Sunday, February 1, 2015

Imbolc : Lá Fhéile Bríde

"Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made her love God more."

I had a mooving experience with the heifer girls in Nicasio. One young heifer couldn't get enough of me, and bathed my left arm until it was raw; she thoroughly rasped my shirtsleeve for good measure. Was she commenting on my hygiene habits? Nothing like cow slobber. Worse than Newfie and St. Bernard goo. Appropriately it's St. Brigid's Day. Lá Fhéile Bríde. Patroness of springs, wells, calves and lambs, beer and poetry. Happy Imbolc, Celtic Spring.

Oh bright one, Brid óg,
welcome into our home today,
bring with you the gentleness
and grace you share,
protect the walls, the floor
and anyone who comes through our door.

Spread your cloak of peace and healing
to all that know Bright Brigid,
your face as the hag has gone,
reborn again we welcome you young Brid.
Brighten our way.

(I got this from Frances Black's Facebook wall, a post from Joseph Keane. Don't know if it's his poem, or a translation, as I also found it on the Celtic Revival page). I later became friends with Joe on Facebook, and he said it was his.

And from the wall of  Shay Black

Sing and honor Brigid
Erin’s dearest daughter
Beloved throughout her native land
Let us sing her praises

Bright shining light of Leinster
As through the land, her radiance
Inspires and soothes our children and
Gives solace to all women

Through the harsh of Winter
Come cutting winds of darkness
But on our Brigid's Feasting Day
Bright Spring returns to Erin.

    — Shay Black translation.

Áine Minogue - Gabhaim Molta Bríde (We Praise Brigid) A short version of the Gaelic song "Gabhaim Molta Bríde" (We Praise Brigid), often sung on February 1st, the day set aside in her honor. She is often depicted using the triple spiral, representing the three aspects of womanhood, maiden, mother and crone.

Nóirín Ní Riain - Ode To Bridget

(10th century Poem attributed to Brigid herself)

I'd like to give a lake of beer to God.
I'd love the heavenly
Host to be tippling there
For all eternity.

I'd love the men of Heaven to live with me,
To dance and sing.
If they wanted, I'd put at their disposal
Vats of suffering.

White cups of love I'd give them
With a heart and a half;
Sweet pitchers of mercy I'd offer
To every man.

I'd make Heaven a cheerful spot
Because the happy heart is true.
I'd make the men contented for their own sake.
I'd like Jesus to love me too.

I'd like the people of heaven to gather
From all the parishes around.
I'd give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.

I'd sit with the men, the women and God
There by the lake of beer.
We'd be drinking good health forever
And every drop would be a prayer.

More poems and incantations here:

Brighid, Bright Goddess of the Gael

Smúraidh mi an tula
Mar a smúradh Brighde Muime.
Ainm naomh na Muime
Bhith mu'n tula, bhith mu'n tán,
Bhith mu'n ardraich uile.

I will smoor the hearth
As Brighid the Fostermother would smoor
The Fostermother's holy name
Be on the hearth, be on the herd
Be on the household all.

—Carmina Gadelica, Alexander Carmichael, vol.3

So, I guess "smoor" is an Irish word. My grandmother's last household act of the day, was to smoor the fire. She always smoored the fire before we turned in for the night. And if we were lucky, then there would still be coals by which to light the morning fire. We only had wood heat. None of this central heating stuff.

Crosóg Bhríde. —Wiki

My grannie tried to show me how to make St. Brigid's crosses, I wasn't a very good student. 

How to Make a St. Brigid's Cross
For reference to "Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made her love God more."

"Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer)."

Happy Imbolc.

Bolc, bolg (pronounced bolag), from which the Spanish/Portuguese word bolsa comes, is bag. As in Firbolgs, bagmen. Imboc, in the bag, in the belly. Just like a haggis, a meat pudding  made in a sheep's belly.

See St. Patrick Catholic Church Saint of the Day,

See my post, "Up Helly Aa," reconstructed Fire Festival, or Imbolc in Viking drag? for information on the goddess Brigid.

Brigid's British and continental counterpart Brigantia was the Celtic equivalent of the Roman Minerva and the Greek Athena.

Celtic Lore and Mythology Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-MOLK or i-MOLG ), also called (Saint) Brigid's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa'l Breeshey), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

Irish Medieval History:
Lá Fhéile Bríde
Did the goddess became a saint or did the saint become the goddess?
February 1st or Imbolc (Imbolg) is the name of the ancient Irish festival marking the beginning of spring.

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