This is my first entry for the Pagan Blog Project as I've only just joined.
As I will be focusing on Imbolc on my blog for the next few weeks, my choice for the letter B is Brigid.
Brigid's day is 1 February and of course is celebrated in the Pagan Wheel of the Year as Imbolc. In early Ireland her festival was indeed known as Imbolc - there are many permutations of the origins of the name, but the most common is that it refers to the first milk of the year as ewes birthed their lambs, heralding the rebirth and return of new life. Some
say its literal translation is "in the belly" which can also mean the belly of the earth thereby including seeds and stirrings in the ground of the first roots after the long winter. In later centuries, as the Christian calendar took hold, it was replaced by Candlemas Day on February 2 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Who was Brigid? Her origins are lost and it is hard to tell the Celtic Goddess apart from the Christian saint. She is the Goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft and also of the early Celtic crafts of dyeing, weaving and she was a guardian of farm animals, especially cows. She is deeply associated with the country of Ireland and the Goddess became transmuted into one of Ireland's much loved saints, second only to St Patrick.