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HIST & MYTH: Imbolc - Feast of St. Brigid

Post 196. Written by Ben Kesp

St. Brigid
A short post this morning to welcome the first of the ancient Celtic festivals for the New Year – Imbolc or also known as the feast of St. Brigid

The festival marks the arrival of spring and is associated with the Goddess Brigit, daughter of the Great Dagda (Tuatha Dé Danann). Brigit is the goddess of all things of high dimensions like high-rising flames, highlands, hill-forts and upland areas. She is associated with states of wisdom, excellence, perfection, high intelligence, poetic eloquence, craftsmanship, healing ability, druidic knowledge and skill in warfare. She is largely associated with the home and hearth. Brigit’s crosses are made consisting of rushes woven into a shape similar to a swastika. They were and still are hung over doors, windows and stables to welcome Brigit and protect the buildings from fire and lightning. The crosses were generally left in place until the following Imbolc, to be replaced by newer ones.

St. Brigid's Cross
St. Brigid was born in Dundalk, Ireland (451AD – 525AD) and her father was Dubhthach, the king of Leinster. She is one of Ireland’s patron saints and was a Christian nun, abbess and founder of monasteries within Ireland, most notably her monastery in Kildare (Church of the Oak). There are close associations between St. Brigid and the Goddess Brigit with many believing she is the Christianisation of the goddess. There are numerous miracles associated with the saint, especially related to healing and the protection of women. 

St. Brigid's Cathedral, Kildare 
In the town of Kildare, dating from the 5th century, being the original site of the Church of the Oak, founded by St. Brigid, you can visit St. Brigid’s Cathedral along with St. Brigid’s Well located just outside the town. 

Happy Imbolc! 

Photos: Wikipedia 

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