Tag Archive: irish mythology


Beautifully written! Whenever I think of Lughnasadh, I not only think of Lugh, but of the Goddess Tailtiu and Her great sacrifice. It was on Her deathbed that Queen Tailtiu asked that funeral games be held annually on the ground that She cleared that ultimately caused Her demise.

“Tailtiu was the last queen of Her kind, a feminine energy that felt the longing of humanity. When the time is right, She gives birth, delivers the sheaves of wheat, then She dies, a need fulfilled….but soon She will rise again.” ~ MXTODIS123

Deanne QuarrieWe are approaching the season of Lughnasadh, also known as Lammas.  This is the first of three harvest festivals.  This one focuses on what we call the “first fruits”, those fruits, vegetables and grains ripening early in the season. The other two are Mabon and Samhain, one celebrating the harvest of the last crops and the next that of the herd animals sacrificed to feed the tribes.

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Goddess Oonagh

Art by Howard David Johnson

“Oonagh’s themes are fairies, nature, devotion and relationships. Her symbols are all fairy plants, silver and dew.  This ancient Irish Queen of the Fairies is also a potent Goddess of magic. In Irish legends, Oonagh is a faithful wife and the most beautiful of all Goddesses, having long silky hair and a robe of silver and dew. Today She brings the fey into our lives to remind us of the unseen worlds and to awaken the child within each of us that dares to dream and wish.

Sometime in November, the people of ancient Ireland celebrated a day for the ‘wee folk’ known as the Lunantishees.  This was a time to revel in fairy folklore and superstition.  We can honor Oonagh and Her children by following suit. Today wear green, which is a favorite fairy color. Don some pleasant-sounding bells that tinkle lightly when you walk. Fairies love this sound.  Or, carry a staurolite stone, also known as the fairy cross. This stone not only brings luck but also helps in controlling elemental beings such as the fey.

To see fairies today, find a four-leafed clover and lay seven kernels of grain beneath it. Or go to an area where oak, ash and thorn trees grow together. This is said to be sacred ground for both the fey and Oonagh.

If you’re concerned about fairy mischief, wear red for protection. Or, carry some flint as the Irish did to keep fairies at arm’s length.”

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

Art by Gloria Scholik

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Oona (pronounced OO-nuh) was “the most beautiful of Ireland’s fairy queens.  She was said to have golden hair so long it swept the ground; She flew through the earth robed in gossamer silver bejeweled with dew.  Oona lived with the fairy king Finnvara [High King of the Daoine Sidhe] who was constanly unfaithful to Her with mortal women; She retained, nonetheless, an even, benevolent termperament” (p. 239 – 240).

Judika Illes adds that “Oonagh is a Goddess of love and protectress of young animals.  Oonagh may also have influence over the realm of death.  She is Mistress of Illusion and Glamour: Her silver gossamer dress appears to shimmer with diamonds, but it’s really sparkling dew.  Oonagh’s blessings are invoked to find true love and to experience romantic happines.

Manifestation: Oonagh is described as so beautiful that no one (at least no mortal) can look at Her without being awed and amazed.

Consort: Fionnbharr

Metal: Silver  ”  [2]

 

 

Sources:

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Oonagh“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Carleton, William. Sacred-texts.com, “A Legend of Knockmany“.

Eric (Coolsite-DS). Daoinesidhe.net, “Daoine Sidhe means“.

Esotericonline.net, “The Fey” (includes rules you need to abide when journeying with the Fey about half way down the page – GOOD STUFF!)

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Daoine Sidhe“.

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Lunantishee“.

Moonsong, Jasmeine. Wiccanmoonsong.blogspot.com, “Oonagh“.

Shee-eire.com, “Úna“.

Virtue, Doreen. Archangels and Ascended Masters, “Oonagh“.

Wikipedia, “Fairy Queen“.

Goddess Tailtiu

“Demeter” by InertiaK

“Tailtiu’s themes are the first harvest and excelling in a craft or sport. Her symbol is bread.  The Irish Goddess Tailtiu was the foster mother of the god of light, Lugh, whom this date venerates. Lugh held Her in such high regard that he created the Tailtean games, which took place during Lammas (rather like the Olympics). This honor may have also had something to do with Tailtiu’s association as an earth Goddess.

In Wiccan tradition, and in many others, today is a day for preparing food from early ripening fruits like apples. it is also a time for baking bread in honor of the harvest. Combining the two, make applesauce bread. Stir the batter clockwise, focusing on any craft or sport in which you wish to excel. As you stir, chant,

‘Flour from grain, the spell begins, let the power rise within; Apples from trees, now impart, Tailtiu, bring _________ to my heart.’

Fill in the blank with a word that describes the area in which you want to encourage improvements or develop mastery. Eat the bread to internalize the energy.

Time-friendly alternatives here are buying frozen bread and adding diced apples to it, having toast with apple butter or just enjoing a piece of bread and apple anytime during the day. Chant the incatation mentally. Then bite with conviction!”

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

“Lughnasadh” by NicoleSamlinski

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Taillte was “the Goddess of August in ancient Ireland [who] was said to be foster mother of the light, embodied in the god Lugh.  One of the great Irish earth Goddesses, Taillte lived on the magical Hill of Tara, from which She directed the clearing of an immense forest, the wood of Cuan.  It took a month to clear the Plain of Oenach Taillten, where Taillte then built Her palace; it remains on Irish maps today as Teltown, near Kells.

A festival was celebrated annually in Her honor, lasting the whole of August. For generations it was celebrated, complete with mercantile fairs and sporting events; even into the medieval times Taillte’s festivities were held. Eventually, they died out, but in the early part of this century the Tailltean Games – the Irish Olympics – were revived in an attempt to restore Irish culture” (p. 290).

According to a Teltown/Meath tourism site: “The hill of Tailtiu is one of the most celebrated spots in Ireland, for it was here that the celebrated Aonach Tailteann, the Lughnasa Festival was first held.

Tailtiu was the learned daughter of Mag Mor, a distinguished king of Spain, and married to the last great Fir Bolg king, Eochaid mac Eirc, who named his palace after Her, and She was also the foster-mother of the great hero Lugh Lámfhota.  Tailtiu lived in Her palace on Ráth Dubh and She led Her people in the clearing of the forest of County Meath, some of Ireland’s best farmland. But the work of clearing proved so onerous as to break Her heart, in the words of the text.

“Lammas” by Wendy Andrews

Queen Tailtiu took the trouble to select a particular spot in which She wished to be buried. It was located on the side of a hill, covered with dense forest; but because of its sunlit and beautiful situation She had chosen it, and Her husband, in compliance with Her wishes, had it cleared of the timber. It took a host of stalwart men nearly a year to accomplish the task.

In this spot Tailtiu desired Her Leath, or tomb, should be made, Her Cuba, or public lamentations, recited, and Her Nosad, or funeral rites and games, duly celebrated, according to the recognised customs of the country.

On Her deathbed Queen Tailte asked that funeral games be held annually on the cleared ground. King Lugh came from his great palace at Nas (now Naas, in Co. Kildare), and had Tailtiu interred in Her ‘green circle on the distant hills.’ Legend says She was buried in a royal state, with impressive druidical rites, on the side of Caill Cuain (now called Sliabh Caillighe), in what is known now as ‘Cairn T‘.

When summoned by the Ard Righ, or High King, such assemblies were of the greatest national importance, and as such were attended by all the minor kings, chiefs and nobles, as well as by vast multitudes of the people from all parts of the five provinces.  Participants came from all parts of Ireland, Scotland, and further afield, making Tailtiu the equal of Tara, Tlachtga, and Uisnech.

As a national institution, the Aonach fulfilled three important public functions in the lives of the people. Its first objective was to: do honour to the illustrious dead; secondly, to promulgate laws; and, finally, to entertain the people. Presiding at the Tailtiu assembly or fair became the prerogative of the king of Tara.

“Medieval Tournament” by C. L. Doughty

Lugh lead the first funeral games at the time of Lughnasa (1 August; Lammastide, now Lammas), which consisted of hurling, athletic, gymnastic and equestrian contests of various kinds, and included running, long-jumping, high-jumping, hurling, quoit-throwing, spear-casting, sword and-shield contests, wrestling, boxing, handball, swimming, horse-racing, chariot-racing, spear or pole jumping, slinging contests, bow-and-arrow exhibitions, and, in fact, every sort of contest exhibiting physical endurance and skill.   A universal truce was proclaimed in the High King’s name, and all feuds, fights, quarrels and such-like disturbances were strictly forbidden and severely dealt with; and all known criminals were rigorously excluded from both the games and the assembly.

In addition, there were literary, musical, oratorical, and story-telling competitions; singing and dancing competitions, and tournaments of all kinds. Also, competitions for goldsmiths, jewellers, and artificers in the precious metals; for spinners, weavers and dyers; and the makers of shields and weapons of war. The fair lasted for a fortnight.

(At the hill of Tailte is one of the most celebrated spots in Ireland, for it was here in 1420 BCE the celebrated Aonach Tailteann the Lughnasa Festival was first held.)” [2]

“Tailtiu was the last queen of Her kind, a feminine energy that felt the longing of humanity.  When the time is right, She gives birth, delivers the sheaves of wheat, then She dies, a need fulfilled….but soon She will rise again. Over the centuries, with the advent of patriarchy, Divinity began to rise towards the heavens, and Lughnasadh, the feast that was once a funerary fair in honor of Tailtiu, now became a celebration of the Sun God, Lugh.” [2]

 

 

 

Sources:

Meath.ie, “HISTORY & LEGEND ABOUT THE TAILTIU & THE TAILTEANN GAMES (A SNIPPET)“.

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

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “Tailtiu“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ancientworlds.net, “Tailtiu and the Tailtian Games“.

Brandon-Evans, Tira. Goddess Alive! Goddess Celebration and Research, Issue No. 18 – Autumn/Winter 2010, “Tailtiu: Harvest Goddess“.  (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!)

Shee-eire.com, “Tailtiu“.

Tuathadebrighid.net, “The Story of Tailtiu“.

Wikipedia, “Tailtiu“.

Goddess Sheelah-Na-Gig

“Sheela-na-gig” by Changeling

“Sheelah-na-gig’s themes are fertility, sexuality, protection, passion and femininity.  Her symbols are nakedness, lust-inspiring scents and whiskey.  The image of this Irish Goddess of fertility tells us much about the unbridled nature of feminine passion that Sheila-na-gig inspires with spring-like whimsy. She is shown smiling broadly, holding Her legs wide open, completely naked. Nonetheless, this is not irresponsible lust; it is the gat of life through which we all pass. Interestingly enough, Sheila-na-gig’s image, in an amulet, offers protection too – perhaps She was the first Goddess of safe sex?!

Sheelah’s Day is celebrated in true Irish fashion by drinking abundant whiskey and drowning a shamrock in the last glass consumed, to end the festivities. This particular custom denotes the idea of consuming one’s luck, increasing fecundity, and internalizing the Goddess’s protective energies before the day is over. So if you can tolerate whiskey, toast Sheelah, take a sip, and warm up your passion! Otherwise, offer Her a libation of whiskey, asking for Her energy to be likewise liberated in your body.

If you have a significant other, one of the ways to honor Sheelah is through passionate encounters that are balanced with wisdom and foresight. Take a condom and bless it, saying:

‘Sheelah, my hunger see, let my body love freely
But keep us safe, fertility bind
No matter our haste, keep protection in mind.’

Carry this condom with you to your tryst.”

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

At one time or another all of the above figures have been called Sheela Na Gigs.

“Sila na Geige [SHEE-luh-nah-GIG] is a shadowy sometimes-controversial Celtic Goddess. She represents both mother and crone aspects of the Goddess. Her image is found carved on stone thresholds, lintels, and standing stones of sacred sites or places of worship throughout the British Isles (mostly Ireland).  Stone carvings of Her depict a grinning woman holding open Her vulva. She is regarded by some as a gargoyle-like figure meant as a medieval allegory of lust, or as a magical figure meant to cure infertility in women, but others have seen in Her an echo of the ancient Irish Earth Mother. Not a lot has been written or is known about this Goddess or Her origins, and much information may have been lost through the ignorant prudishness of a patriarchal culture that saw only a vulgar caricature. Sila, however, survived into Christianity, and Her image can still be found carved on lintels and thresholds of churches in Ireland. In the 19th century, patriarchal society was appalled by the unrestricted feminine sexuality of the Sila images, and many Sila images were defaced or destroyed entirely.” [1][2]

“Sheela Na Gig” by Thomas Sheridan

The word ‘gyg’ is Norse for giantess, in other words, a supernatural or deified female, while ‘Sheila’ is a woman’s name, or used as a word for ‘girl’.

The vulva as holy symbol of birth and life is a very ancient idea that symbolizes the life-giving and regenerative powers of the Earth Mother. The image of the vulva has a long history of being carved in stone, and is found all over Europe from the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages. Passage graves were built in the shape of the Goddess, with the passage the vagina, and the tomb chamber itself representing Her uterus. ‘Tomb’ and ‘womb’ were equated, thus ensuring regeneration and continuity after death, in the same way that a ‘dead’ seed is planted in the fertile earth and sprouts up to grow into a complete plant.

Alternate spellings: Sheela-na-gig, Sheela-no-gig, Sheelanagyg, Irish Síle na gCíoch ‘Sheila of the Breasts” [3]

 

ASSOCIATIONS:

Colors: red, orange, purple, magenta

Moon Phase: full or waning

Animals: heron, crane, stork

Herbs/Flowers: hawthorn, birch, willow, cedar, black cohosh, heliotrope

Stones: any hard stone or building stone

Aspects: protection, death, fertility, birth, lust, opening, enjoyment of life, feminine power, feminine mysteries, womb chakra

Wheel of the Year: Alder Moon (Fearn) March 18 – April 14
Willow Moon (Saille) April 15 – May 12″ [4]

Sources:

Saille, Rowan.  Order of the White Moon, “Sila Na Geige

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Sheila-Na-Gig“.

Suggested Links:

McLoughlin, Tara. Sheela-Na-Gig Website.

NicDhàna, Kathryn Price. Bandia.net, “Sheela na Gig and Sacred Space“.

Seren. Tairis-cr.blogspot.com, “Sheelah’s Day“.

The Sheela Na Gig Project, “Sheela na Gig Theories“.

Wikipedia, “Sheela na gig“.


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


Goddess Banba

Banba is the Celtic Goddess of the spirit of Ireland. She is one of the Tuatha de Danaan.

“Banba’s themes are protection. Her symbol is soil. A Celtic war goddess, Banba extends safety to those who follow her, wielding magic in their support. In Irish tradition, she protected the land from invaders. As a reward for her sorcery’s assistance, Banba’s name became linked with ancient poetic designations for parts of Ireland. Interestingly enough, Banba translates as ‘unploughed land’, meaning it is left safe and untouched to grow fertile.
Considering crime and other societal problems, a little extra protection from Banba seems like something we could all use year-round. Think of your home and possessions as the ‘land’ she guards. Gather a pinch of dirt from near your residence, take it inside, and keep it in a special spot. Light a candle (white is good) near this anytime you feel you need Banba’s diligent sheltering.

On this day the Scots burn a pole attached to a barrel of tar (a Clavie) and take it around town to banish evil influences, especially magical ones. The Clavie’s remaining ashes are gathered by people as an anti-curse amulet. In keeping with this custom, burn a small bit of wood (perhaps oak) on a safe fire source. As it burns, recite an incantation like this:
‘Banba, burn away negativity, burn away mal-intent
Let the energy return from where it was sent.’

Keep the ashes as an anti-negativity talisman.”

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

For more information on Banba and her sisters Eriu and Fodla who make up their powerful triad, click here.

There are claims that this Banba may have been worshipped as Macha which would’ve given her associations with war as claimed by Seathrún Céitinn.

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