Spotlight on: Brigid

Who is Brigid?

Brigid is the Celtic goddess of fire, warfare, poetry, healing, and fertility. She has many names across Great Britain – Brigid, Brigit, Brid, Brìghde, Brig, and Brigantia to name a few.

In Celtic mythology, Brigid is a triple goddess. Some regional stories say she’s a single deity with three faces, and others depict a faceted deity made up of three sisters all named Brigid! Regardless of her make-up, it’s widely agreed she is: Brigid the smith, who controls the fires of the forge and oversees metalworking and craftsmanship; Brigid the poet, responsible for inspiration, creativity, and the power of words; and Brigid the healer, who brings forth the power of nature to restore health, abundance, and well-being.

Brigid’s Power

The significance of Brigid to the ancient Celts cannot be overstated. She was the guardian of their hearth and home, and watched over families to ensure their safety and prosperity. She was considered the actual change of the seasons, particularly the transition from Winter to Spring (Imbolc), when the earth begins to awaken, livestock starts to swell with pregnancy and milk, and new life emerges from the cold ground. The divine hag of Winter, the Cailleach, would gather the rest of her Winter firewood during this time and, when she finally ran out, the end of the season would be handed over to Brigid, who would thaw the ground with her warmth and bring Spring.

Worship of Brigid was widespread throughout Celtic regions, with her temples and shrines found across Ireland, Scotland, and Britain, and even mainland Europe. Her holy day, Imbolc (celebrated on February 1 in the Northern Hemisphere, and August 1 in the Southern Hemisphere), is a time of purification, renewal, and the welcoming of new life. Bonfires were lit in her honour, to burn away Winter illness and represent her flaming power, and food and drink was offered for her blessing. On Imbolc Eve, Brigid walks by doorways wearing her long green mantle (a symbol of her governance of green nature), blessing items of fabric left out by her devotees. The blessed clothing or blankets would be used through the year to wrap those in need of care, since it was imbued with Brigid’s own healing powers.

Working with Brigid

One of the most famous sites associated with Brigid is her Holy Well, now located within the boundaries of Ireland’s Kildare Cathedral. A perpetual flame burned in her honour for centuries, and was tended by nineteen priestesses known as the Daughters of Brigid, who kept vigil over the sacred fire for nineteen days. On the twentieth day, Brigid herself would tend the flame, which symbolised her eternal presence and protection, and her role as a bringer of light and inspiration. Even today, people visit her well to tie ribbons and make offerings, as they seek her healing and blessing. Her flame was relit in 1993, and continues to burn today.

Ribbons, cloth, and gifts hanging from the branches of a tree at Brigid’s Holy Well shrine, in Kildare, Ireland.

Brigid is also honoured through the tradition of weaving Brigid’s crosses. Woven from rushes or straw, her cross is hung in homes to ward off evil spirits and ensure good fortune. Brigid’s blessing safeguards the household, and brings peace and prosperity to everyone within.

As a goddess of fertility, Brigid was invoked by women seeking to conceive or ensure a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Offerings of milk, butter, and grains were made, and women would pray for her aid during labour, as she brings forth new life and protects families. Today, modern witches and pagans look to Brigid for her protection during childbirth, and over women and children.

A variety of Brigid’s Crosses at Galway Museum, Ireland. The four-armed cross (centre) is the most common design.

Brigid’s legacy is still strong today, with St Brigid of Ireland widely understood to be the Catholic appropriation of the ancient goddess. In England, the White Spring at Glastonbury’s Chalice Well has been dedicated as Brigid’s temple, and Christians and pagans alike come from all around the world to bathe and drink from the goddess’s healing waters. The traditions and myths of Brigid the Saint and Brigid the Goddess are deeply connected, and she remains a symbol of strength, creativity, and nurturing energy. She’s the Maiden and the Mother, and the Crone through the Cailleach. She’s the embodiment of feminine power, the earth and its ability to bring life, beauty, terror, and inspiration.

She’s the Fiery Arrow, the Exalted One. She’s the Daughter of Dawn, and the Perpetual Flame.

She is Brigid.


Polly is a practicing witch who primarily works with Persephone, Brigid and the Cailleach. She's the High Priestess expert on seasonal Australian practice and archetypal symbolism, and is a teacher at Witch School.