Brigid

Name of Series: Pagan Portals

Full Title: Brigid – Meeting the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Forge, and Healing Well

Author: Morgan Daimler

Publisher: Moon Books

Published: 2016

ISBN: 978-1-78535-320-8

Pages: 90 pages including 2 appendices, bibliography and endnotes. Text only 74 pages.

 

Synopsis:

Pagan Portals – Brigid is a basic introduction to the Goddess Brigid focusing on her history and myth as well as her modern devotion and worship. Primarily looking at the Irish Goddess but including a discussion of her Pan-Celtic appearances, particularly in Scotland. Her different appearances in mythology are discussed along with the conflation of the pagan Goddess with Catholic saint. Modern methods for neopagans to connect to and honor this popular Goddess include offerings and meditation, and personal anecdotes from the author’s experiences are included as well. Who was Brigid to the pre-Christian pagans? Who is she today to neopagans? How do we re-weave the threads of the old pagan Goddess and the new? Learn about Brigid’s myths among the pagan Irish, the stories of Bride in Scotland, and the way that people today are finding and honoring this powerful and important deity to find the answer.

12794826_10208686770477701_3788579529547119308_o

Review:

Another winner from Morgan Daimler. Though my complaint with these kinds of books will always remain the same [I WANT LONGER BOOKS!!!] but with the same simplicity of the Pagan Portals books.

Apart from the Introduction, Conclusion and 2 Appendices the book is made up of six chapters.

Chapter One: Meeting Brigid – In this chapter the author discusses Brigid’s relationships (who her parents might be, her husband, her children), associations (the other Brigids from the different Celtic cultures), and the many Brigids (Is Brigid one deity, three deities, or six deities?).

Chapter Two: Brigid by Other Names – In this chapter we start getting into the nitty gritty of Brigid. Daimler takes a look at Brigid in Celtic cultures. She starts with Gaul, goes on to England, then Scotland, then Wales, and then she discusses the Pagan Goddess and Catholic Saint.

Chapter Three: Brigid in Mythology – In this chapter Morgan takes us on a tour of the sources. She talks about where we can find Brigid not just in Irish materials but also in Scottish, Welsh, and Manx materials. I especially liked this chapter because I found myself looking up the materials mentioned and everyone knows how much I love discovering new (to me) sources.

Chapter Four: Symbols, Animals and Holidays – As the title of the chapter tells us, it talks about symbols, animals and holidays associated with Brigid. I also like that the author added in a section on divination because I’m always on the lookout for information on that.

Chapter Five: The Goddess in Modern Times – Flame-tending, offerings, altars, modern myths and a guided meditation are all things you will find in this chapter.

Chapter Six: Prayers, Chants and Charms – Apart from chapters two and three, this is my favourite chapter. I’m always looking for new prayers to add to my daily routines and this chapter did not disappoint, there is something in there for everyone.

This is a well written and well researched book, but that is what I always know is going to happen when I see Morgan Daimler’s name on a book. The text is something that anyone can pick up and read without any background knowledge and come out of it with more than they bargained for. But it is not just a book for newbies, it is also a book that someone who has been worshipping Brigid for a long time can pick up and learn something from or just brush up on something they may have forgotten. As with all of Morgan’s books she adds a touch of herself by giving us an insight into her own practice when worshipping Brigid, and truth be told this is one of my absolute favourite things in Morgan’s books. She is certainly brave in sharing her UPG with the reader and opening herself to criticism from the people who don’t agree with her (or heck with the ones that do but don’t agree with one of her interpretations!).

This is a great resource for anyone interested in Brigid and wants to learn about Her or unpack all that they have read about Her in books and websites.

Brigit: The Exalted One

I wanted to write about Brigit because she is the patron goddess of the tribe I belong too.  She is one of the famous goddesses of the Tuatha De Danánn, and there is so much information (and misinformation) out there about her.

Let us look at the etymology of the name and its possible meaning.  The name Brigit is Old Irish and came to be spelled Brighid by the modern Irish period. Since the spelling reform of 1948, this has been spelled Bríd. The earlier form gave rise to the Anglicization Bridget, now commonly seen as Brigid.  The name Brigit probably derives from the older *Briganti* which might have meant Sublime One or Exalted One.

The some of the sources for most of what we know about Brigit come from Cormac’s Glossary, the Lebor Gabála Érenn, Cath Maige Tuired, Imcallam in da Thurad as well as some inscriptions of what is thought to be variations of her worshiped in Britain and on the continent.

Brigit’s divine responsibilities are in the areas of poetry, prophecy, smithing, medicine arts and crafts, cattle and other livestock.  In Roman Britain she was the equivalent of the Roman goddess Minerva and the Greek Athena. She is sometimes thought of as the patron goddess of the filid.  According to Cormac’s Glossary, Brigit was a set of triplets, each one having the same name: a goddess of poetry, a goddess of smithing and a goddess of healing respectively.  Her favored time of year is said to be spring, and her feast day is Imbolc celebrated around February 1.  And her special region is said to be in Leinster, in the southeast corner of Ireland.

She seems to be a pan-Celtic goddess.  She is known as Bríghde or Bríde in Scotland, as Fraid in Wales, Brigan or Brigandu in Gaul, Brigantia or Brigantis in Great Britain, and Brigindo in Switzerland.  She is associated with rivers and streams and gives her name to the Brent in England, the Braint in Wales, and the Brighid in Ireland.  She is also thought (by some scant evidence) to be a Sovereignty goddess through her marriage to Bres as well as her name being part of the name for King in Welsh, and a goddess of agriculture though her association with lactating ewes and cattle.  She is also linked to fire cults.

Brigit is the daughter of the Dagda though we are not quite sure who her mother is though she is said to be a poet, her brothers are Cermait, Aengus, Midir, and bodb Derg.  She was married to Bres of the Fomoire and their son Ruadán who died while trying to kill the divine smith Goibniu.  Brigit’s lament of her some is said to be the first keening heard in Ireland.

If we really look at what we have of Brigit we can see that we have some information and a lot of speculation especially when the lines between the Goddess Brigit and the Saint Brigit becomes blurred.

Works Cited:

Koch, John T.  Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia.  ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California.  2006.  Pp. 287-289

Monaghan, Patricia.  The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore.  Facts On File, Inc, New York.  2004 pp59-60

“Brigit” Mary Jones.  Jones’ Celtic Encyclopedia 2004, Access : July 16, 2010 http://www.maryjones.us/jce/brigit.html

“Brigantia” Mary Jones.  Jones’ Celtic Encyclopedia 2004, Access : July 16, 2010 http://www.maryjones.us/jce/brigantia.html