'February 1st is the feast day of Saint Brigid
, the spiritual protector of sheep and cattle. According to tradition, she was born at sunrise as her mother, a Druid's slave, carried milk across the threshold of her master's house. In the same way, her feast falls on a seasonal crossroads--between winter and spring. When winter is fading and the power of the spring sun is increasing. Prior to the conversion of the Irish Celts, Saint Brigid's Day was known as Imbolc,one of four seasonal junctions in the pagan calendar of Ireland. It was the start of spring, and its name refers to "ewes' milk" and to the birth of farm animals. Imbolc was dedicated to the Celtic goddess Brigid, who was associated with learning, poetry, crafts and healing. Many of her pagan characteristics were retained when she was transformed into a saint.'
In The House Of The Druid
'A white red-eared cow was set aside for the child's sustenance, the old Lives say. A white cow was a rarity in Ireland in those days, when the native black cattle, that we call the Kerry breed, were all but universal; and the homely story conveys that an unusual respect was yielded to the infant Brigid.'