Saturday, February 1, 2014
Brigid, Celtic Goddess of Fire
Today is Imbolc the Celtic holiday marking the coming of Spring in which the Goddess Brigid is honored. Brigid is a crucial deity on this sacred day as she is the representation of fire and the coming sun. She is also a Goddess of poetry, healing, smith craft and creative energy. Daughter to the Dagda, Celtic God of wisdom, Brigid is seen as a triple Goddess. Referred to as "Exalted One" Brigid is sometimes associated with the Roman Goddess Minerva. Brigid's name is often spelled in many different ways such as Brighid, Bridget, and Bride to name a few.
During Imbolc Brigid is honored as a Goddess of the sun and fire as she gives hope for the suns quick return at Spring. As a Goddess of fire she represents life and creative energy. Her role as a healing Goddess is represented all over Ireland in the form of sacred wells. One of these is located in Kildare and another is in Liscannore. People have made pilgrimages here to make offerings and ask for wishes to be granted. It is said that people wash their hands in the well and then tie a piece of cloth or ribbon to a tree. These are known as "clootie trees" or "clootie wells". I had the pleasure of visiting the sacred well in Liscannore and the picture below is of the well and its enclosure which is covered in ribbons, prayers, statuettes, coins and more.
Brigid was such an important and powerful figure to the ancient Celts and Druids that in order for Christians to attain converts they made Brigid into a saint. She is still honored today in the churches of Ireland. At her sanctuary in Kildare her fire burns year round and is tended by the nuns there. This sacred fire burned brightly until about the 16th century when it was extinguished by radical Christians. It was then re-lit in 1993 and is now housed in a protective sculpture. It is said that the nuns still tend the flame and they refer to themselves as "The Brigidine Sisters"
Brigid as a Goddess of creative energy represents igniting the creative fire within each of us. She can help to guide you along whichever creative path you choose. She is also associated with writing poetry as well as divination and prophecy. Honor Brigid on her sacred day of Imbolc or when you are working on something creative. She can also be called on for personal healing.
Wishing everyone many Imbolc blessings!
Painting courtesy of Emily Balivet
Posted by Tara at 3:28 PM