18. How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)
Since most of the women I started flame keeping with are a mix of half lesbian and half straight I don’t think Brighid cares about our sexuality.
Gender is a manufactured construct created by second wave feminists to point out how women were socialized into behaving. Every culture around the world has a different set of social rules for gendered behaviour. At the moment that word is being used as a weapon against biological women by transactivists and I don’t recognize that use of the word.
Gender is artificial and it’s different all around the world. It has no place in any spirituality because it is an artificial construct. Biology is biology and gender has nothing to do with biology since it is a learned behaviour.
I think by Brighid’s functions she would place no specificity as to how a woman should behave. I can and am a smith as my grandmother was. I can and am a healer because I choose to be. I chose not to be a mother because I didn’t want to bear children but I have worked with kids in many camps and was a Girl Scout leader for many years. I have done many tasks that are allegedly masculine Like killing snakes for protection and I have done many that are allegedly defined as feminine like being a baker like my great-grandfather was.
If anything Brighid’s very functions say gendered tasks exist only in the mind that wants those definitions. My vision of Brighid is a muscular, competent and caring woman who is open to all the experiences she chooses. I certainly wouldn’t limit her powers.
She is a goddess associated with masculine associated fire and with feminine associated water. Brighid does not limit herself and I see no reason why I should just because I was born into a female body.
I am as strong competent and caring person not limited to what some in society define as my gender just like my goddess. I swing my hammer as I stir my baking mixes. I can do anything I have the strength and will to do. No one told Brighid she couldn’t do things. No one told my grandmother or great grandfather and mother they couldn’t do something they willed to do and no one tells me I can’t do anything I have the strength and will to do.
My Goddess embodies strength and will and intelligence and I hope I do also.