(pronounced BREEJ)

Prior to working with Manannan, An Bruane had conducted a small rite to close the nemeton for the season. During that rite we had invoked our unknown and unnamed goddess of the hearth to help the grove find a permanent home. As the following Imbolc approached, more workings were held to determine the identity of this goddess. All the signs and visions pointed to a queenly Irish goddess known as Bríd, Brigid or St. Bridget.

Bríd is associated with the hearth as the center and focus of the home and the community as a whole. She is the goddess of the social customs that bind the folk together, such as the rules of hospitality and social conduct. She also possesses the powers of the otherworldly well of regeneration and wisdom.

One of her central foci is the healing and well-being of women and children, especially during childbirth for she is the power of new beginnings. Each year we conduct specific rites that have been passed down to us from midwives of old to provide protection, healing, fertility and increased milk production in young mothers. Traditionally her healing powers were equally effective for human and non-human mothers such as livestock.

Bríd's other main power is as the provider of creative inspiration and wisdom. In this aspect she is seen as a triple fire goddess who provides wisdom and creativity to creators of art such as poetry, medical healing and crafts such as metalworking. Her roles of fire goddess and promoter of new beginnings are combined into the themes of the early spring festival of Imbolc.

Sacred to Bríd are hazel and birch trees which have the power to bestow some of her blessings. Most appropriate offerings to her are dairy products, such as milk or butter, hazelnuts, birch boughs and small bits of cloth left tied to bushes near holy wells.

Some appropriate links:

Bríd articles from Oak Leaves

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