Mael Brigde has been dedicated to Brigit as both Goddess and Saint for over 20 years since starting a flame keeper devotional practice. A culmination of her research and devotion, this book is one part research, one part poetry. Are you on a quest to understand the links between the ancient Pagan Goddess and the modern Christian Saint and the differences between them? A Brigit of Ireland Devotional: Sun Among Stars, will shed some light.

This devotional provides equal weight to Pagan and Christian practices. There is no judgment of the reader’s choice of religious path. The author’s practice is undertaken in the liminal space between these religions. The two images of Brigit have become so intertwined that it is a difficult task to separate them but with research Brigde has been able to make compelling arguments about what can be attributed to the Goddess or to the Saint. Notably, at the end of the book, Brigde states that she left some poems unchanged although she no longer sees Brigit in this way. The poems were part of an earlier stage in her development. There’s a certain level of vulnerability in sharing work that no longer rings true. As many readers are likely to have been influenced by the same sources, it may help them connect with the author and her later research and change of mind. Spoiler alert, she no longer sees the Goddess and Saint as the same.

I read every poem aloud. Had I been reading a paper copy instead of an e-copy on my phone, I probably would have found the pronunciation guide at the end of the book first but instead I fumbled through but you shouldn’t! These poems are reflections on all aspects of the life and myths of Brigit. They are perfect as an offering at the altar.

The expectation is that the reader has some prior knowledge. If not, those willing to follow the footnotes will benefit from the added information.

Recommended for the curious and devoted alike.

~review by Larissa Carlson
Author: Mael Brigde
Moon Books, 2021
pp. 310, $ 22.95