• Day 348: Zero Sugar: Help Me (St.) Brigid!

    Date: 2011.02.01 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Today marks the first day of my last month of my Year Without Candy.  It has gone by so fast it’s scary.  They say in the end it’s the blink of an eye.

    So for these last 28 days, I am going totally sugar-free.

    Readers of this blog know that during the year I’ve given up all candy and desserts but have still eaten foods like peanut butter, ketchup, yogurt etc. that have sugar added to them.

    Does it sound easy to you to just get slightly more hard-core for just the last month?  It doesn’t sound easy at all to me! In fact I’m dreading it already.

    I need help.  From above – and below.

    Coincidentally, it’s also the Feast Day of St. Brigid in Kildare, Ireland (see above photo.) I was going to go there for this celebration called Feile Bride, but Egypt has been blowing up and I stuck close to home for work instead.

    St. Brigid, who’s one of the three patron saints of Ireland, is my favorite saint because, in part, there’s no actual proof she ever even existed!

    But I am asking her here to help me make it through this last month with zero sugar.

    Here’s the TV Guide synopsis:

    Whoever Brigid might have been, she sat on the cusp of Ireland’s transition from the pagan Druidic religion to Christianity.  The Christian invaders were no dummies and they cannily co-opted some of the hot gods and goddesses of pagan Ireland into Christianity to make it more palatable to the Irish. Which is how Brigid the fabulous pagan goddess became St. Brigid the pious Catholic saint.  No word on whether she’s still rolling over in her grave.

    Even if you read a lot of about ancient Celtic history from Ireland, it’s almost impossible to sort the fact from the fiction. How very Irish!

    Brigid, if she ever was a real person, is thought to have been born around 453 AD. A more Christian version of her life is available here.  I’ve been to Ireland many times but never to Kildare where Brigid’s spirit is very much alive.

    I hope to go next year for the feast.  I have a feeling it must be a interesting mix of everyday Catholics as well as the dreaded New Agers who call each other goddesses and go all Wiccan.  Just will have to trust that Brigid’s spirit is enough to pierce through the Irish moss and call to me directly when I get there.

    Much the same way I hope she gets me through this last, especially abstemious, month.

    Partly because I have pure Irish roots, I love Irish Celtic history, mythology and mysticism.  I wasn’t brought up Catholic or with any religion and I’m glad because this way I’ve been able to seek on my own.

    My mother, the unrepentant ex-Catholic and avowed agnostic, set me up though. She named me Dana, which is the modern Irish name for Danu, (photo above) the mythic mother earth goddess of  the Tuatha Dé Danann, the great fairy race of Ireland.  Fairy in the human with supernatural powers sense, not the pink, winged, stardusted sense.

    Some of the fairies and fantastic races of otherworldly creatures of Irish mythology came from below, which can be as rich a locale as above.

    Which is why I have two crosses, a tiny gold crucifix – and the famous St. Brigid cross, which was originally made with rushes and is just a little bit… off center.