Tasmania’s old houses revealing some bizarre secrets.
Source: 7.30 Tasmania | Duration: 7min 36sec
Topics: 19th-century, paganism, historians, tasClick Here!
Tasmania’s old houses revealing some bizarre secrets.
Source: 7.30 Tasmania | Duration: 7min 36sec
Topics: 19th-century, paganism, historians, tasClick Here!
* Kildare, Ireland *
Another blessed part of my pilgrimmage to Brigid and Kildare was learning more about Brigid’s Cross. I had the pleasure of Faerie Moe as a guide, a local friend giving me the tour of Kildare and the sacred wells as well as giving me an on-hands explanation on how to weave a Brigid’s Cross. As a dedicant to the Goddess Brigid for over 20 years, in my early years i fumbled at making them, but never made anything as intricate and powerful as the crosses I saw at St. Brigid’s shrine and Sister Mary’s house. Amazing. Many say that the St. Brigid’s Cross, a.k.a. Cros Bríde, Crosóg Bríde or Bogha Bríde, is actually an Irish symbol of sun worship representing the sun in the center with rays of light coming from it in the shape of the arms of the Cross. Some say it represents a Brigid legend where in the story St. Brigid miraculously hung her wet clothes to dry on a sunbeam. It is also considered a Pagan sunwheel. They are traditionally made on February 1st for Lá Fhéile Bhríde (St. Brigid’s feast day). It is also a symbol of Ireland and its provinces. Ireland has four provinces, but in ancient Ireland there were five – an invisible one in the center of Ireland. To some, the Brigid’s cross represents the four provinces (in the modern standard design) and in the 5 handed cross like shown in these pictures, representing the 5 provinces. The arms represent North, South, East, West, and Center. The 5th Province, the invisible one, is the province of healing and reconciliation. Brigid’s Cross probably first appeared in Ireland between the 2nd century B.C.E. and the 2nd century C.E. It is a folk magic tradition of weaving together straw to creat a equal-armed Celtic cross that represents the Goddess Brigid, or modern day St. Brigid. Taking rushes that are woven together into a swastica-like/Celtic cross-like ornament, with a central square and four spokes protruding from each corner of the square in opposing directions, that has some variations found in Celtic art both ancient and modern. Brigid’s cross appears often traditionally on February 1st, the eve of St. Brigid’s feast / Imbolc / or Candlemas. In some traditions, the Brideoga or Biddies, young virgin boys who would carry a churndash (post used to churn butter) that is dressed up as a woman or an effigy of St. Brigid, and would go door-to-door through their neighborhood collecting alms for the poor. While collecting alms, they would leave bundles of straw and rushes outside the homes that they visited. At nightfall, young virgin girls would pick them up and ask to be admitted to the homes in the name of Brigid and would weave the rushes into crosses. After traditional prayers and a meal at the homes, the crosses would be placed under the eaves in the house or in the outhouses and sometimes blessed with holy water. The leftover rushes would be woven into a girdle called a “crios” or a tie for cattle or sometimes as a Brid’s bed or mattress for the Saint. Just as cattle were traditionally led through holy lakes or doused in water from Brigid’s well, they were ofen led through uplifted arches of these girdles. The Brid’s bed or holy mattresses were often placed at specific sacred wells and believed to possess curative powers to counter barrenness and to protect families and animals from natural calamiies, especially lightning and fire. Some see the Brigid’s cross as symbollic of the evolution of the Goddess into the Saint. The Brigid’s Cross magically is believed to protect a house where it hangs from evil and from fire. Because of this, it is often hung in kitchens.
Here is a great web site with diagrams of the weave: http://www.fisheaters.com/stbrigidscross.html
The Goddess Brigid
a.k.a. St. Brigid of Kildare, Brigid of Ireland, “Brigit”, “Bridget”, “Bridgit”, “Bríd”, “Bride”, “Mary of the Gael”, or “Naomh Bríd”
As a Saint and Actual Living Person: St. Brigid – c. 451 – 525 C.E. (A.D.)
Goddess of Poetry, Magic, Healing, Smithcraft, Learning, Common People, Flocks/Stock/Yield of the Earth, and Inspiration.
Patron Saint of Ireland along with Saint Patrick and St. Columba. Early Christian Nun, Abbess, and Founder of several Monasteries.
Holiday: February 1st as “Saint Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, or Oimelc. As a Saint and Actual Living Person: St. Brigid – c. 451 – 525 C.E. (A.D.)Goddess of Poetry, Magic, Healing, Smithcraft, Learning, Common People, Flocks/Stock/Yield of the Earth, and Inspiration.Patron Saint of Ireland along with Saint Patrick and St. Columba. Early Christian Nun, Abbess, and Founder of several Monasteries. Holiday: February 1st as “Saint Brigid’s Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, or Oimelc.
“As the Goddess: ” Throughout Europe, especially in England and Ireland, was the Pagan worship of the Goddess Brigid. She was the Goddess of Poetry, Magic, Healing, Smithcraft, Learning, Common People, Flocks/Stock/Yield of the Earth, and Inspiration. She is identified in Lebor Gabála Érenn as the Daughter of Dagda and a poet; a half sister of Cermait, Aengus, Midir, and Bodb Derg. In the Cath Maige Tuireadh she is responsible for inventing keening while mourning as well as the whistle used for night travel. Her British Counterpart Brigantia was the Celtic equivalent of the Roman Minerva and the Greek Athena. She is also the Goddess of all things perceived to be of higher dimensions such as high-rising flames, highlands, hill-forts, upland areas, activities depicted as lofty or elevated such as wisdom, excellence, perfection, high intelligence, poetic eloquence, craftsmanship, healing, Druidic knowledge, the home, the hearth, and skills with warfare. When the Celts came to Ireland in 500 B.C.E. they brought with them the Druidic religion. Druidism was polytheistic with many Deities who interacted with humanity for good and for bad. It was a common practice for various Deities to be assigned to certain regions or places where a cult site would be established. One was established, as early, if not earlier than, 500 C.E. in what is now known as Kildare. The shrine and cult was dedicated to the Goddess Brigid. In the Celtic cosmology, the chief God was The Dagda Mor (God of musicians, magic) who ruled over the people of Dana (the Tuatha de Danann or the Faerie folk). Dana was the Mother of Irish God/desses. She was also associated as “Brid” the “Poetess” which is identified with the Goddess “Brigantia” who ruled over the Brigantes – a powerful Celtic tribe in North Britain. Brigantia ruled over water and the rivers – the Brighid in Ireland, the Braint in Wales, and the Brent in England. “Brid” meant “exalted one”. She is often referred to as a “Triple Goddess” – the Three Sister Goddesses named Brid: (1) Goddess of poetry and traditional learning; (2) Goddess of the Smith’s Art; and (3) Goddess of Healing. Through time, these three Goddesses and their attributes were merged into one figure – the Goddess Brigid. With the coming of Christianity, Paganism became absorbed and purposely phased out by the mainstream populace until eventually it was not tolerated. The Gods and Goddesses of old were diminished down to the same rank as faeries, angels, Saints, and royalty. Many of the ancient Gods and Goddesses were converted to Christian Saints by the Catholic Church as a means to dissolve Pagan belief systems. In Christian times she was converted to a Saint, after the actual St. Brigid of Kildare.
“As the Saint and Historical Person:” St. Brigid was the “Mary of the Gael” and only second in popularity to the people of Ireland next to St. Patrick. She was primarily associated with Kildare, the Curraugh, and the whole region of the Liffey Plain known as “Magh Life”. St. Brigid was born to Dubtach or Dubhthach, the descendant of Con of the Hundred Battles, a Pagan Chieftain of Leinster; and to Brotseach or Brocca, A Christian Pict of the house of O’Connor who was a slave baptised by St. Patrick. St. Brigid was believe to have been born somewhere between 451-458 C.E (453 most common) at Faughart near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Some accounts state that Dubhthach, her father, was from Lusitania and kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland to work as a slave in the same regard as happened with Saint Patrick. Her mother, Brotseach, was also believed to be a slave of Dubtach who was sold off shortly before Brigid’s birth to a Druid who lived at Faughart a few miles from Dundalk. Apparently much of this regard in her life affected Brigid’s views on things, especially with the concept of people being property. Dubtach, her father, and his family, were natives of Leinster and Fr. Swayne, the late Parish Priest of Kildare, who claims they were from Umaras between Monasterevin and Rathangan in County Kildare. She was baptised in the Christian faith under the name of “Brid” or “Brigid”. Legend has it though that she was weaned on the milk of a white red-eared cow, the color of the beasts of the Tuatha De Danann. Through her life Brigid was especially kind to the people she encountered and was notorious in legend for miracles to be associated with her. One legend tells of her as a child in charge of the dairy by her mother that she gave away so much milk and butter to the poor people where they lived that none was left for her family. She knew her mother would be furious so resorted to prayer. As an answer to her prayers, when her mother visited the dairy she found an abundance of milk and butter. She was also known to be a lover of animals and had many tales of her kindness to stray and starving dogs. In childhood she supposedly encountered St. Patrick. Supposedly she was brought to hear him preach and when she listened to him she fell into ecstasy. She was so dedicated to charity, taking care of common people, healing the sick, and her faith that when she reached marriage age, she instead decided to dedicate to religious life. Pagan lore states she was one of the guardians of the Sacred Flame and Shrine of the Goddess Brigid in Kildare.
Christian tales tell of her leaving home with seven other young girls and travelling to County Meath where St. Maccaille the Bishop resided. The Bishop was hesitant to instate the girls because of their young age into the order. During prayer, it was here that they experienced a column of fire that reached the roof of the church resting on Brigid’s head. The Bishop gave the veil to the eight young girls upon hearing of this miracle. St. Maccaille’s Church was on Croghan Hill in County Westmeath and it was here that St. Brigid founded the first convent in Ireland which attracted many ladies of nobility as postulants and it was here that Brigid and her sisters completed their novitiate. After completion, they journeyed to Ardagh where they made their final vows to St. Mel, the Bishop of Ardagh and nephew of St. Patrick. Brigid founded another convent here and remained for 12 years. At the Bishops request, she sent sisters to various parts of Ireland to establish new foundations including herself. As St. Brigid travelled around Ireland, she visited with St. Patrick when he was preaching at Taillte or Telltown in County Meath to obtain his blessing. Throughout her travels she conducted blessings and miracles along the way gaining Sainthood. The Leinstermen knew Brigid was from their province and constantly asked for her to return home amongst them and was offered any site in that province. She decided to make her foundation on Druim Criadh near the Liffey in what eventually grew into Kildare. She chose a spot on the ridge of clay near a large oak tree and decided to build her oratory beneath its branches. Purportedly there was already a Shrine to the Goddess Brigid here. The new foundation prospered and grew quickly. Girls from all over Ireland and even abroad came to St. Brigid’s foundation to join the community. The foundation was named after the “Church of the Oak” or “Cill Dara” which evolved to modern day Kildare. The poor, the afflicted, the sorrowful came to Kildare for Brigid’s healing, advice, and guidance.
Besides a church, Brigid built a small oratory at Kildare which became a center of religion and learning and developed into a Cathedral city with two monastic institutions, one for men and another for women with St. Conleth appointed as spiritual pastor for both of them. She also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination that St. Conleth presided over as well. From this was produced the “Book of Kildare” which was praised by Giraldus Cambrensis as having every page fantastically illuminated with interlaced work and a harmony of colors that it was the work of Angels and not of Humans, but it has long since vanished since the Reformation.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Faerie trees are mythical hotspots of otherworldly and/or faerie activity. Faerie trees are seen as the haunts of Faeries. They are fiercely protected by the Fae. It is believed that any human foolish enough to pass by a host-tree late at night will find their arms bruised or pinched by small faerie fingers. Three thorn trees growing closely together are especially potent. Thorn trees hung with ribbons or rags are good gifts to faeries of the tree. Faerie trees are most associated with the Oak, Ash, and Thorn. Sometimes it is associated with the Rowan tree. Others claim its the Elder, Blackthorn, Hazel, and/or Alder. The trees most twisted together are the most notorious of faerie trees – and this is common amongst the Elder. If two thorns and an elder are found together it warns of great danger as do Oak, Ash, and Thorn. In the British Isles, the Rowan is believed to protect one from witchcraft and enchantment. Its berries opposite its stalk display tiny five pointed stars or pentagrams which are notable protective symbols. Color red, as in the flavor of the berry, is also seen as a protection against enchantment. The tree is believed to afford protection to the dwellings by which it grew and often people would take branches of the tree to be carried for personal protection from witchcraft. The belief in them go back to classical mythology, whereas legends tell us that ‘Hebe’, the Goddess of youth, once dispensed rejuvenating ambrosia to the Gods from her magical chalice. When she lost this cup to demons, the Gods sent an eagle to recover the cup. The feathers and drops of blood which the eagle bled in the fight, fell to the earth, whereas each one of them turned into a Rowan tree – the legendary Faerie Tree. It is because of this it is believed that the Rowan derived the shape of its leaves from eagle’s feathers and its berries look like the droplets of blood. The Rowan is also prominent in Norse mythology as being the tree from where the first woman was made. The Mountain Ash were also associated as Faerie Trees which are the most well-known of the Rowan. The wood of the Rowan is often used for staves, wands, divining rods, and walking sticks. Berries are often used to make alcoholic drinks.
“Ragnarok”, “Gotterdammerung”, or a.k.a. “Doom of the Gods” or “Final Destiny of the Gods” is the apocalypse in Norse mythology. Its an important event in the Norse canon. This event will be followed by the Fimbulvetr, or the “Winter of Winters”. These three winters will follow each other with no summer. This will be a time of conflicts and feuds between all people and inhabitants on Earth, and all morality is believed will disappear. The mythos discusses that the “wolf Skoll will devour the sun and his brother Hati will eat the moon, plunging the Earth into Darkness. The stars will vanish from the sky. the Fjalar cock will crow to the giants and the Gullinkambi cock will crow to the Gods. A third cock will awaken the dead. The Earth will shudder with earthquakes and every bond and fetter will burst. The wolf Fenrir will be released. The sea will rear up because Jormungand the Midgard Serpent will write in fury making his way to the lands. With every breath, he’ll stain the soil and skly with poison. The Naglfar ship will be freed from waves caused by the serpent, and the Hymir giant will lead the giants to the battlefield. The Realm of the dead will send a second ship with Loki as the helmsmen, off to the battle. The fire giants led by Surt will leave Muspell in the south to join forces against the Gods and scorch the Earth. Heimdall will sound his horn, calling the sons of Odin and heroes to the battle. From all corners of the world – the Gods, the Giants, the Dwarves, the Demons, and the Elves will ride towards the huge plain of Vigrid to fight the last battle. Odin will engage Fenrir in battle, and Thor will attack Jormungand. Thor will be victorious, but the poison will eventually kill him. Surt will seek out the swordless Freyr, who will succomb to the giant. The one-handed Tyr will fight the Garm and they will kill each other. Loki and Heimdall, will meet a final time, and both will die. The fight between Odin and Fenrir will rage for a long period until Odin gets seized and swallowed. Odin’s son Vidar will leap to kill the wolf. Surt will fling fire in every direction and the nine worlds will burn, killing all friends and foes. The earth will sink into the sea. After the doomsday, a new and idyllic world will arise from the sea and abundant with supplies. Some of the Gods will survive will others will be reborn. Wickedness and misery will be non-existent and Gods with men will live happily together. Two humans, Lif and Lifhrasir will survive by hiding in the wood Hoddmimis holt and will repopulate the Earth. The personified sun, Sol will have a daughter at least as beautiful as she and this daughter will follow the same path as her mother. ” This cosmic event is attested in the 13th century “Poetic Edda” from early traditional sources, and the “Prose Edda” written also in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. There are several archaeological objects that depict events from Ragnarok. These are (1) Thorwald’s Cross: a partially surviving rune stone erected on the Isle of Man, depicting a bearded human holding a spear down at a wolf, his right foot in its mouth, while a large bird sits at his shoulder. This dates between 940-1000 C.E. Its believed to depict Odin, with a raven or eagle at his shoulder, being consumed by Fenrir at Ragnarok. There is also a depiction of a large cross and another image parallel to it that some state is Christ triumphing over Satan. (2) Gosforth Cross: mid 11th century, from Cumbria, England that parallel’s Thorwald’s Cross combining Norse Pagan and Christian symbolism in a similar manner apparently combining scenes from Christian Judgement Day and the Pagan Ragnarok. (3) The Ledberg Stone. 11th century C.E. from Sweden and is similar to Thorwald’s Cross featuring a figure with his foot at the mouth of a four-legged beast, perhaps of Odin being devoured by Fenrir at Ragnarok. (4) The Skarpaker Ston. 11th c. C.E. from Sweden – father grieving his dead son used the same verse as in the Poetic Edda in the engraving translating to “Earth shall be riven and the over-heaven”.
Some correlations have been made between Ragnarok and the 9th century Old High German epic poem Muspilli about the Christian Last Judgement that states the world is to be consumed in flames. Other comparisons between Ragnarok and other Indo-European peoples depict a later evolution of a Proto Indo-European belief about a cosmic winter motif between the Norse Fimbulwinter, the Iranian Bundahishn, and Yima. Vidarr’s stride compared to Vishnu’s with a special shoe to tear apart the beastly wolf. Larger patterns drawn between final battle events in Indo-European cultures including the occurrence of a blind or semi-blind figure in the themes. Other theories about the volcanic events after the death of the Gods – the sun turning black, steam rising, flames touching the heavens – may be inspired by the volcanic eruptions on Iceland. Records of eruptions on Iceland bear strong similarities to the sequence of events described in Voluspa, especially the eruption at Laki that occurred in 1783.
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