• Sheila R. Lamb

Brigid of the Tuatha de Danann: The Goddess of Lament

Irish myths, legends, and history portray Brigid in three phases…goddess, druid, and saint. She is a woman, a goddess, shrouded in the mists of history. This is the basis of the Brigid trilogy, beginning with Once a Goddess. In ancient mythology, Brigid is a poet, a healer and a blacksmith. She was one of the Tuatha De Danann, an early tribe of Pre-Celtic settlers. The Danann were a god-like race,endowed with supernatural abilities. They could shape shift into elements of nature. One story is how they prevented the invading Fir Bolg from broaching their shores by becoming mist. In some stories, Brigid was the daughter of Dagda and Macha. In others, she is portrayed as the Dagda’s wife. In the Cath Maige Tuired, saga, Brigid marries Bres, a Fomorian. Together, they had three sons,one of whom is Ruadan. Ruadan later dies in battle. It is said that the lament, the custom of keening at a wake, began with Brigid as she mourned the loss of her son. Brigid’s story is compelling – and human. She enters into an arranged marriage with her enemy in order to save her people. She sacrifices her desires and suffers incredible loss to protect the Danann.

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