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Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... An Imbolc Healing Necklace

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It was tradition for each member of the family to hang a strip of white cloth outside the window on Imbolc Eve, so that Brigid could infuse it with healing and protective powers as she walked through the village. These would later be used to cure headaches and tooth aches (tied around the forehead or from chin to crown), and as a special touch to poultices. Craft a modernized version of this folkway with the protective properties of the Yuletide evergreen's balsam. (If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)

Materials

  • 48” x 5” strips of white material (cotton is best)
  • Yule tree balsam
  • Small healing stones such as jade, clear quartz, fluorite, or stones specific to a particular healing problem (stone chips work best)
  • Black Pony Beads,
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • White thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors

Tips to make this a greener craft: Bed linens and clothing that is no longer wearable or usable are recyclable sources for the white material required for this craft. When using recycled materials of this nature be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it. Use ribbon recycled from gift packaging. Leftover yarn from other projects or recycled from articles of knit clothing that are no longer wearable—hats, mittens, sweaters—can also be used for this craft. Remember that when using recycled materials of this nature (especially articles of clothing) be sure that the material is clean and free of stains, and sprinkle it with salt to remove any unwanted energies and associations that may be attached to it.

Crafting

  1. Lay the strip of material on a flat surface and fold it lengthwise, then sew the long ends together so that you have a long tube. The tube should be large enough to accommodate the balsam and stones, but small enough to be threaded through a pony bead. If a happy medium between these two cannot be achieved, use ribbon or yarn instead of the pony bead to separate each “link.” Trim any excess and turn the tube right side out.
  2. On Imbolc Eve (February 1) place the tube outside where it won't blow away. Out a window is traditional, but it can also be hung off a clothes line, draped over an outdoor chair, or placed on a surface like a deck railing or picnic table with something to weigh it down. If you are doing this craft after Imbolc, you can place the tube 
  3. Bring the tube in on Imbolc and allow it to dry. Keeping in mind that when the necklace is complete the ends will have to be tied to close it, knot one side of the tube several inches (allow about 5-6 inches) from the end. Starting with the balsam, insert one or two full pinches of needles into the tube and push to the end; for this you can use a straw, chopstick, or even a pencil.
  4. When the material is compacted in the end of the tube by the initial knot, slide on a pony bead or tie a ribbon to make a link. Next, take a stone, or a few if they are small, and insert these into the tube, push to the end of the last link made, and slide on another pony bead or tie another ribbon to make a second link.
  5. Repeat the process going back and forth between stone and balsam until nine links have been made, ending as it was begun with the balsam. Knot the tube at the base of the last link, and trim the ends so that they are even.

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Ritual

As you are filling the healing necklace and forming its links, speak or sing the following spell to call on Brigid to invest your necklace with her healing touch:

Touched by Brigid as she did pass

On the eve of Candlemas

Healing power now dwell within

When worn by me or kith or kin.

Present the necklace to someone that is need of healing, or use it yourself. The ends of the tube can be tied together to form a necklace or bracelet. It can also be tied onto objects and plants.

Up Next... Spring Equinox

Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark (http://irishelder.blogspot.com) and Natalie Zaman (http://nataliezaman.blogspot.com)

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From 2006 to 2010, www.broomstix.com was an online magazine for families following alternative spiritual paths. Relaunched in 2013, Broomstix has a new format, but the same, simple goal: to be a positive community resource where folks can share their knowledge and talents.

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