Thursday, March 08, 2018

Podcast Mael Brigde, Founder of the "Brigit's Sparkling Flame" Blog and "Daughters of the Flame" Flametending Group, Discusses Her Work

Ah! Last spring I had a lovely visit with Amy Panetta when she came to Vancouver for the Celtic Studies of North America annual conference. Somewhere in there she managed to do this interview of me, and now it is up on her Celtic Feminine Podcast. You can listen now or download it for later.

In this podcast, Amy has a conversation with Mael Brigde, about her work and connection with Brigid.  Since 2004, Mael has maintained the longest-running, most prolific blog about Brigid entitled, "Brigit's Sparkling Flame" where she collects a variety of different resources about Brigid, such as in links, books, music, and events. She also has her poetry dedicated to Brigid on her "Stone on the Belly" blog.  She founded "Daughters of the Flame," which is the first non-church-based flame tending group dedicated to Brigid, which interestingly enough lit their first flame on Brigid's Eve, January 31st 1993, the same year that the Brigidine sisters in Kildare Ireland relit Brigid's flame.  

Currently, Mael teaches online courses dedicated to Brigid.


Mael's Brigid Courses:

Intro and Outro Music from the album, "A Year In Ireland" by New Time Ensemble, Used with Permission

To support the many hours that will go into this podcast, please consider donating.  You may send a donation by clicking HERE.  Also, be sure to send me an email at notifying me of this donation.  Thank you!

Triple Brigid Talisman by Morpheus Ravenna

Triple Brigid Talisman: Lady of Poetry, Skill, and Fire

$35.00 – $45.00

This talisman honors Brigid, Irish and Scottish Goddess of poetry, healing, smithcraft, fire, and many other bright things. She also called Brig, Brigit, Brid, and is closely related to the Gallo-Brittonic divinities Brigantia and Brigindona.

The name Brigid is thought to derive from the root *brig signifying high or exalted, and is sometimes translated Exalted One. We see this same root in place-names referring to raised hillforts. In Irish and Scottish folklore, Brigid is linked to Saint Brigid and many believe the saint to be a survival of the pre-Christian pagan Goddess. She is often spoken of as a triad, the Three Brigits. She is said to be a midwife and is called upon to bless births of children and animals, to help protect the herds and the milk supply, and for healing. Milk and milk products have a special association with healing and purification in Celtic thought, and She is connected to both. She is associated with craftsmanship, especially blacksmithing, and is seen by many as the embodiment of the fire that heats the forge. She is worshiped at holy wells throughout Ireland, where the upwelling and flowing of waters are also expressions of the deep well of wisdom and its flowing out in the form of inspiration and poetry. Thus, She is also the Lady of poets and poetic inspiration.

The front of this talisman shows Brigid in triple form, the flames of poetic inspiration rising above each of the three faces. She carries a spear and a vessel of milk, reflecting Her role in Celtic warrior culture, as the Goddess who receives the returning warrior bands from their winter raiding, purifying them with milk or butter to wash the warrior’s mark from them and bring them peacefully back into the fold of settled society. Her stance and position within the archway echoes images of Brigantia from Britain. The words here say Duine úallach / Brigit búadach: “Proud lady / Victorious Brigid”.

The back of the talisman displays a triple St. Brigid’s Cross, a folk charm traditionally woven of straw or reeds in honor of the saint and the Goddess. Between its three arms, Her implements are displayed: hammer and anvil as Lady of the Forge; cauldron and flame as Lady of Healing; and harp as Lady of Poetry. These are framed by poetic lines adapted from the Carmina Gadelica: Lasair dhealrach oir / Muime chorr dée / Bride nighinn Daghda; “Radiant flame of gold / Noble foster-mother of Gods / Bride daughter of the Dagda”. (The original lines in the Carmina Gadelica reference Christian ideas associated with St. Brigid; this has been adapted to a more Pagan form).

You may notice a resemblance between the back design of this talisman, and Ian Corrigan’s beautiful Brigid sigil. I respect Ian’s work and certainly wouldn’t copy – this turns out to be one of those divinely inspired synchronicities, as we’ve both arrived at this design independently. You can check out Ian’s books on Brigid and other creations here.

Talisman is etched in 18-gauge copper, in your choice of 1.5″ diameter medallion, or 2″ allowing for much finer detail. Comes strung on a simple natural leather cord.

Our copper talismans are hand etched in small runs with careful attention. Talismans are individually hand-detailed, so each pendant is slightly different and unique. The artist, Morpheus, personally consecrates all the talismans on her altar.


Tattoo Artist, Morrigan Priestess, Spiritworker, and Writer

Monday, March 05, 2018

New Short Film: Awen by Buccaneer Pictures

Awen from Buccaneer Pictures on Vimeo.
From their Vimeo page:

Awen is a short film. 

We follow the Celtic Goddess Bridgit as she spreads "inspiration" to humans. And encounters opposition from other spiritual beings. 

"Awen" is an Old Welsh word for "The Breath of Inspiration"

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Webinar Available to Support Solas Bhride Center in Kildare, Ireland

The following is from Amy Panetta's website:

Last year, in 2017, so many people were so generous to support me in my crowdfunding campaign to go to Ireland to continue my research in the music that is written and performed in dedication to Brigid.  This research was later shared at The Celtic Studies of North America Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia in April of 2017 and is continually shared on The Celtic Feminine Podcast.  With the money raised from the original crowdfunding campaign, I was able to get a flight and lodging in Ireland!  In addition, it was my pleasure to be able to present a 150€ donation in person to the Solas Bhride Centre in Kildare Ireland.

This year, in honor of St. Brigid's Feast Day, I would like to have a fundraiser to donate most of the funds to the Solas Bhride Centre for the excellent work that they do in promoting St. Brigid's values of peace, justice, and compassion.  Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages is a Spirituality Centre dedicated to St. Brigid of Kildare, Patroness of Ireland. The centre caters to the large number of pilgrims and visitors, local, national and international, interested in the traditions, values and customs associated with Brigid of Kildare.  Please visit for more information.  

I have created a webinar that I would love to send you as a gift donation.  The webinar is about 50 minutes long and is like a class I would give in person where I offer a few words to center us in the season, share my story in how I came to be inspired by Brigid, discuss the life of Brigid the Saint and Goddess, show a short video clip of the variety of music dedicated to Brigid, and teach you the song, Gabhaim Molta Bride!  
Click here to donate.  Any amount, big or small, is a big help!  Once I get the notification of your donation, I will send you the link to the webinar!

A small percentage of donations will be used to offset costs to produce The Celtic Feminine Podcast and ongoing research projects dedicated to Brigid.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saint Brigit's Peripatetic Disciple: Breaca (and Companions) to Cornwall!

Image of St. Breaca

Catholic Online: Saint Breaca, from whom Breage in Cornwall was named, was born in East Meath, Ireland and schooled at the Brigidine convent nearby.
Becoming a disciple of St. Brigit, she was also called Breque, Branca, and Branka. She travelled from Ireland to Cornwall around 460 C. E.. There she and her companions made a home for themselves on the bank of the River Hoyle.
Feastday: June 4
Death: 5th or 6th century
There is a wee problem here. If Breaca studied with Brigit and left in 460, Brigit herself was about four years old at the time. Though we know she was quite precocious, I think this is pushing it. It 's too bad the dates are all so hazy and estimated. It would be nice to know for sure that a disciple of Brigit's had gone on to the big isle to build a community. This would lend some support to the idea that Brigit herself may have done such travelling, too.
According to the site of The Cornwall Historic Churches Trust writes of her church in Breage, Helston:

"Breaca was patron of this church by c.1170. According to c.1540 extracts from a Life written in the 14th or 15th centuries, Breaca was born in the regions of Leinster and Ulster. Her first local settlement and church here was at Chynoweth, near Trew, but the present church where she was reputedly buried stands on a different site."
According to the National Churches Trust:
"The present church was probably built in the early 12th century. It was considerably enlarged with north and south aisles and chapels and transepts from the mid 15th to the mid 16th centuries. This church as viewed from the exterior is much as it was over 500 years ago. It is dedicated to St Breaca an Irish missionary who is thought to have first come to Cornwall in 500 AD to bring Christianity to the area."
All is now clear. You should pop over to those websites for some lovely views.
Breage Church

Saturday, February 17, 2018

"Silent Night" (Western Ireland ??Brigidian?? Version)

See the bottom of the post for some interesting reflections on the language from Quora.

As far as I can piece together, this Christmas hymn, which does not mention Brigit at all, could perhaps have been written by Bishop Moel Brigid (or Brigidian O'Brolcan), who died in 1097. (Not to be confused with Bishop Moel Brigid ((also nicknamed Brigidian)) who died in 1042.)* Which would make it of interest because of the name, very similar to my own and meaning "Devotee of Brigit."** It is interesting to know there is a "nickname" for Mael Brigde.

More likely, it is simply that the hymn is written in the "Brigidian" language, or presumably dialect. I am at a loss as to what is going on here. I have found a couple of references to it online, but not much. One is a plea for information posted in 2003 and never answered:

"I have run across a language that appears to be Gaelic-English-Romance-Germanic in origin. It is called "Brigidian." Does anyone know about it? All I could find on the internet were several sites having to do with "how to 2 billion languages.

"I think that this language was made up, but you never know. Supposedly, it is, or was, spoken in western Ireland."

I found one of those sites, too:

"Thank you" in more than 465 languages:

Brigidian (western Ireland)                Boche'

Well, I have certainly never heard of the Brigidian language before, but it is fascinating, so I post this here to ask you if you have ever heard of such a thing.

The query above came from a Lowland Scots listserve, and there may be something to this connection, as hinted in this from Wikipedia:

Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster (where the local dialect is known as Ulster Scots).[7] It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language which was historically restricted to most of the Highlands, the Hebrides and Galloway after the 16th century.[8] The Scots language developed during the Middle English period as a distinct entity.[9][10][11]

The interesting thing for me is, if there really is, or rather was, a non-Gaelic language in Western Ireland named Brigidian, whether it came over from Scotland, and why it is called this. Is there a connection to Brigit, or is it a superficial resemblance, with a different etymology?

Anyway, here is the hymn that started all of this:

Nóçhé' Nóël, Nóçhé' Cúna / Silent Night / Stille Nacht (Western Ireland Brigidian Version)***

Nóçhé' Nóël, Nóçhé' cúna, 

Gah íes án sa' la xana 
Na íes Marí äte Swíe Loddy, 
Bébé Nuäfóna, ham äte ódí, 
Dòrméz, Crístús, dòrméz! 
Dòrméz, Crístús, dòrméz!

Nóçhé' Nóël, Nóçhé' cúna, 

Rí'ins Sôlí def Aíah, 
Haíshner fröuçh Two bal nuäfóna 
Fwothsòneth mwos salvins hóra; 
Jäésús, a' Two Rúbins, 
Jäésús, a' Two Rúbins.

Nóçhé' Nóël, Nóçhé' cúna, 

Salvatem 'nggósèa 
Fröuçh Cqíëlós-el óró haígnèh, 
Shóveth gratzía-el lánèh; 
Jäésús, yinmöu Húmanäé! 
Jäésús, yinmöu Húmanäé!

Nóçhé' Nóël, Nóçhé' cúna, 

Waléróhs vwons essèa 
Ló Angelícque Halelúya 
Haútèa íet éerigçhaba: 
Ló Meshíach íes ní! 
Ló Meshíach íes ní!

(English literal translation)

Christmas night, Quiet night, 

All is bright in the stable. 
There is Mary and Her Boy-child, 
Holy Babe, little and lovely. 
Sleep, Christ, sleep. 
Sleep, Christ, sleep.

Christmas night, Quiet night, 

Laughing Son of God, 
Love from Thy holy mouth 
Sounds forth our saving hour. 
Jesus, at Thy Birth. 
Jesus, at Thy Birth.

Christmas night, Quiet night, 

Salvation brought 
From Heaven's golden height 
Shows grace's fullness. 
Jesus truly Human! 
Jesus truly Human!

Christmas night, Quiet night, 
Shepherds who heard 
the Angelic Alleluia 
Shouted it everywhere 
The Messiah is here! 
The Messiah is here!

P.S. 24 February 2018

This response on Quora is interesting. There are some other answers that are good, as well.

Allan Miles
Allan Miles, B.A. Anthropology & Linguistics, New Mexico State University (2021)

*SourceJournal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. I, Fifth Series, Vol. XXI, Consecutive Series 1890-1891, (1892), pg. 518.

** To learn more about the name, go here.

*** SourceGaelic Rosary Prayers (2011). Bit of a misnomer there.

Image: "Erin makes a Christmas pudding marked 'Home Rule', while Pat brings international support as ingredients,"by John Fergus O'Hea [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Admittedly, this image has nothing to do with the post, but when I looked for an Irish Christmas image on Wikimedia, this came up, and I thought it was too cool to pass by.

Mael Brigde, the Name--Because You Asked.

I'm often asked what Mael Brigde means, and occasionally when I say it means "Servant of Brigit", which is the first definition I was informed of, I'm mischievously informed that it actually means "bald."

Allow me to expand on this truncated version of the truth. Ahem:

Now, it is clear from this that the baldness alluded to is not mere male-patterned baldness, but the deliberate tonsure of the Irish monastic (which was different from the circle-top baldspot of the Friar Tuck cut we are used to, being from ear to ear across the pate, leaving the front naked and the back clothed).

The tonsure implies the devotee. So in a way, we're both right. But in another way, it is more accurate for me to say "Devotee of Brigit" or if I'm really feeling it, "Slave of Brigit," or perhaps even "tonsured for Brigit." Gill Brigde, or Giolla Bride, if I recall correctly, has a more direct claim to the meaning "Servant of Brigit."

Heather Upfield reminds me that in Scot's Gaelic the Oystercatcher is Gillie Brihde - servant of Bride, as it is also in the west of Ireland, such as in Connaught, thought the spelling there is Giolla Bride, 

SourceJournal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. I, Fifth Series, Vol. XXI, Consecutive Series 1890-1891, (1892), pg. 518.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“Kindergarten Murders: Vigil Prayer” by Mael Brigde

                      “Kindergarten Murders: Vigil Prayer”

dear Brigit
your own son turned
in murderous treachery
against your people
and was killed

ragged spear
through your heart
at first you shrieked
in the end you wept

you know our grief

small children shot
mother’s son who slew them
and in his torment

aid us  Brigit
in our anger  sorrow  shock
peace to those who lived
to those destroyed

build us whole
sing our rebirth

that we may live open
eyes and hearts
heal in newfound understanding
this tender tragic earth

This poem was written in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which occurred on 14 December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, USA. It refers to the death of Brigit’s son in the Cath Maige Tuired, where he has attempted to murder one of his mother’s people in order to aid his father’s in the war between the Tuatha De Danann and the Fomorians.

Blessings on all our children.

Mael Brigde

Image: "Children in Khorixas, Namibia" by Thomas Schoch [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Brigit Sculpture by Denisa Prochazka

I just wanted to share this photo of the ten foot Brigid wall sculpture commissioned by St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts in Ottawa, Canada. The artist is Denisa Prochazka, and the photo was taken by Laurie Foster‎ of the Thornhaven ADF. Thanks to Laurie for permission to post it here.

From an article about Denisa's art (link here):

The Czech-born artist, who currently lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada states, “The necessity to create a form in my hands out of earth resembled something divine, an unspoken element of the hidden nature of what it is to be human, and the psychological portrayal of what it means to be a female. I felt the need to portray feelings, needs and a visual conversation within the sublime. Symbolism transcends the physical into the spiritual realm.”