Brigid is a Celtic triple goddess ruling healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is one of the great mothers of the Celts. (The Celts had many mother goddesses, including Danu and Morrigan.) Variant forms of her name include Brid, Bride, Brighid, Brigit, pronounced either as "breed" or with a softened "g" sound. She is also known as Brigantia, Briginda, and Brigdu. Her Welsh name in Ffraid. Her modern name is Brigit or Bridget as derived from her Christianization into St. Bridget. Her name, Brighid, thought to be derived from Bhrati in Sanskrit, is originally an epithet meaning "exalted one". The Romans equated Brighid with Minerva and she can be similarly equated with the Greek Athena.
Brighid is best known for her associations with healing, poetry, and smithcraft. As a healing goddess, she governs childbirth and the birthing time. Brighid was highly regarded as a healing goddess as can be seen from the numerous healing wells dedicated to her all over Ireland. As a goddess of poetry, she governs not only the inspiration and writing of poetry, but also divination and prophecy. As a goddess of smithcraft, she governs the forge's fire. It is for these reasons that she is considered the "Bright Goddess" and is associated with the element of fire. In all her forms, she brings to one inspiration (a fire quality) and provides the spark for motivation. Her fire associations are so strong that a perpetual fire was set at Kildare in her honour. The fire still burns there today. She also became the goddess of the hearth-fire, the fire of the home, since she contains the mother and fire aspects. As a goddess of the hearth, she is equated to Greco-Roman Hestia-Vesta.
The festival of Imbolg on February 1 is dedicated to Brighid. The Christianized festival is St. Bridget's Day in honour of St. Bridget. Imbolg is associated with the lactation of ewes (Imbolg meaning "in the belly" and Oimelc meaning "ewe's milk") and is one of the four major Celtic festivals (Samhain, Imbolg, Beltane, and Lughnasadh also known as the greater Sabbats in Wicca).
Brighid is a daughter of Dagda and mother to Ruadan, her son with Bres. Morrigan, another triple mother goddess, is thought to be Brighid's mother.
Brighid has been a major inspiration to me. She has sparked the "fire in my head". Not just with my personal writing, poetry, art and other creative projects, but also with my healing, and the inspiration continues day after day. She is an appropriate goddess for any healing work and any creative project. She has blessed my path and it is through this website that I hope to share her and her inspiration with others.
I have written the following call to Brighid to bless this website and those who would come and seek her inspiration.
Brighid, Exalted One
Goddess of fire and light
Patron of poets, smiths, and healers
Inspiration you bring when you are near
You, whose fire lights the smithy
Where our tools are forged
And our hearth-fire
Where we seek warmth
By your light and radiance many are healed
Daughter of Dagda
Lend us some of your fire and light
Share with us your radiance
Descend on us
Come and bless this site
Aid us and this world
As we journey on the healing path
Goddess of the hearth-fire
We bid you welcome
Hail and blessed be
The following by far is NOT an extensive list of sources, but it is a good start for those interested in more information about Brighid. Some of the best authors on Celtic mythology are Miranda J. Green and Anne Ross. A Google search would undoubtedly pull up thousands of sites referencing Brighid, however these may not all be reliable sources. The two site links listed below for Brigid are in my opinion reliable.
LIST OF SOURCES
Cotterell, Arthur. Encyclopedia of Mythology
Green, Miranda J. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend
Kondratiev, Alexei. The Apple Branch: A Path to Celtic Ritual
Mac Cana, Proinsias. Celtic Mythology
McCoy, Edain. Celtic Myth & Magick
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley. Celtic Heritage
Rolleston, T. W. Celtic Myth & Legend
Rutherford, Ward. Celtic Mythology
Squire, Charles. Mythology of the Celtic People
Stewart, R. J. Celtic Gods, Celtic Goddesses
Farrar, Janet and Stewart. The Witches' Goddess
Copyright C.J. Chow September 2004