Happy a to say that the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids published my poem Brig in Touchstone Issue 305. This poem discusses the goddess Brig or Brigid, a goddess who blends the lines between Celtic goddess and Catholic Saint. According to Celtic studies scholar Jennifer Paxton, the goddess Brig was spread across the entire map of Europe and was preserved in the name Britain. It’s possible that Saint Brigid was a pre-Christian deity re-cast as a Christian saint. Indeed, her biographies depict miraculous abilities such as raising the waters of the river.
Brigid went on to found the monastery at Kildare, under a sacred oak tree, which came to be know as the Church of the Oak. Folklore dictates that a crooked cross should be woven from straw and placed above the rafters of one’s home for the goddesses blessings, particularly around the Celtic Fire Festival of Imbolc or Saint Brigid’s Day. I like to think of this goddess as an example of how paganism and goddess worship continued to thrive until the modern era incorporated directly into Christianity. It is often believed that Paganism was entirely eradicated, but I would argue that Celtic culture shows us the deep syncretism between the two worlds and gives us a glimpse into how goddess worship survived the heteropatriarchy of Christian imperialism.