Thursday, January 29, 2009

From Goddess to Groundhog: The Evolution of a Holy Day

In the United States, Groundhog's Day is sort of a silly made up holiday whereby a large rodent that lives in the ground is said to be able to predict how many weeks of winter are left. Groundhog's Day is really the last remnants of an ancient Celtic feast day dedicated to celebrating their main goddess, Brigid, who was a seer of the future. It became Christianized as Candlemas which represents different things to different denominations. These days pagans have revived it as Imbolc, a day to celebrate Brigid and the first stirrings of spring with the noticeable strengthening of the sun in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see it as a time to celebrate the fruits of the summer and the light that will soon be waning. After all, Brigid is a goddess of hearth and home as well as enlightenment. In all ways, even Groundhog's Day, it is a festival of light.

I have personally encountered Brigid as a presence. For most of my life I've been interested in deities from different traditions but I was never really sure they existed. Then one night I was at work and suddenly I felt a powerful energy right in front of me. The name Brigid popped into my head. For years prior I'd had an interest in things Celtic because of my northern European ancestors, but I really knew very little about Brigid. I immediately Googled her and what I found spoke directly to my life at that moment, and also my life in general. If you haven't experienced something like that I know it can sound delusional. I even questioned my own sanity for a while after. But that was the beginning of a long initiation process that I'm still in the middle of. Now having the presence of Brigid around isn't so overwhelming. But I will never forget being "called" like that.

One of the first Squidoo lenses I made was about Brigid. With it I have tried to collect the most relevant information about Brigid on the Web and put it in one place for reference. Check it out here: Brigid - Celtic Triple Goddess.

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