Sunday, February 1, 2009

Brighid and Imbolc: The Goddess Story

Imbolc is celebrated as the return of the light. It marks the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. In Irish, Imbolc (pronounced im'olk) from the Old Irish, meaning "in the belly" (i mbolg), referring to the pregnancy of ewes, and is also a Celtic term for spring. Another name is Oimelc, meaning "ewe's milk". In Scotland the festival is also known as Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gŵyl Fair.

Bridghid (exalted one), in her triple aspect, is the honored Goddess. She has been reborn from the hag Callieach when she drinks from the sacred well. Now in her youth, Bridghid fans the flames of the sacred fire to purify the land and make way for Spring. Brighid was associated sacred flames, such as the one maintained by 19 nuns at her sanctuary in Kildare, Ireland. The tradition of female priestesses tending sacred, naturally-occurring "eternal flames" is a feature of ancient Indo-European pre-Christian spirituality.

She is the goddess of smithcraft, healing, and poetry. In addition, Brighid was also connected to holy wells, at Kildare and many other sites in the Celtic lands. Well dressing, the tying of clooties to the trees next to healing wells, and other methods of petitioning or honoring Brighid still take place in some of the Celtic lands and the diaspora.

She well known for her powers of divination.

She is identified in Lebor Gabála Érenn as a daughter of the Dagda and a poet. As the daughter of Dagda, she is also the half sister of Cermait, Aengus, Midir and Bodb Derg.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

wow- what a fabulous blog- i have just stumbled upon you by universal interaction i think- will be checking in regularly and will recommend you to all my other wiccan friends
blessed Be
lisa xx
we have just ccelebrated Lughnasadah here !