Brighid - Drop the Hammer

The Tuatha Dé Dannan came into Ireland from out of their four great cities. They came as a gathering of a thousand heroes who will be victorious in every sense. Yet they were not coming as an army of conquest. They came as refugees fleeing oppression and seeking safety in their ancestral homeland.

Brighid is listed among them from the very start arriving with her tribe into this ancient and abundant land. As a person of great skill at a wide variety of crafts she fulfills many roles for her people. Goddess of the forge, of healing, of poetry, as well as the hearth fires of home and security. It seems that she was the obvious choice to wed Eochu Bres, and, through their union, cement her tribes alliance with the Fomorians.

Of course that union leads in many tragedies for Brighid, from the invasion of her land, the war with her tribe, and the loss of her son, an event that led to the first keening to be heard in Ireland. Through out the conflict though Brighid shows up for he people in equal parts smiting and healing. Daughter of the 'goodly one' the Dagda, she really embodies a number of aspects shared with her father, from diligence in service to her tribe ensuring their health and protection whilst inspiring them towards the pursuits of creative and artistic expression.

In later iterations of Brighid in Ireland's tales she is given the title of saint, but unlike other some beitified women, Brighid is no martyr. She turns up time and again as a force for change in the tales of this land, Stepping up to challenge those in power, providing healing for those in need, food to those who hunger, and grim justice for those deserving of it. In one tale when Brighid was accosted by a man over her beauty, she pulled out her own eye to spite the mans words. When this was later restored through her healing, she cursed the man to loose both of his eyes for the scorn which he had placed upon her.

No matter which Brighid you choose to explore you will find someone who is not adverse to doing what's needed, bringing about the change whether it's with the airs of poetic inspiration, the turning of a cursed word, or with the pounding purifying works of the forge. Whatever your personal view of this Goddess, there can be no doubt that when time comes, Brighid can drop the hammer.

 

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