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Brigid: Triple Goddess of Healing

Brigid: Triple Goddess of Healing

January 29, 2024
Estimated Read Time: 10 Minutes

Brigid, one of the most celebrated goddesses in Celtic mythology, is a deity with immense powers. In Wiccan practice, we sometimes refer to her as “the fiery arrow.” She is depicted as a fiery red-haired goddess who wears a sunbeam as a cloak and carries a blacksmith hammer in one hand and a healing elixir in the other. Notably, she is always accompanied by a boar, a ram, and two loyal oxen.

In essence, Brigid embodies the concept of a triple goddess, meaning she is three deities in one with powers of healing, poetry, and smithcraft.

If you’d like to learn more about Brigid’s unique abilities, you’re in the right place.

A Brief Introduction to Brigid in Celtic Mythology

Brigid in Celtic Mythology

In Celtic Mythology, gods and goddesses are manifestations of nature and its chaotic elements. On the one hand, these deities are multi-dimensional, fierce, demanding, and vengeful. On the other hand, they are also peaceful and nurturing.

Ultimately, this description fits Brigid’s depiction in Celtic methodology perfectly, making her quite mysterious and complex. She is the goddess of knowledge, poetry, divination, creativity, and healing, but also of fire, battle, and death. 

Brigid’s Many Names

Apart from “the fiery arrow,” the Goddess Brigid goes by many names. Most notably, we call her Brighid, Brigit, Briggidda, Brigantia, Bride, and Bridey. Some of her nicknames include “Bright One,” “Powerful One,” “Bright Arrow,” “Exalted One,” or “High One.”

Ultimately, she is one of the most powerful deities within the Celtic pantheon. It is said that she was born at sunrise and that the sunlight radiated from her head. Hence, she is considered a solar goddess who holds a connection to the coming of spring.

Daughter of Dagda

Brigid is the daughter of Dagda, the leader of the Tuatha de Danann — a fierce group of gods in Irish mythology. Dagda was depicted as a strong leader who carried various weapons and a barrel on his back that never ran out of liquid. 

Because of her heritage, it comes as no surprise that Brigid is also depicted as being strong. She was even the queen of the Tuatha de Danann, as she married their king, Bres.

The Significance of Brigid in Pagan and Modern Spirituality

Brigid has a significant presence in both pagan and modern spirituality

As Wiccans, we acknowledge that Brigid’s presence is carefully woven into our world. Many Wiccans choose Brigid as their personal Moon Goddess or Triple Goddess. For example, she represents the cycles of each passing season, symbolizing inspiration, new beginnings, and creativity.

In fact, Brigid has a significant presence in both pagan and modern spirituality. Her timeless representation of all the essential forces that govern our lives makes her a revered and enduring figure that inspires and guides those of us looking for a deeper connection with the world around us.


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She is particularly important in the realms of music, poetry, and the arts. As her devotees, we invoke her to receive guidance and inspiration in our artistic endeavors.

However, we should also note her significance in connection with the festival marking the onset of spring — Imbolc. In pagan and modern spiritual contexts alike, we honor Brigid during each seasonal ritual.

Similarly, she is recognized as the goddess of transformation, healing, and general well-being.

Why Is Brigid Considered a Triple Goddess?

Brigid a Triple Goddess

One of the reasons why Brigid is considered a triple goddess is due to her embodiment of maiden, mother, and crone. This trifecta symbolizes the phases of life as well as the constant cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of all life.

The overall concept of a triple goddess stems from her representation of the threefold aspects of divine femininity. Specifically, she depicts the various phases of most women’s life. However, there are more reasons behind Brigid’s association with the triple goddess archetype.

The Phases of Life

In Wicca, we divide life into three phases: birth, maturity, and old age. In that sense, the role of the triple goddess is to reflect this journey as a maiden, mother, and crone.

As a maiden, Brigid symbolizes potential, youth, and new beginnings, whereas as a mother, she represents nurturing, fertility, and creation. When taking on the form of the crone, Brigid signifies the culmination of all of our experiences through which we gained our wisdom.

A Connection to the Moon

Moon phases

Although she isn’t traditionally considered a lunar goddess, we can still find some associations between Brigid and the moon. For example, the maiden can be linked to the waxing moon, the mother is associated with the full moon, and the crone is a symbol of the waning moon. 

Furthermore, in Wicca, we perceive the moon as a source of inspiration and creativity. Considering that Brigid is also a goddess of music and poetry, this provides us with yet another lunar connection.

Finally, various traditions consider the moon as a symbol of feminine intuition. In that sense, we can invoke Brigid if we hope to enhance our intuitive abilities.God?

Cycles and Renewal

The triple goddess is a symbol of the eternal cycles of birth, life, death, and rebirth. The triple aspect of Brigid brings forth the idea of continuity and renewal in our world. In essence, this symbolism aligns with Wiccan beliefs about the connection of all life as well as the cyclical nature of our universe.

Related: Who are the Moon Goddess and the Horned

A Patroness of Healing, Poetry and Smithcraft

Brigid is a Patroness of Healing, Poetry and Smithcraft

As a solar deity, Brigid has specific attributes. These include inspiration, light, and skills that are associated with fire. More specifically, she is the patroness of healing, poetry, and smithcraft.

Healing

The goddess Brigid is a nurturing and compassionate deity. In Wiccan practice, we often turn to her for emotional and physical well-being, as she has the ability to bring us comfort and restoration.

Namely, her strong connection to sacred wells possesses healing properties. For that reason, pilgrims would visit these wells to seek her blessings for ailments, as the water from Brigid’s wells is thought to carry immense healing energy.

Poetry

Brigid is the embodiment of eloquence and creativity. This is why poets, bards, and artists call upon her to possess them so they can create beautiful poetry.

Moreover, Brigid is associated with knowledge and wisdom due to her fiery roots, which symbolize transformation and enlightenment.

Considering the fact that poetry serves as a means of recording history and celebrating divinity, it’s apparent why Brigid is such a significant part of Celtic culture.

Related: How to Love the Moon: A Poem by Award Winning Pagan Poet Lauren Plummer

Fire

The fiery goddess Brigid is also tied to the Sacred Flame of Kildare. Legend says that her flame burns bright thanks to the Daughters of Brigid. The flame represents her constant presence and link to the transformative power of fire.

Brigid and the Holiday Imbolc

the Maiden of the the Celtic triple moon goddess Brigid

Imbolc is a holiday that some refer to as Candlemas. It’s a celebration of the returning light of spring after the dark of winter, taking place on February 1st-2nd in the Northern Hemisphere and August 1st-2nd in the Southern Hemisphere. This date marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the winter solstice. It’s a time for new beginnings that we mark by lighting a mass of candles to illuminate the way toward creativity.

Considering Brigid’s affiliation with fire, creativity, and reawakening, she has always been an integral part of this holiday. Essentially, Brigid’s role is to connect the themes of purification, rebirth, and the reawakening of the earth. She delivers a sense of hope and anticipation for the changing of the seasons.

Some Wiccans create altars with symbols such as candles, Brigid’s crosses, and representations of the hearth and forge. Other rituals during this holiday can include offering milk or dairy products and lighting candles in honor of the goddess. Some may choose to plant seeds to symbolize the awakening of the earth.

While performing these rituals, we can also recite the following prayer:

“Brigid, as Imbolc’s light begins to glow,
I seek your presence in the melting snow.
Bless this season of renewal and birth,
Fill my life with inspiration and mirth.”

Related: The Wiccan Holiday Imbolc

The Transition to Saint Brigid

Illustration of the goddess Brigid by Eltzero

Brigid – color / Eltzero / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

During the period from the 5th to the 7th century, Ireland began the process of Christianization. At the same time, Brigid transitioned from a pagan deity into a Christian Saint.

As a cherished pagan goddess, she had an important place in Celtic mythology. Nevertheless, as the influence of the Christian church grew, native beliefs were slowly integrated into the new faith. It was thought to be an effective strategy for transitioning the local population away from pagan rituals toward Christian ones.

In Brigid’s case, she evolved into Saint Brigid of Kildare. Essentially, this meant emphasizing her role as a compassionate healer, protector, and patroness of the poor.

An Analysis of Brigid’s Symbols

There are three main symbols we can link to the goddess Brigid: a cross, flames, and wells. Each of them has a specific purpose.

Brigid’s Cross

A Saint Brigid's cross made from rushes from County Down

Saint Brigid’s cross, made from rushes from County Down. / Culnacreann / CC-BY-3.0

One of the most common symbols linked to this deity is Brigid’s Cross. It’s handwoven from straw or reeds and features a four-armed design with a square in the center. This cross is typically crafted during Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring.

In Wiccan practice, we use Brigid’s Cross as a protective talisman. Specifically, by hanging it in our homes, we are warding off negative energy and evil spirits. Moreover, this ritual helps create a sacred area within our entire household.

As for the physical process of weaving the cross, it represents the transition from winter to spring or darkness to light.

Related: Witch Crafts: 9 Fun and Useful DIY Project Ideas

Brigid Dolls

Brigid doll made from straw on the Table

Known as Brídeóg in Gaelic, the Brigid Doll would be a part of various rituals related to Imbolc. Most of them would involve making a small straw or reed doll, which girls would carry around from house to house while singing hymns to the goddess. These dolls would represent the goddess herself.

At some point, the girls and accompanying boys would sit in a home with the doll placed at a seat of honor and they would all feast. Afterward, the doll would be placed in a makeshift bed. Other times, the people whose house the girls would visit would add decorations to the doll. The goal of these many rituals would usually be to bring fertility and good fortune to each home.

Flames

Bonfire on the field

A common depiction of Brigid is that of a bright flame. This emphasizes her role as the goddess of hearth, inspiration, and fire. Moreover, the flames symbolize purification, transformation, creativity, and the forging of new paths.

Finally, their warmth is a symbol of Brigid’s healing powers, emphasizing her ability to provide us with both physical and spiritual well-being. 

Wells

Saint Brigid's Well

The fiery goddess Brigid is also closely associated with sacred waters. In fact, the most famous is Brigid’s Well in Kildare. This, and other similar sacred areas, are places of worship and pilgrimage that also hold exceptional healing properties. 

Essentially, wells symbolize nourishment and life. They represent Brigid’s connection to the sustenance of life, Mother Earth, and fertility. Some, however, visit the wells in order to seek blessings and cleanse themselves.

Symbol Interpretation in Ancient and Modern Contexts

Brigid’s symbols hold complex meanings. They’re a means for spiritual connection and personal transformation that continues the celebration of this goddess through the ever-evolving practices of modern paganism.

For example, in ancient Celtic traditions, they were a crucial part of the worship ritual, especially during festivals such as Imbolc, symbolizing the cycle of nature.

Now, in modern times, we still use the same symbols for inspiration, protection, healing, and to feel a connection with the earth.

Invoking the Goddess Through Modern Worship and Rituals

A girl, with fire and candles placed near water, is performing a ritual

Invoking the goddess Brigid means inviting her to be present in your circle. Typically, we invoke deities by drawing them into the person conducting the circle. One way to do so is to draw down the moon. Ultimately, this is one of the most powerful experiences a Wiccan can have.

When performing this process, we need to call upon Brigid and visualize her in our minds. If our intention is strong, she will speak to us. However, this process requires practice, so for beginners, there are other ways to honor Brigid and form a connection with the goddess. Here are some examples.

Candlelight Vigils

Because of Brigid’s connection to the fire, most modern rituals involve lighting candles. Some practitioners choose to create a sacred space for Brigid where they light several candles to symbolize a hearth flame.

Another way we can use candles to invoke Brigid is by lighting a flame and praying to it. For this, you will need one candle.

Related: Candle Color Meanings

Gatherings

Another common way to invoke the triple goddess is through various gatherings. Since Brigid is drawn to creativity, we can call upon her by writing poems, music, and stories dedicated to her. But, if we want her to bless us with creativity, then we can recite the following prayer:

“Brigid, Patroness of the Arts and Crafts,
Infuse my hands with your creative sparks.
Guide my words, my art, my every creation,
And bless me with endless inspiration
Goddess Brigid, Flame of Inspiration,
Illuminate my mind with your sacred fire.
Guide my thoughts, words, and creations,
As I walk the path of inspiration’s desire.”

Daily Devotions

Many Wiccans prefer to give daily devotions when invoking Brigid. This can include lighting candles, meditating, or expressing their gratitude. Along with that, they can include a prayer such as the following:

“Brigid, in this sacred space I stand,
A candle lit, a prayer at your command.
Bless my day with your radiant light,
Guide my steps, make my actions right.”

Rituals for Healing

As a goddess that possesses the power of healing, Brigid can help us improve our physical and emotional well-being. To call upon her, we need to gather some tea leaves, healing tinctures, or herbs and recite the following prayer:

“Brigid, Lady of Healing and Compassion,
Bless me with your soothing touch.
Mend the wounds within my body and soul,
And bring forth wellness, making me whole.”

Final Thoughts

Brigit is a fiery goddess

Ultimately, Brigid can be a guiding light for all Wiccan practitioners. She is a triple deity with immense powers that she uses to illuminate the path for those of us in need of her wisdom and blessings.

Her impact is profound and lives on through our many Wiccan rituals. We see this fiery goddess in the glow of a lit candle, the warmth of our community, and even all through the changing seasons. 

Check out these related articles:

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What is the Difference Between Wicca and Paganism?
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