Saturday, February 1, 2014

Brigid (6)

Brigid & The Oak Tree

As with many other peoples, certain trees and groves of trees were sacred to the Celts and treated with veneration. The Druids appear to have been specially concerned with the oak tree, and they are described by a Roman writer as being dressed in white while climbing the oak with golden sickles to cut mistletoe. They then sacrificed a white bull and held a feast. We may assume that a special tree was associated with many of the cult sites. The place-names and literature of the Celtic world contain much evidence about the use of single sacred trees and sacred groves as the focal points for ritual and tribal assembly. One such tree would appear to have been sacred on the hill of Kildare, and it was under this tree that Brigid built her cell and eventually developed the  Kildare  monastic community.The stump of this tree is said to have still been there in the 10th century and it was held in great veneration as many miracles were wrought through it. No one dare cut it, but might break off a bit with the fingers.

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