Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feast of Brigid

The Feast of Brigid began as a pagan celebration of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of fire, healing, childbirth, poetry and unity, often with the entire month of February dedicated to Brigid. (So no worries about missing the day, it's a season as are all festivals.) She is known by many names, including Bride, Brigit and Saint Brigid.
The Celts regarded Brigid as a triple goddess; this notion of three deities in one is also very ancient and has its origins in the ancient goddesses. So beloved by her people of Ireland, she was later made a saint, after Christianity arrived upon the shores of Ireland. She is now known and venerated as Saint Bridget and Saint Bride. Brigid is the patroness Saint of Ireland, good harvests, healthy babies, poets and inventions and held is high esteem alongside Mother Mary in Ireland.
It is said that nine priestesses kept an eternal healing fire at her shrine in Kildare and that Brigid was a great healer, able to give sight to the blind and heal wounds considered hopeless at her sacred wells.

What intrigues me about Brigid is that she is an ancient goddess who has endured through the ages, through the old meeting the new and she persists with her history intact, she is not a distortion of the ancient divine feminine. For me, Candlemas needs to include Brigid. For more on her remarkable survival and evolution from pagan goddess to Catholic saint read more here.

Candlemas is the name given to the day, February 2nd, by the Church, to mark the presentation to the Temple of the Holy Child by Simeone, who declared the Holy Child to be "of light" (Book of Luke.)

Candlemas is a feast of initiation, of possibility, of light, of the old meeting the new and the old giving way to the new, the frozen earth giving way to the stirring of new life. Candles are blessed in churches this day.

To celebrate Brigid, a poetry festival is here .
For more on the poetry festival here.

Stories of Brigid from The Baldwin Project,with a little tweaking, each makes a fine story for a young child or a second grade story. Together the stories provide inspiration to paint a picture of her:

Saint Bridget of Kildare, here
Saint Bridget, here
Saint Bridget and the King's Wolf, here
Saint Bridget also known as Saint Bride in the Catholic Church here

More on Brigid, here

And lots more, Brigid as Goddess or Saint? here
Saint Brigit and Saint Patrick, here
Song of Brigid here

What is giving way in you? What is being born? What is there to let go of? What to bring forth? What is giving way in your child? What is emerging, coming forth? How can we parents step aside and let go of the old and herald in the new developments of our children?

Bright blessings on you and yours.


  1. Wonderful post! LOve for you to stop by and leave your link on my post about Imbolc.

    Namaste, Nicole

  2. Thanks for all the great resources!

  3. Thanks for the informational links! After learning more about Brigid and her association with healing, I got the idea to hang our family's special "healing blanket" that we use at times of illness outside so Brigid could "bless" it as she passes by on the eve of her feast day.

    1. Oh I love this, how beautiful and powerful and healing. Thank you for sharing this. We'll hang our healing cloths out this year with that intention.

  4. Yes a time to move on and change. This is a wonderful post. Thank you.

  5. She is not worshipped (Saints are not to be worshipped because worship is reserved for God) but is venerated. Saints are our examples, hero's who have followed God and are full of love and grace. They don't do magic on their own or seek their own glory. If you read about any of the Celtic Saints (Ninian, Cuthbert, David, Patrick ) all were humble and did not glorify themselves. These Saints were during the time when Christianity was centered in the East before the Protestant Reformation or the Catholic Church of Rome split from the Orthodox Church.

    1. Hello Bonnie and thank you for stopping by. Thank you for setting me straight. I appreciate your comment on the use of the word venerate and I have changed the text above from worship to venerate. I ought to know better with my Catholic upbringing. What makes Brigid stand out for me is the story of her evolution from a pagan goddess to a Catholic saint. I don't see anywhere that I suggest she did magic or sought glory. The website Catholic Online describes her life in this way, " Brigid was one of the most remarkable women of her times, and despite the numerous legendary, extravagant, and even fantastic miracles attributed to her, there is no doubt that her extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity, and compassion for those in distress were real."


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