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(May 16, 2008)
The Brigid first worshipped in ancient times was the daughter of the great Irish god Dagda, the 'Good Father'. She had two sisters who were also named Brigid. Taken together, they were called the 'Three Mothers', 'Three Sisters', or simply the Goddess Brigid.
Unlike in Greek mythology where the Triple Goddess represented the three chronological stages of a woman's life (Maiden, Matron, and Crone), the Bridgets were all of the same generation and the distinctions between them were based on their domains of responsibility.
Much later, when the Christian church came to Ireland, they had little hope of making converts if they were to denounce the beloved goddess of the Druids as a wicked demon. So instead they made her a saint. Many of the ancient legends of the goddess were soon to become the deeds of the saint. (Note: Some scholars cite evidence that Saint Brigid was an actual woman, the daughter of a Druid king and his Christian wife.)
In whatever form she might take. Saint or Goddess, Brigid is loved as a goddess of peace and inspiration, one of compassion and generosity, and one who had great gifts of insight and wisdom.
Goddess Brigid - Her Symbols and Sacred Objects
Goddess symbols like those representing the Celtic goddess Brigid were incorporated into the worship of all the ancient goddesses. They were often worn as jewelry and also used in the household decor as talismans to seek the goddesses special gifts, blessings, or protection. A large number of goddess symbols have survived in statuary and other works of art.
Many of the goddess symboiscome from the legends surrounding a specific goddess and were "characters" in her story. Othergoddess symboiswere derived from the rituals used in the ancient rites of worship of these pagan goddesses.
The goddess Brigid is often represented by symbols associated with light and farm animals. It Is not surprising that many of our icons representing compassion and inspiration are derived from the ancient goddess symbols of Brigid.
Goddess Symbols of Brigid
Fire (especially sparks, sudden flames), hearth, forge, light, candles, sunrise, springs and wells, poetry, whistling, embroidery, arrows, bells, thresholds and doorways, sandstone rock formations, (eg. large monoliths like those found at Stonehenge), bells, St. Brigid's cross, cloak, midwifery, middle of winter (Imbolc), corn dolls, and the number 19.
Lambs and ewes, dairy cows, bees, owls, serpents (especially two entwined), and all hibernating animals (eg. snakes, badgers, groundhogs).
Dandelion, snowdrops, crocus, trillium, acorns and oak tree, corn, oats, sage, pumpkin seeds, heather, chamomile, broom, shamrock, rushes, straw, and all field flowers.
Heather, wisteria, violet, lavender, lemon verbena, and heliotrope.
Gems and Metals
Gold, brass, silver, carnelian, agate, copper, amethyst, jasper, and rock crystal.
White, yellow, black and red.
ALL STAND IN A CIRCLE
LIGHT INCENCE, SET UP COULDRON IN CENTER, CAST CIRCLE WITH ATHAME, GOING ANTICLOCKWISE TO INVOKE.
All Chant as athame is passed around the circle:
Finish casting by saying:
FOUR PEOPLE TO BRING THE ELEMENT IN:
The crucible is lit and the introductory notes on the Goddess are read out.
ALL JOIN HANDS - LEFT HAND DOWN, RIGHT HAND UP - BOY, GIRL, BOY, GIRL, etc
START TO SLOWLY CIRCLE FLAME WHILE WE CHANT:
...then speed up, chanting:
When the energy peaks, break the circle and twirl on the spot, feeling the energy around you.
Meditation accompanied by Music
LIE BACK FEELING COMFORTABLE AND TAKE 3 DEEP BREATHS
FEEL ENERGY RISING FROM THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, FEEL THIS ENERGY SPREAD THOUGH YOUR BODY, FEEL THE WARMTH SPREAD FROM YOUR FINGERS AND TOES THROUGH YOUR LEGS AND ARMS THROUGH YOUR STOMACH, YOUR CHEST, YOUR NECK, YOUR HEAD AND FEEL THE ENERGY RISE UP TO THE HEAVENS. NOW SEE A LARGE CIRCLE OF BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT ABOVE YOU, AS THOUGH ALL THE STARS HAVE BECOME ONE, FEEL THIS LIGHT DESCENDING TOWARDS YOU BRINGING THE ENERGY OF THE UNIVERSE, FEEL IT GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD, YOUR NECK YOUR CHEST, YOUR STOMACH, FEEL IT PULSATEING THROUGH YOUR LEGS AND ARMS, YOUR FINGERS AND TOES. NOW SEE THIS ENERGY DESCENDING TO THE VERY CORE OF THE EARTH, NOW SEE YOURSELF CAUGHT BETWEEN THESE TWO ENERGIES FILLED WITH WARMTH AND LIGHT.
NOW WE ARE GOING ON A JOURNEY - IMAGINE YOURSELVES IN AN OPEN FIELD AT DUSK, THE AIR IS STILL AND MISTY. THE GROUND IS GREEN WITH GRASS THAT IS COOL AND SOFT, AROUND THE FIELD IS WOODLAND. YOU SEE A POOL FED BY A SPRING IN THE CENTER OF THE FIELD WITH A LARGE GREY FLAT TOPPED ROCK BY THE SIDE OF THE POOL, YOU SIT ON THE ROCK AND IT FEELS WARM AS IT RETAINS THE HEAT FROM THE DAY'S SUNSHINE. YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LISTEN TO THE WATER BUBBLING NEAR BY. YOU SENSE ANOTHER PRESENCE JOIN YOU ON THE ROCK, YOU CAN SMELL THE EARTHINESS OF THE OTHER PERSON. YOU LOOK TO YOUR LEFT AND SEE A WOMAN SITTING BY YOUR SIDE ALSO TAKING IN THE MOMENT. SHE SPEAKS. "I AM BRIGIT - I AM A POET, A HEALER AND A SMITH, COME WITH ME FOR I AM GREAT AND I WILL SHOW YOU MANY THINGS". HOLDING HANDS WITH BRIGIT YOU NOW GO ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY, IN A WHILE YOU WILL BE BACK TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE. GO NOW AND SEE WHAT BRIGIT HAS TO SHOW YOU...
...BRIGIT SAYS, "COME CHILD IT IS TIME TO GO" AND BRIGIT TAKES YOU BACK TO THE ROCK BY THE POOL. SHE HOLDS YOU AND SPEAKS, "NOW YOU HAVE MY PROTECTION. GO AND BE GREAT AS I AM GREAT."
BRIGIT LEAVES THE FIELD BUT YOU SENSE THAT SHE HAS LEFT A PART OF HER DEEP WITHIN YOU. YOU LAY DOWN ON THE WARM ROCK. NOW FEEL YOURSELVES COMING BACK TO THIS ROOM, TAKE YOUR TIME. LIE ON ONE SIDE SO THAT YOU KEEP THE MEMORIES OF YOUR JOURNEY. WRIGGLE YOUR TOES, WRIGGLE YOUR FINGERS, TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND HAVE A STRETCH.
MAKE NOTES ON THE JOURNEY AND SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE.
EVERYONE GROUNDS THEMSELVES, SENDING ENERGY TO THOSE IN NEED.
CLOSE THE CIRCLE BY TAKING THE ATHAME CLOCKWISE AND CHANT:
* This ritual is a combination of the author's original ideas and information obtained from various books and/or internet sources.