reflecting the light of the heavens.

Hot springs provide the link between fire and water.

All springs and wells remain powerful sources of inspiration, healing, and a means of both physical and spiritual purification.

One legend connecting Brigid with water, tells how a crystal drop from the mantle of Brigid touched the Earth and became a deep and clear lake.

This was said to be a lake from Tir-Na-Moe 'Land of the Living Heart' and there was healing in it for all weariness and battle wounds.

Historical references to Saint Brigid begin in the seventh century.

Saint Brigid was venerated in an Irish convent at Kildare or Cill Dara, which means the church of the Oak Tree.

Originally a site of an ancient temple with a perpetual flame, an ashless fire.

To Gaelic speaking Scots she is Saint Brigit of the Isles.

To this day she is remembered as patron saint of the family hearth, originally a peat fire kept burning in her honor.

The first day of February, dedicated to Brigid, is known as Imbolg, meaning 'of/in the womb'.

Another name connected with this celebration is Oimelc, a Germanic word meaning 'ewes-milk' or 'lactation', which is a direct reference to the birth of young animals in the spring.

According to Celtic tradition Imbolg was the first day of spring and stock who had been penned in for the winter were allowed out.

On Brigid's Eve in parts of Ireland it was customary for groups of young girls, clad in white, to go from house to house singing and dancing.

Householders would give the girls a gift for Brigid, usually either eggs or milk.





The leader usually was a girl who would carry an image of Brigid, a 'brideog', into the fields.

The brideog was fashioned from rushes or oats and decorated with colored shells, spring flowers, greenery and ornaments.

The best and brightest of ornaments were attached over the heart and called reul-iuil Bride, The 'Guiding Star of Brigid'.

Older women prepared a Brigid's Bed which was made of an oval basket filled with rushes.

A straw image was placed in the basket which was put on the hearth.

Then the main door was opened and the men said a prayer invoking and asking Brigid to come in for her bed was ready.

Brigid was believed to travel with her white milk cow on her festival and bring blessings to each household.

In some areas of Scotland and Ireland offerings of grass were left on doorsteps for her cow.

The goddess Brigid is great eternal being who, like the flame of life itself, keeps alight and rekindles hope and inspiration.

Brigid can act as a catalyst awakening creativity, compassion and talent.




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