Ancient history


Celtic mythology has the particularity of having only one divine feminine principle. Known under the names of Brigit, Brigantia, she is, schematically, at the same time the mother, the wife, the sister and the daughter of the other gods. Her name is found in different spellings, and she manifests herself in the form of countless avatars.

The Great Goddess

Brigit/Brigantia is often compared to the Minerva of the Romans, with whom she shares a number of functions. She is the mother goddess, she reigns over the arts, war, magic and medicine. She is the patron saint of druids, bards (poets), vates (divination and medicine) and blacksmiths.

In Ireland, Brigit is the daughter of Dagda, she is also the mother, wife and sister of Lug, Dagda, Ogme, Nuada, Diancecht and Mac Oc, the gods of the Tuatha Dé Danann. It is associated with the feast of Imbolc, the purification of February 1, supposed to protect the herds and promote fertility. The importance of her cult among the Celts led Christian evangelizers to replace her with a saint whose eponym she became, Saint Bridget.

Brigantia is found in particular in the names of the peoples of Brigantes (current territories of Yorkshire and Northumberland) and Brigantii (near Lake Constance), whose capital Brigantion (Bregenz) is of the same origin; the same for Briançon. In Gaul, his Epona avatar gives him an obvious psychopomp role.


The theonyms Brigit and Brigantia derive from the ancient Celtic (some say proto-Celtic) "brigantija" or "brigantis" which means "very high", "very high". The origin is the word "Briga" (height, fortress) which, used as a prefix, gave many toponyms both in the island space, in Gaul and in the Iberian Peninsula. It is also present in the composition of the name of certain peoples (Brigantes, for example).

This meaning confirms the primary role of this goddess.

The different spellings

* Armorican Brittany:Brigantis.
* Scotland:Brid, Bride.
* Gaul:Berecyntia, Brig, Brigandu, Brigantia.
* Ireland:Brig, Brigid, Brigh, Brighit.
* Wales:Brigid.
* Switzerland:Brigindo.

Main Avatars

In mythical literature and in toponymy, various important deities are its emanations:

* Dana (Danu, Ana, Anu, Dôn in Wales)
* Belisama
* Boand (Boann)
* Damona
* Épona
* Étaín
* Eithne
* Morrigan
* Rhiannon (Rigantona)
* Rosemerta

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