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So I was visiting a friend of mine who is, well a Druid(ess?) and on her wall I noticed an ornament and asked, "Why do you have a St. Brigid's Cross on your wall?" I thought it weird as she was pagan. She replied that Brigid is a Celtic godess and that her 'cross' predates Christianity. I tried to argue that she was a historical figure around the time of St. Patrick. She didn't buy it and I didn't know enough to continue. Any thoughts? Who's authentic here? How could I refute her if it came up again?

My friend was also explaining a pagan holiday around the time of her Feast and when I enquired she replied, "Candlemass" and left it at that.
First S. Patrick was an Evangelical Protestant, now poor Brigid find herself a pagan goddess.
Sounds like a mix of truth and falsehood. There was a celtic goddess named Brigid, but the saint's life is well documented both in the Book of Lismore (written by a monk named Cogitosus), and by Ultan of Ardbreccain (only bits of the poetry survive, though). Though as with many saints, the legends have probably been embroidered over the years, there is no doubt she was a genuine historical figure who founded the monastery at Kildare. And if she believes in supernatural events, you can ask how she knows the accounts of St Brigid's miracles are false? Now, as for the cross, it is attributed to St Brigid, but there just isn't any evidence to show where it came from, certainly there is no proof it had pagan origins, either. The cross does not appear in pagan celtic art, so I think it unlikely it predated Christianity.
Her feast is Feb 1st, the day before Candlemas.
Brigid is an old Celtic goddess. Her attribute was the sun goddess. Some figures ascribed to Brigid do stretch back to the mists of prehistory. Are they truly Brigid is anyone's guess - that's the problem with unwritten history, everyone's left guessing after you're gone.

Later as the Celts bumped into the Romans with their "glorious" Apollo, the Celts discovered/created Lugh, a new sun god who was skilled in all of the arts of the gods.

The ascension of Lugh over Brigid is a sore point (evil chords of the patriarchy are heard in the background here) with the Dianic Pagans (who have only one use for men "and that can be easily replaced with a turkey baster thank you very much."

Basically, they're all making it up as they go along, their scholarship is sketchy to say the least. Their matriarchal Utopia does not stand up to serious inquiry or the example of Speaker Pelosi. By the standards that they use for saying that Crete/Atlantis was matriarchal, breasts freely on display, women having the ability to trade sexual partners at will, the number of semi nude female images found, etc., then Las Vegas would fit the bill as well.

In the final analysis, they are indeed fey, they're chasing a fairy dream that will turn to straw in the end.
But don't you think it's strange that St. Brigid's feast day is at the same time as this goddess? Feb 1st and 2nd respectively.
Imbolc wasn't exactly Brigid's (the goddess') day, it was more the generic end-of-winter celebration many cultures have. But, making it a saint's feast day would make sense as part of the plan to adapt pagan days into Christian ones.
And I agree with DarkKnight, the lack of scholarship pagans display on this topic of matriarchy/patriarchy is astounding. Especially with the case of Crete. I kid you not, this is the reasoning I've read some researches use: the archeologists there found that images of dolphins were everywhere, and since dolphins are girly, therefore Cretean culture was matriarchical. Seriously, that was the argument.
didishroom Wrote:But don't you think it's strange that St. Brigid's feast day is at the same time as this goddess? Feb 1st and 2nd respectively.


A Christian Holy Day replacing a Pagan one! Say it ain't so?!
But seriously, I would not bother explaining to this person unless she's willing to hear out sources other than the ones she's already listened to about history. Most Neo-Pagans believe what they believe because they want to, not because they were convinced of the truth of it by logical argument.

I once had a 30 minute argument with a Wiccan on how "alchemy" was not a "higher sorcery" and in fact a Medieval science based on the principles of a created and redeemable universe. She never believed me for a moment even though I could cite many medieval sorces and she only had the authority of her local coven. But at least she was fascinated that a Christian could actually talk about these things and has become less inclined to hate Catholicism since.

Quote:Originally Posted by didishroom
But don't you think it's strange that St. Brigid's feast day is at the same time as this goddess? Feb 1st and 2nd respectively.

No. This reminds me of where the argument about the origins of the date of Christmas, Christmas trees, etc. starts to go. Before you know it, you'll be arguing over who "invented" decorating.

The Celtic goddess is associated with fire.
St Brigid's cross is symbolized to protect the home from fire.

Quote:Originally Posted by Anastasia
Imbolc wasn't exactly Brigid's (the goddess') day, it was more the generic end-of-winter celebration many cultures have. But, making it a saint's feast day would make sense as part of the plan to adapt pagan days into Christian ones.


Precisely. I also read somewhere that the goddess Brigid's day wound up becoming Groundhog's Day Tomatoes

Quote:Originally Posted by Anastasia
And I agree with DarkKnight, the lack of scholarship pagans display on this topic of matriarchy/patriarchy is astounding. Especially with the case of Crete. I kid you not, this is the reasoning I've read some researches use: the archeologists there found that images of dolphins were everywhere, and since dolphins are girly, therefore Cretean culture was matriarchical. Seriously, that was the argument.

Quote:Originally Posted by WanderingPenitent
A Christian Holy Day replacing a Pagan one! Say it ain't so?!

But seriously, I would not bother explaining to this person unless she's willing to hear out sources other than the ones she's already listened to about history. Most Neo-Pagans believe what they believe because they want to, not because they were convinced of the truth of it by logical argument.

I once had a 30 minute argument with a Wiccan on how "alchemy" was not a "higher sorcery" and in fact a Medieval science based on the principles of a created and redeemable universe. She never believed me for a moment even though I could cite many medieval sorces and she only had the authority of her local coven. But at least she was fascinated that a Christian could actually talk about these things and has become less inclined to hate Catholicism since.


Right! I wish I still had my notes from an art history class I took on the Renaissance from the ultra-liberal university I attended....I think the entire class was a summation/argument that Christian art and symbols were purely re-purposed paganism for political gain.





Well I did defend Christmas and Easter saying they weren't Pagan holidays that were Christenized. Superfluous cultural traditions surrounding the holiday in certain regions do not give Christmas and Easter 'pagan' origins. I also explained that the similarities between the themes of the Christian and Pagan holidays is natural because of man's universal ability to recognize the spiritual representations in the natural world. "Spring equinox=rebirth", "Winter Solstice=hope"

She seemed to think I made sense but I felt loss for words about Brigid.

I think it's interesting that you say Brigid's Cross was used to protect from fire while Brigid the goddess was the patron of fire, suggesting Brigid was invoked against the pagan devil of the same name.
Quote:Originally Posted by didishroom

I think it's interesting that you say Brigid's Cross was used to protect from fire while Brigid the goddess was the patron of fire, suggesting Brigid was invoked against the pagan devil of the same name.

It seems quite blatant. (Unlike the illogic Anastasia mentioned about researchers re: dolphins = girly = matriarchy in Crete!)

Btw, I have a relic of St. Brigid sitting behind the desk I'm sitting at right now Confusedmile:

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