AS IMBOLC RAPIDLY APPROACHES, WE ASK THE QUESTION "WHO WAS BRIGID?" THAT IS NOT AN EASY QUESTION TO ANSWER, SO FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS WE WILL BE MEETING ALL SIDES OF THE GODDESS WHO IS ONE OF THE MOST COMPLEX AND CONTRADICTORY OF ALL OF THE GODDESSES. SHE IS A GODDESS OF MANY NAMES--BRIGID OR BRIGIT, BRIGHID, BRIDE IN SCOTLAND, AND SHE IS BOTH PAGAN GODDESS AND A CHRISTIAN SAINT. SHE IS A CELTIC GODDESS OF FIRE, AND EACH ONE OF HER FACES REPRESENTS HER DOMINION OVER POETRY, HEALING AND SMITHCRAFT. AS THE MISTRESS OF THE MANTLE, SHE REPRESENTS THE VIRGIN ASPECT OF THE GREAT GODDESS. AS A WAR GODDESS, SHE WAS CALLED "FLAME OF IRELAND" AND "FIERY ARROW".
SHE IS ALSO THE KEEPER OF THE HOLY WELLS AND THE RIVERS OF HEALING. SHE IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION AND CRAFTMANSHIP...A WISE WOMAN OF HEALING AS WELL AS THE PATRONESS OF THE POETS AND PRIESTESSES. SHE WAS A TRANSISTIONAL DIETY AND AT TIMES IS DEPICTED IN TWO FORMS--THE "CAILLEACH" OR OLD CRONE OF WINTER, AND THE FAIR YOUNG MAIDEN OF SPRING. AND, AS CHRISTIAN THOUGHT INVADED THE ANCIENT WORLD, THE GODDESS BRIGID WAS SO POWERFUL THAT SHE WAS MORPHED INTO SAINT BRIGID OF KILDARE.
THE LEGEND OF BRIGID BEGAN AS A TRIPLICITY OF SISTERS. SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF THE DAGDA (THE GOOD GOD) MAKING HER ONE OF THE TUATHA DE DANANN, AND THE MORRIGAN. SHE IS HALF SISTER TO THE LOVE GOD, AENGUS. OTHERS SAY HER MOTHER WAS DANU, THE MOTHER EARTH. SOME BELIEVED SHE WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A DRUID. IT IS SAID THAT AT HER BIRTH, A COLUMN OF FLAME ROSE FROM THE TOP OF HER HEAD TO THE HEAVENS...CONNECTING HER TO THE UNIVERSE.
BRIGID ALSO HAD A DARK FACE AND IS LINKED TO THE SERPENT IN THE FOLLOWING VERSE:
"EARLY ON BRIDE'S MORN"
"SHALL THE SERPENT COME FROM THE VALE"
"I WILL NOT HARM THE SERPENT"
"NOR WILL THE SERPENT HARM ME."
The serpent was a symbol of wisdom and an attribute of old age; therefore, of the hag or crone. Brigid is described as having the gift of prophesy and was able to see the future. This may have been an early Christian attempt to accommodate the powerful and wise aspect of the great ancient Sun Goddess with the darker side of Brigid being played down when She was fully imported into the Christian canan
Keywords: goddess atai goddess tulsi mami wata witches persephone greek graces creator deity saints publius vergilius magus crowley illustrated aleister dickinson movie magus allan influence cycle horned initiation aleph viae