Tuesday, February 01, 2011

St. Brigid's Well

February 1 is St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc - the Irish festival marking the beginning of Spring.  The other Irish festivals that follow the seasons are - Beltane (May 1), Lughnasadh (Aug. 1) and Samhain (Nov 1.) On these days, the ancient Irish believed that the water of the "otherworld" entered our world through the holy wells, scattered throughout Ireland, and gave us divine inspiration. Many believe that this still happens today. I think that it must for Goddess Knits. The pictures are of her divinely inspired shawls - awesome, ethereal offerings, touched by spirits from another world.

Alice Starmore, another amazing artist, must have received some missive from the Otherworld before she created the beautiful cabled sweater entitled Brigid's Well. It has been knit many times by many people around the world. Here is the magical Brigid's Well. The book had just recently been re-published!

For those who wish to experience this magic first hand, there are apparently more than 3,000 sacred wells in Ireland.  Not only do people believe that you receive inspiration in these holy places, but, they also believe that you may be able to communicate with the souls of the Otherworld. This is especially true on Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is very thin and spirits may be seen in scared places. Here is a link to the holy wells of Ireland.

I love days like Imbolc or the feast of St Brigid, however it was derived. It reminds me that there is this "otherworldliness," that so many artists seem to be connected to. (to which so many artists seem to be connected). I really do believe that there are times when we somehow feel that we have experienced another world. It's Deja Vu or "someone just walked on my grave" or you know the feeling.

And there are places in this world where this belief is firmly ensconced. Ireland is one. Newfoundland is another. Maybe it's just where the celts are. I love the way they have preserved the magic.  So often, we need an escape and they have kept the faith and provided us with one!
Brigid's Well by Alice Starmore

Happy St. Brigid's Day!

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