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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight: Kelley Heckart

Brigit/Brigid, An Enduring Goddess

Gods and goddesses make appearances in most of my stories usually interfering in human lives and causing trouble. In the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy, Beltaine’s Song, the goddess Brigit plays an important part.

Brigit is a Celtic sun goddess and a member of the Tuatha de Danaan. In some Irish tales she is the daughter of the Dagda (leader of the De’Danaans). Her associations with metalworking (fire) and light are appropriate for rituals welcoming back the sun, healing and inspiration. To the ancient Celts, she was a triple-aspect goddess of poetry, smith-craft and medicine. In pre-Celtic beliefs, she represents the Maiden—new beginnings. In her earliest incarnation, she was called Breo-Saighit (Fiery Arrow). She is known in Ireland, Scotland and Britain with variations of her name: Brigid, Bride, Brigantia. There are many stories about her as she is an enduring goddess and is still worshiped today as St. Brigit (Brigid). Her festival is held on Imbolc (Feb. 1st).

Brigit makes her first appearance in my story in Beltaine’s Song. In my trilogy I drew on a myth about two goddesses, one that rules from Beltaine (May 1st) to Samhain (Nov. 1st) and one that rules from Samhain to Beltaine. As a Sun goddess, Brigit ruled the lighter half of the year. In Beltaine’s Song there is a theme about spring—while spring is a joyful time of rebirth, it is also a time when the clans battled so there is also a darkness that comes with spring. Brigit is the center of all of this. Below I have posted an excerpt from Beltaine’s Song. Only Gartnait, Aedan’s son, can see her.

Blurb: For some, spring’s song is the sound of a harsh battle horn, for others, new love, for all—certain danger.
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She watched the sun win the battle, breaking through the fog, sending it crawling back out to sea. The sun greeted them and showered them with warmth. Cheerful birdsong filled the sun-kissed day. “You should be wary of everyone, even your closest friends and even blood relations. A king must never let his guard down.”
Gartnait smiled at her, his innocent grin filling her heart with joy. “Why do you know so much about kings?”
“I have seen many kings rise and fall with the seasons.” Her eyes filled with a wistful light. “Many of them were great kings until their weakness overpowered them.” When she first awakened from her deep sleep, she remembered nothing and slowly parts of the past would come back to her, but she could not remember her own past, only muddled images making no sense to her.
“Do you think that will happen to me?” He looked at her, his black hair falling across his forehead wild and carefree.
“It is unfortunate that eventually all must fall. Everyone has a weakness.” She wondered what weakness would make him fall.
“Oh. Being king does not sound so grand.” He looked off in the distance. “Columcille told me that if I always follow the Christian god, I would never fail.”
The colorful world returned, their secret world gone, leaving them exposed to unwanted eyes and now the boy would be seen talking to himself. She turned solemn eyes toward the church and huts. Monks and students went about their morning chores, clanging bells resounding into the air. A feeling of relief filled her when she failed to see Fingal's telltale red hair among them. “This Columcille, how does he know this?”
Gartnait shrugged. “Some say he is touched by the Lord and can see the future at the Lord's will.”
“Even those who can see the future cannot be certain that the future they see will not change. One small ripple can change the future.” She gazed at him, realizing how her advice put a solemn look on his face. “Do not look so grave. I think you will be a great king someday.”
“Can you see the future?”
“No. I feel it in here.” She placed her hand over her heart. Their eyes locked and she knew she could not let any harm come to this boy, but would she have a choice? She had a thought, recalling her own revelation about changing the future. “But I would like you to reflect on this. Do you think it wise to follow a foreign god and risk angering the gods of the land?”
Brigit jumped up, startled.
“It is only Lugaid, and he cannot see you.”
“Still, I think it is time for me to leave you.”
“I look forward to our next meeting.”
Lugaid strolled over to the boy. “Have ye finished yer chores yet?” His stern voice rocked the silence of the morning like the clanging bells.
“No, I was on my way to finish them now.” Gartnait glanced back at her, smiling with mischief.
His smile tugged at her heart. He would break many female hearts in a few years. She knew that to keep him safe she had to leave him before Fingal discovered Gartnait could see her. Brigit’s heart could not lie. Gartnait had to be safe and a new fear arose that she might even harm him if the voices inside her head overpowered her with her sister's powerful influence. With few places to hide, the island couldn't keep their secret for long. Fingal would be upset that they had to leave the island, but he would not fight her command. “Farewell, Gartnait,” she whispered, her heart already stinging from the pain of loss.

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

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