Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies to hold event exploring “complex figure” of Brigit

Brigit of Ireland: An icon for today will explore the celebration of Brigit in Ireland

College’s Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies is to host an event exploring the celebration of Irish religious and cultural icon Brigit.

Brigit of Ireland: An icon for today, a collaboration with Woman Spirit Ireland, will be hosted tomorrow in the Edmund Burke lecture theatre, featuring guest speakers, panel discussions, poetry, music, and aims to tackle how best to celebrate the “complex figure” of Brigit.

Dr Mary Condren, organiser of the event, said in a Trinity press release, “inspired by her reputation for generosity, peace weaving, poetry, healing and love of nature, in recent years, many have turned to Brigit”.

Several sessions will be held featuring topics such as “Brigit and Kildare,” “Brigit’s Art and Material Artefacts,” “Recuperating Brigit,” and “Brigit in the National Folklore Collection”.

Condren continued: “Her traditions bridge the old divisions between pagans and Christians, saints and goddesses. Saint Brigit was born when her mother had one foot inside the house and the other inside.”

“Her cloak absorbs the dew of mercy, a common theme of many female divinities.  Her crios or girdle celebrates regeneration. Her cross, the Tree of Life, encompasses the four directions.”

The night will conclude with an optional ritual hosted by Woman Spirit Ireland focused on “alignment with our bodies, communities and the cosmos”.

St Brigid is the patroness saint of Ireland, and February 6 will mark a new public holiday to celebrate St Brigid’s Day on February 1. This is the first public holiday to celebrate a female figure in Ireland.

Speaking on the event, Condren added: “Reflecting on her symbols, Brigit offers the disenchanted and the disaffected opportunities to come together to reinvigorate their neart, (lifeforce) to work together and celebrate the possibility of a new Spring.”

“Brigit’s successors, her abbesses, were known as Those Who Turned Back the Streams of War. In this awful time of war, no better icon could inspire our efforts toward peace.”