Brighid is a goddess found in many mythologies including those of Ireland, France, and Wales. Because she exists in so many different cultures, Brighid has literally a never ending list of names. The name Brighid comes from the Gaelic words Breo-Saighit, her name means "fiery arrow". Brighid is symbolized by fire, flames, and the hearth; she is also symbolized by water (cauldrons), grain (Brigid wheels, Brigid's Bed), creatures (a white cow with red ears and swan) and also by talismans (spinning wheel).

Brighid is the goddess of inspiration, smithcraft, and healing. Brighid oversees poets, poetry, creativity, prophecy, and the arts; in smithcraft she oversees blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and household crafts; and in healing, Brighid looks after healers, medicine, spiritual healing, and fertility (crops, land, cattle).

Though best known as Brighid, another name for her is Ceridwen. Ceridwen is Brighid's name in Welsh folklore. Ceridwen holds an incredibly important role as a mythological and historical figure because she is said to be the mother of the famous Welsh poet, Taliesin. Although Ceridwen and Brighid have separate histories the only difference comes from the separate cultures. She is the 'Lady of the Shores', for the shore is one of those magical in-between places that so fascinated the Celts. These in-between places such as shorelines, fords, doorways and so on, were neither one state nor the other. The shore is neither dry land, nor is it the sea, yet it is the meeting place of both. If we consider that the land represents our solid, material world, while the sea represents the Great Cosmic womb of all life, the intuitive side of our nature, we can see that the shore is a meeting place between one world and another.

Brighid is also known as the 'Two-Faced One'. In the legends she is described as having one side of her face black and ugly, and the other white and beautiful. The Mystery of Bride is to be found in the annual transformation of the cailleach, the hag of winter, into the fair maiden of Spring.

Brighid is the goddess of all arts and crafts. She represents the potential of all women for she is the eternal flame that burns in the heart and hearth of every woman of the Gael, 'moon-crowned Brighid of the undying flame'.

Finally, Brighid presides over the cradle of the new born infant. It is a common practice for the women of the Isles to hang rowan crosses over their cradles whilst reciting a charm or prayer to Brighid to invoke her protection.

W B Yeats ...

I went out to the hazel wood
Because a fire was in my head
And cut and peeled a hazel wand
And hooked a berry to a thread
And when the white moths were on the wing
And moth-like stars were flickering out
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow a fire aflame
But something rustled on the floor
And some one called me by my name
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossoms in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands
And walk among long dappled grass
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon
The golden apples of the sun

Shelley ...

And a silver shape like his early love doth pass
Upborne by her wild and glittering hair
And when he wakes on the fragrant grass
He finds night day.


Hail to thee, blithe Spirit
Bird thou never wert
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

Milton ...

Look Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry
Too divine to be mistook:
This is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend,
Heer our solemn search hath end.
Mark what radiant state she spreds,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threds,
This is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddess bright
In the center of her light

A Brighid Chant

O Breeja