Brigid as Serpent Goddess by Kate Fitzpatrick
As we go deeper with Kate Fitzpatrick’s writings on “Cosmic Brigid” we explore Kate’s experience of a vision quest that led to her work with the Serpent power in the energy fields of Ireland. Because I knew very little about the symbolism of the serpent or of Brigid’s relationship with it, I began with Google. There I found that serpents and snakes are associated with fertility and rebirth, representing a “creative life force”. Snakes slough off their old skins, allowing a new skin to emerge from underneath. This is seen as a kind of rebirth, symbolic of transformation, healing, renewal and even immortality.
But what of Brigid and serpents or snakes? Google responded with an article written by Feminist Thealogian Carol P. Christ on the symbols of Imbolc.
Here is an excerpt: Imbloc marked the day that cows and ewes give birth and begin to produce milk. It was also said to be the day when hibernating snakes (like groundhogs) first come out of their holes…. a sure sign that the processes of transformation will continue and warmer days will not be far off. As Marija Gimbutas says,“The awakening of the snakes meant the awakening of all of nature, the beginning of the life of the new year.”
St. Brigid’s male counterpart, St. Patrick, was said to have driven all of the snakes out of Ireland. This legend reiterates the Biblical association of snakes with evil and temptation. In Old Europe snakes were symbols of life and regeneration….In driving snakes out of Ireland, St. Patrick… was re-enacting the myth of slaying of the Goddess.
Seeking images, I found Jo Jayson’s painting of Brigid with its stylized snake formed from Brigid’s braided hair:
With this background, let us begin our journey down, down, down to where the treasures are in Kate Fitzpatick’s “Brigid as Serpent Goddess”:
Since 2000 there have been great changes happening in spiritual light and the Feminine. The patterns of cosmic energy began to shift in 1987 in what became known as ‘Harmonic Convergence’ (2). What this entailed was an increase in the vibration of the earth’s energy system. Along with this shifting of frequency, portals were opening and greater spiritual light was coming into the earth’s field.
Many people were tracking these changes and it was said that the new millenium of 2000 would be a portal also. Each four years after that – 2004, 2008 and right up to 2012 – would see another major shift in the measurable hertz (that is – in the earth’s vibration rate) and corresponding portal of energy opening.
In 1999 I did a vision quest in Co Antrim, N. Ireland, and and as a result of this was shown to work with the power of ‘Serpent’ in the energy fields of Ireland. As I opened my heart and mind to find out what this meant I began in earnest doing shamanic journeys to follow this vision and carry out the work asked of me.
In March 2000 I decided to lead a workshop in November in Co Meath called ‘The Power of Serpent Rising’ . I felt the first resistance to the work on St Patrick’s day as the old saint’s spirit lashed out against the possibility of snakes being awakened again in Ireland. This work with Serpent was very powerful. In preparation for the workshop I found I had to sit in silence for long periods of time and hold absolute stillness and breathe very consciously. In this practice I felt the power of Serpent energy in my body as a vital force. She brought her gifts of healing, transformation and a sense of balance of all opposites.
In November 2000 four women and myself spent 5 days in Co Meath to do the workshop to awaken Serpent power and call her back to Ireland. At a birthing ceremony at Loughcrew, we experienced an awakening of the Serpent energy from the deep earth beneath us. In our myth, she poured out of the Stone Cairn and onto the rich green lands of Meath that surrounded us. On the final day we went to Tara – with the intention of grounding the energy of Serpent in the land as an act of sovereignity to the Feminine spirit and we sent the power of Serpent out to the four corners of Ireland.
I hear the horses of the Tuatha Dé Danann thunder into Tara to witness the power of Serpent joining herself with the ancestors of this land. To Brigid in particular, she who was once known as Serpent Mother. I am knowing an ancient union has taken place that the Old ones have longed for. That Serpent would return from the depths of the Earth into the heart of this land and unite with the people of the Sidhe from whom she has been long separated.
Kate Fitzpatrick is the author of Macha’s Twins, A Spiritual Journey with the Celtic Horse Goddess. She is currently writing a book about her experiences of shamanic work with the evolving roles of Brigid saint and Goddess.
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
(next week: Cosmic Brigid Encore: Part Three “A Higher Light of Brigid”)