Brigit: Ireland’s goddess-saint
Brigit is probably the most popular of all Irish goddesses among modern Pagans, with her own yearly feast at Imbolc, at the start of February. And yet she is also one of the most ambiguous, with a modern cult that has ferried her a long way from what our scant early Irish sources tell us about her. Is she one goddess, or three? Is she a goddess of fire? Is her name Brigit or Bríg? And what relationship, if any, does she have to the Christian saint, Brigit of Kildare? This lecture introduces the original sources describing this beloved divinity, and explores how the image of her in contemporary culture has developed.
Dr Mark Williams is Fellow and Tutor in English at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford. He is a specialist in the medieval languages and literatures of Wales and Ireland, and the author of Ireland’s Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth (Princeton, 2016), and The Celtic Myths that Shaped the Way We Think (Thames & Hudson, 2021). He is in training as a Jungian psychoanalyst
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