Saturday, March 21, 2009
Brigit Gwers (OBOD lesson) by Susa Morgan Black
Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids member Susa Morgan Black offers online her 38 page lesson on Brigit, looked at from many aspects and supported with lots of notes, images, and resources. Below is a brief sample.
Brigit is a “pan Celtic” goddess, who was worshipped by both the Goidelic4 and Brythonic5 Celts in the British Isles and beyond. She is a solar deity, who once hung her mantle on a sunbeam.
In Celtic mythology, Brigit is the daughter of the Morrighan and the Dagda6, the Good God and
Chief of the Tuatha de Danaan, the ancient fairy race of Ireland, and the sister of Ogma, who
invented the Ogham alphabet. She was the wife of Bres, King of the Fomorians (who were at
war with the Tuatha de Danaan). Brigit was said to have been the mediator of peace between
the two ancient warring tribes. She was the mother of the Three Gods of Danu – Ruadan7,
Iuchar and Uar8. These three Gods were said to have married the three princesses of Ireland –
Eire, Fodhla and Banbha.9
In other sources, Brigid is the daughter of Boann, the Goddess of the River Boyne in Ireland.
Boann (bo fhionn) means “white cow”, an association she shares with Brigid.
Brigit is primarily the patron Goddess of poets, healers and smiths. She is also a patron of other
womanly arts – midwifery, dyeing, weaving and brewing, and the guardian of children and farm
animals – particularly cows.10 The island of Ireland itself is said to be the green mantle of Brigit.
She is also said to be the patron of travelers, sailors, and fugitives.
She is specifically a patroness to the Druids in her aspects of poetry (Bards), healing and
prophecy (Ovates) and blacksmithing.11 (Druids).
4. Goidelic – Gaels: Irish, Scots, and Manx Celts
5. Brythonic – British: Welsh, Cornish and Breton Celts
6. In other versions, Dagda is the son of Brigit; White Goddess, page 101. Dagda is the patron god of the Druids. In some
versions, he is the consort of Brigid.
7. In some sources, it’s Brian, Iuchar and Iuchurba (White Goddess, page 101)
8. Article on Brigit on the OBOD webpage, by Winter Cymres (http://www.druidry.org/obod/deities/brigid.html)
9. White Goddess, page 102
10. Kindling the Celtic Spirit, pg. 47
11. Blacksmithing is the art of transformation of metal, and they were considered great wizards and mages in ancient times,
which relates them directly to the transformative (alchemical) arts of the Druid.