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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Imbolc

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lighting the Way

My daughter and I love watching BBC / PBS shows.  Victoria is the most recent one we are watching.  As I watched how people lived in the 1800s, I considered what it would be like to only have my life lighted by candles and sunlight.  It would certainly make the dark part of the year different.

By 4:00 or so at night, flickering candlelight would be my only illumination.  This reduces my scope of environment drastically.  Right now, if it’s dark I flip a switch and illumination of my surroundings occurs.  But what if I only had dripping smelly candles to light my way?  What would it feel like to be surrounded by darkness?  Would fear well?  Would loneliness envelop? 

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  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I think what the writer is doing is imagining her own modern and urban life - candle lit. I live on a remote farm at 1,000 feet in

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Candlemas Carol

At first glance, Steve Ashley's Candlemas Carol might seem something of a downer.

Don't be fooled.

On Candlemas beware, old man,

the wind, gale, and the storm;

and if you think that Winter's dead,

it's barely being born.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Songs of Imbolc

Imbolc approaches on silent, padded footsteps. A time of quiet rejoicing, where here in the UK the festival and time signifies the start of Spring. Though for many in North America, the equinox is when the celebrations for Spring begin, here in the warmer climes of these isles hugged by the gulf stream we already begin to see the changing of the seasons reflected in the green and growing things, as well as the birthing of new lambs.  Just today, as I went outside to meditate, the songs of the birds had changed, and the robin and blackbird were singing their first songs of courtship, even as the blue tits chirped their appreciation of the sunlight. The slender green shoots of crocuses are beginning to appear, alongside a wash of green from the grape hyacinth shoots. Living so close to the sea, our south-facing garden is always ahead of the season it seems, and at this time of year, it's most welcome.

It's been a difficult winter for many, and the signs for the future can seem bleak. But as followers of an earth-based tradition, we know that we can look to nature for guidance, for inspiration, for sanctuary and for blessing. Our relationship with the land, sea and sky helps us through the darkest of times, with the gods and ancestors breathing their ancient breath into our bodies, inspiring us to carry on, to create change, to go with the flow. Nothing is permanent.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A lot can happen in a year!

Since the last time I posted here almost a year ago, I had mentioned I was going through a metamorphosis. I did a lot of soul-searching and reflection on it over several weeks, and I made the move. Before I do anything else, I need to extend a great deal of gratitude to everyone who's helped and supported me, especially my husband. Everyone needs a rock to lean on, and I'm very lucky to have one. Because of so many people being there for me, I've crawled my way out of the swampy water, shed my old skin and have spread my wings. Ain't they purty? Allow me to tell you all about their iridescent facets!

It was around the same time last year when I left the agency I began my real estate career four years earlier. The one I chose was a much larger one yet still a local independent - from three people (including myself) in my old office to nearly 500! It was a frightening experience for sure, but the change paid off in more ways than one. Not only did all of the landlords I regularly worked with follow me over, which I am still touched by that, but I gained quite a few new clients throughout the year! Since then, I had also earned my broker license, which I know is something that would not have happened if I stayed where I was. And, because I have that, I now have many more opportunities available to me, such as rental property management and sales. My managing broker feels I would be a natural at property management, and for the right client, I would cheerfully offer that service!

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This was one of my doodles while I was studying. I tend to remember things not only by writing them down, but also by matching stuff to pop culture references.

Money-wise, yes, I closed the books on 2016, and I earned more money with Kale Realty than I did with my past brokerage, and I earned that only with commissions. At the other place, I was also their office manager, so a good portion of what I earned was income for administrative work. Now, the only stuff like that I do is for myself, and it's a lot more fun! One of the reasons I chose these guys is because they truly allow me to be independent - so I was able to design my own business cards, door hangers, signs, banners and holiday cards (which those, I was able to design them for my friends and family and not just for clients and prospects - I mailed hundreds!). Creating a sign for my retail storefronts - that was a huge achievement for me - the first time I officially got to use my broker license over being a leasing agent.

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[Putting on my Realtor hat] This vintage Logan Square corner storefront rental with commercial zoning has tin ceilings, exposed brick and a full basement! Priced right!

In 2016, I passed quite a few checkpoints and crossed off bucket list items, all thanks to that big change! One of the first things that happened was I won a set of tickets from the office to the White Sox opening game. Oh, and these weren't bleacher seats, either. We were right behind home plate, and the tickets also came with premium parking and access to the VIP area - fancy bar, restaurant with carving station and fancy bathrooms! What, you don't believe me? Well let me show you!

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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

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The Brideog, or “little Brigid,” comes down to us from ancient times. She was a corn doll (corn being wheat) that was fashioned into a female form and decorated with ribbons and shells. A bed of straw was prepared for her before the hearth in the home where she was assembled, and the young, unmarried women of the village would sit vigil with her on the night of January 31st. The next morning, on Imbolc, the girls would parade the brideog through the village to each home. There, the married women (or the female head of the household) would welcome the spirit of the Goddess. Create a modern-day Brideog using branches from your evergreen as a base, so adding a dash of Yuletide's hopeful energy. (Yule tree? But it's FEBRUARY! 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

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tarot Heart Magick

Have you noticed that, sometimes, a particular theme starts to follow you around? Often it may relate to the season. At the same time, there can be synchronicities that capture the attention and deliver a really personal message.

This happens to me a lot. I also really feel the lessons of the season as I celebrate each turn of the Wheel of the Year. I know I am not alone in this.

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