Fire in the forge that
shapes and tempers.
Fire of the hearth that
nourishes and heals.
Fire in the head that
incites and inspires.
— The Three-Fold Fire of Brighid, the Ord Brighideach
Today is the feast day of St. Brigid who is also Brighid, the beloved Goddess of the Old Religion. Even after the Roman Catholics banned all Pagan ways, She was so firmly and permanently adored, She was absorbed into Christianity as a saint.
But the Wheel turns and we once more give honor to the Sun Goddess Bride (pronounced “breed” or “breej ”), Brigit, or Brighid. She is the Fire Goddess of Healing, Poetry, and Art. You can see Her embodied in the bright stars of the constellation we call Orion.
For millennia at Her temple at Kildare (or Cill Dara, which means Church of the Oak), Her priestesses, and later, the nuns of Her order, tended an eternal flame in Her honor. Although it was extinguished during the Burning Times (the Inquisition), in 1993, Sister Mary Minehan boldly re-lit St. Brigid’s flame in Kildare. It was lit again in 1997, in the Kildaire town square by Ragny Skaisten, a member of the Norwegian Brigidine Sisters, at the opening of Her feast day, Feile Bhride.
Since then, despite reluctance from the Pope, each year on Brigid’s Feast Day, the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare have lit the flame in the town square for the day.
Then, in 2006, in Kildare, on St. Brigid’s day, with much ceremony, lit by the President of Ireland, Her eternal flame was restored permanently. And every year, in traditions that have remained unbroken, Her celebrations are enjoyed throughout Ireland, and wherever Her Irish sons and daughters have migrated.
Brigid presides over all transformations: birth and brewing; metal-smithing and poetry; and perhaps the most miraculous of all transformations — the passage from Winter to Spring. Her name may be derived from Gaelic “breo aigit” meaning “fiery arrow.” Her name is noticeably similar to the Sanskrit derivation “Brahti” which means “exalted one.”
The gifts of Brigid transcend spiritual path and culture. Brigid inspires us to become more than we have ever been – to reach for the greatest potential that exists in each of us. Her Flame is given to us for inspiration. It energizes the path from our dark Winter to the promise of Spring. It illuminates us to see and know our ancient, wise souls. Hers is the purifying fire that heals our wounds, forges new strength, and weaves creativity and art into our lives.
May Brigid the Shining One bless you on this great day of hope and power. May we, with our lives, ensure that Her holy fire burns forever more.
Tomorrow, please celebrate with Brighid’s faithful! Join us in
The Fourth Annual Brigid in the Blogosphere Poetry Slam