Brigid: The Irish Goddess and Saint Available to All

Let me introduce Brigid, a saint, goddess, and Voodoo loa known by many times and places. She is am embodiment of a particular Divine Feminine energy that is fiercely loving, protective, but also has a playful edge to her.🙌🏽

Her names are varied — Brigid, Bridget, Brigit, or Brid, or Brigtantia – and she made her way across the Celtic tribes in Europe to Ireland and then across the Atlantic to African descent people who embraced her as a Loa in the African tradition. While Brigid has strong Irish roots, she is now a global Divine Being.

Brigid first showed up for me in the form of a necklace (no, really!).📿 I was at an academic conference where there was one lone jeweller in the book exhibit hall. As a poor graduate student at the time, jewellery was not on my list of expenditures. But this one necklace kept catching my eye, and I finally knew I had to buy it, and a new relationship was born.

The necklace is a St. Brigid’s cross, and I’m still wearing it all these years later.🤗

Research led me to the astonishing discovery that Brigid’s feast day is also my birthday – cue a mic crop moment for me.🎤😍

Born to a Christian mother and a pagan father, Brigid crosses many thresholds. In fact, she was literally born on a threshold of a doorway, half in the house, and half in nature. Later in life, she was accidentally ordained into the office of a bishop instead of the vows of a nun. Brigid crosses thresholds of spirituality, gender, and even nature.🍃

It doesn’t end there. Brigid is also a pre-Christian goddess, and she eventually came to North America and the Caribbean via Irish immigrants. She intermingled with Africans, she became a fierce protectress of marginalized and enslaved people. As a person born in Louisiana where Voodoo thrives, this hit home with me right away – my European and African ancestors knew Brigid. It brings tears to my eyes to embrace Brigid, bringing my ancestors new joy.

Saint Brigid also loved the message of Jesus, and this message inspired her towards acts of justice. She would creatively challenge the status quo. For instance, when she asked a local chieftain for land for her double monastery (unusual at the time for both men and women), he laughed and told her no.

She cheekily suggested that if she took off her cloak and asked her nuns to spread it out, could they have only the portion of land it covered? He laughed and said yes. When the nuns each took a corner of the cloak, it magically grew in size until it covered many acres. Brigid’s monastery was born.

As a goddess, Brigid is a goddess of the forge and blacksmiths, poets and musicians, and she ushers in springtime when the winter seems the most chilly.

📍St. Brigid’s Day is February 1, and the pre-Christian festival of Imbolc (pronounced IM-bolk with lots of variations) varies in the first week of February. This year it is February 4. It is a cross quarter day, falling squarely between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In the Celtic calendar, this is the first day of spring, and it is not unusual for daffodils to peek up through the snow.❄️

Since that day when the necklace has called to me, Brigid has shown up in manifestations beyond count. She was a major force that encouraged me to pursue moving to Ireland, which I did with my spouse in 2021. Brigid is a Divine Feminine presence, and it makes me smile big time to know that she is interreligious.✨

Brigid is also figure who can inspire leaders, especially women, to brighten their inner flame and take their message to the world.

This year, I’ll be gathering with a group for an online workshop to honor Brigid and to let her messages infuse our lives. The workshop is called Brigid’s Flame, and we’ll be exploring how to be an acolyte. An acolyte is someone who carries the flame into the sacred space, and then carries it back out again, which is exactly what we’re called to do at this point in our lives.💖

I hope you’ll join us for the workshop, but most of all, I hope you’ll begin to meet Brigid and let her call to you in her many ways across the thresholds. Blessings.🕊️

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