Lá Fhéile Bríde

St Brigid’s Cross

Happy Imbolc or St Brigid’s Day. As Brigid (or a form of her called Brí) appears in my forthcoming YA fantasy A Crack in Everything, I thought a little post on the day marking the first day of Spring was in order.

In mythology Brigid (there are a variety of spellings so I’m going with this one for simplicity) was the daughter of the Dagda and the wife of Bres. She was the goddess of poets, invented keening (thanks for that Brí!), was a healer and is associated with all things fiery.

When Christianity came to Ireland Brigid became St. Brigid of Kildare. Or the historic Brigid took on the attributes of her pagan goddess namesake. Or something. It’s rather complicated and the source of great controversy.

The Brigid’s Cross is made for the 1st of February, St. Brigid’s day, and is said to protect against fire and to keep evil from the house. It’s made from rushes. It links the image of a cross with a pagan sunwheel, and neatly combines both aspects of Brigid, the Goddess and the Saint.