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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Imbolc

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bridey's Spring

Bridey's Spring, n. an early February thaw

 

Well, Winter's back, old Winter.

Oh, it was a glorious little Bridey's Spring here in Paganistan, while it lasted: two days of Sun and snowmelt, puddles of water—actual liquid water!—just in time for Imbolc.

Just a foretaste, and now it's back to the dark house of Winter.

Still, we've had our promise.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
In Search of Hot Chocolate

When I think about Imbolc, I often think about hot chocolate. Since dairy is highlighted on the Imbolc menu in some form or another, this could be the perfect time to search out the best hot chocolate in the area. While you’re sipping—and possibly dipping—a cookie in your rich chocolaty cocoa, meditate on where you’ve come since the holidays and where you’d like to continue in the months to come.

I’ve written about Imbolc before for Pagan Square, including a meditative cross-country ski you could take during this time of the year.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I celebrated Groundhog Day today with a home-baked chocolate chip muffin; from a mix not from scratch, and a glass of coconut milk
Easy Ways to Purify for Imbolc, Disablot and Candlemas (or any other occasion)

Just as autumn leaves compost and fertilize new spring shoots, the old and outmoded must be cleansed to make way for the new.

The upcoming holiday, whether you call it Imbolc, Disablot, Entschtanning, Gromnitsy or Candlemas, is traditionally very concerned with a deep purification of the soul, body and space. Purification is a big deal in Northern European practice-- and an even bigger deal if you engage in any type of trance work, like seið.

But how do you start? It’s really not hard or complicated to perform a basic clearing. Physical cleanliness is an important component, and, once that’s done, the energetic cleansing is much easier.

Here are a number of articles I’ve written on such clearing rituals:


 

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A Little Folklore of Light & Shadows

We often find ourselves yearning for light and warmth during these last winter months in the northern hemisphere. We grow tired of being bundled up, of shivering, of staying indoors. Yet, if we look carefully, we begin to notice that, little by little, the light is growing. Situated in the fading of winter, the holidays celebrated on February 2nd -- Groundhog Day, Imbolc, Candlemas -- feature an interplay of shadows and light as we approach revitalization in many forms.

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Pregnant Pause after Imbolc
Imbolc has always been one of the cross quarter dates that easily falls under the radar for me, many years I don't realize that it has occured until it has passed and I often have an internal "bad Priestess" cheeky moment when this happens.
 
While the date is elusive and ephemeral for me most years, the time in between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox is not, in fact, it is the sensation of being in this liminal space between winter's end and spring's beginning that usually alerts me to the fact that I have missed the actual sacred day itself.
 
I believe that the time between Imbolc and the Spring Equinox is one of the most important phases on the Wheel of the Year for all of us as a whole. Speaking from my own experience, I have observed and sat each year with the discomfort of waiting, of containing and of consciously allowing light, life and extreme energy to grow within me until the time is ripe and ready for it's entrance into our realm, The discomfort comes from being born into a patriarchal structure that was created during the industrial revolution that has imprinted a conditioned response within me to produce and consume, so much so that the moment I feel an inner stirring my unconscious response is to farm that inner stirring out into the manifested reality, to prostitute it and bleed it dry before it has even had a chance to come to maturation and then to consume some other form of inspiration in hopes of receiving another inner stirring to farm out into the masses.  
 
Years went by where I would do this, become inspired, farm the inspiration out prematurely and then go seeking all over again, it wasn't until I began to work with the Wheel of the Year in a conscious way that I started to notice what was happening, it was then that I began to dive deeper into the practice and discomfort of waiting.
 
Imbolc is a time when the spark of life and inspiration is ignited within the cave of winter's hibernation. It is a head's up that the great rebirthing of spring is just around the corner. The purpose of this time is to both ensure that the slumber, regeneration and wisdom upgrade that has been occurring in winter's hibernation is fully completed by the time spring comes around, (any inner teachings or upgrades that have been happening need to be prepared to come to conclusion relatively soon) as well as an ignition of illumination and understanding around what it is that we are about to incarnate into in the spring. This time is akin to when we stand on the precipice of the fourth dimension with our guides and angels reviewing the blueprint we have laid out before coming back to earth, it is an exciting and exhilarating time of potential and one that is not meant to be rushed, the more time I spend allowing the potency of this time to expand and build the more powerful and free and complete my rebirths on the equinox feel.
 
Two years ago I was pregnant and due on the spring equinox, I had a completely embodied experience of living the Wheel of the Year as the time from Imbolc until my birthing was so full, ripe and tempting to want to rush along. As any woman who has been pregnant knows, those last weeks of pregnancy feel like a lifetime, the weight of the baby, the stretching of the skin, the expansion of the belly, it feels as though you've been pushed beyond the threshold of everything you once were and into a new being who ceases to be comfortable and has forgotten or perhaps given up hope that the birth will ever occur, it seems as though life will remain in this stretched to capacity and uncomfortable state forever. In a world that offers so many medical interventions it is not uncommon for a woman to be tempted to rush the end of pregnancy along with a little artificial aid to speed the process. In my case I had gestational diabetes and for better or worse I trusted the OB's suggestion that I receive a c-section two weeks before my daughter's due date (which was the spring equinox), this decision may have saved my life (the medical details are irrelevant to this article) and it landed my daughter in the NICU, the necessity and/or choice to rush her process into the world was not without consequence.
 
As with pregnancy and with our internal birthing into a new consciousness, following Mother Nature's lead is in our highest good. I remind myself of this as I sit here, bubbling with passion and idea's sprouting up, a sense of restlessness setting in and enthused sparks igniting within my spirit that these idea's and this restlessness is a reminder to stop and to come back to my body and to rise up in consciousness, the voices that chide me for not doing something more at this time of year are down in the basement now, because I have travelled this Wheel many times, I can recognize this familiar discomfort and I can remind myself of the power in sovereignty in waiting. 
 
Imbolc is just that for me, a sacred moment of waiting, a pregnant pause, a deep breath before bursting into the bright, hot light of manifested reality, I do not need to know how this energy will form when it is birthed, nor do I need to control it's process, I need only surrender to it. Imbolc happens when the sun is in the revolutionary sign of Aquarius and ends in the mystical sign of Pisces, this is about a revolution around how I experience inspiration as well as a mystically potent opportunity to be a vessel that ushers in Heaven to Earth, the highest calling a Priestess can own.
 
So, here I sit, fountain gurgling in the background, toddler napping upstairs, nachos waiting to be warmed when I open my eating window, dreaming of the ability to consciously time travel through my life, wondering if I will ever get on stage again, hoping that age will never have the power to steal my dreams away from me and remembering, thanks to this great sacred pause, to expand my greatest desires, to go so far out in my imaginings that truly anything is possible. 
 
Because of the Wheel of the Year I am reborn annually, I am not subject to the laws of aging in the ways that the patriarchal machine would subject me, and I am not subject to the conditioning of said structure either, I am reminded of this as I sit and wait instead of rush and do.
 
May this sacred waiting bless you as deeply as it has blessed me and may we all be gifted with a healthy and fat manifestation baby on our great rebirthing this spring.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly 
 
 

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Crown of Light

The crown of candles sits on the table by the door. I see it every time that I come into the house.

On Bridey's Eve, it graced a sacred head. The tall white candles bathed her in warm light, the leaves of its wreath crisply green against the white of her veil. 

That was thirteen nights gone. Now the brittle leaves crumble as I unwrap the gold ribbon that holds them to the crown. The ribbon goes back onto its spool; the leaves I will strew in the snowy garden, to nourish another harvest.

The candles, half-burned, go into the chandelier in the temple, where they will light our next rite.

The crown, denuded, returns to its peg in temple storage, to await the coming of another February.

More than 300 years ago, Robert Herrick wrote in his poem "Candlemas Eve":

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Beautiful, Steven, as always. Linking on FB.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Imbolc New Moon Ritual

Five years ago an Englishwoman, a Scottish woman and an American-Irish woman travelled together to Galway to attend the Spreading Brigit's Cloak conference at Brigit's Garden.  My friends Morag and Jo, and I had a memorable weekend celebrating the Feast of Brigit together with many other woman from across the globe. In the intervening years we have not always been able to celebrate together, but this year we all had day time available on Imbolc New Moon day, 4th February. So we three, the self-styled Cailleach Coven, met again at Imbolc.

At that conference we encountered the Crios Bríd and it's ritual. If you have ever read Seamus Heaney's poem "Brigid's Girdle", you will begin to understand. It is the belt of the goddess (or saint). I had seen one made once before, with the man trying to facsimilate the traditional way of weaving a straw rope with a hand sickle. It was tricky and it looked like a recipe for injury. At the Brigit's Garden conference there was a much more health and safety version one made from yarn. 

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