Pangur Bán is a 9th century poem written in Old Irish. In the poem, the Irish monk compares his work with the antics of his white cat Pangur Bán, ‘white fuller’. The poem can be found in the Reichenau Primer, which is kept at St. Paul’s Abbey in the Lavanttal in Austria. The Secret of Kells also features a white cat named Pangur Bán who fled the island of Iona with his owner, a white haired monk, during the Viking invasions.
Several translations of the poem exist, with one such translation below.
I and Pangur Bán, my cat
‘Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight
Hunting words I sit all night.
Better far than praise of men
‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.
‘Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.
Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way:
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.
‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.
When a mouse darts from its den,
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!
So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.
Wiki – Pangur Bán
Brigit, Brigid, Brighid, Bríde, Brìd, Brìg, Brigantia, Breo-Saighead, Breo Aigit (Gaelic), Ffraid (Welsh), Mary of the Gael, Saint Brigid (Catholic)
- Brigid is a very important Triple Goddess in Celtic mythology.
- Her three aspects include the Fire of Inspiration as patroness of poetry, Fire of the Hearth as patroness of healing and fertility, and Fire of the Forge as patroness of smithcraft.
- She is also linked to prophecy, divination, agriculture and livestock, feminine arts and crafts.
- She can be thought of as the Celtic equivalent of Roman Minerva and Greek Athena.
- The Celtic word Brig means “exalted one”, and her Gaelic name of Breo-Saighead or Breo Aigitmeans “fiery arrow” or “fiery power”.
- Brigid was the wife of Bres of the Fomorians with whom she had three sons, including the warrior Ruadán, killed in battle.
- Brigid is associated with the festival Imbolc/Candlemas, which is known as St Brigid’s Day to Catholics.
- Brigid is associated with fire, including candles, heat, warmth, and sunrises.
- Her association with fire is so strong that a perpetual sacred flame is kept burning by the nuns at her sanctuary in Kildare, Ireland.
- Brigid is also connected to holy wells, including the one at Kildare. Wells were ‘dressed’ as a way to honour Brigid or ask for her help and assistance.
- Crafts that honour her role as the protector of the hearth include Brigid corn/grain dollies and Brigid’s crosses.
- Other symbols tied to Brigid includes arrows, bells, thresholds and doorways.
- Animal correspondences include ewes, dairy cows, bees, owls, and serpents.
- It is thought that the love and respect for her brought unity to the Celts.
Goddess Myths – Brigit
Pantheon – Brigid
© The Celtic Journey (2013)
Filed under Celtic, Deities