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Brigid: Celtic Goddess of the Flame
While Brigid's roots are firmly planted in the Celtic Cultures, she can actually be found world wide. She has become one of the most well known, intriguing, beloved and widespread Goddesses that there is. Nearly every culture and country in Europe plays host to Brigid under one of her many names. Unlike most of her counterparts, she has survived the changing tides of time and religion with few changes.

Brigid began as a triple Goddess, which we can see reflected today in her many differing identities, but instead of her three faces reflecting phases of life, hers reflected gifts and inspirations given to mankind. In Scotland she was known as Bride, in Ireland she was Brigid (the name that she is most often called now). However, in Irela nd she is also known as Brighid, Bridget, Brid, and several other variants. In Wales she is Ffaid, and in England she is Brigitania, While France knows her as Brigandu.

The first legends of Brigid tell us that she is the daughter of the Irish God, Dagda (Good Father). She was one of three sisters, all called Brigid. When referred to together they were called the “three sisters” or “three mothers” or simply Brigid. This is a part of this Goddess that many have forgotten. Often when they think of Brigid, they are thinking of the single goddess of the flame, not realizing that there are actually three goddesses Brigid.

The three Brigids are all goddesses of the flame, but they represented very different aspects of that flame.

Brigid, the fire of Inspiration; The muse of poetry, song, and all learning and culture. She is the one that would bring inspiration to the artists and empower those that strive to pass on that art and preserve it for the generations.

Brigid, the fire of the Hearth; The goddess of fertility, family, childbirth and healing. Everything to do with keeping the family safe, warm and growing, was tenderly cared for and protected by this Brigid.

Brigid, the fire of the Forge; This is the Brigid that is most remembered today, the fire goddess, the patron of smiths and crafts. The Goddess of justice and order. The face of the goddess that became Saint Brigid.

The christian church demonized many different pagan gods in their effort to win the hearts and souls of people. But Brigid was so beloved they instead made her Saint Brigid, second patron Saint of Ireland and the patron saint of blacksmiths, boatmen, babies, cattle, chicken farmers, illegitimate children, milk maids, midwives, scholars., travelers, watermen, poets, infants, seamen, printing presses, and the list goes on. When you look carefully at that list and you will see all three Brigids combined into one Christianized version. In fact, many of the ancient legends of Brigid became enshrined in church lore as the deeds of the Saint Brigid.

Brigid, in whatever form she takes, is beloved as a Goddess of Peace and Justice. The bringer of inspiration and protector of scholars and artists. Her insight and wisdom is freely bestowed on any that would seek it and her compassion and generosity underscores every story about her.

As the Goddess of the Spring and the overseer of Cattle, sheep and births, Brigid is inextricably linked with the spring and the return of the longer, warmer days. It is to Brigid that the people looked to purify the cattle after a long winter indoors, to bless the crop when it came time to sow the fields. She is so closely linked with this time of year that the Catholic Church took the feast of Imbolc and turned it into Saint Brigid's day. by Celtic tradition, imbolc marks the end of winter and the start of spring, the people believed that she would visit homes and bestow blessings on those house holds that had prepared a place for her. You can mark her day by making a Saint Brigid's cross to hang, or even go for a walk and look for the first signs of spring, pausing to give thanks to her with each one that you find.

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