How to Make Brigid's Cross

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Brigid's Cross © wicca-spirituality.com
Brigid's Cross is ancient Pagan symbol for Brigid. It's also known as a Celtic Sun Wheel or Solar Cross (once again confirming Her status as Sun Goddess).

Brigid's Cross is made as an Imbolc rite. At Imbolc, Brigid walks upon the Earth, and by creating Her Sun Wheel we invite and welcome the Goddess, and Springtime, into our homes.

Here you'll learn how to make this Solar Cross, and it's easy... at least easier than you might think. With a little practice, it's a snap. Have fun!! wicca-spirituality-witchy_smile


How to Make a Brigid's Cross

Traditionally made from grain stalks (straw), grasses, or rushes, you could also use basket-weaving reeds or for more playful versions, drinking straws or pipe cleaners.


You'll need...


  • 19 stalks of equal length, about 12" long
  • 4 pieces of string about 6" long

Instructions

  1. The Wiccan Part:

    At olden Imbolc rites, the stalks would be gathered on Imbolc eve (since to the Celts the day starts and ends at sunset, the evening of Feb 1st would actually be the beginning of Imbolc).

    At midnight they would be brought into the house with some ceremony -- a woman with a covered head would bring them to the door and knock for entrance. When the rushes were brought into the house, everyone would exclaim, "Welcome, Brigid!"

    You could adapt this, if you're doing this on your own, by calling out a welcome to Brigid when you bring in the stalks... no matter what time of day.

  2. Begin by soaking the stalks for an hour or two in warm water. Then lay them on a clean cloth to drain.
  3. The Wiccan Part:

    Making Brigid's Cross can be (and is best) done in Sacred Space, so you can cleanse yourself, ground, and Cast a Circle... invoking Brigid of course. At the very least, begin with a prayer and setting an intention for this crafting.

    The intention would be whatever you want your Solar Cross to be for -- honouring the Sun Goddess, protection for your home, blessings for your loved ones, etc.

    When making ritual crafts, you want to imbue them with magick and power. In order to accomplish this, you need to maintain your focus and intention as you work.

    One way to do that is to chant. You can sing a song of Brigid, to bring Her essence into the ritual craft. Or you could sing something that relates to your intention for this object -- for instance, a song calling for artistic inspiration or to invoke Spring.

    If you're not comfortable with singing, you could memorise and recite over and over like a chant some lines that suit your work. Something out of the Brigid Invocations would do well, for example...

    Light-wielder, victorious Brigantia
    Of the straight shining spear
    Spread Thy verdant mantle of protection
    Over all of us here

  4. Flatten the stalks and fold all but one stalk precisely in half. Don't worry if they don't keep the fold; creasing them this way before you start will make them easier to handle.
  5. Holding the straight stalk in one hand, wrap one of the folded stalks around it, and snug it up tight.

    One hand will always be holding the centre of the Cross together, while the other hand adds each new stalk.

  6. Hold the join of the two stalks together between finger and thumb, and turn the cross 1/4 turn to the left (90 degrees counterclockwise).
  7. Fold another stalk over the junction of the first two stalks, so that the open ends point to your right. Snug it up tightly.
  8. In the same way, continue rotating and adding stalks until all are included.
  9. If the stalks are unruly and troublesome, you can hold each arm together with an loose elastic or twist-tie as you work. You'll need to take off the elastic in order to add in a new stalk, then put it back on.
  10. The final stalk is done a bit differently. Once it's in place, take the ends of it and tuck them inside the folded stalk at the bottom of the cross, to hold the ends in and keep the whole cross together.
  11. If the stalks have loosened while you work, tighten them up now.
  12. Using the pieces of string, tie off the ends of each arm. (Alternatively, you can wrap them with extra pieces of stalks, tucking the ends under as you go to hold it tight.)

    You can then trim the thread and the stalks if desired.

  13. The Wiccan Part:

    After the making of the Crosses, there would traditionally be a family feast. After all, the Goddess has just joined you in your home! How rude would it be to not offer Her refreshments?

  14. All stalks that have not been used should be buried.


What To Do With Your Brigid's Cross

A fresh-made Brigid's Cross may be hung over a doorway (or elsewhere) in your house to offer protection throughout the year. (They are particularly said to guard against house fires and other disasters.)

It may also be given as a blessing and protection to someone you care about.

Another option is to offer it to the Goddess. You can hang it on a tree (particularly hawthorn) or leave it in nature somewhere, or burn it in a ritual fire (a bonfire or cauldron).

You could also hang it above your altar, to keep Brigid's presence near you all year long.

What do you do with last year's Sun Wheel?

At Imbolc, the Brigid's Cross from the previous year should burnt (carefully and safely, of course), and the ashes offered to the Earth.


With Bright Blessings,

dragonsong signature; click to write to erin

Next: Legend of the Return of Bride Wicca Spirituality: Click Arrow To Find Next Article



Pagan Goddess Brigid Articles:

Brigid: Goddess of the Flame and of the Well

Brigid Invocations

Brighid Rites

How to Make a Brigid's Cross

The Return of Bride (and Groundhog Day)


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