Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess
by Courtney Weber
Think about the images of the flaming-haired woman tending a well, pounding an anvil, acting as a midwife—is this the image of God? For many people, yes! This is God-dess. My new book explores this, and more!
Who is this Goddess?
I'm describing the Irish Goddess, Brigid. For thousands of years, various incarnations of this Goddess have inspired, supported, and drawn curiosity from different parts of the world.
Few places in this world hold as much curiosity as Ireland, and few spiritual character elicit such fascination as the Irish Goddess/Saint/Lwa named Brigid. This Patroness of Water and Fire, warfare and healing, childbirth and springtime and even smith-working—what does she have to do with you? How can a Goddess, who has been honored for millennia, connect with you in this century?
I want to connect with the Divine and I want to connect with Brigid. What do I do?
There is a deep longing in our current world to connect to the Divine before religion. As one spiritual teacher said, "How can you crave sushi if you've never tasted it? If you are craving the path of the Divine, the Divine has already spoken to you." If Brigid piques your curiosity, She is already calling for you. The journey to the Divine is a destination in itself and the journey to Brigid is delicious and beautifully complex, revealing her reflections of you, within you and through you.
Connecting with the Divine is deeper than a series of prayers, rituals, or arranging an altar based on a set-up you read about. The journey begins with a call. Maybe you've had a dream about this Goddess. Maybe the description above gave you a weirdly familiar sense and a longing to know more. In the search for the Divine, we are the prince in Cinderella. We have a mysterious incident in which we felt the higher presence of Spirit and perhaps even held it for a moment. But then the moment passes. Like the prince holding the empty shoe, we're left with only a tiny clue in the form of story and memory, to remind us that for a moment, we found what we were looking for. In Brigid, the shoe is brass—a symbol for being exalted. With only this piece in our hands, we start searching for the rest of the Divine.
Are you holding Brigid's brass shoe?
Like Cinderella, Brigid comes from humble roots. Why would this be appealing to spiritual seekers?
In many religions, the Divine is something removed from the world we live in. Brigid is the Divine reflected in the "mundane." She is the Divine woman washing the clothes and taking care of the household. She is the Blessed mother comforting the children. She is the fierce and violent warrior-woman fighting for justice when she or her loved ones have been wronged.
Do your footsteps resonate with those she leaves behind?
I'm not Irish, yet I see myself in this Irish Goddess. I feel I understand God in the working and healing woman's form. But what about my heritage and ancestry?
Truth be told, I'm not all that Irish, either! I'm an American…and like most Americans, I have a good dose of Irish DNA in my blood, but it's more than fragmented ancestry that draws me to Her. Probably like you, I can't fully explain it, but there has always been something that stirs in my soul when the Goddess Brigid makes herself apparent through dreams and synchronicity.
Many people I know with Irish roots love Brigid as they feel they connect with her. But I know many more people who are just like myself—distantly Irish if Irish at all—with such profound connections to her that they might as well be tending her perpetual flame at Kildare. There is a sense in Brigid of coming home to the homeland, particularly in a world when so many of us are far-flung from the places of our Ancestral Origins.
This Goddess is calling to me. I feel it, I know it. Now what? What does she mean for me? What aspects of her cry out the loudest? How can I incorporate worship of this Ancient Goddess into my own life?
Courtney Weber is a priestess, writer, Tarot advisor, activist and practicing witch in New York City. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including www.thecocowitch.com and on www.witchesandpagans.com ("Behind the Broom: What the Books Don't Tell You"). She is the designer and producer of Tarot of the Boroughs, a photographic Tarot deck set in New York City. Courtney lectures regularly around the United States and travels to Ireland frequently, leading tours of sacred sites.
5/1/2015 4:00:00 AM