Welcome. This blog is to document my religious, magical, and spiritual journey.
I am devoted to the goddess Brighid and to her surrounding mythology. However, I work with other gods, as well as with the Ancestors and the Spirits of Nature.
Part of: Irish mythology
Result: Decisive Tuatha Dé Danann victory, retreat of the Fomorians
Belligerents: Tuatha Dé Danann
Led by: Nuada, Lugh
Versus: Fomorians, led by Balor, Bres
The Second Battle of Mag Tuiredoccurred due to a dispute over the kingship of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The major factions in the battle were the Tuatha Dé Danann, led by the reinstated Nuada, and the Fomorians, led by the deposed Bres.
In the aftermath of the First Battle of Mag Tuired, Bres, half-Fomorian (on his father’s side) and half-Tuatha Dé Danann (on his mother’s side), was elected High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann because the previous king Nuada had lost his hand during the battle and only an “unblemished” man could rule as High King.
However, Bres favoured his Fomorian kin and neglected his duties, forcing the Tuatha Dé Danann to work for the Fomorians. Duan Cecht, the physician god, replaced Nuada’s hand and the Tuatha Dé Danann exiled Bres, re-electing Nuada.
Bres went to his father Elatha for aid but was denied. He then went to Balor of the Evil Eye, another Fomorian leader, and successful in gaining aid, planned to lead the Fomorians against the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Lugh, half-Fomorian and half-Tuatha Dé Danann (and grandson of Balor), arrived at the court of Nuada, and proving his talent, was given command of the Tuatha Dé Danann army.
Battle and Aftermath
Balor used his eye to destroy the armies of the Tuatha Dé Danann, killing Nuada, but Lugh used a sling to knock the eye into the back of Balor’s head, thus wreaking havoc on the Fomorian army. The Tuatha Dé Danann turned the tide and caused the Fomorians to flee, abandoning Bres, who having been found on the field by Lugh, was spared in order to teach the Tuatha Dé Danann about farming. Thus, the Tuatha Dé Danann cemented their rule over Ireland and freed themselves from Fomorian oppression.
IRISH MYTHOLOGY IS FUCKING FAILING ME RIGHT NOW, YOU MUST HAVE A MESSENGER GOD OR SOMETHING
Not everyone set up their pantheons like the Greeks did. But there are gods and goddesses who move between the worlds. They’re not messengers, but they are liminal:
Gaelic polytheists, anyone else I should add?
I’m going to the hospital tomorrow to talk about clubfoot surgery. Is there anything I should do tonight or in the morning to prepare myself for a good outcome? Can I appeal to Brigid or is this not Her area? Communicating with Her has come quite easily to me before but I don’t want to be impertinent if this isn’t what She does.
Of course you can. :-) Most people who work with Brighid say they find her very approachable.
Brighid is described as having a “female physician” sister (also called Brighid) in Sanas Cormaic— because of that, she is entreated for healing. I love to use this song (“Song to Brighid”) by Lisa Thiel for my own healing prayers.
Good luck tomorrow. Please let us know how it goes!
(Also, I love that image! When I first saw it, I thought it was Brighid, too! But according to the creator, it’s not her, it’s Cerridwen.)
While I would debate the existence of Danu in the actual texts, this is not the place for that. The Irish gods certainly have associations with things, but they are not “the god of___,” you see what I mean? They’re individuals; they’re animistic, not pantheistic; they’re people, not personifications. Lugh does not have associations with the sun—he does have associations with storms and lightning. But that does not make him the god of storms and lightning the way, say, Zeus is. They don’t serve that purpose and so they’re not that simple.
Well put. (Also, the Morrigan, Danu, and Aine, are not so much “Celtic” as they are “Gaelic” or simply “Irish.”)
(cont. [from the first part of your question]) I would like to do a private ritual where I make an offering to Brighid, and ask basically for her permission to make this journey as a guest in her realm. I would make a token to wear until the end of the process as a sort of “visitor’s pass,” as a symbol of my temporary status. Does this seem like something Brighid would accept, or am I being wildly offensive? I would love any input on the ritual/offering/token if you have it, as well. Like I said, I am new at this!
Hi there! I’ve put the rest of your question in italics above so that I make sure to get to it all.
First, I don’t think your question is weird. It’s unusual, maybe, but I say that because your situation is not something I’ve encountered before. And secondly, I’m flattered that you thought to ask me— thank you.
So, finally, your big question. Short version: Yes, I think you’ll be fine. :-)
The only time the gender of a Brighid devotee comes up is in the process of flamekeeping. In medieval Ireland, this was only done by women living in a convent. However, modern worshippers, like in Gaol Naofa and Ord Brighideach, have made spaces for male-identified flamekeepers.
And while other Brighidines’ mileage may vary, I personally don’t Brighid’s realm as a “women’s realm.” The professions she was associated with, like poetry and medicine, were open to both women as well as men. The only time she seems allied specifically with women is in her aspect as Brig Brethach, and in that guise, she’s a judge. So even when she’s the protector of women, she does so in a way that produces dialogue with men so that justice for all is achieved.
If anything, I think Brighid would be understanding of your situation— you may identify as one sort (just as she is a Tuatha De Danaan), but work with and move with another (just as she was married to Formorian).
I gather from your message that you’re a little apprehensive about engaging with Brighid, because you feel like you’re not welcome. This is just my intuition, but I feel you shouldn’t be— I urge that you approach her, and be honest with her about what you want. I suspect she may surprise you. Make her an offering (I’ve found she likes dairy products, dandelions, tea, poetry, and music) and see what happens. If you still feel cautious and would like me to make this for you, please let me know— I’d be happy to do that.
So all that said, I think your idea of wearing a token is a beautiful one. It can be something widely understood as Brighid’s, like a Brighid’s cross, or something more subtly associated with her, such as a flame or a well, or a copy of a poem or prayer.
And finally, good luck on parenthood. I can tell you that it’s one of the most trying, exhausting, yet amazing things I’ve ever tried. :-)