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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

March 10th, 2010

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03:14 pm - Anyone know anything about Brigid?
I'm working on this year's Summerland auction item(s). We found ourselves so overwhelmed with awesome items last year that this year I'm working on creating just one awesome item. Some of you will remember the Discordian Triptych I did two years ago? Well, I'm planning on another triptych this year, but one that I think will appeal to a much broader audience.

This one will be of Brigid.

I'm working pretty hard at the moment to find the "right" iconography. To that end, I want to know: what really turns you on about this goddess? What aspects of her are important to you? And, perhaps most importantly, what are your favourite depictions of her? What is the iconography you most associate with her?

There are so many possibilities, but only three frames. Is she Smith/Healer/Poetess? Or perhaps Smith/Poetess/Warrior? Is she the keeper of the flame or the lady of the well? Is she young or old, or half-and-half? Does she carry a sword, tend a fire, draw down the Awen symbol, or have a bright fire upon her brow?

So tell me what you know of Brigid. I'm in the midst of reading prophet_maid's Oak Leaves article for ideas as well.

It's hard for me, without the sincere and deep personal connection that I have with the subject of my last triptych, to really grasp what it is that folk find imporant in her. Sure, I have ideas drawn from my work, but I'm not the deepest of devotees. . . but I know some of them read this LJ. ;)

And on an unrelated note, do these look like swans to you?
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Volcano", -JB

(12 comments Leave a comment)


Date:March 10th, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't see her as warrior, per se. I see her has prepared for war (smithcraft) much more than actually out there in the action, so I would go with Smith/Healer/Poet.

I see her as more of a hearth/fire goddess than a well/water/land goddess (but I know the elements are there for both), but I do like the imagery of the fire in the well for her (although I am not sure it is attested in lore, but it does evoke some interesting imagery).

And no, they don't look like swans. The feet don't look right, and the body posture is wrong. I know it's stylized, but they look like egrets or herons to me.
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Date:March 10th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
First and foremost, I think of Brigid as the goddess of the hearth, so I just don't see her without a fire. Also, she is frequently called upon for inspiration, so something to do with that would be fitting. I see her as nurturing - usually middle-aged (must be because I am middle-aged and I relate to her, heheh). Definitely have some Brigid crosses in there!
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Date:March 10th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
I can show you the one we'll be selling at Trillium if you like. It was created for our Imbolc.
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Date:March 10th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
I associate much more strongly with her as a goddess of the triple flame. That is of creativity, healing, and inspiration. So I suppose I see her as the Smith/Healer/Poetess role.

When I do think of her in terms of her associations with the well and water it is along the lines of the fire in the water.
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Date:March 10th, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
My ideas have somewhat evolved since I wrote that article, and I kinda wish I could go back and redo it. Maybe some day.

I see Brigid as first and foremost a fire goddess. While she is strongly associated with the hearth, I think of her being more in charge of society's hearth. All of her associations point more towards serving the larger society than the individual. I don't, for instance, equate her with Vesta or Gabija, though they're definitely related. I think she's somewhere between Agni and them, so to speak.

I like the 3 functions order: poetess, smith, healer. I don't see her as a warrior; she's off to the sidelines when Ruadan dies, and as a smith is more in a support position than fighting. I'm honestly not sure there are any warrior goddesses among the Celts; I don't even think of the Morrigan as a warrior.

I'm not certain of iconography beyond the blatantly obvious. I honestly haven't seen a depiction of Brigid I've ever resonated with, and I wish I was skilled enough to make one.

I see her as about 40 or a matronly age. She's definitely older than me, old enough to be wise but still in a motherly role, old enough to have a late teen/early 20s kid (Ruadan). Then again, I also see An Dagda as not much old than that, so whatever.
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Date:March 10th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
I connect strongly with Brighid's association with fire and creativity. She is a part of my home and my muse.
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Date:March 10th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)

My head hurts, so forgive the lousy grammar and lack of sentences.

A god[ess] who kindles fire in the head

The fire of the smithee

The fire of purification, of fever burning out the poisons

She is the fire that creates, that molds and shapes; she is the fire that purifies the body and soul; she is the energy those electrons jumping from neuron to neuron, carrying thought.

She keeps both the flame and the well--why wouldn't she do both? Both purify, and she is associated with both in lore (and Brigantia gave her name to several rivers, let's not forget). Water at her feet, fire at her head. She is trans-functional. She holds a smith's hammer in one hand, a harp in the other.
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Date:March 11th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
Is she the keeper of the flame or the lady of the well?

Yes. Holy well and sacred flame are the strongest iconographic images I have of her. (Although I don't see her tending the flame so much as I see her as the flame.)

I relate to Brigid primarily as patron of bards and as a goddess of healing, although I recognize her as a goddess of crafts (primarily smithcraft, but also of hearthcraft in general.) I also identify with St. Brigid in medieval legends as a trickster. (Less attested to in Pagan myth.)

Physically, I see her as ageless, neither young, middle-aged or old. I also can't get a firm grasp on her hair color. I see her in a white robe, and usually but not always either hooded or veiled.

Mythologically, I connect with the Scottish legend of her battle with the Cailleach, with the Cailleach bringing winter on Samhain and Brigid bringing spring on Imbolc.

These are of course my personal interpretations. Good luck with the triptych. I'm interested in seeing how it turns out.

Oh, and those swans look like cranes. :-)
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Date:March 11th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
It's 3:55am, so I don't quit feel in the right shape to talk about Bridgid, but swans those are not-- herons maybe.
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Date:March 11th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
I think that for me, Brigid's defining aspect isn't one of her associations or symbols, which you've got plenty of good information here... it's her openness and friendliness. I have spent much time in meditation with her, probably more than with all the other Shining Ones put together, but she was always more like a friend than an object of worship. "Warmth" I guess, seems a little on the nose, but is a good word to use in this situation.
Of course, this is my UPG and I realize that many, many people have close relationships with her, and may feel differently.
Date:March 11th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
This is also my experience. She's a being you can go to for whatever reason and she'll always offer you a metaphorical cup of tea.
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Date:March 11th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Go to the ColoringBook Wiki page for several renderings of Brighid along with a little lore. Folks view her hair color in shades of Blond and Flaming Red, so "long" was the common description. Brighid is also well known for her starry cloak that she laid down to cover the land of Eire -- she was allowed to claim the land that her cloak covered and it magically spread out over the entire island. People see it in varying shades of midnight blue to black to even the greenery of Ireland. She is the Triple Flame, but is also a Well goddess -- Tredara has a Brighid's Well on the property. She is the Fire of Poetic Inspiration, the Fire of Healing, and the Fire of Smiths (magical Transformation, as metallurgy/alchemy was considered).

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