Brigid the Healer
As we celebrate St Brigids’ Day here in Ireland we remember a Feminine energy that straddles both pre-Christian and Christian traditions, both as a Goddess and a Saint. Brigid is traditionally associated with Poets, Blacksmiths, Spring, Fertility, Protection, Livestock, Dairy production as well as Healing, which is the subject of this piece.
begin, it’s interesting to look at the root of the word heal - and
“health” with which it’s closely associated - the
Proto-Germanic word “Khailaz” which means
“to make whole.” This definition is interesting because it opens
the whole subject of the breadth of Brigids influence in Ireland and
She didn’t simply cure people of simple physical ailments although she was more than capable of doing this, and did so in many stories related about her. No, Brigid was vastly superior to a mere hands-on healer as indicated by various stories and myths about her.
For example, it is said that her healing cloak could expand and that it could cover the whole of Ireland when needed.
This could be seen as a haughty claim indeed but bearing in mind that Brigid is reputed to have woven the first cloth in Ireland and that on the Eve of St. Brigid's day it is tradition all over Ireland to put out a piece of cloth to be imbued with Brigid's Healing Energy, (“Brat Bríde”)… it could be argued that Brigid's cloth does cover the whole of Ireland to this day.
there are various myths about Brigid both as a Goddess and a Saint
which many might poo-poo, it is worth remembering that Carl Jung
believed that mythology is the product of the “collective
unconscious.” In other words, the mythologies of our civilisations
are based on ancestral memories and learning which were passed down
through generations of storytelling (which had to be the case before
writing was invented!).
So, when we hear stories of great beasts and
gods and goddesses of the night sky, dig a little deeper and you’ll
see direct references to various constellations and planets.
Probe into any legend in Ireland – or anywhere on the planet – and there is always reference to actual landscapes and actual events as well as the embellishments that make such lessons memorable. Lessons in History, Geography, Astronomy and more. No wonder Jung also said,
“Myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than does science.”
more modern times the question of Brigid's relevance today must be
asked and the immediate answer is that of course everything about
Brigid is relevant and needed in our society.
She is an example of the Power and Compassion of all women to girls growing up in a society which can still be said to be misogynistic and patriarchal. After all, she wasn’t even a saint in the eyes of the Medieval Church - a WOMAN bishop??? perish the thought! The fact that her stories still remain today is testament to the endurance and importance of the Feminine in all civilisations.
When it may seem that the world is falling asunder or that our personal world is falling asunder – we could do a lot worse than calling on the energy of Brigid “to make whole” our lives and our societies.
Healing begins by looking outwards and gradually moves inwards. Cos I can't try to bring Peace to the world until I have Peace in my own Heart.
With a flame (small Fire/ Candle) to invoke the Spirit of Brigid and symbolise the returning Light of Spring, include elements of healing:
* Planetary Healing
* Humankind Healing