A severed head depicted in Celtic artwork does not a macabre ritual make. However, it’s fair to say that the severed head makes many appearances in the ancient stories of Ireland. But scholars are now revising their opinions; it seems the Celts were removing the heads not of their enemies, but of their beloved friends who had fallen in battle. Could the same thing have happened here in Ireland? And if so, why would they behead their friends?
In Ireland, the beginning of Spring is celebrated by the festival of Imbolc on February 1st, which also happens to be the feast day of the Goddess Brigid. Patron of poetry, smith-craft and healing, Brigid was deeply loved and revered by our Irish ancestors. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn of a cult which had worshipped Brigid from pre-Christian times well into the 19th century.