So for this week's Divine Friday, we'll introduce ourselves to the goddess Brighid and next week we'll meet Danu.
Sometimes called The Exalted one in Irish lore, Brighid is the daughter of the Dagda and also a triune goddess or Triple Goddess, but not in the Maiden/Mother/Crone sense. She has three different aspects: 1) poetry, writing and inspiration; 2) healing, herbology and midwifery; 3) fires of the hearth, the smith and the art of smith craft She is the most celebrated goddess but her history is largely speculative, though it is known that she trasnformed into St. Brighid about 453 C.E. She was, for some time, married to Bres, of their enemy The Fomorians, and worked for diplomacy and peace between the tribes. She bore three sons Brian, Iuchar and Iuchariba.
As Brighid the Hearthwoman, she is most often associated with the hearth as the center and focus of the home and the community, as well as perpetual sacred flames such as the one maintained by 19 nuns at her sanctuary in Kildane, Ireland. To welcome a stranger to your own fireside is to follow the example of Brighid who made a welcome for all and made the abbey a safe place of refuge and sanctuary. She is also known to watch over children in childbirth. her festival, held on February 2nd, corresponds to the anceint Celtic Festival Imbolc and represetns the stirrings of life again after the cold months of winter. As a goddess related to fire, one of the simplest ways to show devotion is the burning of a candle every day, following the traditions of the anceint preistesses of Brighid who lit and tended to a sacred flame in her honor.
The equal- arm cross/Brighid's Cross became her symbol, traditionally made by family members and hung in the house, barn and other buildings for protection. Hazel and birch trees are sacred to this goddess. The easiest way to connect with her through the year is to work to cultivate in one's own life those qualities that are sacred to her. People work with Brighid for intense healing, purification and inspiration. She is a loving and passionate goddess who wishes to bring her healing and strength to others.
Follow the link below for instructions on how to make your very own Brighid's cross. (I used pipe cleaners for all of mine which is what I believe she has pictured)
How to make a Brighid's Cross (From Patti Wigington at about.com)