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St. Brigid's Cross

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The Story of St. Brigid's Cross

Brigid's Cross

St. Brigid was fascinated of St. Patrick's life and tried to bring Christianity to the many people she met and was once called to the deathbed of a dying man. The legend even speaks of her father in this context. She set about gathering the rushes from the floor of the room and made a cross, now called the St. Brigid's cross. With this cross she explained how Jesus died and rose again for all men and the dying man was converted before he passed away.

Brigid's Cross

As a reminder of the tradition of St. Brigid's cross, one girl named Brigid accompanied by a group of girls would carry crosses to the houses in their village. At each house she would be greeted with a blessing in Irish. There would then be an exchange of prayers and she would bestow the cross on the house. The cross would then be put into the rafters for the year. It is believed that the cross blessed the house and protected it from fire.
In fact it is used in many places, such as Irish graveyards.

Brigid's Cross

So far the christian aspect. Some would say, Brigid's Cross is a woven wheel of the year that marks the cycles of Nature and is sacred to the Goddesses.
This piece is a good example of how the Celts and other indigenous people found ways of keeping the Pagan beliefs of their ancestors alive, despite their forced conversion to christianity. It is to be seen as well in the typical celtic ornaments on Irish Crosses.

Create your own

February 1st is Imbolc, the Pagan Fire Festival dedicated to the Goddess Brigid. The worship of the Goddess has been preserved to this day in Christian Ireland, February 1st is celebrated as the Feast day of St. Brigid. Children still learn in school to weave the Brigid's Cross. It's easy to do, once you understand the scheme

Brigid's Cross 1

 

1.) A Brigid's Cross can easily be made from grasses or other plant materials. You need minimum 12 blades of reeds or straw, the kind you find in a tinkers-shop. Wet them for some hours, so they won´t break. Bend the first blade in the middle and press the two sides together (so do with all the others).

Brigid's Cross 2

 

 

2.) Take the second blade, bend it and lay it over the first (like a rider on horseback). The difficult thing is to fix everything with one hand and work on with the other, because you have to circle the whole thing around.

 

Brigid's Cross 3

 

 

3.) The third blade "rides" on the second, the fourth on the third.

 

 

Brigid's Cross 4

 

 

4.) The ends of the last one are to draw through the loop of the first. Now push the four blades together to the middle and stabilize them this way.

 

 

Brigid's Cross 5

 

Second turn:
Start again with one blade and lay it around one of the ends you already have (open end in same direction as before). Work on as before. The fourth blade is to fix with the first loop again. You can repeat this three or four times. Depends on how large the cross shall become.
You can fix the four ends with sewing-thread.
 
I wish you success and good prayers while creating the Brigid's Cross.

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