Happy Saint Brigid’s Day

It occurred to me that a post on candles would suit an acknowledgement of Brigid’s Day, and lo and behold! I got some press from Voya, the Strandhill crowd who make this, which I love beyond all reason.

I have a wee travel candle made by the Irish-based, seaweed cornerstoned, beauty product company, and as it turns out, it is the same exact thing as The Original, as pictured here. Well! I can tell you that the scent is an interesting mixture of sexy and zesty, kind of dark-ish and yet invigorating at the same time. The former would be the patchouli; the latter, mandarin.

An interesting mix, indeed, very much akin to the representations we have of Brigid, who is called both goddess and saint. As the former, she has the gifts of poetry, healing, and smithcraft, and is the guardian of fertility and fire, so by extension, of life, death and rebirth. She is an embodiment of the Divine Feminine in Ireland, and such was her importance that she became assimilated as a saint when the Christian religion took precedence on this island.

As Saint, she is still associated with fire, the keeper of the flame that lights the dark corners and brings solace. At her home in Kildare, the light of Brigid is kept burning by the Brigandine Sisters in Solas Bhride, and the annual Féile Bríde, a week-long celebration that kicks off on the eve of Bridget’s Day, is a terrific way to ring in the Spring. I’ve done the pilgrimage to St Brigid’s Well, and it is ancient, moving, and fun!

Her feast day of Imbolc/Candlemas marks the return of Spring, the return of life and light to the world. And frankly, it sheds a little light {sorry} on the whole Valentine’s thing. Funny how ♥Day falls in February, at the time of year things are starting to warm up and, ahem, seeds are about to be planted… and sure enough, our old friends the Romans celebrated Lupercalia, a fertility festival, around this time every year.

So despite the consumerism, there is at least a symbolic and historical meaning to all this Valentine’s carry on. So whether you’d like to honour Brigid or that little cupid dude, then I am happy to suggest Voya’s candle as a little celebratory fire; your fertility is entirely your own concern.

Voya The Original Candle, €44 voya.ie

For more info on the celebrations in Kildare Town, see here.

And here’s a link to an informed, in-depth look at Brigid, goddess and saint.

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