Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Thoughts From Anonymous on Feile Bríde

Anonymous said, in a comment on Tending Her Flame, Thursday, November 25, 2004:

I've been curious for years about "Feile Bríde," the great festival of Brighid that happens at the end of January in Kildare Ireland. So here are a few websites I discovered in my search. Someday, I will make a pilgrimage to this festival despite the chill of that land in late winter. I am a child of Imbolc (born just a few days before Brighid's feast), so I have felt a great connection to her, and through her to my Celtic ancestry.
A description of Feile Bríde 2005, Solas Bríde, a website for the pilgrimage centre founded by the Brigidine Sisters (Catholic Nuns who tend Brighid's Flame and promote peace and justice). There is a wonderful description of a personal pilgrimage to Kildare and the Feile Bríde festival in issue #20 of PanGaia Magazine. The full text of the article is not currently online, but you can order back issues at their site. A Photographic Tour of Kildare Cathedral. I also found a fascinating interview with a Brigidine Nun, Sister Mary Minehan, about her relationship with St. Brigit and work.

Monday, November 07, 2005 2:22:09 AM

Many thanks, Anon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Daughters of the Flame

Brigit's Sparkling Flame is maintained by the Daughters of the Flame, a group of women who tend Brigit's Flame every day of the year.

From our introduction:

On Imbolc, 1993, the Daughters of the Flame lit a fire in honour of the Goddess Brigit and the saint Bridget, modelled after the perpetual fire which once burned in Kildare. We share the task of tending the flame, on a twenty day rotation; each woman tends the fire in her own way, so that it is a solitary devotion linked to the devotions of a larger group. On the twentieth day the Goddess Herself keeps the flame alive. Instead of burning in one grove, temple, or monastery, it burns on personal altars, desks, and picnic tables in countries east and west, south and north.

The reasons for rekindling are many. It is a celebration in our own lives of Her triple aspects of poet, healer, and smith. It is one effort to address the need for a global network of magical prayer, with special emphasis on some of the traditional concerns of Brigit. These include peace and reconciliation, sharing of wealth so that all will flourish rather than protecting wealth for a few, guarding the land and the creatures which nourishes us and share our lives, being tender with and caring for ourselves and each other. It touches on the need of individual women for a focus and a community through which to develop our personal spiritual practice, to reduce isolation and aid in developing our thought and learning while maintaining the autonomy of working as a solitary, if that is what we prefer or how we find ourselves due to life circumstances. It is, however, very much a self-motivated discipline, both in terms of tending the flame and in connecting with others in the group.

Although members have primarily been neo-pagans, Daughters of the Flame is open to any woman who is called to light her flame.

The Daughters of the Flame are happy to be tending Brigit's Flame alongside the hundreds of others who do so, including the Catholic order of Brigidine Sisters, and Ord Brighideach, which is open to both women and men. If others wish to start their own groups the Daughters of the Flame would be happy to assist with advice and moral support.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Treesong's Online Shrine

Treesong is another lover of Brighid, who has created a small online shrine to Her. It features pictures, poetry, facts and so on, and an online forum about Brighid which as yet has no one signed up. want to talk with Treesong and, in time, others who love Brighid? visit Her online shrine.

Treesong also points us toward these Brigit sources:

Sanctuary of Brighid
Tuatha de Brighid

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Knitting Brigit's Mantle

for those of us who are gifted in knitting (or have the patience to become so--as i do not!), Alice Starmore has written about the art and craft of the Aran sweater (Ireland's Gaelic-speaking western islands being the Aran isles) in her book Aran Knitting. a lovely Brigidine example of this is found in Pamela's House of Blues blog. (besides knitting a beautiful blue St. Brigit's sweater, pamela raises Blue Bearded Collies.)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ecstasy Forge

Contemporary American "energy artist" Catherine Jo Morgan makes art to offer psychic energy - that energy of full, vibrant aliveness. She makes iron sculptures that center on vessel forms, saying that vessels are ideal for holding and releasing energy. Her current "Energy Transformer" sculptures bring paper and iron into harmony, using copper mesh as a kind of mediator. The copper mesh adds a warm glow to balance the painted paper and iron. Crystal spheres seem to draw and transform energy. Bright metal and swarovski crystal beads enhance each piece

Catherine has named her power hammer, a 25-lb. Little Giant, Brigid, for the goddess of blacksmithing. She has painted a whirl of flames on the hammer. Have a look at her site to see Brigid in all her fiery glory.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bride's Mound Purchase Update

Bride's Mound was successfully purchased (see posting below)--

congratulations to the Friends and to all who supported them!
Funding is needed on a continuing basis to meet mortgage
payments and forestall the need to sell of portions of the

go to their site to see lovely pictures of Sr. Mary Minehan of the
Brigidine Sisters of Kildare participating in a festival at
Bride's Mound.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Irish Books That Mention Brigit

by Beryl Baigent

  • Adair, John. The Pilgrims’ Way: Shrines and Saints in Britain and Ireland. London: Thames and Hudson, 1978. An academic version of the pilgrimage which cover Downpatrick as the possible grave site of Brigit.
  • Asala, Joanne. Irish Saints and Sinners. New York: Sterling, 1995. Legends of St. Bridgit.
  • Berresford Ellis, Peter. Celtic Women. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995. References to Brigantia, the goddess Brigid, and Brigid of Kildare.
  • ----. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. London: Constable, 1992. Dictionary entries for Brigantia, and Brigid, a triune goddess.
  • Brenneman, Walter L. Jnr., and Mary G. Brenneman. Crossing the Circle at the Holy Wells of Ireland. Charlottesville & London: University Press of Virginia, 1995. Text on St. Brigid’s wells at Cliffony, Co. Sligo, Armagh Demesne, Co. Armagh, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Kildare, Co. Kildare, and Killaire, Co. Westmeath, with illustrations.
  • Bull, Sam (Editor). Let’s Go Ireland 1998. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998. St. Brigid’s cathedral, Kildare.
  • Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish saved Civilization. New York: Doubleday, 1995. Brigid of Kildare discussed.
  • Carmichel, Alexander. Carmina Gadelica. Hudson, New York: Lindisfarne Press, 1992. Prayers to Brigid.
  • Daly, K. S. Ireland: An Encyclopedia for the Bewildered. London: Aurum, n/d. Dictionary references to St. Brigid and to her connection with cattle.
  • Davis, Courtney Davis. The Art of Celtia. London: Blandford, 1993. References and artwork for Brighid, Bride, Brigid. “The blue mantle of Bride is her banner shaken out over the expectant heavens.”
  • ---- and David James. The Celtic Image. London: Blandford, 1997. Brigid and the Festivals, with art work.
  • Duffy, Sean (Editor). The Macmillan Atlas of Irish History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Reference to St. Brigid.
  • Green, Marian. A Calendar of Festivals. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element, 1991. The feast of Brigit, Imbolc, February 1.
  • Jenner, Michael. Ireland through the Ages. London: Claremont, 1992. St. Brigit with photograph of well at Kildare.
  • Johnson, Cait and Maura D. Shaw. Celebrating the Great Mother. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny, 1995. Imbolc and “The Lady of Light.”
  • Kendrick, T. D. The Druids. London: Senate, 1994. Mentions tending the holy fire at Kildare until the suppression of the monasteries by King Henry V111.
  • Lovell, Richard. Ireland 100 Years Ago. London: Bracken, 1995. St. Brigid’s church and round tower, Kildare sketched, on a tour from Dublin to Cork. References to St. Brigit and Kildare.
  • MacAnnaidh, Seamus. Irish History. Bath: Paragon, 1999. St. Brigid of Kildare with photographs of and cathedral and stained glass window.
  • Matthews, Caitlin. The Celtic Book of Days. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny, 1995. Brighid/Brigit at Imbolc.
  • ----. The Celtic Tradition. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element, 1989. Brigit as goddess of wisdom, daughter of the Dagda.
  • ----. The Celtic Tradition. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element, 1995. Full colour and black and white illustrations including J. Duncan’s painting of St. Brigit being carried by the angels as mid-wife to the lying-in of Mary. Also the story of the nineteen nuns lighting the candles at Kildare. Brigit as mother of memory.
  • ---- and John. Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Element: 1994. Brighid as matron of augury, matron of healing, soul-guardian, ninefold blessing, and poets mystically descended from.
  • Matthews, John. Drinking from the Sacred Well. San Francisco: Harper, 1998. A full chapter on Brighid of Kildare. The life of Brighid in which one learns of the importance of the feminine spirit in our lives.
  • Minehan, Rita. Rekindling the Flame: A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Brigid of Kildare. Kildare: Solas Bhride Community, 1999. Written by the sisters of Solas Bhride. A fully comprehensive telling of the history and all the sites connected with Brigit in Kildare. Also contains meditations on Brigit.
  • Moorhouse, Geoffrey. Sun Dancing. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1997. A wonderful book on Celtic sites and spirituality.
  • Nichols, Ross. The Book of Druidry. London: Harper Collins/Thorson, 1990. Many references to Brighid.
  • O’Hara, Gwydion. Moonlore. St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn, 1992. Brigit the Enchantress as a Lunar Dignitary.
  • Paterson, The Very Reverend John. Kildare: The Cathedral; Church of St. Brigid. Published by the cathedral, n/d. Notes on the history compiled by the Dean of Kildare.
  • Pennick, Nigel. The Pagan Book of Days. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny, 1992. Several references, including a discussion on Brigantia, and Imbolc.
  • Shaw, Carol P. Famous Irish Lives. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1996. St. Bridget abbess and bishop c. 450-523.
  • Sheehy, Jeanne. The Rediscovery of Ireland’s Past: The Celtic Revival 1830 - 1930. London: Thames and Hudson, 1980. John Lavery’s (1856-1941) painting of Madonna and Child, flanked by St. Brigid and St. Patrick discussed, along with the stained glass of William Henry Lynn (1829-1915), one window of which pictures St. Brigid. .
  • Sierra, Judy. Celtic Baby Names. Eugene, Oregon: Folkprint, 1997. Brid, Brighid names discussed in terms of the Irish goddess, abbess of Kildare, and as sisters of the Tuatha De Danaan.
  • Slavin, Michael. The Book of Tara. Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 1996. In a discussion of the sacred hill of Tara, Brighid is mentioned as the earth-mother fire goddess and the medieval convent dedicated to her at Odder. It is also noted that she is mentioned in the Glossary of King Cormac, which was transcribed from the oral tradition in the 10th century. (A great book, I met the author last year.)
  • Stewart, R. J. Celtic Gods Celtic Goddesses. London: Blandford, 1990. Brighid, St. Bride, Brigitte likened to Minerva, and as foster mother of Jesus. Also folklore of Brigit.
  • Touchstone Pottery. Celtic Art: Fine Porcelain. Antigonish, Nova Scotia: Touchstone, n/d. Illustrates two pins of Brigantia/Brigit with text.
  • Wilde, Lady. Irish Cures, Mystic Charms & Superstitions. New York: Sterling, 1991. St. Brigit’s charm against the evil eye. St. Brigit’s Day charm.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Brigit Meditation

Doreen at Celtic Crossroads has provided a short meditation for meeting Brigit. her site also includes information about herself (a charming and friendly woman), about the Morrigan, the Green Man, megalithic sites and all manner of stuff that interests her.

NOTICE: Unfortunately, the links here are broken and I'm unable to track it down elsewhere. If anyone discovers a new link, lemme know! 31 January 2010

Friday, February 25, 2005

Restoring Bride's Mound

a couple of days ago i received an email telling me about a group of women in Glastonbury, England called the Friends of Bride's Mound who wish to buy this little piece of land and preserve it as a sacred site. the land is currently for sale and the decision will be made on 1 march. the Daughters of the Flame have sent a cheque to help with the purchase of this land, as others who are concerned with the sacred sites of the Celtic Goddess and Saint Brigit are invited to do.

why is this important? it certainly isn't the most dire petition for money i have come across in the last year. the floods in Haiti and Guyana, the killing in Darfur, the tsunamis in Asia, AIDS and malaria in the third world, homelessness in Canada are all more immediate disasters. yet we have a need not only to respond to disaster, but to preserve the elements that nourish our spirits. these range from wild country with its inhabitants to ancient temples and modern sanctuaries to what are now called, oddly, "green spaces" in our busy towns.

for those of us who love our ancestral cultures and religions, preserving living links to them, places where we can connect directly to them and deepen our own awareness and sensitivity, is extremely important. Bride's Mound is one of those places, and i am grateful that there are people willing and able to organize themselves to try to care for this one small part of our sacred heritage. whether i am able to walk that land one day or not, i have walked similar, and i am strengthened by the knowledge of one more piece of contemplation and prayer secured for a little while.

if you wish to make a donation, please go to the Bride's Mound Appeal page of the Bride's Mound website.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Celtic Well

i've come across a very interesting site called the Celtic Well--"an e-mail mailing list for those interested in studying the evidence for ancient, medieval, and modern Celtic religious practices and beliefs." within this site are reading lists, discussions, photos and much more for those interested in a balanced and careful and deeply respectful approach to the sacred materials of the Celts.

"We believe that acquiring sound knowledge is one of the best ways to encourage healthy spiritual growth and inspiration. By assembling together in this virtual forum, we hope to promote knowledge and heal divisions among Celts of all religious persuasions.

"We will be discussing the objective evidence for Celtic religion as found in the art, architecture, archaeology, folklore, hagiography, history, language, mythology, and other sources. We recognize that intuition and personal experience form an essential part of one's personal religious practice. However, because there are other lists where personal practice can be discussed, such subjects generally are considered off-topic here."

the page dedicated to Brigit is named: Brighid--What Do We Really Know? and can be found at: http://www.applewarrior.com/celticwell/ejournal/imbolc/brighid.htm

other pages related to Brigit abound:

Monday, January 31, 2005

Treasures of Grace & HAPPY IMBOLC!


this website is completely Catholic in orientation and has some very interesting stuff on it, including links to free stuff like music, novels, desktop decorations, virtual rosaries, Tolkien and so on. but we are mentioning them here because of the unusual (eg, it isn't all over the web, as some are) image of Saint Brigid they have, which we will copy here. it is from Butler's Lives of the Saints.

so, the site is:
Treasures of Grace

look for the article on Brigid under "Saints", and then "Irish Saints".