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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight: Jeanne Barrack

The Quiet Land of Erin

I've had a love affair with all things Irish since I was a teenager -- and believe me, that was long, long ago, veiled in the mists of time. I studied Gaelic. I hung out in Irish pubs. :-) I competed in fleadhanna cheoil (Irish music competitions) in the east coast and have over twenty gold medals for singing in Gaelic. I even honeymooned in Ireland. Half of my writing output is inspired by Irish history, culture and language. My first story set in Ireland was A Song of the Sidhe set during the ancient days in Ireland and inspired by an old Irish folk song.

To me, however, it's not St. Patrick who personifies Ireland, but Brigid, one of the most ancient goddesses.

When I wrote The Shimmering Flame, a story that mixes ancient Celtic myths with a mysterious race of super humans, there was no doubt in my mind who my heroine was going to be patterned after. I found an incredible amount of information on Brigid while doing research for The Shimmering Flame and its sequel, A Perfect Symmetry.

To explore the worlds I've created inspired by Brigid and the quiet land of Erin, please click on the book titles.

The Search for Brigid

As is often the case with the origins of gods and goddesses, there are many inconsistencies -- even the name Brigid can be spelled in a variety of ways. What isn't inconsistent is her power and goodness and how widespread her worship remains to this day.

Listed below is some of the information I gathered about her.

Triple Aspects
Goddess of Inspiration - poets, poetry, creativity, prophecy, arts
Goddess of Smithcraft - blacksmiths, goldsmiths, household crafts
Goddess of Healing - healers, medicine, spiritual healing, fertility (crops, land, cattle)

Fire - flames, candle crown, hearth
Water - cauldron, springs, wells
Grain - Brigid wheels, corn/oat sheaf Goddess effigy, Brigid's Bed
Creatures - white cow with red ears, wolf, snake, swan and vulture
Talismans - Shining Mirror to Otherworld, Spinning Wheel and Holy Grail

Name variations:
Brighid; Bride (Scotland), Brid, Brigit, Bridget, Briganta
(England), Brigan, Brigindo (Gaul), Berecyntia, Brigandu (France)

Some of the meanings of her Name: Bright One, High One, Bright Arrow, Power.

Irish Literature, Mythology, Folklore and Drama

This is without a doubt, the very best site for all things Celtic! Although some of the sites listed on it may be broken, most of them aren't and can lead you on a wonderful journey to this ancient land. Scroll down until you see Brigid's section on the lower right side of this page. This site is addictive.

1 comment:

booklover0226 said...

I am also amazed at the amount of research a writer does to write a book. It makes me appreciate both the author and the book even more.

Tracey D