brigit

Hekate’s Enchanted Cottage

December, 2015

Tending the Flame

cottage

 

Brigit—Lady of Light

Your Fire burns bright in the hearts of many.

Brighid—Exalted One

Most High do I sing Your Name.

Brigantia—Sovereign One

Through You, I honor the Sacredness of the Land.

Brigandu—Bright Faery Queen

The Realms of Enchantment are Yours, my Queen.

Breedia—She Who Heals

I embrace Your Powers of Healing, may I become One with You.

Brigit—Brighid—Brigantia—Brigandu—Breedia

I give thanks for the Blessings You bestow upon my Life…

~Vivienne Moss~

I have written of Brighed, or as I call Her, Brigandu, before. She is both Goddess and Saint, and is worshipped by both Pagans and Christians. Brigandu is a wonderful Goddess for the Cottage Witch to honor and She has a permanent shrine in my home. At this shrine I tend Her Holy Flame on the day that is chosen for me by a Sisterhood of Flame Tenders. I light Brigandu’s candle with a small candle that holds the Perpetual Flame of Brighid within. I am honored to be a part of this tradition and Sisterhood.

To tend the Flame of Brigandu is to tend the Flame of Creation. Within this Flame is the spark of creativity, the warmth of love, and heat of the passion for life. Its Holy Light is healing and soothing, compassion for All burns at the Flames center. To Tend the Flame is to tend the love in one’s own heart, learning to share the Mysteries of the Goddess with the world.

When we are full of Divine Love for the Goddess– (or God)—we become one with the universe and can feel the sacred connection that binds us all together. We learn that humanity is not apart from Nature, but that we are Nature. We are kin to every living being on our sacred planet. We are of the Stars and Moon, the Sun and the ever ancient Waters of Life. The Song of Creation lives within our souls, we are Holy, just as the Gods are Holy. Our lives, and All lives of this world are sacred, and we should treat them as such. Our lives should be lived with Love and Compassion. To see and feel the Deep Beauty of the Worlds—Seen and Unseen—is Life Enchanted…

As I extinguish Brigandu’s Holy Flame at the end of my vigil, I know that Her Holy Fire burns within my soul. I know that She is with me and that She has blessed my home and family. To feel Her Holy presence fills my life with Hope and Love for the Gods, the Spirits, and Humanity…

There are two recently released books on this Goddess of the Flame that are wonderful additions to my esoteric library. Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess by Courtney Weber and Tending Brigid’s Flame: Awaken to the Celtic Goddess of Hearth, Temple, and Forge by Lunaea Weatherstone.

MoonOwl Observations

November, 2014

The Goddess Brigit

Brigit is the goddess of communication, fertility and war. She is also responsible for fire, wisdom and protecting the flocks. The ancient Brigit was in one of her three forms the goddess of Smithcraft. She also ruled poetry and inspiration, carrying a cauldron. Her third identity was as a goddess of healing and medicine. She is Celtic and she lives in the garden between two towers of learning. Her sacred animal is the fox, which is the embodiment of alert intelligence. She is also referred to as Bigid, Brigantia and Bridgit and is commonly called ‘the exalted one’ or ‘the bright one’. This triple goddess of the Celtic Irish appeared as Brigantia in England, Bride in Scotland and Brigandu in Celtic France

Her holy day is Imbolc, the important spring holiday celebrating ewes coming in to milk. This is a symbol of rebirth and fertility. Imbolc also is a time when a wife or husband can walk out of their marriage. The Irish said that Brigit brought to humanity a number of useful things, including whistling and keening ( the mournful song of the bereaved Irishwoman)

There are parallels between Brigit and St. Brigid, who blinded herself in order to avoid an arranged marriage and became a nun. She also tended a fire that was said to burn for hundreds of days, just as the goddess was associated with the ritual fires of purification. The ancient worship of the goddess continued at her sacred shrine in kildare, where 19 virgins tended the undying fire and where, on the 20th day of each cycle was tened by Brigit herself.The Christians ‘converted’ the goddess along with her people, calling Brigit the human daughter of a Druid and claiming she was baptized by the great patriarch St. Patrick.

Brigit was the wife of Bres, and she bore him 3 sons, she often appears as an alternative for her mother Anu, which suggests that they were probably different aspects of the same mother goddess. She has inspiring beauty and fiery qualities who was identified with the earth herself and with the soil’s fertility. Not much is left of one of the greatest of all Celtic goddess’, but her brass shoe was one of the most sacred objects that could be imagined, a divinity so intensely related to the feminine force that no man was allowed to pass beyond the hedge surrounding her sanctuary.

Let’s Spell it Out

February, 2010

The Cauldron of Inspiration with Brigit, the Lady of the Sacred Flame

February begins with a Sabbat that is usually celebrated on February 2nd.  Although it has many names, it is usually referred to as Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced em-bowlg or immol’g) meaning “in the belly” (being pregnant with life) or Oimelc (pronounced oy-melk) meaning “ewe’s milk” (nourishing life).  Other names for this day are Disting-tid (Norse), Laa’l Breeshay (Isle of Mann), and Candlemas (Saxon; “mas” meaning “feast”, not a Catholic word).  As this is the day of Brigit, be she goddess or saint, this day is also called White Brigit’s Day, Feast Day of Saint Brigit (Irish) or Feast Day of Saint Blaise (an Armenian saint that has a King arthur connection and may be the goddess Brigit in disguise).

Brigit is the Goddess of Inspiration and the Lady of the Sacred Flame.  As a goddess, she is usually referred to as Brigit, but after her demotion to sainthood, she was usually called Brigid.  Brigit has many other names, but to keep things simple, I will continue to refer to her as Brigit here.  Although her holiday falls at a time of the year where both light and warmth are waxing, her day is about the light, not the heat.  This is expressed through candlelight, torchlight or firelight.

Fire has been considered sacred for thousands of years and the practice of tending it goes back to the Greeks and continued on to “Saint Brigid” and her “nuns”.  Brigit’s lineage can be traced back to other goddesses with fire associations such as Juna, Minerva, artemis/Diana, Tanit (Lucifer or Lucia, the Son of the Morningstar Venus, not the Christian “Satan”), Hecate (they both have crossroads connections) and Hestia (Greek) or Vesta (Roman).

The Name Hestia or Vesta means “dwelling place”, as in the womb of the goddess, the cauldron or Holy Grail Cup, as she is the mother of the Sun God.  Although her name came to mean “fire”, “Hestia” means “ a house” or “a dwelling” as it is derived from the word “hes” or “hese”, meaning “shelter”, “to protect” or “to show mercy”.  Hestia to the Greeks and then after her Roman “adoption” as Vesta, was the goddess of domestic life and it was believe that she resided in every household, the reason for her shrines.  She was also sometimes called Ashta, another name meaning “fire” and she was referred to the Goddess of Fire.

Fire was so sacred to the Greeks and Romans that select women were chosen to tend the sacred flame in temples built to Hestia/Vesta.  In the time of the Romans, these were called Vestal Virgins.  This practice was also found throughout history in other parts of the globe, sometimes because of the Collective Consciousness and sometimes from Roman occupation.

“In Scandinavia, the priestesses of Freya, who were generally kings’ daughters,

whose duty it was to watch the sacred fire, and who were bound to perpetual virginity,

were just an order of nuns.  In Athens there were virgins maintained at the public expense,

who were strictly bound to single life.  In Pagan Rome, the Vestal virgins,

who had the same duty to perform as the priestesses of Freya, occupied a similar position.

Even in Peru, during the reign of the Incas, the same system prevailed,

and showed so remarkable an analogy, as to indicate that the Vestals of Rome,

the nuns of the Papacy, and the Holy Virgins of Peru, must have sprung form a common origin.  These were young maidens dedicated to the service of the deity,

who at a tender age were taken form their homes, and introduced into convents,

where they were placed under the care of certain elderly matrons, mamaconas,

who had grown grey within their walls.  It was their duty to watch over the sacred fire. ”

From “The Two Babylons

Why were these young ladies, their occupation and the fire held in such high esteem?

“The fire of Vesta was regarded as one of the grand safeguards of the (Roman) empire.

(It) was kept with the most jealous care by the Vestal Virgins, who, for their charge of it,

were honored with the highest honors.”

From “The Two Babylons

So ingrained into the people’s psyche the importance of this sacred fire, that even after Paganism was outlawed in Rome, the temples survived and the practices remained.

“The “great serpent of fire” was cast out, when by the decree of Gratian,

Paganism throughout the Roman Empire was abolished-when the fires of Vesta

were extinguished, and the revenues of the Vestal virgins were confiscated…

How strong was the hold that Paganism had in the Imperial city,

even after the fires of Vesta was extinguished,

and state support was withdrawn from the Vestals;

but the Emperor yet spared the statues of the gods which were exposed to public view;

four hundred and twenty four temples or chapels

still remained to satisfy the devotion of the people.”

From “The Two Babylons

Brigit was no different than Vesta; history repeated itself, the fires were to be extinguished as they were in Rome, but the flames would burn on.  Even after her “demotion” to sainthood, Brigit simply chose to evolve to survive.  She became the first nun in Ireland and created a small community of seven virgins at Croghan Hill.  Later it was said that she moved to a new location, into a cell at the base of an oak tree (oaks being sacred to the Druids).  This tiny community grew into a nunnery and monastery, the famous center of learning at Kildare; or “cill-dare”, meaning “oak-cell”.  Seven nuns grew to be 19 that tended Brigit’s flame and many daughter convents peppered Ireland from this original one.

In her goddess aspect, before her demotion, Brigit also had a cauldron (that she may have obtained form her father) and one of the jobs of what would become “nuns” was to tend to the flame beneath it.  In many of his books, Raven Grimassi makes the case that many of the practices of the Celts actually come from the Greeks and Romans, and this is also one of them.  The Greeks had nine muses, who among other things inspired humans, and Brigit originally had nine fire attendants and one of her powers as a goddess is to inspire humans.  Brigit can do many things, but for the purposes of this spell, we will tap into the power of the Sacred Flame of inspiration.

THE SPELL

If possible, perform this spell either at your hearth, but if you don’t have one, you can simply substitute your kitchen stove (the modern-day equivalent).  Preferably perform this spell either on or as close to February 2nd as you can.

Supplies

  • Candle (color of your choice, to correspond with your need)
  • Cauldron/fire-safe bowl

Either create Sacred Space or cast a Magick Circle in the manner of your own tradition.

Call to Brigit with this or another evocation:

“On this day of waxing light

Longer days and shorter nights

I call to Brigit, Goddess White

On this day of Your powers’ height.”

Candlelight

Light the candle after placing it inside the cauldron and say:

“As I light this candle fire

Lady of the Flame, please inspire.”

Inspiration

In your own words, speak to Brigit about the subject that requires her aid in inspiration.  Perhaps like a Muse, she can inspire you to find a solution to a life-problem that is blocking you from moving forward.  Perhaps she can lead you to a solution that will destroy your negative situation in a blaze of glory.  Although this article has focused on Brigit in her flame aspect, she is also associated with sacred wells and streams, so perhaps Brigit could teach you to move like water; finding the path of least resistance or to crack a giant boulder simply by freezing within the cracks.  If you have writer’s block or another kind or artistic block, ask Brigit to help you to move past it.  Whatever your situation may be, simply pour your heart out to Brigit and ask for her help in finding the best outcome for all involved.

Meditation

Mediate now on the light in the darkness, the candle in the cauldron, the life within the womb.  With Her inspiration, you can plant a seed to grow in the coming season.  During meditation, Brigit may give you the answer to which you seek.  If not, do not worry, She may use a dream to get the message to you or you may get the message from a chance encounter in your daily life, so be vigilant as to what messages are coming your way.

To thank the Goddess Brigit:

When finished, if you feel so inclined, in gratitude to Brigit for Her help, you may wish to tend her flame as others have and still do.  If this is not for you, please consider making a donation in Her honor.  Although I didn’t cover it much here in this article, Brigit’s cauldron fed many and she was known for providing for those in need.  You could do the same by making a food donation to either your local food bank or to the local animal shelter.  Don’t worry if you have to make it a small donation due to your current state of finances if that is an issue for you; Brigit will see what is in your heart.  After all, She is the flame that burns within all of our hearts.

Sources:

Candlemas: Feast of Flames by Amber K and Azrael Arynn K

The Two Babylons or the Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and his Wife by the late Rev. Alexander Hislop