The Holy Well of St. Brigid is in Kildare, Ireland. This well and gardens are dedicated to the Goddess and now Saint Brigid, an expert in poetry, divination and smith’s craft. She is celebrated on the Celtic holiday of Imbolc.
Holy wells throughout the Celtic world are dedicated to different goddesses and saints, many of whose waters are thought to be curative of various ailments. Around the Holy wells you will often see votive offerings like prayer beads, charms, tokens, ribbons and food to honor and offer prayers, devotion and intercessions, all relayed by the millions of pilgrimages whom visit these sacred place. These Holy wells offer life giving hope, renewed healing properties and a spiritual connection to our deities and nature.
Kildare’s historic plains covers almost 5,000 acres and are known as St. Brigid’s Pastures. In the year 470, Brigid founded an abbey at Kildare and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality. She is legendary, extravagant and many miracles are attributed to her.
An Irish Gaelic word, Imbolc pronounced im-molk, literally means “in milk” or “in the belly”. It is a time for honoring creativity, fertility and receptive, feminine energy. It occurs when daylight begins to lengthen as we approach the Spring Equinox. It is apart of the Wheel of Life where ancient connections mix Irish spirituality with Celtic pagan traditions and Christianity. It is also a time we celebrate love and patience. Celebrated all over the world in different cultures.
Sacred wells were always places of pilgrimage to the Celts. They would dip a clootie (piece of rag) in the well, wash their wound and then tie the clootie to a tree. generally a Whitethorn or Ash tree, as an offering to the spirit of the well. It seems only natural that these traditions would be carried forward into modern times in the form of Saint Brigid. Today’s pilgrimages to holy wells usually take place on the Saints feast day or Pattern or Patron days.
Although now a small well maintained park, the site still has a aura of ancient energy, a very spiritual place. The well is fed by a spring that then flows underground before appearing again under a stone archway. The stones below the archway are known as St Brigid’s slippers. The stream then flows passed a modern bronze statue of St. Brigid.