Tag Archive: bride


Goddess Cailleach Bheur

"The Cailleach Bhuer" by ~AltaraTheDark

“The Cailleach Bhuer” by ~AltaraTheDark

“Cailleach Bheur’s themes are balance, cycles, rebirth, overcoming and winter. Her symbols are snow and blue items. In Scottish traditions, this is a blue faced crone Goddess who blusters with power throughout the winter months. She brings the snow and cold until the wheel of time turns toward spring on Beltane (May Day).

Just as darkness seems to be winning, the Crone Goddess stirs in the earth’s womb and inspires hope. She knows that the time for rebirth as a young woman will come in spring, when She will fertilize the earth. For now, however, the first step is renewing the sun, whose light will begin to get stronger.

Since this Goddess is one of cold honesty, wear something blue today to encourage personal reserve, control, and truth with yourself throughout the day.

In keeping with the themes of the Winter Solstice, you could try this mini-ritual:

In the morning, cover your altar or a table with a yellow cloth (maybe a napkin or placemat) to represent the sun. Place a blue candle in a central location on the table, along with a bowl of snow to represent Cailleach Bheur and winter. As the candle burns with the light of the sun, the wax shrinks and this Goddess’s snows melt, giving away once more to the power of warmth and light.

Keep the remnant was and re-melt it for any spells in which you need a cooler head. Pour the water from the snow outside to rejoin the Goddess.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

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Well, the Cailleach has appropriately blessed us with Her presence yesterday and overnight here in Upstate New York!  Now, it’s beginning to look like a real North Country holiday season!  It was quite inspiring while researching Her and I was able to find a TON of great info that I listed in the “Suggested Links” at the bottom for you to browse through at your own leisure.

"Cailleach" by Mairin-Taj Caya

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

Patricia Monaghan had this to write about Cailleach: “Her name, pronounced correctly, sounds like clearing her throat, but ‘coyluck’ is a near approximation.  One of the world’s Great Goddesses, She went by many names: Cailleach Bheur or Carlin in Scotland; Cally Berry in northern Ireland; Cailleach ny Groamch on the Isle of Man; Black Annis in Britain; the Hag of Beare or Digne in Ireland.  She was vastly ancient; the Irish Triads say: ‘The three great ages: the age of the yew tree, the age of the eagle, the age of the Hag of Beare.’  She could endlessly renew Her youth.  All the men She loved – and they were countless – died of old age as She went on, returning to the prime of life, finding another pretty young one with whom to share youth.

"The Cailleach Bheure" by Jill Smith

“The Cailleach Bheure” by Jill Smith

She had one eye in the middle of a blue-black face, an eye of preternatural keenness.  She had red teeth and matted hair ‘white as an apron covered with hoarfrost.’  Over it She wore a kerchief and over Her gray clothing, a faded plaid shawl. She owned a farm and hired workers for six months with the stipulation that none would  be paid who could not outwork Her.  Looking at the hunched old thing, many a man fell for the trick and paid with his life, dying of overwork while trying to keep the pace She set.  So strong was She that She carried boulders in Her apron; the ones She dropped became mountain ranges.

She controlled the season and the weather; She was the cosmic Goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.  Beacuse She does not appear in the written myths of Ireland and Scotland, but only in ancient tales and place names, it is presumed that She was the Goddess of the pre-Celtic settlers of the islands off Europe.  She was so powerful and beloved that even when newcomers imported their own divinities, the Cailleach was remembered” (p. 77 – 78).

Cailleach rules the dark half of the year, from Samhain to Beltane, while Her young and fresh counterpart, Brighid or Bride, is the queen of the summer months.  At least one tradition views Bride and the Cailleach as being one and the same, with the Cailleach drinking from the Well of Youth at the beginning of each spring, whereby She is transformed into the youthful Bride. However most traditions in Scotland have them firmly pitted against each other as two differing personalities.  She is sometimes portrayed riding on the back of a speeding wolf, bearing a hammer or a wand made of human flesh. [1] [2]

“Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [3]

I would really like to share a neat short film with you that Grey Catsidhe had shared with our Druid group back in November entitled “An Cailleach Bheara“.  Click on the picture below to be taken to the Irish Film Board (ifb) site.

cailleach

I also really enjoy and respect the work that rainbowpagan2 on YouTube does, so I wanted to share this video as well.

 

 

 

Sources:

Firedragon, Tansy/Rachel Patterson. Tansyfiredragon.blogspot.com, “Cailleach and Bride“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Cailleach”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “Cailleach, the Ruler of Winter“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Firetree.net, “Cailleach“.

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

McHardy, Stuart. Goddess Alive! Goddess Celebration and Research, “The Goddess in the Landscape of Scotland“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com, “Cailleach, the Queen of Winter“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

Tairis.co.uk, “Bride and the Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

Woodfield, Stephanie. Darkgoddessmusings.blogspot.com, “Bride and Cailleach: Drinking from the Well of Youth“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Malkuth

This is my Birthday Goddess 🙂

“Sophia” by Pamela Matthews

“Malkuth’s themes are forgiveness, cleansing, health, peace, Earth and balance. Her symbols are yellow-colored items, quartz, cereals and grains and the number 10. Malkuth is the Goddess of the tenth sephira in the Cabalistic Tree of Life. Here She reminds us of the need for positive actions on the physical plane, not simply good thoughts or lofty words, to bring about change. Malkuth also counsels us to always balance our Goddess spirituality with real life and to keep peace with the earth, which She personifies.

This is the Jewish new year [Rosh Hashanah] and typically a time for prayer, introspection, and healing the emotional wounds that keep people apart. Take ten minutes out of your morning routine and pray to the Goddess or meditate on recent months. This will give you time to begin integrating all the lessons and changes that have occurred.

Jumping into or over water today liberates you from sin and negativity, as does naming a handful of grain after your problems and tossing it in water. Eating a round loaf of bread dipped in honey brings longevity, and eating apples dipped in honey brings the sweetness of Malkuth’s health.

To encourage Malkuth’s balance and harmony throughout your day, wear something yellow or carry a yellow-colored stone or a piece of quartz with you. The quartz in particular engenders better communication skills and an improved connection with the earth/physical plane.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Malkuth” by Patricia Waldygo

According to Wikipedia, “Malkuth (pronounced marl-KOOT], or Shekhinah, is the tenth of the sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It sits at the bottom of the Tree, below Yesod. This sephirah has as a symbol the Bride which relates to the sphere of Tipheret, symbolized by the Bridegroom.

Unlike the other nine sephirot, it is an attribute of God which does not emanate from God directly. Rather it emanates from God’s creation—when that creation reflects and evinces God’s glory from within itself.

Malkuth means Kingdom. It is associated with the realm of matter/earth and relates to the physical world, the planets and the solar system. It is important not to think of this sephirah as merely ‘unspiritual’, for even though it is the emanation furthest from the divine source, it is still on the Tree of Life. As the receiving sphere of all the other sephirot above it, Malkuth gives tangible form to the other emanations. It is like the negative node of an electrical circuit. The divine energy comes down and finds its expression in this plane, and our purpose as human beings is to bring that energy back around the circuit again and up the Tree.

Some occultists have also likened Malkuth to a cosmic filter, which lies above the world of the Qliphoth, or the Tree of Death, the world of chaos which is constructed from the imbalance of the original sephirot in the Tree of Life. For this reason it is associated with the feet and anus of the human body, the feet connecting the body to Earth, and the anus being the body’s ‘filter’ through which waste is excreted, just as Malkuth excretes unbalanced energy into the Qliphoth. Another way to understand this is that when one is sitting, as in a meditative state, it is the anus that makes physical contact with the Earth, whereas when one is standing or walking, it is the feet that come in contact with the Earth, or Malkuth.

Malkuth is also associated with the world of Assiah, the material plane, and the lowest of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah. Because of this relation to Assiah, it is also related to the Suit of Pentacles or Coins in the Tarot. In the modern card set, this relates to the Suit of Diamonds and symbolizes material wealth, or the treasures found in the physical world. Through Assiah, Malkuth is also related to the four Page cards in the Tarot as well. These are seen as the Jacks of the modern deck. Because it is directly associated with Assiah, Malkuth also represents the second He (ה) in the tetragrammaton (יהוה‎). There is also a connection to the tenth card of each suit in Tarot. The element of Malkuth is Earth.

“Malkuthael” by Harry Wendrich

The name of God is Adonai Melekh or Adon ha-Arets. These exist in the highest world, Atziluth. In the world of Briah, where the archangels reside, the archangel of this sphere is Sandalphon. In the world of Yetzirah, the Ishim (souls of fire) is the Angelic order. In Assiah, the plantary or astrological correspodence with Malkuth is the Earth. In the outer shell of its Sephiroth in Assiah, the Qliphah of Malkuth is Lilith.

“Mother of the World” by Nicholas Roerich

Symbols associated with this sphere are a Bride (a young woman on a throne with a veil over her face) and a double cubed altar. Where Binah is known as the Superior Mother, this sphere is referred to as the Inferior Mother. It is also referred to as the bride of Microprosopos, where Macroprosops is Kether.

From a Christian viewpoint this sphere is important since Jesus preached that people should ‘seek first the Kingdom of God‘.

In some systems, it is equated with Da’at, knowledge, the invisible sephirah.

In comparing with Eastern systems, Malkuth is a very similar archetypal idea to that of the Muladhara chakra. In this manner, Malkuth is again associated with the anus, although technically the Muladhara is located in the sacram bone. In Shakta tantra, which is also associated with the Earth, the plane in which karma is expressed.

Although Malkuth is seen as the lowest Sefirah on the tree of life, it also contains within it the potential to reach the highest. This is exemplified in the Hermetic maxim ‘As above so below’. [1]

“As Above, So Below” by Tania Marie

 

 

Sources:

Wikipedia, “Malkuth“.

 

Suggested Links:

Amaluxherbal.com, “The Kabbalah made Practical“.

Corax.com, “The Tree of Life“.

d’Este, Sorita. Themagicalbuffet.com, “The Goddess, Wicca & the Qabalah“.

Ghostwoods. Ghostwoods.com, “Malkuth: The Kingdom“.

Hermetic.com, “Malkuth“.

Themystica.org, “Malkuth“.

Penczak, Christopher. The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and the Witches’ Qabalah, “Entities of Malkuth“.

Spirit-alembic.com, “Malkuth: The Kingdom of Matter“.

Stone, Philo. Zero-point.tripod.com, “Book I: Sphere 10: MALKUTH, the Earth“.

Wisdomsdoor.com, “Malkuth – The Tree of Life“.

Zero-point.tripod.com, “The Holistic Qabala“.

Goddess Mala Laith

“Mala Laith’s themes are justice, community, peace, wisdom, knowledge, forgiveness, maturity and unity. Her symbols are the color gray, pigs, deer, the horse and birds.  Known often simply by the designation ‘Gray One’, Mala Laith is the ancient Celtic crone Goddess. Mala Laith is said to have made the mountains and formed many stone circles, alluding to Her age and power. She travels in the company of birds, pigs, deer or a gray horse, carrying wisdom, knowledge, understanding, sensibility and preparation to us as gifts that come with maturity.

On this day, people on Mann honor Tynwald, the old Norse assembly system instituted over one thousand years ago, by gathering to discuss legal matters and end internal bickering. As they do, Mala Laith stands by, offering good counsel and sagacity. For us this means taking a moment out to make sure things in our life are in order and being properly attended to. Review your checking account, follow up on legal matters, make peace with someone from whom you’ve been estranged and generally spend the day focusing on sound action, wise words and sensible thinking. This invokes Mala Laith’s energy.

Wear something gray today to honor the Goddess and watch to see if any of Her sacred animals show up (in logos, on billboards, anywhere) during your day. If they do, pay close attention to their movements and actions. They’re bringing a message to you from Mala Laith, and it’s well worth heeding!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“‘Grey eyebrows’ was the name given to the Cailleach in Ross and Cromarty in Scotland,” Patricia Monaghan tells us.  “She was said to tend a herd of pigs, which included the wild boar of Glen Glass” (p. 205).  As to be expected, Mala Laith “(pronounced MAH-lah LEE-ah) She is often equated with Cerridwen.” [1]

 

About Cailleach

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

“‘Cailleach’ (pronounced KAL-y-ach) derives from the old Irish caillech, or ‘the veiled one’. The modern word cailleach means ‘old woman’ or ‘hag’ in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag-Goddess tied to the land and the weather who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (‘Gloomy Old Woman’, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, ‘Old Woman of the Spells’) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover.

The theme of winter holding spring captive is also seen in the tale that the Cailleach imprisons the beautiful young goddess Bride inside of a mountain over the winter. At Bride’s release, spring comes to the world.

“Cailleach Bhéara” by Max Dashu

The Cailleach Bheur (‘genteel old lady’) of Scotland is a blue-faced hag of winter, who ages in reverse–from old and ugly (symbolizing winter) to young and lovely (spring). The Cailleach Bhéirre of Ireland represents sovereignty over the land and is ancestress of many peoples. Like Dame Ragnell of the Arthurian legends, She appears to the hero as an hideous old woman seeking love; if She gets it, She becomes a beautiful young woman. In legends dating from Christian times, She is sometimes said to be a nun, perhaps linked to the meaning of Her name.

Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Joelle. Joelle’s Sacred Grove, “Mala Laith“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Mala Laith”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Metropolitan Films Ltd. Thisisirishfilm.ie, “An Cailleach Bheara (2007)“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Goddess Yemaja

“Yemaja’s themes are providence, blessing, luck and fertility.  Her symbols are fish, the color blue and the crescent moon.  Yemaja, the Nigerian Goddess of flowering water, bears a name that literally means ‘fish mother!’ As such, Yemaja generates providence and fertility, especially on the physical plane. In legends She gave birth to eleven deities, the sun, the moon, and two streams of water that formed a lake. In art she’s often shown as a mermaid or a crescent moon, and Her favorite color is blue.

The name for the day is definitely fishy. Not surprisingly, new year festivities in Nigeria mark the beginning of the fishing season. Having a teeming net today portends prosperity for the rest of the season. So, what is it that you hope to catch today? Cast out your spiritual line to Yemaja for help in meeting or exceeding any goal.

To bite into a little luck, follow the example of Nigerian children. They make candies in fish shapes before this event, then dunk for them. The one to retrieve the most gets the most good fortune. Check out your local supermarket’s bulk candy section. Ours carries gummy fish that work very well for this activity.

Consider including some type of fish in your menu today (even canned tuna will do the trick). Eat it to internalize good luck and a little of Yemaja’s blessings.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Yemaya” by Sandra M. Stanton

Yemaya is the Yoruban Orisha, a very powerful nature spirit or Goddess of the living Ocean, considered the Mother of All. She is the source of all the waters, including the rivers of Western Africa, especially the River Ogun. Her name is a contraction of Yey Omo Eja, which means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish”. As all life is thought to have begun in the Sea, all life is held to have begun with Yemaya. She is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all Her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent Her wealth.She does not easily lose Her temper, but when angered She can be quite destructive and violent, as the Sea in a storm.

In Her myth, it is said that she was brutally raped by Her son. After this She fled to a mountaintop and cursed Her son until he died. In Her sorrows She decided to take Her own life. As She died She gave birth to fourteen powerful orisha, when Her water broke it created a great flood which made the seven seas.

Yemaya was brought to the New World with the African diaspora and She is now worshipped in many cultures besides Her original Africa. In Brazilian Candomblé, where She is known as Yemanja or Imanje, She is the Sea Mother who brings fish to the fishermen, and the crescent moon is Her sign. As Yemanja Afodo, also of Brazil, She protects boats travelling on the Sea and grants safe passage. In Haitian Vodou She is worshipped as a Moon-Goddess, and is believed to protect mothers and their children. She is associated with the mermaid-spirits of Lasirenn (Herself a form of Erzulie) who brings seduction and wealth, and Labalenn, Her sister the whale.

Yemaya rules over the surface of the ocean, where life is concentrated. She is associated with the Orisha Olokin (who is variously described as female, male, or hermaphrodite) who represents the depths of the Ocean and the unconscious, and together They form a balance. She is the sister and wife of Aganju, the god of the soil, and the mother of Oya, Goddess of the winds.

Our Lady of Regla in Brazil may be linked to Her, and She is equated elsewhere in the Americas with the Virgin Mary  as the Great Mother. In parts of Brazil She is honored as the Ocean Goddess at the summer solstice, while in the north east of the country Her festival is held on February 2nd (a day that is also associated with Her daughter Oya, as well as being the feast day of the Celtic Bride), with offerings of blue and white flowers cast into the Sea.

Yemaya’s colors are blue, turquoise and white, and She is said to wear a dress with seven skirts that represent the seven seas. Her symbols are shells, especially cowrie shells. Since She is often  depicted as a mermaid as well so this too is a symbol of Her. Sacred to Her are peacocks, with their beautiful blue/green iridescence, and ducks. The number seven is sacred to Her, also for the seven seas.

“Yamana” by Lisa Iris

Yemaya represents the ebb and flow of life much like the flow of the ocean. Yemaya can bring forth life, but just like the ocean she can also cause great destruction, and change. She teaches us to move freely through the waves of change and cycles of life.

On your altar to Yemaya, have water, salt water if you have access to it. Shells, representations of sea life, crystals of turquoise and white quartz, colors of the ocean, a mermaid and a picture or statue of the Goddess.

Alternate spellings: Yemanja, Yemojá, Yemonja, Yemalla, Yemana, Ymoja, Iamanje, Iemonja, Imanje

Epithets: Achabba, in Her strict aspect; Oqqutte in Her violent aspect: Atarmagwa, the wealthy queen of the sea; Olokun or Olokum as Goddess of dreams

Also called: Mama Watta, “Mother of the Waters” [1] [2]

Symbols and Correspondences:

General: Ocean, rivers, mermaids, the Virgin Mary, New Year’s Eve, February 2, the North Star, half moon, rivers, dreams, pound cake, boats and ships, fans, sacred dance, the number 7

Animals: Fish, ducks, doves, peacocks, feathers, chickens, snakes, and all sea creatures

Plants: Oranges, tropical flowers, yams, grain, seaweed, other plants that grow in the ocean

Perfumes/scents: Scented soaps, raspberry, cinnamon, balsam

Gems and metals: Silver, pearls, mother of pearl, coral, moonstone, crystal quartz, turquoise, and any blue gem or bead

Colors: Sky blue, silver, white, green, and especially a blue dress with full skirt of 7 layers to represent ocean waves or the seven seas. [3]

Sources:

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols and Sacred Objects of Yemaya“.

Suggested Links:

Alvarado, Denise & Doktor Snake. The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook, “Yemayá (Yemoja, Iemanja)“.

Goddessgift.com, “Yemaya, Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits.

Luckymojo.com, “The Seven African Powers“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The Book of Goddesses and Heriones, “Yemaya“.

Tzeenj, Rafh. Spiralnature.com, “Yemaya“.

Goddess Brigit

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

“Brigit’s themes are health and inspiration.  Her symbol is a cauldron.  Brigit is an Irish Goddess known throughout Europe as ‘the Bright One’ because of Her inspiring beauty and fiery qualities. Today is Brigit’s festival in Ireland because it’s the traditional first day of spring there, when lingering winter shadows are banished by the sun’s radiance. Anyone desiring fertility, health or creativity should invoke Brigit’s blessings today, as the ancients did.

During the winter months it’s easy to get a case of the blahs of sniffles. Brigit comes to our aid by offering us the spiritual elixir in her cauldron. Make yourself a nourishing broth today (like chicken bouillon) and serve it in a cauldron (a three-legged bowl). If you don’t have one, any cup or mug would do. Bless the broth by holding your hand over the top, visualizing golden light filling the liquid, and saying something like this:

‘Brigit, hear my Prayer
and bless my Cauldron (or cup) of inventiveness
Renew my body, inspire my heart
Throughout my life
your wholeness impart
So be it.’

Drink the broth to internalize inspiration.

For health, take any candle (a green one is ideal for healing) and carve nineteen crosses into it. The number nineteen and the symbol of a cross are both sacred to Brigit. Light this candle for a few minutes every day for the next nineteen days. Or, you can let the candle burn for nineteen minutes instead.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Goddess Brigit is a beloved Celtic Goddess associated with Healing Waters, Wells and Springs.  She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of Creative Consciousness.  Brigit is the “Bringer of Prosperity,” Goddess of Fertility, New Growth and Birth.  She is the Patroness of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, Midwifery and Animal Care & Breeding.  Brigit is Warrior and Healer, Protectress and Goddess of Healing Grace.

“Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Brigit is said to have been born at the exact moment of day break, She rose with the sun, Her head radiant with rays of luminous light, associating Her with ascended awareness, enlightenment, new beginnings, sun beams and warmth. She is celebrated on Imbolc, falling on February 1 or 2, celebrating the return of the light and the coming of the spring.  Thus Her solar aspects may also represent Brigit as the Promise of Spring, the Bringer of Light after the dark months of winter. This energy brings with it HOPE, renewed enthusiasm, renewal, and new beginnings.

Imbolc and Brigid the Triple Goddess

Brigit is considered a Triple Goddess, yet many references distinguish Brigit differently than the traditional Triple Goddess aspects of Maiden, Mother and Crone.  Rather Brigit is frequently referenced having three sister selves with three distinct roles, Lady of Healing Waters, Goddess of the Sacred Flame and Goddess of the Fertile Earth.  These roles are then multiplied through Brigit’s vast and varied responsibilities . . .

As a Fertility Goddess, a patroness of domestic animals and crops, Brigit is the Bringer of Prosperity through the abundance and wealth of the land. In addition to its healing associations, Brigit’s Green Mantle may also be associated with the green fertile earth, bringing the wealth of well being, and the remembrance of our own innate fertility to grow and prosper. A Goddess of Sovereignty, her Green Mantle may also represent the remembrance of our Sovereign Self, remembrance of our Divine Authentic Self.

“Imbolc” by Nicole Samlinski

She is the Lady of Healing Waters, Wells and Springs; many wells in Ireland are dedicated to Brigit and the waters are believed to be blessed with the healing grace of the Lady.  Combining the solar light of Brigit’s birth with her healing waters, the sparkling light dancing upon the water’s surface is believed to have spectacular healing attributes, especially healing for the eyes. Also associated with divination, Her wells may represent portals to portend the future, windows to glean helpful guidance and insight.

“Keeper of the Sacred Flame” by Elfdaughter

Brigit is probably most frequently associated with Fire, She is the Lady of the Sacred Flame, the Eternal Flame of Life, the Flame of Inspiration, the Flame of our Creative Consciousness. This luminous, bright, fiery energy is the energy of creation, the creative power of our consciousness and the creative power of all that is.  Her Sacred Flame brings inspiration and ignites our calling to create, illuminating our personal creative talents and gifts.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

From her Fire aspects, Brigit is also associated with the fire the forge and the fire of the hearth. Goddess of Smith Craft, she is patroness of metal workers and crafters of all kinds.  Through the fire of the hearth, Brigit brings the blessings of warmth and light to the home.

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

“Brigid” by tattereddreams

She is the Lady of Literature, the Goddess of Creative Expression; She is the Luminous Muse of the Poetic Voice. Brigit is the patroness of poets, writers and bards, lending grace and inspiration to creative writing.

Aligned with the Divine Flame of Inspiration, Goddess Brigit is a magnificent muse, illuminating our natural and true state of inspiration, allowing for our creative energies to flow freely.  We are empowered, motivated and inspired to create. With this energy we realize our innate and eternal connection to the Divine Universal Source, we realize our own Inner Light is illuminated Divine Essence. We remember that we are an aspect of the Eternal Flame of Inspiration and that we are always aligned with divine inspiration.

Goddess Brigit inspires, empowers and encourages us to express our Truth through our purpose.  She offers assistance in releasing and transcending fears; self-limiting patterns and unhealed energy, helping us to feel protected and supported through any and all aspects of self-expression and communication.

This Celtic Queen of Creative Expression reminds us of the power we wield with our words and encourages us to utilize our Empowered Voice.  When we use our Empowered Voice we align our words and thoughts with affirmative language.  We ascend from the passive voice and align with firm, focused, decisive, empowered energy that carries a creative force channeled through all aspects of our communication.  Whether through written word, verbal communication, song lyrics, poetry and/or through our thoughts, Brigit reminds us to align our language with the Empowered Voice, to wield the magic of our words with that which we desire to create, realize and experience.  With this energy, Brigit reminds us of our True Power, with this remembrance we are able to recognize the tremendous creative essence of our Being.

Brigit also supports and encourages us to Speak our Truth. Brigit explains that being able to speak our truth is a tremendous gift.  When the power of our voice rings with the purity of our personal truth, the harmony of our Ascended Self is expressed. This expression wields such blessings of empowered grace, for the truth expressed resonates throughout our consciousness with a cohesive energy, raising the vibration and bringing into harmony the body, mind and spirit with the high vibration of our essential truth.  From this expression of truth confidence is born, the strong and graceful confidence of our Higher Enlightened Self. From this place of empowered truth, confidence and grace, our experience is that of perfect peace, peace with our self and peace with all that is.

“Brigid” by Sharon McLeod

A Goddess of Healing and Midwifery, Brigit lends healing grace within all aspects of health and healing, aids women and animals in childbirth and will also support the birthing process of our creative projects.

Brighid the Warrior

In Her aspect of Warrior Goddess, Brigit is the Protecress of Her People, a devoted and steadfast guardian to all who would call upon Her. Brigit shields those who call upon Her from harm, being kept lovingly guarded within Her protective embrace.  Within the cover of Brigit’s colossal cloak, we feel safe and supported; we transcend the fears founded within illusions of separateness and ascend within the illuminated essence of our True Essential Self.

She is both a warrior and a healer, aligned with fire and water; Brigit helps us to honor our polarities, bringing balance within these polarities and utilizing the vast and infinite nature of our consciousness for the greatest benefit of the whole.

Brigid: Saint and Goddess

Brigit’s name is said to mean “The Exalted One”, “The Bright One”, “Bright Arrow”, “The Powerful One”, and “The High One.”  Known as a Great Mother Goddess of Ireland and also as a Saint, Brigit provides a beautiful bridge between beliefs and practices.  With this energy, Brigit brings the remembrance of our Oneness and is an awesome affirmation of the Eternal Essence of the Divine Feminine.

Some of Her symbols and correspondences include fire, sparks of fire, candles, forges, hearth, sunrise, sunbeams, springs and wells. Oak trees, acorns, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, milk, spears and arrows, snowdrops, blackberries, ivy, crocuses, clover, heliotrope, heather, and the colors green, white, black, red, and yellow, St. Brigit’s Cross, and Corn Dolls.

Goddess Brigit is an all encompassing aspect of the Divine Feminine, reminding us that our own True Potential is beyond any means of measurement.  This lovely, illuminated aspect of the Lady is dedicated to the rediscovery and remembrance of our Divine Power. Goddess Brigit is a devoted and steadfast ally to any and all who call upon Her.” (Rhiannon Barkemeijer de Wit, 2011) [1]

For a collection of links to lore, books and jewelry related to the Goddess Brighid, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND visiting Brigid – Celtic Goddess and Saint.

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Pantheon: Celtic

General: Fire (especially sparks, sudden flames), hearth, forge, light, candles, sunrise, springs and wells, poetry, whistling, embroidery, arrows, bells, thresholds and doorways, sandstone rock formations (i.e. large monoliths like those found at Stonehenge), St. Brigid’s cross, cloak, midwifery, middle of winter (Imbolc), corn dolls, and the number 19.

Elements: Fire, water

Sphere of Influence: Abundance, fertility

Preferred Colors: Red, yellow, orange, blue, white, black

Associated Symbol: Eternal Flame, mantle, well

Animals Associated with: White, Red-eared cow, lambs and ewes, dairy cows, bees, owls, serpents (especially two entwined), and all hibernating animals (i.e. snakes, badgers, grounhogs).

Plants: Dandelion, snowdrop, crocus, trillium, acorns and oak tree, corn, oat, sage, pumpkin seeds, heather, chamomile, broom, shamrock, rushes, straw, and all field flowers.

Perfumes/Scents: Heather, wisteria, violet, lavender, lemon verbena, and heliotrope.

Gems and Metals: Gold, brass, silver, carnelian, agate, copper, amethyst, jasper, and rock crystals.

Best Day to Work with: Friday

Best Time to Work with: Sunrise

Strongest Around: Imbolc

Suitable Offerings: Coins, fire, blackberries

Associated Planet: Venus                                               [2] [3]

 

 

My tribute to the Blessed Brighid

 

 

 

Sources:

Barkemeijer de Wit, Rhiannon. Pyramidcompany.com, “Who is Goddess Brigit?

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Symbols: Brigid“.

Pagannews.com, “Brighid“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Blueroebuck.com, “Brighid“.

Catsidhe, Grey. Ditzydruid.com, “Brighid: My Muse“.

Celtnet.org.uk, “Brigantia

Jones Celtic Encyclopedia, “Brigit“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Brigid“.

Ord Brighideach International

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Brigid: ignite your passion – goddess of the flame“.

Rhiannon. Faeryshaman.org, “BRIGID, BRIGHDE, BRIDE, BRIDEY, BRIGANTIA, BRIGANDU, BRIGGIDDA,BRIG, BRIGHID, BRIGIT, BRIDGE,  BRIGITTE“.

Shee-eire.com, “Celtic Goddess Brigit Datasheet“.

Bridget’s Song

So, here is a little video I put together earlier today in honor of Imbolc, but a few days away and of course, the Goddess Brighid; one of my most favorite and beloved Goddesses.

The song in this video is set to “Bridget’s Song” by Celia and can be purchased at Celia Online.

Brighid Turns the Wheel

As it has always done, and will continue to do, the Wheel turns. Yule is over, the old year is dead and gone. Though you can’t see it, new life stirs. Of course, it may not feel like it in Upstate New York right now as I look out my window at all the snow coming down. But the days are growing noticeably longer and we know that change is taking place all around us, no matter how small. The Bright One is with us. You can’t help but feel Her presence and Her warmth – Her spark urging and drawing us to awaken from our midwinter slumber.

“Spring” by by Ruth Sanderson

Traditionally, Brighid presides over Imbolc and for good reason. She is the Maiden in which new life rejoices. We invite Brighid into our homes and lives to help us purify and clear out that which no serves us or is needed from the year prior with Her fire and watery aspects. We ask Her to assist us in divination at the crossroads so that we may know which direction or path to take in the hopes that our efforts will yield a successful and bountiful harvest in the year to come. We call upon Her as midwife to help us take the steps we need to take, no matter how small, to transform our hopes and that which we dreamed of during our long winter’s slumber into reality. As She did so delicately with me, She calls us to come forth and to seek healing if we need it; to guide us to those with warm hearts and strong hands to help us emerge from the winter within our souls and face the challenges and lessons that lie ahead.

“Luna Meets Brigid at Imbolc” by Wendy Andrew

Ostara is a very powerful time to take the steps, whether physically, mentally or magically, to attune to the earth’s balancing energies and rebalance what needs balancing in your life. It is time to clean out (if we haven’t already started doing so) to make room for new growth and facilitate creativity. Also take this time to make ready your “tools” (magical and mundane) you’ll need and prepare the “seeds” (spiritual and physical) you plan sew so that they may have enough time to grow and properly come into bloom. I believe it wouldn’t be at all inappropriate to call upon Brighid during this time to lend Her assistance in our efforts as creativity and blacksmithing are both included in Her many fortes.

“Brighid’s Walk” by Helen Nelson-Reed

Beltane is a time to revel in the creative heat of the Bel-fires that act as a catalyst for all kinds of sacred fertility and growth. The fires revitalize and renew us. The Goddess Brighid being a Goddess of forge-fires and the fire of inspiration was no stranger, I’m sure, to the fever-fire of passion. As such, Bel, Lugh or Oghma would make appropriate Consorts for Her if She so chooses. This sacred union between the God and Goddess is sacred to us because fertility is sacred. Without the sacred act of the union, there would be no fertility; there would be no life.

“The Beltane season is a time of fertility, not only for people but for the land as well. In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself. To cultivate something in the black soil, see it sprout and then bloom, is to watch a magical working unfold before our very eyes. The plant cycle is intrinsically tied to so many earth-based belief systems that it should come as no surprise that the magic of the garden is one well worth looking into.” (Wigington, Patti, Magical Gardening Around the World)

Next, the Wheel turns to Litha, or Midsummer. Like Ostara, it has been questioned as to whether or not Midsummer has always been celebrated by our ancient ancestors or whether the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many Neo-Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June. “This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life. Flowers surround us with bright colors and seductive fragrances drawing the bees in to ensure fertility and reproduction of the species; which in turn provides us with sweet honey. All the seeds have been planted and the crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive.” (Wigington, Patti, Litha History – Celebrating the Summer Solstice)

I draw associations here between Brighid’s fiery and watery aspects and the need for balance between the hot, blazing and fiery sun and the need for cool, replenishing and healing water. We also observe the balance between light and the darkness, both in the physical world and within ourselves. Take the time to appreciate and love all the beauty and blessings that have blossomed in your life over the course of the year thus far. There is so much beauty not only in the world and in nature, but also within ourselves. Find it, find your confidence and love. Celebrate it, dance joyously in the sun’s warm and healing rays as this is one of the most cherished duties we have as children of the Goddess.

“Brigid” by Lisa Iris

What does that mean for us? No such great festivals bind us together today as they did thousands of years ago to promote survival. However, we can learn from them that connection is vital for a happy and complete life. Coming together for ritual confirms, builds and strengthens Community. This is also a good time to focus on preparing one’s family and home with some magic around the hearth and home.

“Decide which events, goals or relationships no longer serve your highest and best, make preparations to remove them from your life.” [1] Throw symbols of them into Brighid’s fire. Now is also the time to finish long-standing projects by the fall. It would also be a good time to bless the tools of your trade in order to bring a richer harvest next year. Again, Brighid being a Hearth Goddess and Goddess of blacksmithing would be more than willing to lend Her assistance if asked in both of these tasks.

“Brigid” by Nefaeria

The autumn is the season of death; it is a time of transformation. When things are stripped away from us or we feel the need to clean out that which is no longer needed, giving up old habits and attitudes that no longer fit us, we ask Brighid to help us understand the wisdom of transformation. She helps us when we seem to have nothing left or are in pain of loss. She helps us understand that when something is truly finished and no longer useful to our soul’s purpose, we can find ourselves happy at the change. We are renewed. This is the hope hidden within the apparent darkness of transformation.

“Brigid: Bardic Spirit” by Lindowyn

The veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest, as it was at Beltane. This is a time to remember and honor all who have crossed over and all that has died. We recall with a sharp pang of memory, the loves so full of promise, the ideas that seemed to gleam, the plans that called to us. We move on, eventually past broken hearts and shattered dreams, stronger for the losses we have endured. But to live most fully, we must make time to grieve the pain of these losses, to give time to the sorrows as well as the joys of life. This is a time that we turn to Brighid to light our way through the darkness to receive warmth and healing at Her hearth. We become still and quiet to acquire or gain any wisdom and knowledge that She has to bestow. We watch as she works and hammers away deep in Her forges, shaping and tempering strong tools from crude metal, transformed by fire and water.

“Brigid of the Forge” by Lindowyn

The Wheel turns to Yule. The cold and darkness of winter has been long and hard. The daylight does not seem to diminish or grow as though at a standstill. We seem to be holding our breath, waiting for change. The soul holds still like this, just before great change occurs. It is a silence so profound that it seems as though time has stopped. In this magical moment, we have the chance to set in motion great changes, great happenings. This is the moment when the seeds of new life, new growth, must be planted.

“Promise of Imbolc” by Adrian Welch

The Winter Solstice, or Yule, was an incredibly sacred time to our ancestors. They recognized and celebrated the “rebirth” of the sun, for they knew that they had made it and the sun was returning. They knew that the worst was over. “Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.” (Akasha, The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore)

How we yearn for the light in the dark times of winter. Even knowing how important rest is to ourselves and to our planet, how happily we greet the dawn and the spring! Brighid’s flame shines like the flame of a new light and it pierces the darkness and shines into our spirits. Even to this day, we celebrate, laugh and tell stories and seek out companionship during the darkness of winter. Mythically, our role in the cosmic drama is important, for without laughter the sun will not return. So in this dark time, let us all laugh as loudly and as long as possible. For as the ancients knew, the worst is over and we will survive…just to do it all again next year!

“Maiden Goddess” by Wendy Andrew

Brighid Bright 

by Autumn Sky

Brighid my Mother
nurture me
so that I may nurture and nourish
Brighid my Maiden
make me fertile, sensuous, feminine
so that I may know the power of my female form
Brighid my Crone
make me quiet
so that I may know the patience
to grow wise with time
Brighid my Blacksmith
forge me strong and true
so that I may stand tall and solid
Brighid my Poet
give me eloquence and a moon-graced tongue
so that my words may find their way
to open eyes, hearts, and minds
Brighid my Healer
wash me clean in health
so that I may touch and heal
myself, my land, my people
Brighid my Warrior
imbue me with courage and dignity
so that I may fight an honest fight
for respect, equality, and freedom
for all minds, hearts, souls, and bodies

Brighid my multifaceted star
no matter how cloudy the night sky
a spot of clarity
all sides combine
one bright one shines
to give me what I need
one woman, one heart, one soul, one mind
but with her on my side
I am so much more
every step a new door
to who I can be
because she makes it so
I can be free to be
who deep down I know
is the woman i have always been


The lunar month of Rowan offers you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve and nurture your dreams.

This point in the agricultural calendar is marked by the plowing of the soil to prepare it for the seed; any magic performed now is groundwork.  The surface of the earth appears barren, but the life-force is stirring beneath.  Ask yourself what you need to prepare to plant the seeds of your dreams this year.

The White Month

The Celtic fire festival of Imbolc (February 2) falls in the Rowan Moon, and is associated with the Goddess Brigid, to whom the festivities are dedicated.  Also known as Bride, She represents the mother of the newborn Sun, and all candle magic is sacred to Her.  During the Rowan Moon, wear white to cast spells, use white candles, and feast on white foods to attune to the season.

 

THE TREE OF PERSEVERANCE

The rowan terrain or mountain ash often grows on craggy mountains, higher than any other tree.  Its ability to flourish in bleak places teaches you perseverance.  The rowan berries reveal a natural pentagram at their base – a symbol of the womb of the Earth Goddess and of protection.  These physical attributes give the tree associations of healing and guardianship.

The rowan berry has a tiny five-pointed star or magical pentagram (an important symbol in magical traditions) opposite its stalk.  This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.

Rowan Charms

Sprays of rowan berries were once  hung in cattle barns to protect livestock from disease and sorcery.  The leaves and berries can also be used to make a divination incense, and carrying the bark is believed to promote healing in the bearer.  The name “rowan” even comes from the same root as the word “rune”, in its meaning as a charm.

ROWAN MOON MAGIC

When you collect wood from a tree, remember to leave an offering on a branch in return.

The Wheel of Bride

This protective charm represents the waxing energies of the Sun and can be hung in the home to attract good luck.

1. Collect two straight sticks of rowan or mountain ash wood.  Leave an offering of thanks on a branch, such as a strand of hair, thread or ribbon.

2. Hold the sticks in a cross and say, “Spirits of this wood, I bring you together for the good of all.”

3. Bind the sticks into an equal-armed cross and secure with red thread.  As you do this, visualize a powerful white light.

4. Hold the charm up to the Sun and say: “Behold the Wheel of Bride, blessed be.”

Magic Mirror

Use this meditation and a magic mirror to help increase your psychic powers.

1. Prop up a round mirror on a table, surrounded by rowan leaves, berries and three white candles.  Close your eyes and say aloud, “My Lady, open my inner eye to grant clear vision.”

2. Focus on the center of your forehead and “direct” your breathing on this spot.

3. Half-open your eyes and gaze in the mirror.  Focus on your breath and register any images that drift into your mind.  Repeat this process regularly and your visions will improve.

Candle Magic

Combine the magic of the Rowan Moon with the candle magic of Imbolc.

1. Fill a small pot with earth and then hold a white candle in your right hand.  Concentrate on what you want to grow this year.

2. Plant the candle in the soil saying: “Mother Brigid, I ask you to nurture my dream, may it grow with your blessed light.”

3. Light the candle and see its flame expand, taking strength from the Sun.

4. After seeking the help of the Goddess through candle magic, plant a seed as an offering of thanks to Her in a favorite place and wait for your wish to grow.

 

Attune to the Moon

  • Harness the growing potential of the Rowan Moon in your life and make a new start by following these resolutions.
  • Begin spring cleaning now.  As the light increases, you need to clear out your clutter with all your energy to make way for new growth.
  • Have a Rowan Moon dinner party and ask you guests to wear white, dine by candlelight and eat seeds such as beans, pulses and nuts.
  • Look for the first snowdrops of the season and make a wish when you see one.  Snowdrops hold potential of spring.
  • Tie a white ribbon on a rowan tree while saying the names of those you love.  The tree will send out healing vibrations to them.

Source:
“Enhancing Your Mind, Body and Spirit”, 21 Nature Magic, CARD 6.

Suggested Links:

The Goddess Tree, “Rowan“.

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