Pilgrimage to Kildare: Chapter 1, In Dreams do Adventures Lie

May 20, 2022

 A few years back in the summer of 2018, I was living in a small town called Glastonbury. Glastonbury as you may already know is no ordinary town, because this is the land proclaimed by many to uphold great spiritual mysticism, healing energy and magic. Situated upon significant earth energy ‘ley lines’, Glastonbury is host to a whole array of ancient legends, ranging from the arrival of Christ, powerful goddesses and fairy lore. People from all over the world come to visit Glastonbury in search of its healing and spiritual practices, or simply to take home a crystal or two from it’s thriving commercial high street.
During my time here, I connected to the energy of a particularly well-known goddess called Bridie. It was said that in pagan times, Bridie, ‘the white goddess’, presided over the British Isles. But aside from her goddess origins, there also existed a Saint bearing the same name. It is still a mystery to me quite how the two correlate, but somewhere along the way, goddess Bridie had become known as the Christian Saint Brigid from the little Irish town of Kildare.
Non-the-less, St Brigid (or Bridie) is known as the patron saint of protection, childbirth, black smiths and the bards. Bridie’s energy is said to be very prevalent in Glastonbury, especially in the old industrial quarters over-looking the Tor. There you will find an unassuming hill called ‘Brides mound’, where her Christian chapel once stood and it was here at the foot of the hill where I set up my home.

When I moved to London three years ago, I was delighted to find that I was living only a stones throw away from ‘St Brides’ CoE church on Fleet St.
During one visit in May of 2021, I was chatting to the Verger Robin, hoping to find out more about the history of the church and the origins of this goddess and Christian Saint. I was fascinated that St Brides was known as the journalists church, especially since Bridie was the goddess of the Bards who where the wandering storytellers, or ‘journalists’ of those ancient times. The church had been discussing for some time, ways to bring in the cultural traditions of the Irish patronage of St Brigid, and idea they had was in the introduction the St Brigids Cross (a popular symbol used in Ireland but mostly missing from the practice in England).

Robin said that an Irish visitor had once promised to send the church a St Brigids cross specifically made with Irish reed but it had never arrived. I agreed with Robin that a ‘St Brides church’ should indeed have a St Brigids cross and promised that if I ever had the chance to ask someone from Ireland to send over a cross, I would do so.
A month later I was staying with my dear friend Ali, when one morning I awoke to a very good idea! That I would travel to Kildare, harvest the reed, assemble the cross and bring it back safely to St Brides church. Three weeks later, I packed a rucksack and headed off for the Emerald Isle.   

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