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Your Own Personal Brighid

Yeah, now I have an earworm of Johnny Cash's cover of that song...but I digress.

Imbolc feels as though it is only moments away, rushing down from the treetops here in the dripping southern mountains.  We love Brighid around these parts.  We do a public ritual to honor Her day.  Years ago--a decade maybe?--we dedicated an old stone spring house and its spring to Her.  Several local priestesses are dedicated to Her and Her crafty self. And we have the ink to prove it.

We dream of forges and vats of beer. As who doesn't...

We tie clouties onto the branches that overhang the rough spring and Mother Grove's public ritual will include an opportunity for those attending to tie their prayers to a branch that will be taken to the spring.

Brighid's wheels/crosses are made from river grass and also from damp cornhusks, tied at the ends with black rubber bands.

Back in the 90s, I was honored to meet Sister Mary Minihan and to light a candle at the Eternal Flame that is kept in Kildare. We use that candle every year to light the main altar candles for the public ritual.

We love Her around these parts. Each of us sees Her a little differently--our venerative practices aren't exactly the same--and we suspect it has something to do with our Irish and Scots-Irish blood. But we all seem to have our own personal Bridey and that's alright, too.

We have a special treat to look forward to this year. A Scottish friend went home for Samhain and she came back with a block of turf. I had gotten some terrific Imbolc incense several years ago in that sweet incense shop in Glastonbury and we used the last of it last year.

So this year, we'll burn some lovely, smelly turf.

I can hardly wait.

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    I really enjoyed this entry. Its always nice to learn more about traditions surrounding Imbolc, especially those involving Bride.

  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    Thank you for those kind words. Are you a Brighid fan?

  • Pumpkyn
    Pumpkyn Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    I honestly don't know much about Bride but I feel drawn to her. I hope to learn more about her during this season especially with her day almost upon us.

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