Meet My Personal Goddess, Brigid
Imbolc (pronounced like EE-melk) is a Gaelic fire festival, also known as Saint Brigid’s Day, and is usually observed on February 1st.
Imbolc celebrates the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and the return to the light after winter’s darkness.
In 2023, for the first time, Imbolc is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, the first one named after a woman.
Celtic spirituality, like paganism in general, is deeply connected to the daily and seasonal cycles of the earth, as well as to the magic of creativity and poetry.
Brigid is one of the brightest stars in paganism.
She’s the goddess of fire, passion, poetry, and invention. Craftsmen of all trades sought her favor, especially blacksmiths. When Christianity began to spread to Ireland, the goddess Brigid became Saint Brigid, one of Ireland’s national saints, along with Patrick. Her name means “exalted one” and she is the bringer of civilization.
One of the reasons I’m drawn to her is because she reminds me of my own personal power. I worry that most of us do not cultivate our personal power very well. In the picture above, I am reminded that, while some things happen to me and to my loved ones, and those things are out of my control, a lot of my life is still mine to craft to my own delight and to the well-being of others. I enjoy envisioning myself doing that. Even on those days when I’m stumbling into my office, bleary-eyed, and despairing at the world.
Here’s a statue of Brigid that I keep on my writing desk. She’s tending a cauldron of fire, and she’s holding the power of fire in her hands. Behind her is a hearth fire and on the right is a stack of books. She’s wearing a “Brigid’s Cross”, which is the cross dangling from the green ribbon. Brigid’s cross is usually woven out of rushes or straw. It has a central square surrounded by four arms at right angles and is used to ward off evil.