Brigit is a deity I have to admit, I haven't worked with much. This may seem odd as my path is hugely influenced by Celtic practices, and so I was very intrigued to give Mael Bridge's A Brigit of Ireland Devotional a read. For those of you who don't know Mael, she is the founder of a group called 'Daughters of the Flame', who since 1993 have been tending the perpetual flame of Brigit (there is more information about the significance of the perpetual flame within this book). The connection Mael obviously has with the Goddess Brigit is inspiring no matter which deity you work with.
Many who know of the Goddess Brigit will also know of Saint Brigit of Kildare, who is one of Ireland's patron saints. Many believe that Saint Brigit is associated with the Irish Goddess Brigit and that the Saint replaced the Goddess as Christianity grew in Ireland. Some even believe that Saint Brigit was a follower of the Goddess Brigit, whilst some argue that Saint Brigit never physically existed. Christianity and paganism have often had a strained relationship, and it can be hard to reconcile the two, but this is one of the strengths of this book. It takes the Irish Goddess Brigit and Saint Brigit and shows how these two aspects of the same deity can work together to create a figure who can be loved and honoured by all in the modern world.
A Brigit of Ireland Devotional is a unique view into the historically complex but well loved figure that is Brigit through poetry written by the author. It provides a great mixture between historical fact with an extended glossary, pronunciation guide, resource list and bibliography in the book, and the authors own experiences and interpretations. I can't say I've ever read any other book like it - it's honest, inspiring, and very moving.
I'm a very quick reader, and it really doesn't take me long to finish a book. Ever since I was a kid people have been amazed at how I could just devour books! But this book was different; I found it impossible to read each poem without stopping to read it again and soak up the message it delivered. The imagery Mael evokes is enchanting (I especially loved Your People in this regard). It is difficult to read them and not feel the presence of Brigit around you, even as someone who doesn't really work with her all that much (the poem Why I Tend Your Flame is another which I feel deserves a mention in this regard).
I honestly can't find the words to really convey just how beautiful this book is, and how powerful a devotional it is to Brigit. All I can say is read it for yourself - you won't be disappointed. Poignant, raw, and incredibly emotive, this is a must-read for all those who have even a passing interest in Brigit.
For more information on Mael and her work, or to purchase the book yourself, please check out the links below:
Buy the Book:
Paperback: Indiebound - Independent Bookstore Finder
Book Depository: Pre-Order
Indigo Books: Pre-Order
Barnes and Noble: Pre-Order
More From Mael:
Blogs: brigitssparklingflame.blogspot.ca/ and stonebelly.blogspot.ca/
The Weekly Witch:
Once I week I talk about something 'witchcraft' related I have done with my week. How we incorporate witchcraft into our every day lives is always a topic that has interested me, so I wanted to start this blog to explore it further!