Most of my goddess pictures and statues are on my altar, logically enough, or in the same room as my altar, where I also do ritual or yoga. My picture of Brigid, however, is in my office. I think of Brigid as the quintessential work goddess. Homage to her is through keeping a clean house, providing for the material maintenance of the household, improving relationships within the house, creative work, and the appreciation of creative work. You might characterize her worship as purpose-driven, but I think of her as the spirit imbued within the process of living well.
It’s typical to post about Brigid on her holiest day, Imbolc (February 1-2), but she’s on my mind today. I’ve been reading about her in an old copy of SageWoman from 1991, in a spirit of nostalgia. I felt a longing to return to a time before the Orwellian hellscape emerged that compels us to play along with the transing of kids (or equally absurd abuses) to keep our jobs. Times have changed, even at SageWoman, which now subscribes to the gender ideology. It pays.
The theme of this 1991 issue was “Work.” Many women wrote thoughtful essays about the morality and spirituality of work. An article about Brigid by Callista Lee had what she claims is a “traditional prayer” called The Genealogy of Brigid. I checked it out on the internet (okay, there are some good things, or things that are good sometimes, about the 21st century). It does seem to be a well known prayer. If you are being harried, to use an old-fashioned term, for not bowing before the trendy gender edict, perhaps this prayer will help.
In pagan imagery, the broom is not just a symbol of witches, but of wives. The Celtic goddess Brigid has among her many functions the charge of housekeeping, and her followers report that they often see her with broom in hand. Women used to leave their broom outside the front door when they left the house, as a signal to visitors that they were not at home. The ordinary broom used for household chores, as opposed to the witch’s ritual broom, is married to the house; when a family moves it is customary for the broom to remain at the house rather than being brought along to the new location.Many people are familiar with the phrase “to jump the broom,” which means to get married, and this custom relates to the broom as symbol of housekeeping and mature womanhood. The custom of jumping the broom was common on the American frontier when ordained ministers were scarce. A couple might be awaiting their second child before their marriage became official within their church, and the broom served to sanction their union until then. Broomstick weddings were also common among African American slaves, who were denied “real” marriage by slaveholders and Christian authorities. The association of brooms and marriage has antecedents in so many cultures that it is impossible to trace the origin of the custom, other than to say that it almost certainly did not originate in America.In many pagan weddings today, it is the jumping of the broom, rather than the exchange of rings or the words “I do,” that is the core part of the ceremony. The couple, holding hands or with hands fastened by ribbons, jumps over a broom lying horizontal on the ground. While in the air the spirits of the couple become joined, and when they hit the ground that union becomes sealed in the physical world. Superstitions about broom handles touching the ground suggest that in the older ceremonies the jumping broom might have been elevated or propped against something.
Back when I posted the quiz on Bird Companions of the Goddess I had requests for a tree version. So here it is. This will be a bit harder, because I’ve only mentioned one of these trees on this blog. Match the tree on the left with a goddess from the right column.
Answers are here.Bonus question. Name the gods linked with these trees: Ash, Pine, Laurel. (Hint: they are also associated with the goddesses of these trees.)Continue the tree discussion in the comments.
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