The Goddess Brigid goes by many names and has reached across several cultures. She has crossed over into Christianity becoming St. Brigid of Kildare.
She is The Goddess of BlackSmiths, Poets, Healers, Midwifes, and The Home and Hearth. She is a fierce protector of women and children.
She has been a shadow on my path for years and recently I have been able to come to her as my Matron Deity. Her tie in with Christianity allows her energy to work quiet well with my Patron Deity, Jesus.
Over View: Brigid is the Daughter of the Dagda, one of the more universal deities of the pagan Gaelic world. She is known as the Goddess of Healers, Poets, Smiths, Childbirth and Inspiration; Goddess of Fire and Hearth and a patron of warfare or Briga. Her soldiers were called Brigands. Her name means “Exalted One.” She is also known as Brigantia, Brid, Bride, Briginda, Brigdu, and Brigit. She is said to lean over every cradle. The lore and customs have continued to this day regarding Brighid, more vividly than all the other Gaelic deities combined. Three rivers are named for Her – Brigit, Braint and Brent in Ireland, Wales and England, respectively. In modern Britain today She is shown as the warrior-maiden, Brigantia, and venerated not only as justice and authority in that country, but also as the personification of Britain as is seen on the coin of the realm.
In order to incorporate Brigid into Christian worship, and thus insure Her survival, Her involvement in the life of Jesus became the stuff of legend. According to the stories in The Lives of the Saints, Brigid was the midwife present at the birth, placing three drops of water on His forehead. This seems to be a Christianized version of an ancient Celtic myth concerning the Sun of Light upon Whose head three drops of water were placed in order to confer wisdom.
Further, as a Christianized saint, Brigid was said to be the foster-mother of Jesus, fostering being a common practice among the Celts. She took the Child to save Him from the slaughter of male infants supposedly instigated by Herod. She wore a headdress of candles to light their way to safety. Female worshipers have tended to Brigid’s sacred fire for many hundreds of years. Located near a sacred oak in Kildare. The flame was extinguished for awhile but relit in 1993 and has burned since. Sources indicate that 19 maidens rotate over 19 days to keep the fire lit, and then on the 20th day, Goddess Brigid tends the fire herself.