Celebrating St Brigid’s Cross – Merging the Celtic and Christian Worlds
Brigid’s cross, is an Irish symbol. Though a Christian symbol today, it possibly derives from the pagan sunwheel. It is usually made from rushes. Below are some of the crosses I’ve made for this year.
The presence of the Brigid’s cross in Ireland is likely far older than Christianity. Brigid was one of the Tuatha De Danann. At about 453 AD, a child was born between Dubhtach and one of his Christian slaves named Brocessa. The slave girl was sent to.a cabin at the foot of the Cooley Mountains near Dundalk, Co Louth, to have the child. The baby was a healthy girl. The mother was sold to a Chieftain in Connaught and the child was given to a Druid to be raised and educated. The child was named Brigid; perhaps to seek the blessing of the goddess for from the very beginning, there were indications that she was special. Brigid later converted to Christianity.
Her feast day 1 February, this is also the feast of Imbolc. The cross, made of rushes, may be the descendant of the pagan sunwheel, perhaps illustrating how the belief systems of the Druids and the Christians merged together. The cross is hung in the kitchen or at the front door. It is said to protect from fire, and also ensure that money and good fortune stays in the house.
The picture above is me with a slightly different take on the cross. This one looks more like a celtic cross.
The crosses are usually made today (31 Jan), in preparation for the feast day of 1 February, and to celebrate the coming of Spring, being mid way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
There are many healing places names after Brigid, including the healing well near Augher, one of the sites on my tours. Worth a visit to feel her presence there.