Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Imbolc/Lá Fhéile Bríde

Brigid: In her English translation of Irish myth, Lady Augusta Gregory (Gods and Fighting Men, 1904), describes Brigit as 'a woman of poetry, and poets worshipped her, for her sway was very great and very noble. And she was a woman of healing along with that, and a woman of smith's work, and it was she first made the whistle for calling one to another through the night... And the meaning of her name was Breo-saighit, a fiery arrow.'

Fire and purification are an important aspect of this festival. Brigid (also known as Brighid, Bride, Brigit, Brid) is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months...

Imbolc: Brigid is said to walk the Earth on Imbolc eve. Before going to bed, each member of the household may leave a piece of clothing or strip of cloth outside for Brigid to bless... In the morning... the clothes or strips of cloth are brought inside, and believed to now have powers of healing and protection.
Image source here.