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  1. #1
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Smile Celebrate Imbolc with me.

    imbolc.jpg

    Merry Meet...

    My friends - it sure seems strange to think about celebrating the beginning of spring, when it seems so cold this time of year for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Nonetheless, February 1st is upon us. A time of rebirth, renewal, and purification. (I know some may celebrate on February 2nd, I'm just following the Celtic tradition, which celebrates on the 1st).

    I myself choose to call this day Imbolc/Oimelc or Imbolg Brigantia in keeping with the Gaelic, although I know many of you might refer to this holiday as either St. Brigid's Day or Candlemas. Also, I know some of you Asatru folks may be planning on celebrating Disting later on this month, on Valentine's Day.

    As you may know, the name Imbolc means “ewe’s milk” after the lactating sheep that are feeding their first born lambs of the new season at this time of year. Lambing and calving season would begin around this time in the British Isles.

    Well, I myself don't have any lactating sheep (at this point in life). But, I certainly do get behind the idea of turning my thoughts and intentions towards the approaching Spring. I am choosing to use this special day (which traditionally lasts until sundown tomorrow) to regroup, set my goals, and get excited about the things awaiting me this Spring.

    brigid.jpg

    "Saint" Brigid

    In some myths, Brigid (or, Brigantia) is the maiden goddess who seizes control of winter away from the Callieach, the crone goddess of winter. In the climate of the British Isles and in Western Europe, the beginning of February does indeed bring the first real signs of spring. In the British climate, farmers plough and prepare the fields for crops. Cattle and sheep feed on the newly sprung grass, and give birth to young, which results in milk production. The new lambs and calves are signs of new life, confirmation of the ongoing life cycle. Brigid is associated with cattle, sheep, and milk; in fact, some of the later saint depictions show her with a churn or pails of milk. Her name is spelled and pronounced in different ways, depending on the location in which she was worshiped. The original translation of her name in Irish Gaelic meant “bright flame,” and from this the association of Brigid with fire arose. Later, a nun named Brigid was ordained a saint, her feast day falling on February 1st, Imbolc. This was done intentionally, in order to Christianize the Celtic festival, and to provide an alternative celebration for many Christians in the British Isles.

    Colors Associated with Imbolc

    - White
    - Brown
    - Pink
    - Red/Orange
    - Purple

    Flowers Associated with Imbolc

    - White flowers
    - Marigolds
    - Plum blossoms
    - Daffodils

    Animals

    - Firebird
    - Dragon
    - Sheep/ewes and their lambs
    - Groundhog (burrowing animals in general)
    - Deer
    - Robin
    - Creatures awakening from hibernation

    Preparing for Imbolc

    - Clean your home
    - Light candles (preferably keep the candle burning from dusk til dawn the next day)
    - Make bonfires or light a fire in your hearth
    - Do some indoor planting
    - Take your stones and crystals out and place them on your altar.

    Gemstones to Use

    - Amethyst
    - Garnet
    - Onyx
    - Turquoise

    Herbs to Use

    - Evergreen or "Yule greens"
    - Angelica
    - Basil
    - Bay
    - Clover
    - Heather
    - Myrrh
    - Any yellow flower/herb

    Incense/Oils to Use

    - Jasmine
    - Rosemary
    - Frankincense
    - Cinnamon
    - Neroli

    Foods to Prepare and Eat

    - Dairy
    - Spicy foods
    - Raisins
    - Pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seeds
    - Poppyseed bread/cake
    - Honey cake
    - Pancakes or waffles, served with herbal tea

    Some Blessings & Spells

    A simple house blessing

    1. Create a St. Brigid's Cross from palm fronds, make enough to place one in each room of the house. Place a red pillar-style candle center to the front door; with palm crosses in hand, light the candle and open the door and say:

    “We welcome in the Goddess and seek the turning
    of the wheel away from winter and into spring.”

    2. Close door; take up the candle and go to each room of the house and say:

    “Great Lady enter with the sun and watch over this room!”

    3. Leave a Solar Cross in the room and proceed thusly throughout the house. This is great for the kids as you can divide up the tasks for each to do – one can hold the palms, another can open doors, another can carry the candle, and so forth. The last room should be the kitchen, and here you say:

    “Mother of the earth and sun,
    Keep us safe and keep us warm,
    As over our home you extend your blessings.”

    4. Burn the Yule greens to send winter on its way.

    Another Spell

    1. Make the Bride’s Bed using the Corn or Wheat Doll made the previous Lughnassadh.

    2. Dress the doll in white or blue with a necklace that represents the seasons.

    3. Lay it in a long basket adorned with ribbons; light white candles on either side of the basket, and say:

    “Welcome the bride both maiden and mother;
    rest and prepare for the time of the seed;
    cleansed and refreshed from labors behind her;
    with the promise of spring she lays before me.”

    4. Next morning, remove the dress and scatter the wheat outdoors (or if you use corn, hang it up in a tree for the squirrels and birds). this can be seen in terms of the Lady’s recovery from the birthing bed and readiness to begin the turning of the seasons anew.

    The Imbolc Corn Doll represents the mother nurturing her son, who will grow and become her husband. This is the earth and the sun, which is still weak but gaining in strength.

    An offering of buttered bread

    On Imbolc Eve, leave buttered bread in a bowl indoors for the faeries who travel with the Lady of Greenwood. Next day, dispose of it as the “essence” will have been removed. Place three ears of corn on the door as a symbol of the Triple Goddess and leave until Ostara.

    Remember, Imbolc is a festival of cleansing, purification and renewal. Whatever you use that helps you to focus on these themes is fine.

    You might incorporate candle work like in the spells above, or you could use decorations in your home or altar such as grain or seed, a corn doll, a broom, a glass or goblet filled with milk, some cakes or loaf of bread for Brigid, some birchwood, evergreens, or a container of fresh snow -- anything that can be used to sybolize the renewing energy of the Sun’s rebirth.

    Do you have something damaged that needs to be healed? Are you feeling stagnant, for lack of inspiration? Is there some part of your life that feels toxic or tainted? Visualize the candlelight as a warm, enveloping energy that wraps itself around you, healing your ailments, igniting the spark of creativity, and purifying that which is damaged.

    When you are ready, end the ritual. You may choose to follow up with healing magic, or with a Cakes and Ale ceremony.

    imbolc2.jpg
    Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver (INFP) with highly-developed Te | 5w4 (some days the 4 wins out!)
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  2. #2
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Some songs:





    Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver (INFP) with highly-developed Te | 5w4 (some days the 4 wins out!)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member deathwarmedup's Avatar
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    I look forward to the darkness of winter.
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  4. #4
    Phase-shifted beam Coriolis's Avatar
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    ^ No worries - the darkness of winter will be with us awhile longer.

    I do indeed celebrate on the 2nd when alone; on the adjacent weekend when gathering with friends. In my area, it is too early to prepare for planting, but we plan our gardens and make our order from the seed catalogs. Blessed Imbolg to all.
    Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. ~ Buddha
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  5. #5
    Its time. Cassandra's Avatar
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    I am not able to celebrate today but will do a small celebration with friends tomorrow - white candles everywhere, planning our new projects for this year, pancakes, hot chocolate and a classic norwegian rice porridge will be part of it, while we cozy up and play some games
    Last edited by Cassandra; 02-03-2018 at 02:14 AM.
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  6. #6
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Mmm pancakes

    Feel free to share any pictures to this thread!
    Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver (INFP) with highly-developed Te | 5w4 (some days the 4 wins out!)

  7. #7
    Queer Coded Cat The Cat's Avatar
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    planning a garden, and various other things for the coming season. Making a special chili for this evening.
    I am the Cat who walks by themself; and all places are alike to me...

    For the cat is cryptic,
    and close to strange things which men cannot see.
    They are the soul of antique Aegyptus,
    and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir.
    They are the kin of the jungle’s lords,
    and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa.
    The Sphinx is their cousin, and they speak her language;
    but they are more ancient than the Sphinx,
    and remember that which she hath forgotten...


  8. #8
    🍓 girl in an 🍎 world SurrealisticSlumbers's Avatar
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    Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiver (INFP) with highly-developed Te | 5w4 (some days the 4 wins out!)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Justin of Flavia Neapolis's Avatar
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