NAME: Brigit (pronounced Breed), Bridget, Breo-Saighit, (fiery arrow) Brigid, Brighid, Brid, Bride, Mary of the Gaels, Briid, Brig(h), Brigantia. Berecyntia, Brigindo
SYMBOLS: Brigid’s Bed or Wheel or Cross, flame, arrow.
USUAL IMAGE: Though Breo-Saighit is depicted by many as a triple goddess all three seem to be shown as young women.
HOLY BOOKS: N/A
HOLY DAYS: The first of the coming of Spring holidays (Imbolc) which started when the ewes started lactating, a designation that would be a bit hard for us to follow these days so it has been changed to February 2.
RELATIVES: Dagda (father), Boand (mother), Aed Minbhrec, Bodb, Derg, Cermat, Midir, Angus Og (brothers), Ainge (sister), Bress or Bres (husband), Ruadan (son), Ecne (grandson.) Senchan Torpeist (Husband, according to an account that calls her human, and claims her husband was the author of the Táin Bo Cualnge.)
FORM OF WORSHIP: On the eve of her day, make female images from straw, or Brigid’s Beds (or wheels or crosses,) also write poetry and dedicate it to her.
SYNODEITIES: Minerva, Vesta. (Greek) / Mary. (Christian)
One of the oldest and most revered of the Goddesses of the Tuatha de Dannaan, Breo-Saighit, whose name meant fiery arrow, which may have also stood as a symbol for the rays of the sun, would have many other names down through the ages, even to the point of being made a Christian Saint.
The full details of all her myths are lost to us, and no doubt like many other Gods and Goddesses from long ago, the details varied from place to place, as well as over time in those areas, so there was no one “Breed,” but many, though all are still her,
All told, there is hardly a group of Celts who did not have a form of Bride whom they worshipped, over time these different Brigit’s blended together.
Said to have minion over fire, smithing, fertility, cattle, crops, poetry & wells, the most important of these attributes is fire, as, no matter the other changes, this is never missing from stories about her.
It should be noted however that this was not ordinary fire, but an isotope of that element, to borrow a term from the modern era, unique to the Gaels who considered poetry to be the subtlest form of force.
Later when the Church tried to turn her into a human saint they said that her birth was foretold by a Druid who predicted that a great follower of “the True God” was to be born, and that this birth would be marked by a flame appearing over the place of birth. Later Celtic Christians insisted on making her the foster mother of Jesus.
Going back to her more original self, she was one of the few of the Tuatha de Dannaan (along with one of her brothers) to marry one of the terrible Fomorian Giants in a bid to bring peace between the two camps, this unfortunately didn’t work out, as her son was the one who tried to kill Goibniu, the Celtic god of sword making.
However the union did lead to something good, as her grandson Ecne became the personification of knowledge & enlightenment.
Simply put, which is something hard to do with as complex a Goddess as her, Brigit is a Spirit who will not be put down, though the details are lost, or changed, the light burns on.
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