GODDESS OF HEALERS, MIDWIVES AND POETS
Brigid, Goddess of Healers
Brigid, the Saint and Goddess has been worshiped by the Celtics as a Saint for over fifteen hundred years, and as a Goddess long before. To this day there is the unusual blending of Brigid the ancient Goddess with the Saint, this mixture of Christian and Old Celtic and pagan lore, is quite common.
Brigid’s day is February 1st, she is seen as the bringer of Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere. Representing Fertility - Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess). Even nowadays, Brigid crosses are made in her honour, on Jan 31st (Brigid’s Eve) and traditionally a piece of cloth (a piece of her sacred mantle - brat Bríde) is placed outside the house, for the saint to bless as she passes by, and these would be brought back into the home, and in the coming year, these would be used to heal people and animals.
She is known as the Goddess of Healers, Poets, Smiths, Keeners, Childbirth/Midwives and Inspiration; Goddess of Fire and Hearth. Legend tells us that when She was born, a tower of flame reached from the top of her head to the heavens. Her birth, which took place at sunrise, is rumoured to have given the family house the appearance of being on fire. The King of Leinster granted Brigid land for a monastery in Kildare, around 470AD, and she became Abbess of the first convent in Ireland. The area had a Druidic oak grove, going back to pre-Christian times, there was a Sacred fire burned where priestesses used to gather on the hill of Kildare, while invoking a goddess named Brigid to protect their herds and to provide a fruitful harvest. The monastery was active up to 16th century, it was a centre of learning and art. The Eternal Flame, was tended by nineteen nuns who each took a night to hold vigil. The Brigidine Sisters came to live in Kildare in 1992 and on February 2, 1996 the Flame was relit and the intention is to keep it burning perpetually once again. In my clinic space, I have a candle lit from this Perpetual Flame of Kildare.
There are many Sacred/Holy wells all over Ireland in Brigid’s honour, it is common to adorn these with flowers, greenery and candles, often with offerings of coins and other silver objects, some of these wells are sacred to Her for thousands of years. The waters of her wells are said to heal all manner of disease.