Designing an Altar

By Aster Breo

A Clann Bhríde altar is a dedicated space for the safe keeping of the tools used by the practitioner to worship Brighid. It can be a table, shelf, or other open surface, or can be a drawer or box that closes to protect the items stored there. The design and layout of the altar is entirely up to the practitioner, as long as it includes certain specific items intended to represent Brighid and Her most fundamental associations. The forms those representations take is open to individual choice.

A Clann Bhríde altar includes:

  • representation of Brighid – this may be a statue, picture, or abstract representation of any style, or could be a Brighid’s cross (the traditional symbol associated with Brighid)
  • Brighid’s flame – a candle or lamp dedicated to Brighid
  • Brighid’s water – a cup, bowl, or other vessel filled daily with clean water
  • offering bowl/cup

At the practitioner’s discretion, other items may be included on the altar, such as:

  • Brighid’s cross
  • Brat
  • candles/lamps for flamekeeping ( a separate flame for each cill) and/or for other specific purposes
  • prayer beads
  • jewelry used for flamekeeping or otherwise dedicated to Brighid
  • representations of Brighid’s associations (healing, poetry/learning, smithcraft, social justice)
  • representation of the sun
  • representation of stars
  • representation of the moon
  • representation of the realms of land, sea, and sky
  • symbols of personal importance
  • divination tools
  • prayer box/bag/cup