|Brigid, Goddess of Fire
Brigid is a fiery Celtic Goddess who helps us stand
in our power and proclaim the truth. She is
celebrated every February 1st, which is the first
day of Candlemas and Imbolc, celebrations that
welcome the light. Imbolc is traditionally the first
day of Spring and Candlemas focuses on the light of
the divine experienced through candles. It is a time
of rebirth, purification and cleansing rituals.
The name Brigid means fiery arrow and that she is.
She is very passionate and focused. Ancient texts
indicate Brigid lived in Ireland from the years 451
to 525. It is said she was born in the exact moment
when the sun rises above the horizon. When she was
delivered, a beam of radiant light burst like a
flame around her forehead.
Brigid exhibited great courage and conviction with
her family members and important political and
religious leaders of her day. It is said she went to
great lengths to assist the poor, giving of her
parents earnings without their approval. It may be
her parents sent her to the convent because she gave
away too many of their posessions.
During her life, Brigid became a nun, founded
Kildare Abbey and served as Abbess. A Bishop
"accidentally" commissioned her with a prayer meant
for the ordination of Bishops. He stated he was led
to do so by the Holy Spirit.
Her hospitality to all is celebrated on February
1st. Many in Ireland make goods from grains such as
cakes, crepes and pancakes and corn dolls called
brideogs on St. Brigid's eve. Brigid is said to walk
the earth at this time. The unmarried girls and
women stay up all night with the dolls and are later
visited by suitors from the community who must ask
permission to enter the home and treat the dolls
Another folk tradition the Irish practice is leaving
a piece of clothing or strip of cloth outside for
Brigid to bless. The head of the household will
smother the fire and rake the ashes smooth. In the
morning, the family will look for some kind of mark
on the ashes, a sign that Brigid has passed that way
in the night or morning. The clothes or strips of
cloth are brought inside, and believed to now have
powers of healing and protection.
Brigid, whose name also means Bride, blesses women
preparing for marriage and assists midwives.
Throughout her life, she became well-known for her
common sense and her holiness. She is known for
helping us receive divine guidance and prophetic
abilities. She serves as the patroness of dairy
farmers and cattle and is one of the two great
Saints of Ireland alongside Saint Patrick.
Brigid expressed great compassion throughout her
life and her energy is akin to that of the Blessed
Mother Mary. She is also known as Mary of the Gaels
because of her ability to facilitate the opening of
Brigid represents the fire of healing and
purification, crossing class boundaries and creative
expression. If you call upon her, be prepared for
her to light a fire under you to drive you to your
purpose and passion. She assists all of us with
unearthing our truth.
A perpetual flame burns at St. Brigid's Shrine in
Kildare, where Brigid is buried. There are also many
wells in Ireland dedicated to Brigid and her healing
powers. It is said that lepers who bathed in waters
dedicated to Brigid were healed of their leprosy.
Brigid is also widely known as the triple Goddess of
the flame who uses her flames to assist us with the
healing, purification and increasing fertility and
St. Brigid strongly believed in everyone having an
anam cara (Gaelic for soul friend). She had a
spiritual soul sister on earth during her life.
While Brigid was on her deathbed, she prophesied to
her that she would die exactly one year later. That
is exactly what happened.