"Tending Brigid's Flame" by Lunaea Weatherstone is a well-written and very comprehensive guide to Brigid, the ancient Celtic Goddess of metal-working, poetry, healing, and so much more.
I enjoyed this book on many different levels and thought that the author, a priestess and flamekeeper dedicated to Brigid, demonstrated a deep soul connection to the Goddess that was both touching and inspiring.
I also very much appreciated the scope of the book which includes historical research (including many lightly Christianized Brigid myths and stories), suggestions for modern practice, the personal and compelling experience of the author (and the 19 followers of Brigid who contributed to the book), and specific Goddess centered activities and crafts.
Because the author has such a close personal relationship to Brigid, I believe that she is particularly well-suited to helping us make a similar connection both immediately through the text and in an ongoing way - through craftwork, flamekeeping, establishing a Goddess centered practice, and by the dedication of sacred space in our own homes and heart.
On a personal level, I found many of the spiritual practices shared in the book appealing and the personal accounts quite moving. Many of the crafts featured (and pictured), such as Brigid's cross or sun wheel, and Goddess rosaries / prayer beads, are activities I definitely want to try!
While I loved the way the author helped me reaffirm my personal connection with Brigid, however, what I liked most about "Tending Brigid's Flame" is the picture it painted of the Goddess herself.
Brigid is a very ancient Goddess, in continuous veneration - either as Goddess or saint - since prehistoric times. Her functions are many, including (but not limited to) Goddess of the Sun, spirit of the sacred well, keeper of the sacred flame, keeper of the cauldron, Goddess of the forge, Goddess of divination and prophecy, Goddess of healing, Goddess of battle, poetry, craftwork, inspiration, and the coming Spring.
Capturing and making sense of all of that could be overwhelming but Weatherstone has done it very well.
Not only are the many attributes of the Goddess presented - they are explored in a clear and in depth way. We are reminded, for example, that when we think of Brigid as a Goddess of poetry we should keep in mind that poetry wasn't only verse and sentiment to the ancient Celts - it was the entire story of their people. Insights such as this allow us to connect with the modern Brigid, not only a Goddess of poetry and creativity, but as a Goddess of scholarship, learning, and wisdom as well.
The Goddess Brigid is a very complex deity. In reading "Tending Brigid's Flame" I have gained a better understanding of that complexity and established a deeper and more resonant relationship with the warm and welcoming Goddess who has been so many things to so many different people - in so many different times.
Please note that I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. Please also note that I will be buying two print copies - one for myself and one for a gift :)