Brigid is a Goddess of Fire, Light and Warmth and her name means “Bright / Exalted One”. She is the Master of All Arts (including magic) and she is usually depicted as a blacksmith. It is said that once Brigid's warriors were ones called Brigands. She is the Keeper of the Divine Forge and Hearth capable to transform, with her own magical, alchemical, divine transmutation, one thing to another. This aspect of Brigid as a Divine Blacksmith and Alchemist, Keeper of the Sacred Flame is well honoured in the Spring Sabbat of Imbolc (or Candlemas). She is the carefree Maiden that warms our hearts with her innocent laugh and melts the snow. She is also, the Divine Sparkle that blesses the candles to be used in all your rituals. Brigid is the Goddess that penetrates with her Divine Flame the coldness of winter and allows the first flowers to pop. Snowdrops is one of her sacred flowers and it is one of the first flowers that appear near the snow bed, signs of hope that the winter is over.
On Imbolc to honor Brigid one of the practices that are associated with Brigid, is the making of Sun-Crosses or Brigid's Crosses as they are more usually called. (Instructions on how to make Sun Crosses will be given soon).
Brigid is also honoured as the wise and comforting midwife an almighty healer who protects the women during pregnancy and labor and comforts and heals those who are battling with any type of illness (mental, emotional or physical). In addition, Brigid is a Poetess and blesses with inspiration and magic all artists and bards. She is also the Bringer of Wisdom and will gladly assist you in your rituals and spells as a master blacksmith will guide you how to master your art. In addition, Brigid will bless you with the gifts of intuition, foresight and prophecy. The Rowan tree is sacred to Brigid and it will grant you protection and knowledge (more extensive article on Rowan to come).
Brigid in Christianity
So much was the love and respect of people for Brigid that her fame remained intact even after the attempts to eradicate paganism and the Old Ways and the rise of Christianity. As I respect both religions I consider essential to point out that we should all be aware that these religious movements and fanaticism were nothing more than man-made political games, having nothing to do with the ways of the Divine as Gods are perfect love and compassion and embrace diversity.
Brigid today is named St. Brigit or Santa Brigitta or alternatively Saint Bride and many wells, churches and shrines bear her name. Among the most famous is the monastery of Kildare (from the Gaelic Cill Dara) which translates as the Church of the Oak. According to the Irish tradition, during the ninth century the nuns of Kildare kept burning the holy flame in her name. It was only after the time of Henry VIII during the dispossession of monasteries that this tradition stopped. Legend says that Saint Bride was born at dawn and after her birth a radiant pillar of flame erupted from her head that reached the heavens. One can easily observe once more that the association between Brigid and flame remained the same. Regarding her fame as a protectress of pregnancy and labor Saint Bride was believed to be the midwife of Virgin Mary. The day of celebration of Saint Brigit is the 1st of February which is the same day for the celebration of Imbolc/ Candlemas. Brigid or St. Brigid is a symbol that true faith and love does not die in time and you are more than welcome pagan or not to honour this deity/saint as she will answer your prayers without any prejudice. You can leave offerings to the Goddess under a rowan tree or next to springs and wells.
· If you are casting candle or fire magic rituals and spells
· For Protection against Evil
· To remove emotional, mental or physical pain
· To instill you with hope
· In healing rituals
· If you wish to master any kind of art
· To protect and guide you in divination
· To protect your beloved one during pregnancy and labor
· As the Goddess of Imbolc/Candlemas
· If you are undergoing a changing phase (e.g. loss of a loved one, breaking bad habits or wishing to raise your self-awareness)