Sunday, February 19, 2012

44 Days of Witchery, Day 5: A Favorite Goddess

Oh, this is easy. Brigid. She's a hearth goddess, a goddess of fire, poetry, and blacksmithing. One of her more specific roles is being the goddess of getting home safely. Two of my favorite references to Brigid:

Every day, every night
that I praise the goddess,
I know I will be safe.
I shall not be chased,
I shall not be caught,
I shall not be harmed.
Fire, sun, and moon
cannot burn me. Not
lake nor stream nor sea
can drown me. Fairy
arrow cannot pierce me.
I am safe, safe, safe,
singing her praises.

Brigid, gold-red woman,
Brigid, flame and honeycomb,
Brigid, sun of womanhood,
Brigid, lead me home.
You are a branch in blossom.
You are a sheltering dome.
You are my bright precious freedom.
Brigid, lead me home.

Some of the legends surrounding her claim she invented whistling, and keening, the "mournful song of the bereaved Irishwoman." Her name means "bright arrow" or simply "the bright one". She had a shrine in Kildare where nineteen virgins tending the undying fire. Supposedly, on the twentieth day of each cycle, the fire was tended by Brigid herself. She's on of the gods/goddesses who was so beloved by her people that when Christianity swept across, they converted her into a saint. Saint Bridget. Though she's a fire goddess, she's also associated with healing waters, mostly wells. One of her other symbols is the "Brigid cross" a straw, four pointed star also known as Brigid's Eye. 

February 2nd, or Imbolc, is Brigid's primary feast day. It's the halfway point between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. One of the big holidays for most pagans. Cakes are often left out for Brigid on this holiday. 

What's kind of amusing is that this is Spring's awakening - the day when Brigid came out of her cave and brought us spring. What is February 2nd today? Groundhog's Day. When we "predict" whether we'll have six more weeks of winter or not, based on an animal. (That doesn't sound pagan at all, now does it?)

Brigid has always seemed very approachable to me. Like a mother baking cookies, or a mother whose lap you can crawl into and sob while she soothes you. Which is kind of odd, I suppose, as she's a maiden goddess rather than a mother goddess. 

I said the prayer above almost every night that Alex was deployed, changing a few of the words. "I know he will not be harmed" etc. I have a green candle that I found advertised as a Brigid candle, it has an AMAZING sage-verbena scent to it. 

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