Brigantia and Her constellation Drago
In this article, by Goddess Conference ceremonialist Ali Harrison, we explore the great Celtic Goddess Brigantia from the perspective of Her modern day priestesses of the North, where She inspires our healthy relationships with the land, others and ourselves.
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Star Queen Goddess Brigantia and Her great Dragon constellation Drago, ignites our talent:
“Brigantia of the North
Protectress of all life
Take us on your spiral journey.
Into these lands your living body
Lead us to the Source.”
Before the Romans invaded Britain the “Celtic ” pan- European tribes of the Brigantes lived under the Protection of the Great Goddess of all life: Brigantia, ‘the High One, the Exhalted one, the Shining one.’
Little is known of Her myths or practices but she speaks to us through time and space, held within the place names of the land that is Her living body.
As we journey with Brigantia we feel Her living presence beneath our feet and within our bodies. She inspires us to sing, to walk in silence, to connect to Her ancient cycles and multitude of forms as the elemental forces of nature, of moon and sun and stars.
Distinct from, but of the same root as Bride, Brigit, Brig, Her ancient sovereignty has never been conquered. Her stories may be lost and her myths overlaid but Her wild exuberance and deep spirit can be felt as we open to intimacy with the elements, the cycles of life, the shifting of the seasons. She is all of them and more than any of them – we know that in all of our diversity we are all part of Her manifestation.
Her worship is to follow Her ever-changing faces through the cycles of the year. Her many faces are revealed to us as we travel the soul journey of our life span. She is World Soul.
Wandering in Her high hills, scaling the peaks and crags we meet her as the old wise one of winter, the stone crone into whose deep embrace our ancestors lovingly placed bone bundles of loved ones who have passed through the veil.
In her maidenhood we feel Her energy re -emerging, as source from natural springs, sunlight dancing on snow melted water, and in her fullness as Mother of Nature we open to Her wild abundance – she nurtures, provides for, and protects all forms of life in balance.
To follow and revere Her is to come to a deep respect for the life force and all its manifestations. To regard everything as ensouled, and respect all creatures in each realm of existence, as holy and part of the whole that makes up Her body and Her Spirit. Her paths lead both inwards towards self-knowledge and outwards to loving action and preservation in the world.
Brigantia’s constellation is Draco, dragon serpent, spanning the sky in great coils of stars.
Her snake is the symbol of the ancient Goddess Herself, and Her dragon protects the gold and the jewels of the heart.
The hero’s journey is to hear the call of the soul to adventure, to overcome adversity and bring back the treasure.
The Goddess Brigantia is both the journey and the reward. She holds Her people: animal, vegetable and mineral in love and protection.
Draco, Her great Dragon constellation, holds the boundary, fiercely guarding what we hold as emotionally and spiritually precious.
The Brigantes were an oral culture, and it was not until the Roman Invasion that Her name was recorded. The Romans overlaid Her with their own Goddess Athena Minerva. The only inscribed statue of Her, commissioned by a Roman soldier depicts Her holding the symbols of victory, a helmet, spear, an orb with the gorgons head of protection (the shield of Athena) between her breasts.
They made Brigantia the consort of Jupiter Dolichensus and gave Her the title Divine Brigantia Celestice (Heavenly Celestial, queen of heaven).
History recorded by the victor rarely holds true to the original meanings the invaded culture held, and very little of Brigantia’s original power or worship as a Deity has been preserved.
Yet, as She re-emerges in this time as the Star Queen Goddess Brigantia, speaking to us of preservation of Nature, loving protection of heart and family, and the holding of boundaries, Her significance, wisdom journey and medicine of love are once more followed, listened to and sought out by the people of Her land.
May She guide us and inspire us, igniting the talent within us to remember Her ways of sovereignty, humility and passionate kindness.
We look forward to exploring our relationship to Brigantia more in the Tribal Star Queen Goddess Conference. Please join us, and find all online programme information so far, on our website http://goddessconference.com
art image by dashinvaine