Bidding Brigid: Objects of Petition and the Euhemerized Goddess

Darach Turley, Dublin City University, Ireland
At St. Brigid’s Holy Well in County Clare, Irish consumers deposit an array of objects and possessions that both reflect and shape religious and mythological beliefs. The well itself is situated at the back of a stone grotto. Shelves along the entrance are bedecked with a dizzying assortment of objects left by pilgrims: romantic religious artifacts such as rosaries, Italianate holy pictures and statuary together with an array of what appears to be tawdry everyday household bric a brac: pins, buttons, combs, biros, walking sticks, eyeglasses, rags, and scarves. Pilgrims leave these objects after traveling to the well to drink its waters on designated holy days, often leaving explanatory written messages along with them. This paper examines how the pagan-Christian syncretism of St. Brigid and Brigid, the Celtic goddess, is refracted through this array of possessions and messages.
[ to cite ]:
Darach Turley (2009) ,"Bidding Brigid: Objects of Petition and the Euhemerized Goddess", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 60-63.