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Deities | Brigid


Brigid is the goddess of spring, fertility and life. Notably, she is also a goddess of the life and fertility of animals, particularly domesticated ones. Brigid is also known for her druidic knowledge and skill in warfare. She is a triple goddess of many mastered skills. Brigid is the Exalted One. Many of Ireland's waterways and wells are devoted to her, and she lends her name to many of them as well. She is commonly worshiped alongside Cernunnos, the horned god, who is also a god of fertility, animals, life and wealth. Brigid is commonly represented by Brigid's Cross.


Holiday: February 1st, Imbolc is celebrated in her honor.


Triple Goddess: Hearth, inspiration and the forge.


Personal Life


Brigid is believed to be the daughter of The Dagda, the Great God and chief among the Tuatha De Danann. Her mother is believed to be Danu, the Great Goddess, who lends her name to the Tuatha De Danann which translates to "Children of Danu". She is the sister to brothers Aengus and Midir, as well as to Cermait and Badb Derg. Bres, the High King of the Tuatha De Danann is her husband, with whom she has a son called Ruadan.


Brigid is also the goddess of domesticated animals, and has many pets...


Fe & Men, oxen

Torc Triath, boar

Cirb, sheep


Lore


A key moment for Brigid was during the Battle of Moytura - the first battle of Moytura being against the Firbolg in County Galaway, and the second being against the hideous and cruel giants, the Formorians. The Tuatha De Danann triumphed in both battles, but the second triumph came at a terrible cost. During this war, she lost both her father, the Dagda and her son Ruadan. Her son valiantly slayed the smith-god Giobhniu, but was then subsequently slain in battle. Brigid rushed on to the battlefield and is known to have shrieked and cried over her son, in what is now known as the keening. This moment was the first time true sorrow was felt in Ireland, and began the tradition of keening over graves.


In many tales, Brigid is prayed to by strangers to her, who ask her for her blessings, inspiration and healing. As a kind and generous but fair goddess, Brigid commonly helps those who come to her - as long as they are pure of heart in their request, and cunning. For those who are not pure of heart, she is known to teach lessons to help the individual become a better person instead of granting of immediately aiding them.


As the goddess of wells, she hold additional special significance. Wells have always been considered sacred, as they bring life-bearing water from the womb of mother earth. Wells near large trees are particularly sacred. Pagans will typically visit these wills during either dusk or dawn, as it is believed that it is during these times that the veil between worlds it thinnest.


Brigid's cross is believed to bring luck if hung above the front and back doors of the home. She is also represented by a sacred flame, which is tended to and re-lit by the Order of Flamekeepers every 19 days.


Facts

Symbol of Brigid

  • She was a master of blacksmithing, and created the first whistle to call one to another in the night.

  • She is largely associated with the home and hearth.

  • She is often depicted as having fiery hair and a bright glowing cape.

  • Historically, her symbol was worn on the outside of the home. It is also worn as jewelry.




Learn About More Deities...


Lugh

Loki


References


Gregory, Isabella Augusta. Gods and Fighting Men : the Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and the Fiana of Ireland. Lexington: 2015.


MacKillop, James. 1998. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)


Wright, G. (2019). Brigid – Mythopedia. [online] Mythopedia. Available at: https://mythopedia.com/celtic-mythology/gods/brigid/ [Accessed 23 Aug. 2019].