This exquisite painting depicting the Goddess Brigid (Bride) is by Helena Nelson Reed. It is probably one of my favourite contemporary images of her, for it’s intensity and the detailed symbolism Helena has used.

The painting is titled after the folk etymology of her name(1), and features arrows rising from her brow. The image is like a mandala, with layer on layer of meaning. The longer you look at it the more you see. I like that land, sea and sky are all represented as well as sun, moon and stars. Some of the more Bride specific symbols depicted are snakes, flame/candles, swan(2), wand/staff, mantle and the reuil-iuil Bride. It includes colours often connected with her, white, blue, green and flames of gold to red(3).

I think what strikes me as most significant about this image is the sense of rising motion, of things growing and reaching up to the light. Helena has captured the very feeling of the reawakening of life in springtime.

If you would like to purchase a print of this image, or see more of Helena’s amazing artwork you can find her Etsy store here: Helena Nelson Reed. Thanks to Helena for giving me permission to feature her artwork here.

1. Breo Saighead “the fiery arrow” a folk etymology found in Sanas Cormaic, but considered very unlikely by etymologists. The generally accepted etymology is ‘Exalted One.’ Reference.
2. The swan as a symbol of Bride seems to be SPG but I will write about this in another post.
3. The colours associated with Bride are also largely SPG, except for white (and possibly gold) which is referenced in folklore.