I began this month’s series, An Autumn Gathering: Under An October Moon, with this post called Coming Home in Autumn, about Hestia, the Greek goddess of hearth and home. Today I want to tell you about another favorite goddess/saint of mine named Brighid.
Brighid (pronounced BREED) is the Celtic Goddess of Fire. She rules over many types of fire—the fire of the forge (as Goddess of smithcraft and metal working), the fire of the hearth (as Goddess of healing), and the fire of creativity (as Goddess of poetry). Brighid is seen as a triple Goddess, and she is associated with three different spheres—high (leaping flames, tall forts, wisdom), middle (hearth and home), and low (wells and sacred springs). She is a very powerful Goddess indeed. So powerful, in fact, that when the Catholic Church moved into Ireland they turned her into a Saint and gave her new stories, legends and powers.
Brighid as the Light-bringer and Goddess of Hearthcraft is the energy that rules over housekeeping, my own favorite domain. Perhaps that is why I connect so easily with her and she has come to me in many visions. She is the captain who keeps my life’s boat rowing smoothly, and the Goddess who calls me to creativity with my words, and the energy behind many of my bravest endeavors (I consider being a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom in this day and age a brave endeavor!).
Brighid’s time of year is generally considered the spring, as she is a fertility goddess and connected to new life, especially lambs, and is considered the goddess of midwifery. Her holiday is Imbolc, or Candlemas, on February 2, the time when spring begins in the Celtic world. But she is also important in winter when we need to be reminded of the light. This is why we light candles and put up Christmas lights in winter.
Brighid is ever-practical and calls us to use commonsense, and what is available to us, to make it through the dark times like winter. As goddess of Hearthcraft, she helps us find the sacred, the spiritual and the magical in everyday things. We can see bringing a bowl of chicken noodle soup as a healing spell, sweeping the kitchen floor as a purification ritual, and drinking our morning cup of tea or coffee as a time to connect with the spiritual realm. Brighid reminds us that all life, all year ’round, is sacred.
When the church made Brigit a Saint, so important was she in Celtic lore that stories were told that she was midwife to Mary, and foster mother to Jesus. St. Brigit became known as the patroness of farm work and cattle, the protrectress of households from fire and tragedy, and the founder of the Abbey at Kildare and the “Daughters of the Flame”, a group of Catholic sisters (go here for a nice article on them.)
I like working with the vision of Brighid. She calls me to a greater sense of purpose and magic in everyday living. What do you know and love about her? Share in the comments below.
Today’s moon phase: Last Quarter, waning and about 50% full, in the sign of Cancer.