Today is 'F' Though the name I pick is known by a more popular name. It is Ffraid, better known as Bridget (Sant y Brid) of Irish fame and of course keeper of the everlasting flame. Her dates are c.450-c.525. She founded the first abbey of nuns at Kildare in Ireland. But in Wales she was known as Ffraid Santes, also interestingly, Bride's Bay that encircles so much of the coast line I love in Pembrokeshire, is named because of the links between Ireland and Wales.
Breverton say of Ffraid that probably because of the large dedications to this saint in Wales is because she replaced the Celtic Goddess of fire at earlier times. Therefore the legend (or truth) of the perpetual fire at Kildare was kept burning for a thousand years may have some significance. It is said (a lovely turn of phrase) that Brighde, is the Celtic mother-goddess. She is invoked at the pagan festival of Imbolc on the 1st February at lambing time.
The fire-festival was called Brigantia, a tribe Up North was also called Brigantes and probably covered the same area as Yorkshire, though on reading the etymology on the name, it could have had a different meaning.
The story goes that whilst talking to a dying pagan, she took the rushes from on his floor and wove a cross, these Saint Bridget crosses we still have today. They protect the home from evil and want.
I have been listening to 'Witch' on BBC Sounds, a modern discussion of how today's witches live in our society. No, no witchy hats or sexual cavorting round fires, they operate just as ordinary females. Perhaps their role as midwives and healers did become the focus of misogyny and then the dreadful purge of supposed evil witchery. I notice Professor Ronald Hutton has written a book on the subject, and it is on Audible. So I shall listen to it, it is long, he is a very erudite writer.
I am at the moment listening to Wendell Berry, I always think of him as an American pioneer, he is an environmentalist, writer and poet and also a farmer. The book is called 'A Place on Earth'. So often quoted the following......................