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The Brigid's Cross: Celebrating Imbolc

Updated: Jan 29

Brigid Cross by Keyss by Smriti

In our previous post, we spoke at length about the Imbolc Festival. Today we will learn about the Brigid Cross.

The Brigid's Cross is a traditional symbol associated with the Celtic goddess, Brigid and is often crafted during the Imbolc festival. The cross is tied to various folk traditions and legends around St. Brigid. Many of these stories highlight acts of charity, healing, and protection associated with St. Brigid. The interweaving design of the cross may also carry symbolic meaning about coming together in community.

Origins and Symbolism:

The Brigid's Cross is deeply rooted in Irish folklore and mythology. It's named after Brigid, the goddess of fertility, healing, poetry, and smith craft. The cross is a symbol of protection, and its creation is often tied to Imbolc, a festival marking the beginning of spring.

Typically, a Brigid's Cross is made from rushes or straw, although other materials like reeds or even paper can be used. The design consists of a woven square in the center, with four arms extending from each corner. The square is often said to represent the hearth or the sun.

Imbolc Tradition

Crafting Brigid's Cross is a popular Imbolc tradition. It symbolizes the turning of the seasons, the return of the light, and the protection of homes and livestock. It's believed that hanging the cross near the entrance brings blessings and safeguards against harm.

Rituals and Blessings:

Some engage in rituals while crafting the cross, incorporating prayers or invocations to Brigid. The completed cross might be blessed and then placed in the home or barn as a protective talisman. Some also incorporate the cross into ceremonies related to healing or fertility.

Wider Symbolism

Beyond its association with Imbolc, the Brigid's Cross has evolved into a cultural symbol of Irish heritage and spirituality. It's often used as a decorative item, appearing in homes year-round, and is sometimes gifted for various occasions, carrying its protective symbolism.

Modern Interpretations

In contemporary times, people of various backgrounds and beliefs may create Brigid's Crosses as a nod to Celtic culture, a connection to nature, or simply as a charming craft. The cross's enduring popularity reflects its timeless symbolism and the resonance of traditions across generations.

Whether crafted for Imbolc or as a year-round symbol, the Brigid's Cross stands as a beautiful testament to the rich tapestry of Celtic folklore and the enduring power of symbols in our lives.

Register for the Imbolc ritual and your Brigid Cross for 1st February, 2024 by reaching out to me here - 

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