CELEBRATE St. Brigid’s Day ,THE QUICKENING of the Light. February 1st
Candlemas Imbolc Groundhog Day
Feb. 1st –2nd Traditional Irish Celtic Pagan Holiday Celebrations
Feb. 1st is the beginning of the FIRST FIRE of the SUN’s return, the spark, the First sign of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This Ancient pagan, Celtic ,Wiccan, celebration is also called The QUICKENING. This is the time of greatest potential.
Known as Saint Brigid’s Day, Birghita or Bride’s Day, it’s a Catholic and Pagan Celebration of an ancient Goddess tradition. Imbolc is still celebrated by Wiccans/Pagan based Earth honouring religions. Christians overlaid the Ancient Goddess worshipers’ holiday renaming it Candlemas or the fest of the Purification of the Virgin on Feb 2.
This celebration is the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It is a “cross-quarter” day in the 8 rounds of the Wheel of Time in the Solar based year. The Celtic Year was based on both lunar and solar cycles. The holiday would be celebrated on the Full Moon nearest those 2 midpoints, when early spring flowers would begin to show and snakes would come out of the ground. Snakes are always sacred Goddess symbols. In non secular terms it become GROUNDHOG DAY on Feb 2.
At the Megalithic and Neolithic sites, in Tara, Ireland, the inner chambers of the passage tombs are perfectly aligned with the rising sun on both Imbolc and Samhain attesting to the value placed on these days.
Triple Goddess/Saint Brigid/Bride
Brigid by Sharon Macleod
According to Robert Graves, the most Ancient Triple Goddess was worshipped since time out of mind. The Goddess rules over scholars and poets. She is the Goddess of fire and inspirations, creativity, smithcraft and healing. She rules healing with water, and divination. She also rules over people who work with cows and chickens, brewers, fugitives, midwives, infants, printers, sailors, travelers, New Zealand, & Irish nuns.
This day symbolizes a time of transitions, initiations, new beginnings, of planting seeds that will sprout later. Brigid/Birgita represents the light half of the year, Her power brings the people out of the dark season of winter into spring.
The Goddess Brigid and Saint Brigid are the same, peace makers and bridges. The matronly Goddess Brigid bridged the two warring races of gods of the ancient Tuatha de Danann with her sacred marriage, and Saint Brigid was the bridge between the Druids and the Christians. Brigid was the daughter of a Druid Chieftain and the first woman bishop of Ireland. The nuns of Kildare carry on the sacred work.
Originally the return of the Light was celebrated with Sacred Sexual customs.
She is the Goddess of Augury and Prophets in the Druidic tradition. Celtic seers divined by looking into deep water and into flames. This is a great time to do divination. You may see orbs especially on this day.
She has two sisters with the same name. One aspect of her carries a blacksmith tongs and a sword, because she is also patroness of war; another aspect holds 2 healing snakes, from which the modern Doctor’s symbol is derived, the caduceus, the third aspect carries a wand with a crescent moon and a tablet.
Brigid rules the Waters. Many healing springs are dedicated to Brigid. Natural bodies of water also signify Her presence, particularly where three streams joined together. She also rules Fire, so it is customary to make candles for the coming year and bless them on this day.
In her aspect as Brigantia, she carries a spear, an orb of victory, and wears a war crown. She symbolizes protection of the country from invaders and slavery.
As Patroness of MIDWIVES, she was invoked at the door of the home where the woman was giving birth, by the midwife. Who speke:
“Bride, Bride, come in! Thy welcome is truly made, Give thou relief to the woman, And give thou the conception to the Trinity.”
Brigid is the guardian of every newborn, their cradles protected with a woven Brigit’s Cross, an equal armed cross. Upon a safe delivery, the infant was blessed by the midwife, with 3 drops of water on the child’s forehead, dedicating the Child to the Triple Goddess. The “Holy Trinity” in its modernized Christian aspect. A candle was carried ‘round the bed sun wise three times. As Brigid is a Solar Goddess. We think of the Sun as masculine but originally all aspects of the Universe were considered Feminine.
Brigid Ruler of the Hearth
Especially in Gaelic Scotland, Brigid’s dolls are placed near the hearth on her Feast Day. The doll is usually dressed in white, decorated. A white wand is placed in her bed as a fertility charm. As she is patroness of agriculture, pastures, livestock, and abundance. An offering is made to her of dairy products. The Brigid doll is kept throughout the year near the hearth hung on a wall, or by a door, as a talisman of protection, then burnt the next year.
Light a Candle and Invoke the Goddess at this time-
I kindle this candle in the name of Brighid, Goddess of Smiths,
I sain this house in the name of Brighid, Goddess of Healers,
I smoor this candle in the name of Brighid, Goddess of Poets.
One folk tradition still continues in both Christian and Pagan homes on St. Brigid’s Day is that of St. Brigid’s Bed. Girls and young unmarried women create corn dollies to represent Brigid, these are adorned with ribbons, baubles shells or stones. A bed is made for the doll to lie in. On St. Brigid’s Eve Jan 31, the girls gather together in one house and stay up all night with the doll, are later visited by all the young men, who ask permission to enter the home, and then treat the young maidens and the dolly with respect. The next day the girls carry the doll through the neighbourhood from house to house, where she is welcomed with great honour. Adult women stay home to welcome the Brigid procession and offer snacks and coins to the young girls and maidens.
RITUAL to BRIGID
Brigid is said to walk the earth on Imbolc eve. Feb 1st. Before going to bed, each member of the household may leave a piece of clothing or strip of fabric outside for Brigid to bless. The cloth are brought inside the next morning, believed to now have the powers of healing and protection.
was named for an ancient Celtic tribe, the Brigantes, who were the largest Celtic tribe in the country in pre-Roman times who worshipped Her as their Deity. The word “brigand” comes from this tribe of fierce warriors. Her worship spread, leaving behind places named in Her honour-Brittany in France, Brechin in Scotland, the name Brent, in England, any name containing Bride. Britain’s symbol, the Goddess Brigantia, still found on their 50 cent coin is Brigid as Goddess of the Land. Of course Britany Spears is carrying the modern archetype of Brigid, and strangely enough one of Brigid’s symbols is a flaming spear!
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All writing Copyright Tara Greene
Bridget’s song by Celia
Imbolc by Cernunnos Rising