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 with respect!

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 hearts.

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 creative expression.

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.

Angels Around the Earth
Anita Ahuja

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