This image is of the Friary Green, Callan, County Kilkenny on an early Autumn walk.
The original purpose of bullan stones is not really known, but they have an undisputed association with water and worship. A ‘bullaun’ is a deep hemispherical cup hollowed out of a rock. Bullaun Stone refers to the rock itself, which can have many bullauns in it, although many are single.
Water in Pagan life
Water (Uisce in irish / place names after : Adare, the ford that feeds the oak tree.) is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, Water is related to the West, and associated with passion and emotion. In many spiritual paths, consecrated Water can be found – consecrated water is just regular water with salt added to it, and usually a blessing or invocation is said above it. In Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it. As you may expect, water is associated with the color blue.
Ten thousand years ago, before the coming of Christianity in Ireland, the rivers served a very important role in the lives of the people living along its banks. It was their source of food, and a place where their cattle and crops thrived on the nourished plains. It also acted as a barrier between opposing armies and clans. People saw the rivers as powerful objects and worshipped river gods. Often people placed weapons and ornaments of precious metal in the river as offerings to these gods.
Irish Goddess :Brighid
One of the triple Goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. She is the daughter of The Dagda, the All Father of the Tuatha de Danann, one of the most ancient people of Northern Europe. Some say there are actually three Brighids; one is in charge of poetry and inspiration; one is in charge of midwifery and healing, and the last is in charge of crafts and smiths.
She probably began as a sun Goddess. According to legend, she was born at sunrise and a tower of flame beamed from her head.
As Goddess of fire and water, she is immortalized by many wells and springs. Most important of her monuments, though, was a shrine at Kildare where there was a perpetual flame burning for Brighid. It was tended by nineteen virgins called the Daughters of the Flame, wearing deep crimson habits and bearing swords. They would not talk to men, nor could men come near the shrine. Her feast is St.Brighids Days in Ireland and is the Pagan Festival of Imbolc
When Christianity began its onset, so loved was Brighid that she was made a saint. However, the upkeep on her flame was considered pagan by the church and it was extinguished out of more than a thousand years of burning. St. Brigit remains one of the most popular Irish saints today, along with Saint Patrick.
Identical to Juno, Queen of Heaven. Symbolizes human potential. Also known as Brigit, Brigid, Brigindo, Bride.
Dark the bitter winter,
cutting its sharpness,
but Bride’s mantle,
brings spring to Ireland.
Irish Goddess :Fland
Daughter of woodland Goddess Flidais. A lake Goddess who is viewed in modern (Post Christian) folklore as an evil water faery who lures swimmers to their death.
She rules over: Water magick, rivers and lakes