Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Goddess - Bridget

Bridget is a Celtic/Gaelic goddess of the moon. She is also tied to Greek goddess Hestia and her Roman counterpart, Vesta for when the Romans arrived they found Bridget’s priestesses keeping a sacred fire burning in her honor. With the advent of Christianity, Bridget was deemed to popular to disregard, so she was transformed into a saint by the Church.

One story about Bridget that I particularly enjoyed was about how she healed a leper at her well. The story spread, and other with leprosy came to be healed by Bridget. The Goddess asked one leper to wash the other with water from her well and which he did. Now Bridget asked the newly healed man to wash the one that had helped him. The newly healed man, seeing his flesh intact, refused. Bridget didn’t like this and restored his leprosy and the other man was suddenly healed. The story spread and was a constant reminder to her people to remember the need for compassion.

I found it interesting that this seems to a theme that is common with recent stories of Pele. With recent sightings of Pele posing as an old woman trying to get help, she is also looking for the compassion within humanity. If the people she approaches refuse to help her, they may find themselves with a bad string of luck afterwards. If they help, they might find the opposite.

Some things attributed to Bridget:

* Deposed the blue-faced goddess of winter every spring
* Known for her generosity, a character transferred to St Bridget
* She is invoked during childbirth
* Her feast day is February 1st, Imbolc
* Bridget means “exalted one”
* Has a connection to the beginning of lactation in ewes
* In Irish myth, she became the midwife to the Virgin Mary

Variations of the name Bridget include Brigid, Brigit, Bride, Brigandu, Brigantia and Brighid. Known period of worship is Prehistoric times until Christianization (1100 CE) and after. There are many art references to Bridget.

Brigid, Brigit, Bridgit
Bridget Factsheet

Wicca: For the Rest of Us
Goddess or Saint?
Ord Brighideach

Edited on 8/11/05 - added link Ord Brighideach. Thanks Andy.


Andy said...

Here I am, late for work and you are talking about my Patron Diety...

Please add Ord Brighideach to your list. They are the central organization in the worship of Brigit (my preferred spelling) today.

One correction, Imbolc, like many other Celtic festivals, was originally several days long. As a result, some people celebrate it on Feb. 2 or even 3rd. It all works for me. Feb 1st 2000 was my last drink of alcohol, Feb 2nd was my first day sober in years. Can you guess why She is my Higher Power?

Sojourner said...

As I am using books and internet information, sometimes there is contradictory information. It seems as though there are slightly different days for each tradition and I try to use the date/s that I see most often. Thanks for the correction.

I will add your link to the front page. Thanks :)