New Art ~ Brigid’s Fire: The Offering

Brigid's Fire by JPC

Here She is, the image I’ve been living and breathing for the last ten days. I didn’t have any plans to paint a new image of Brigid — in fact, I had no plans to paint at all. My focus this year is writing (it’s my word of the year too).  So imagine my surprise when I woke up in the middle of the night last week, seized with the idea of painting a portrait of Brigid as an offering to Her in time for Her holy-day of Candlemas / Imbolc  on February 1st.

I cleared my calendar, cancelled quite a few projects and appointments, and got to work. It was in turn exhilarating and exhausting.

But She’s here, and I am thrilled with the way the painting turned out.

And I imagine Brigid accepting my offering with a slow smile and a twinkle in Her eye.

Brigid's face by JPC

Brigid (or Brighid, or Brigit, or Bride) is the Great Mother of the Celts, the triple Goddess of Smithcraft, Healing, and Inspiration. Reverence for her has continued unbroken throughout the centuries, just as it has for Kwan Yin and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Beloved as St. Brigid, her sacred flame was kept alight by her women for over a thousand years, but was extinguished during the Reformation. It was relit in the 1970s and has been burning ever since, kept alive by the Brigadine Sisters of Kildare.

At holy wells dedicated to her, pilgrims often tie prayer cloths (or “clooties”) to branches of overhanging trees to symbolize their prayers and offerings.


She is sometimes called the White Swan. Swans are a herald of winter, and when they leave around February 1st (Brigid’s feast day), it’s a sign that spring is on its way.


In this image, we see Brigid offering us her sacred fire —

  • The fire of creativity that brings forth poetry, music, and art;
  • The fire in the head that is the hallmark of shamans, seers, and bards;
  • The fire of the forge, that symbolizes transformation;
  • The fire of healing in the hands;
  • The fire of medicinal and magical herbs;
  • The fire of the sun emerging from its winter slumber;
  • The fire at the center of the earth waking up once more to Spring.


Will you accept Brigid’s offering?

And in return, what will you offer Her?

22 thoughts on “New Art ~ Brigid’s Fire: The Offering

  1. Joanna, she is beyond beautiful! Thank you for sharing your gifts, and lighting up our lives with your visionary art. Brigid’s fire turned out divinely.

  2. Joanna – As a relative newcomer to the Goddess path, I have learned so much from your art and writings. I found myself being drawn toward Brigid, and after seeing this magical work, which is truly from your heart and soul, I feel she is gazing directly at me and inviting me to explore further, and I will trust her guidance. And now the beautiful swans in the Skagit Valley have so much more meaning for me! Many, many blessings to you for this offering from your spirit!

  3. Joanna –
    Wah! Love this.

    My connection to Brigid is her help in the crossroads. And that she seems to serve the energy of Imbolc, that “in the womb” time when things are germinating in the ground, but we don’t see the evidence yet. (LOVE that energy)

    And she’s given me some poetry in a confused area of my life. I’m close to my father, and it was weird that he’s completely disconnected from this kind of consciousness, a metalworking engineer. So here’s this goddess of metalworking! What? Just seems to tie up some loose ends more me.

    love and hugs,

    1. Oh Christina, how I love hearing this. Especially the part about your dad and metalworking! Cosmic giggles . . .

  4. This is beautiful from the first moment I saw this and every time I see it. I have been learning about her and found this work in a previous circle sanctuary magazine.

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