Imbolc: Goddess Brighid & the Festival of Blood

Excerpt- “As we celebrate Imbolc, let us recognize and celebrate the Shakti power within ourselves that is the gift of the Goddess. Let us look on the flaming red hair of the Goddess Brighid and recognize the power of our own sexuality and celebrate the blood flowing from the burning flame of magic within us!”

Earth Mother Goddess by Katherine Skaggs
Earth Mother Goddess by Katherine Skaggs

Hi everyone!

In two days, on February 2nd, we will be celebrating Imbolc, the yearly festival of Goddess Brighid.  It is said that originally Imbolc was a Gaelic festival, celebrated in Ireland and Scotland, to celebrate the beginning of Spring.  Imbolc celebrations are still  held by some pagan communities and sometimes are scheduled on 1 February, especially in the northern hemisphere. This is done to observe the astronomical midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

The Goddess Brighid was the bright red-haired Celtic goddess associated with Imbolc, because she is the Goddess of fire and the arrival of early spring in Celtic mythology. In actuality, she is the triple Goddess of Healing & Divine Inspiration, Sword Making and Motherhood. She is a fiery hearth Goddess whose sacred flame burns within us, as well as in fireplaces and many ancient temples and churches. 

 Imbolc rituals were performed to harness divine energy that would ensure a steady supply of food until the harvest six months later. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the sun over the coming months.

But why Goddess Brighid?

Maiden of the Seas-Passion by Katherine Skaggs
Maiden of the Seas-Passion by Katherine Skaggs

The name Imbolc is named after an Irish word originally thought to mean “in the belly” – although it can also be translated as “ewe’s milk”.  Imbolc and the Goddess Brighid is the remnant of a much older Goddess celebration that took place in Ancient Africa and South Asia.  The Dravidians are reported to be the oldest civilization known to man. And guess what?  They worshipped a Goddess named Mariamma, who is the Goddess of rain and healing.  She has a red hued face, with many arms in which she held a trident among other things, like Poseidon did many decades later, as King of the Sea. Being that She was the Goddess of rain, she was originally the Blood Goddess, whose fertile power flowed down upon the Earth God, birthing all of creation. She is known by many names Yemaya, Hathor, Mana, Uli, Nut, Asherah and Inanna. In the Celtic isles She was named Brighid.

In the ancient times of the Tamil Dravidians, menstrual blood was called Ananku. Ananku was believed to be the actual divine power of the Goddess in physical matter, that was connected to a woman’s sexuality, reproduction power and menstrual blood. It was, in short, liquid magic!

The blood of a woman signified that at that time she was a Goddess.   And the blood was believed to have curative powers, which we now know it does! It has a high amount of stem cells which have been harvested to aid in healing spinal cord injuries and cancer. 

In my personal observation it has strong curative powers for plant energy. I have a tree in my front yard that blooms beautiful flowers, that one season became sick. I tried everything to no avail. Finally, one day, I gave her some of my menstrual blood.  I had read about the stem cells in the blood and thought it could not hurt, more like instinct actually. I remember placing a small amount on my finger and pushing it into the womb of Earth at the root of my little tree. The Earth sucked greedily at my finger with it’s cool mouth and a couple of weeks later my tree bloomed beautiful pink flowers on her branches! It was amazing what just a little love and menstrual blood can do!

Every Goddess has a distinct description of how she looks. I have met the Goddess Brighid and she does ,in fact, have flaming red hair. Like the red faced Mari, the blood red hair of Goddess Brighid represents not fire, but the Ananku power which is Holy Fire energy of the Goddess.  Now I see a deeper significance of Brighid’s hair, now that I know that it symbolizes the blood of woman and her Ananku power.  This enormous power that flows in the womb of womankind has tried to be bridled, destroyed or controlled by mankind for centuries. In fact, the Dravidians later began secluding the woman during this time and the time after birth to keep her from using her Goddess power in a negative way. It was their belief that she would prove to be unable to control her Divine energy and they did not want her to create pain or chaos. 

This is where the fear of Witches came from, and in ancient Egypt red-headed children became victims of infantcide. Apparently, it was believed that they were born with so much Goddess power they had to be destroyed! In the Bible, King David was described as ruddy with red hair, which signified his Goddess or Holy Spirit power.  However, like King Saul who saw David’s anointing and sought to destroy him,  mankind is in awe of the divine power of the Goddess and at the same time terrified!   Sadly, in many parts of the world they slice off the woman’s seat of power, by clitoral or labia mutilation, in an attempt to destroy her Ananku or Shakti power as they say in India. So sad tmany nations do something so heinous in tradition, completely ignorant that it’s very act is treason against the origination of their own original faith!

Child of Fire, Creative Spark by Katherine Skaggs
Child of Fire, Creative Spark by Katherine Skaggs

Festival of Blood

Now, with a wiser insight let us look again at the meaning of the words Imbolc, “in the belly” and “ewe’s milk” all represent the flowing menstrual blood of the female essence of Goddess, which like the flowing milk from the breasts of Goddess Hathor, is the sustenance of the Earth and all creation.  During the time of the Dravidian menses celebrations women were honored as both men and women sought to connect to the Goddess. 

In ancient times and in some places still today, the original Brighid, Mariamma or Mari, is celebrated at the end of January in a ritual called Uccaral. This is a celebration of the menstrual blood, or divine rain, over the earth to ensure crops will be fertile during the coming Spring!  At the beginning of this season, the uccaral was observed, representing the menstruation and seclusion of the Goddess. For three days, nothing connected with agriculture took place and she was not to be disturbed.

Granaries were closed, paddy was not sold and debts were forgiven. This allowed for her womb to get ready for labor and delivery. Just as the child becomes still in the mothers womb before birth, women and men enjoyed the world’s first Sabbath.  On the fourth day, the lands were reclaimed by the owners of the land. The red earth in the hot, dry season lies unfertile waiting for the season of menstruation to rain nourishment upon her lover, with hungry mouth, until he is satiated.

In Hawaii, this energy is called Mana, which rains down upon the earth and flows within all of Creation.  In the Hopi tribe of Native Americans this living energy is the Butterfly Maiden or Star Woman. In ancient Egypt, she is personified by the Goddess Hathor, Nut, Tefnut and Isis. She is Yemaya or Nana Buruku in Yoruba and the Voodoo faith and is the celestial Mother of the heavens and earth. Her children are the fish of the sea and her husband is the Earth.  From his bones and her life giving tears come the first humans. 

Yemaya Mana, Queen of Heaven
Yemaya Mana, Queen of Heaven

In ancient Mesopotamia and Israel, she was Asherah/ Inanna. Even modern day Christians, with their deep seated belief in the Holy Spirit, who they believe lives in our hearts with divine power from Christ, accuse women of being witches unless they submit to the foolish confines of a religious tradition that has women rooted in fear and shame of their Divine Power. Are modern day women still living in Red Tents, as the world worships Mother Mari-ama, the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of Mana, the Great Mother, the Water of Heaven and Queen of Creation? Christians ignorantly celebrate her in worship, but do not understand her origination. Even Goddess Hathor was once called Meri-Amun.

The story of Jesus Christ, and the power within the blood He shed, was a symbol of the Ananku/Shakti mentrual blood power of the Divine Mother.  That is why when they pierced His side on the cross He bled both water and blood.  I mean, he even walked upon the lake of Asherah to show that He was Her divine Son.  Jesus is Horus-Ra, the son of Hathor, Yemaya, and Mari-ama; he is the son of the Goddess and he is the sacrificial lamb of Brighid’s keep.

That is why Imbolc for Christians is the pagan holiday that was reformed and renamed Candlemas – where candles are lit to remember the “purification of the Virgin Mary”.  Purification meaning cleansing from her post-partum menstrual blood, her most powerful time, after the birth of Jesus. So instead of celebrating her Goddess power of blood and creation they smoothed it over, shoved it under the rug, basically spiritually circumcised her vagina, by celebrating the purification of it. Clearly this shows their desire to completly eradicate any form of feminine power in the original faith. Looks like we are still hidden away in that red tent!

Divine Mother and Child by Katherine Skaggs
Divine Mother and Child by Katherine Skaggs

 Now is the time to come out! Let your the power in your blood flow freely as you celebrate Imbolc! Let Brighid, the goddess of creativity, inspire you to be creative and fertile with your own  imagination. Use this time wisely, to plan and act upon your purpose. Stand in courageous pursuit of your life mission!  Creating life on our own terms irregardless of our circumstances, we have the option every Imbolc to begin anew, blessed by the healing fertile providence of the Goddess Mother of All, for this is her season.  Take advantage of this time to actually begin that blog, start that catering business, or prepare to go back to school! Why allow your situation or circumstances to deny you of the power of your own Ananku, Goddess energy?

I feel doubly blessed this Imbolc as I am in my “moon time” and I am going to offer some of my Ananku energy to the Earth once again under my tree, in honor of the Goddess of Creation. And it is from this sacred Goddess energy that I have learned these ancient secrets and share them with you. We gather together in this moment as daughters of the Goddess as Her ferocious power of intuition, creation and destruction burn in our hearts like the fires of Imbolc! Be your powerful self! Speak your truth even if your voice trembles! Be heard!

As we celebrate Imbolc, let us recognize and celebrate the Shakti power within ourselves that is the gift of the Goddess. Let us look on the flaming red hair of the Goddess Brighid and recognize the power of our own sexuality and celebrate the blood flowing from the burning flame of magic within us!


Imbolc Blessings!

Luv, Ostara

Blog pics 147 



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wonderfully informative article and a thoroughly enjoyable read, Ostara. As the light grows and the earth quickens, we wish you a blessed and inspiring Imbolc.


    1. Thank you Holland & Flannery! I hope your celebrations were spectacular!


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