Saturday, 5 March 2016

Pagan Portals - Brigid

Meeting the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Forge, and Healing Well

The Irish Goddess Brigid is as powerful and popular today as ever; in this short introduction find out why.

Brigid is a basic introduction to the Goddess Brigid focusing on her history and myth as well as her modern devotion and worship. Primarily looking at the Irish Goddess but including a discussion of her Pan-Celtic appearances, particularly in Scotland. Her different appearances in mythology are discussed along with the conflation of the pagan Goddess with Catholic saint. Modern methods for neopagans to connect to and honor this popular Goddess include offerings and meditation, and personal anecdotes from the author's experiences are included as well.

Who was Brigid to the pre-Christian pagans? Who is she today to neopagans? How do we re-weave the threads of the old pagan Goddess and the new? Learn about Brigid's myths among the pagan Irish, the stories of Bride in Scotland, and the way that people today are finding and honoring this powerful and important deity to find the answer.

Review of "Pagan Portals Brigid" By Segom├óros Widugeni formerly Aedh Rua, author of Celtic Flame 

Morgan Daimler has written another accessible and scholarly book in the Moon Books Pagan Portals series, this time on the Goddess Brigid. 

As seemingly always, this book contains Daimler’s signature hallmarks – an ability to write from the real sources on her subject, to make that scholarship understandable to modern readers, and to make her subject relevant to the modern Pagan experience. The book starts with an introduction summarizing the complexities of Brigid and Her popularity as Goddess and Saint. 

The initial chapter delves into that complexity, and clarifies it, describing each of the roles of Brigid, or each of the Brigids, in terms any reader can understand. The second chapter describes the various other Goddesses from other cultures who either are forms of Brigid or else play very similar roles. This section is excellent for its ability to present obscure material the reader may never have encountered before. Saint Brigid is described, both in terms of how she resembles and differs from the Goddess Brigid, can contribute to our understanding and obscure it. 

This chapter is followed by one which describes the mythology of Brigid in detail, in terms of which stories occur in which texts and how. Here, what could have been an intimidating mass of material is instead made clear for the reader, who will come away with an exact and mature understanding of what we really know. The fourth chapter is a very good and practical summary of the traditional symbols, animals, and holidays of Brigid, with an emphasis on what is useful for real worship. Again, the virtue of Morgan’s writing is to render her material practical and accessible. In the fifth and sixth chapters we see that Brigid’s worship is still very much alive. Here we see modern myths still being written about Her by 20th Century Irish poets, technique of worship, the making of altars and shrines, guided meditations, and an entire chapter of poems, charms, and prayers, some Christian, some Pagan, some essentially both, in both the Irish Gaelic and English languages. This chapter is invaluable for the worshiper of Brigid, allowing them to know precisely how to worship Brigid in traditional ways. 

The book is rounded out with a conclusion that summarizes and caps off what has gone before. Finally, there are two appendices – a pronunciation guide and an excellent media guide – as well as the usual extensive bibliography. One of the features of Morgan’s Pagan Portals books is her section at the end of each chapter in which she describes how the chapter’s material impacts her life. This is an excellent feature that makes each chapter relevant to the reader, and allows them to see practical applications for even the most academic of topics.

In sum, this book once again takes difficult material and makes it easy. It allows the reader with little previous exposure to Celtic Polytheism to begin worshiping Brigid in ways that are traditional, practical, and relevant. To devotees of Brigid, the book is a practical little gem, a summary of much they know, and probably quite a bit they don’t. To devotees of other deities, the book serves as an introduction to one of the most popular of Goddesses. In short, I can’t recommend it highly enough. ~"