Brigid is a powerful goddess in Celtic mythology associated with light, wisdom, the hearth, home, childbirth, healing, and the arts. She was born at dawn and is credited with inventing the practice of wailing and whistling. Brigid was also associated with oxen, boars, and sacred flames. She was loved by many women, and some priestesses devoted themselves to her worship. With the rise of Christianity, some suggest that St. Bridget of Kildare is a reworked version of the goddess.
Brigid or “The Bright One” is a powerful goddess in Celtic mythology. She is considered a goddess of light and wisdom, bringing enlightenment to her followers, and is also the goddess of the hearth, home, childbirth, healing, and the arts, especially poetry. Brigid is also related to peace and reconciliation.
According to legend, Bridget is a daughter of the Dagda, a powerful king in Celtic folklore. She has married Bres, an Irish king of a rival tribe, in hopes of creating unity among the tribes and ending the wars between them. The two had three children, one of whom was killed in battle, inspiring Brigid to sharpen the pain. Consequently, Brigid is credited with inventing the practice of wailing in Celtic society, and is also connected with the practice of whistling to organize and gather followers.
Brigid’s connection to fire and light is due to the fact that she was born at dawn. Sacred flames throughout Ireland were historically maintained by the priestesses of Bridget, and she too was worshiped at holy wells. Many people believed that drinking from one of Brigid’s wells could lead to the healing of various ailments, as she was connected to the healing arts in Celtic society.
Bridget was also associated with oxen, as she apparently owned several, and with boars. In legends, she is depicted as an accomplished poet, composing verses in honor of various events, and some bards venerated Bridget, particularly bards who performed religious works.
As a goddess, Brigid was loved by many women. Women prayed to her during pregnancy and childbirth, in the hope of having strong and healthy children, and certain sects of priestesses devoted themselves to the worship of Bridget and to seeking her wisdom and achievements in the arts in her honour.
Like many pagan gods and goddesses, Bridget found herself displaced with the rise of Christianity. Some people have suggested that St. Bridget of Kildare is actually a reworked version of Bridget the goddess, rather than a real person, and some evidence seems to support this. Both Bridgets, for example, share a birthday, and verifiable details of Bridget’s life are very hard to come by.