Tuesday, November 16, 2010
- works based on folk traditions, and/or written or geographical materials of ancient or medieval origin versus those which embark in new directions, infusing Wiccan and other ideas into their presentation of Brigit, versus works based largely on personal relationship with deity;
- works that are well written and well presented versus those which are not;
- works intended to further the study of or devotion to Brigit versus those which pursue other aims primarily;
- works that are more useful for inspiration than for scholarship. (Since I can find inspiration in the driest scholarly presentation, if the ideas are exciting enough, I may not be able to offer the opposite: works that are more useful for scholarship than inspiration.)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Brigit's Forge Website is the child of Hilaire Wood of Aberystwyth, Wales. In her words:
Brigit's Forge website is inspired by Brigit and dedicated to her. It represents the actual and virtual place where I work as a poet and healer and where I research and write about Brigit, Celtic mythology and folklore. I believe that healing, inspiration and creativity are linked, and that the ability to forge is important for bringing our creativity into manifestation. I draw my faith in the Otherworld, my inspiration, and the strength to cope with the challenges in my life, from Celtic mythology and religion in general and Brigit in particular. My method is to read and learn, to go to sacred places in Ireland and Wales, to spend time with land, sea and sky and to let all this inform my spiritual practice. This website is where I hope to share some of what I have learned with people who have the same interests.
The blacksmith's forge is the place where iron is forged to make useful and beautiful objects, and at one time it was also the meeting place for the community, a place to share stories and information, music and jesting, a place where the young men would engage in contests and shows of strength. In ancient times it also had a deeper and more magical significance as a place of initiation and creation.
My aim here is to balance more factual information with nourishment for the spirit and the senses, taking advantage of this medium to use colour, images and sound where possible.
On this site Hilaire offers:
These articles begin where most do, with an introduction to Brigit as goddess and saint, but they move into areas not often examined, such as the the role of Brigit in war, Brigit in Wales (Ffraid, who does not share with her Irish and Scottish parallels an Imbolc feast day), and a comparison with the "Hindu Sarasvati, goddess of learning and the creative arts, who bears some striking resemblances to Brigit, as well as some important differences."
Hilaire's careful scholarship, deep commitment, and creative intellect make this website a valuable and precious resource.