Brigid, Brigit, Bridgit
The Great Triple Goddess of the Celtic Irish

The Three Aspects of Brigid

"To the Celts the Goddess of Healing was Brigit, The Bright One, who was in charge of water and fire.  An aspect of Brigit's benevolence is present at all Sacred Springs as the Guardian of the Healing Waters and keeper of the Flame."

 Bridget is the best example of the survival of a Goddess into Christian records. So cherished by the Celts, Her image was dedicated by the Catholic church as St. Bridget and various myths were made. The most popular folk tale being that She was midwife to the Virgin Mary, and thus was always invoked and prayed to by women in labor. Another story tells that she was the daughter of a Druid who predicted the coming of Christianity and was baptized.

The Goddess Brigit had always kept a shrine at Kildare, Ireland, with a Perpetual Flame tended by nineteen Virgin Priestesses called Daughters of the Flame. No male was ever allowed to come near it; nor did those women ever consort with men. Even their food and other supplies were brought to them by women of the nearby village. When Catholicism took over in Ireland, the Shrine became a Convent and the virgin Priestesses became Nuns but the same traditions were held and the Eternal Flame was kept burning.  Their tradition was that each day a different Priestess/Nun was in charge of the Sacred Fire and on the 20th day of each cycle, the fire was miraculously tended by Brigit Herself.  For over a thousand years, the Sacred Flame was tended by Nuns, and no one knows how long before that it had been tended by the Priestesses. 

In 1220 AD, a Bishop became angered by the no-males policy of the Abbey of St. Brigit of Kildare.  He insisted that nuns were subordinate to priests and therefore must open their Abbey and submit themselves to inspection by a Priest. When they refused and asked for another Abbess or other female official to perform any inspections, the Bishop was incensed. He admonished them to obedience and then decreed that the keeping of the Eternal Flame was a Pagan custom and ordered the Sacred Flame to be extinguished. 

  In the 1960's, under Vatican II modernization, it was declared that there was insufficient proof of Brigit's sanctity or even of her historical existence, and so the Church's gradual dismissal of Brigit was successful at last and She was thus de-Canonized. 

Clearly, Brigit is the most loved Goddess of the British Isles. Her fire so bright that she survived mass spiritual transformation and lives on today watching over her children all over the world. Her festival, Imbolc, is celebrated February first or second, representing the coming of spring. Fires are lit at sundown and feasts are shared with the Bright One.


Make a Brigid's cross to hang over your door for Candle mass Feb1st -2nd (midway between winter solstice and spring equinox, marks beginning of spring)

Celtic tree calendar


This page last updated: 03/01/2018