Daily Stuff 2-1-21 Blessed Imbolc!

Hi, folks!

The shop is open only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’re planning to stay closed until 2/11. Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, anjasnihova@yahoo.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door! Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

It’s showering and there’s a big green blodge on the weather map. 51F, wind at 1-12 mph and gusting, AQI 3-35, UV1. Chance of rain 100% today and 90% tonight. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 10pm tonight, GALE WARNING 10pm tonight to 7am. Rain today and tomorrow will taper off on Wednesday. Showers through Friday. Saturday might see a bit of sun. Sunday will be cloudy weather or not it’s wet, but we’re looking at a possible break after that.

Yesterday was a very busy and productive day. I started at about noon with finishing up some stock pieces and getting them hung. At 1pm the House Capuchin stuff started (online) and I was busy getting photos and processing them, as well as talking with other folks who had projects going.

I made naughty cake, then started marrow bones going. For supper I did bacon and leeks. That was really tasty! I spent a lot of the day writing, too, and got a long nap in the early evening.

I know Tempus joined a games pages that I suggested and I know he was researching there. He also did a lot of cleanup in the back.

The marrowbones were done cooking at around 1am. They’re cooling and I’ll separate the marrow once this goes out and put the crock of bones back on with water to start the de-greasing process.

Today starts the moving process if all is going as well as it seems. I’ll also be doing some more cooking.

lovageToday’s Plant is Lovagelevisticum officinale. It seems to have originated somewhere near the eastern Mediterranean and has been cultivated for a long while, being a very useful plant. It has a strong, long-lasting scent, that reminds a person of celery and parsley, but with the volume turned up. It’s great in salads, but chop it small and mix with other greens or it overpowers! Both leaf and seed are great in soups, especially seafood chowders, and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable. I’ve drunk lovage cordial, which is tasty. It has a high flavonoid content, as well. Medicinally, a strong leaf tea, iced, is a good antiseptic, especially for extensive scrapes, where it takes down the sting and swelling very quickly and can be splashed on as often as needed. It can be used for mild cases of water retention, as well, and even with high blood pressure. – Masculine, Sun, Fire – This herb is often used in love magicks, but works best as a self-confidence enhancer. Take a bath with a sachet of the leaves, or make a strong tea that you toss into the bathwater before going out to meet new people or to start a new job. It also helps to squeeze a small sachet of the leaves if you’re having trouble concentrating on a task. Wiki has more:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage

motif Imbolc PentacleImbolc is the Greater Sabbat and Cross-Quarter Day for this time of year. Although some people place it on 2/2 (Groundhog Day) or 2/4 (when the Sun is at 15 degrees Aquarius) it is the feast of St. Bridget, who is a thinly disguised Christian version of the older goddess of fire, inspiration, crops and wells. More here:  http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/imbolclore.htm  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc , and here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_the_Year#Imbolc  and some more crafts, etc. here:  http://voices.yahoo.com/free-printable-pagan-imbolc-activities-wiccan-sabbat-11972375.html

The shop is open only by appointment until the COVID #s come down, and we’ll probably stay closed until 2/1.Watch here for notifications about that! For appointments contact us at 541-563-7154, anjasnihova@yahoo.com, on Facebook or here on the blog, or just leave a note on the door!

Love & Light,
Anja

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Today’s Astro & Calendar

Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 2/10 at 11:06pm. Waning Gibbous Moon – Best time for draining the energy behind illness, habits or addictions. Magicks of this sort, started now, should be ended before the phase change to the New Moon. – Associated God/dess: Hera/Hero, Cybele, Zeus the Conqueror, Mars/Martius, Anansi, Prometheus. Phase ends at the Quarter on 2/4 at 9:37am.

Last call for Mercury! Its visibility in bright twilight (and certainly that of the faint stars) is greatly exaggerated here. Bring binoculars.

Mercury is dropping down from last week’s good apparition in evening twilight, and it’s also fading fast. On Friday January 29th Mercury is still almost as high in the south-southwest as it was last week, but at just magnitude +0.5 it may be surprisingly hard to spot if you haven’t looked in a few days. Just three days later on February 1st it’s only magnitude +1.5 and dropping faster; see the top image above. Thus ends Mercury’s last evening apparition until May.

Twinkle, twinkle red giant star – Betelgeuse is the red giant shoulder of Orion the Hunter. It’s also a known variable star. – Astronomy: Richard Talcott and Roen Kelly

Orion is now high in the southeast right after dark. Left of it is Gemini, headed up by Castor and Pollux at far left. The stick-figure Twins are still lying on their sides.
Well below their legs is bright Procyon. Standing 4° above Procyon is 3rd-magnitude Gomeisa, Beta Canis Minoris, the only other easy naked-eye star of Canis Minor. The Little Dog is seen in profile, but only his back. Procyon marks his rump, Beta CMi is the back of his neck, and two fainter stars just above that are the top of his head and his nose. Those last two are only 4th and 5th magnitude, respectively.

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is teaming up with the International Planetarium Society and Ball State University to feature a new variable star each month. There are many kinds of variable stars, which change brightness over time. How long it takes brightness changes to occur depends depending on the underlying mechanism for variability. Studying these stars allows astronomers to better understand how stars form and evolve, while variable stars can also serve as extremely accurate distance indicators to faraway objects, including other galaxies. February’s variable star is Betelgeuse (Alpha [α] Orionis), that well-known yellow-orange luminary that serves as one of Orion the Hunter’s shoulders. (If you assume the constellation is facing us, it’s his right shoulder.) This red giant star is much larger and older than the Sun, and will someday end its life in a brilliant supernova explosion. But for now, it’s a variable star that changes its brightness by about 3x over the course of 11 months. Over time, compare Betelgeuse’s brightness to nearby stars such as Bellatrix (Gamma [γ] Orionis, magnitude 1.6), Rigel (magnitude 0.2), or even Aldebaran (magnitude 0.9), the red giant eye of Taurus the Bull. Early last year, Betelgeuse was roughly the same brightness of Bellatrix. Take some time tonight and see which star it best matches now. Then, come back over the next few months and watch its brightness evolve. Once you’ve gotten into the swing of things, consider submitting your data to the AAVSO’s International Database to help astronomers learn more about this fascinating star!

Old Farmer’s Almanac NIGHT SKY MAP FOR JANUARY 2021: THE BRIGHTEST SKY OF THE YEAR – https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-map-january-brightest-sky
Old Farmer’s Almanac NIGHT SKY MAP FOR FEBRUARY 2021: Orion – https://www.almanac.com/sky-map-february

Runic half-month of Elhaz/Algiz, from 1/28-2/11. This half month: optimistic power, protection and sanctuary.

Sun in Aquarius

Moon in Virgo enters Libra at 3:25am.

Goddess Month of Bridhe runs from 1/23 – 2/19
Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17
Color – Silver
Mercury (2/20) Retrograde
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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Celtic Tree Month of Luis/Rowan, Jan 21-Feb 17, Luis (LWEESH)/rowan – The rowan, or mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is related to servceberries. The red berries were historically used to lure birds into traps, and the specific epithet aucuparia comes from words meaning “to catch a bird”. Birds are also responsible for dispersing the seeds. Rowans thrive in poor soils and colonize disturbed areas. In some parts of Europe they are most common around ancient settlements, either because of their weedy nature or because they were planted. Rowans flower in May. They grow to 15 m (50 feet) and are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae). They are cultivated in North America, especially in the northeast.

Luis – Rowan Ogam letter correspondences
Month: December
Color: Grey and Red
Class: Peasant
Letter: L
Meaning: Controlling your life; Protection against control by others.

Quert – Apple Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Month: None
Color: Green
Class: Shrub
Letter: Q
Meaning: A choice must be made

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Tides for Alsea Bay
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Day        High      Tide  Height   Sunrise    Moon  Time      % Moon
~            /Low      Time    Feet     Sunset                                    Visible
M    1     High   3:07 AM     7.7   7:34 AM     Set 10:01 AM      89
~     1      Low   8:59 AM     2.1   5:26 PM    Rise 10:15 PM
~     1     High   2:42 PM     7.7
~     1      Low   9:17 PM     0.1

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Own less. Do more.

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Journal Prompt – What is? – What is the worst weather condition you have ever experienced?

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Quotes

~   The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. – Rilke
~   A person should tend to the oak if they want to live under it. – Egil’s Saga, c.71
~   Birds of a feather flock most together. – Njal’s Saga, c.51
~   There are times when I think the eradication of idiocy should be easy; at other times when I think that there is too much idiocy to eradicate; at other times I think that idiocy is omnipresent, but what little wisdom there is, is enough. Today, I wonder what the most efficient and sustainable ratio of idiocy to wisdom is. – Paradigm Shift

If Candlemas be mild and gay,
Go saddle your horses and buy them hay;
But if Candlemas be stormy and black,
It carries the winter away on its back. –Proverb

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Imbolc Magick – LoreWitchery Press – Imbolc Lore & Rituals: Let there be Light – January 25, 2017 – uliet Diaz – https://witcheryblog.wixsite.com/witcherypress/single-post/2017/01/25/Imbolc-Lore-Rituals-Let-there-be-Light

Let there be Light…

Imbolc is an ancient Celtic festival that marks midwinter in the solar calendar and is a time for preparation for coming out of the dark time of the year and into the light of spring. This is the time of celebration for the Goddess Brigid, which teaches us about healing, home, hearth, birth, inspiration, and the work we must do inside and outside ourselves to walk out of the cold of winter and into the warmth of spring. 

The feeling of Imbolc is a fragile one, we often experience feeling uncertain and unsure. This could be related to the thousands of generations before us who felt unease at this time of year as there was great threats that the firewood and food supplies were running low. We can experience this unease of Imbolc throughout the year and even more so with our political climate threats on our environment which affects women, animals and the land who are all seen as resources to be used.

Brigid’s Day. One of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called “Imbolc” (the old Celtic name).

This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.

It is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring. It is the day we honor the rebirth of the Sun and we may visualize the baby sun nursing from the Goddess’s breast. It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smith-craft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honor her in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her, and tending the lighting of her sacred flame.

WASH YOUR HANDS & YOUR SPIRIT

The word “February” comes from the Roman “februa” which translates roughly as “purification.” The Romans even celebrated a Februa Ritual, dedicated to the idea of purification. Imbolc is a wonderful opportunity to return to the original meaning of February and engage in some spiritual housecleaning.

After the hustle and bustle of Samhain and Yule, Imbolc can be a breath of cleansing sabbat air. Take advantage of the “down time*” to evaluate what’s working and not working in your own spiritual practice. Throw out or re-develop the parts that might be holding you back, and then do some inventory as to why the successful bits are that way. Clean out your ritual space, ridding it of any lingering negativity there from the previous year. “Spring cleaning” isn’t just for the home, it can be a part of our spiritual practice too.

Many of my Imbolc rituals over the years have stressed ridding one’s self of negative influences. Instead of asking for something at this stop on the Wheel, ask the gods to take something away. Looking inward and evaluating what tendencies need to go or be changed is difficult, but oh so rewarding when done properly.

BE PREPARED

Bless your candles for the upcoming year at Imbolc.  Imbolc is the perfect opportunity. It’s also usually an indoor ritual, blessing a bunch of tools is easier when you don’t have to lug them into the woods.

This idea of preparedness can also be found in the Catholic holiday of Candlemass (a name still used by many Witches for Imbolc). Not surprisingly Candlemass tapped into the purification aspects of Februa and was also the date on the calendar when the Catholic Church blessed their candles for remainder of the calendar year.

 Imbolc (February 2) marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The lengthening periods of light awaken Her. The God is a young, lusty boy, but His power is felt in the longer days. The warmth fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout. And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter, through the renewing power of the Sun. It is also a festival of light and of fertility, once marked in Europe with huge blazes, torches and fire in every form. Fire here represents our own illumination and inspiration as much as light and warmth. Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, Brighid’s Day, and probably by many other names. Some female Witches follow the old Scandinavian custom of wearing crowns of lit candles, but many more carry tapers during their invocations.

CELEBRATE WHERE YOU ARE ON THE WHEEL

A lot of sources list Imbolc as the “start of Spring.” While that might be true in certain parts of the Western World, it’s certainly not true everywhere. Imbolc can be the start of Spring, but for others it’s the height of Winter.

For me,  Imbolc is often a bitterly cold holiday, and snow was the norm. Instead of despairing over that ice and frost it’s better to think about what those elements mean in the long-term. All of that cold and snow set the table for the beauties of Spring, Summer, and Fall (and sometimes there really is nothing more beautiful than a snowy night). Snow fertilizes the fields and fills our rivers and streams when it melts. For so many places it’s a vital part of the eco-system. Instead of lamenting the reality of the situation, celebrate it! 

HISTORY:

The Romans Celebrate

To the Romans, this time of year halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox was the season of the Lupercalia. For them, it was a purification ritual held on February 15, in which a goat was sacrificed and a scourge made of its hide. Thong-clad men ran through the city, whacking people with bits of goat hide. Those who were struck considered themselves fortunate indeed. This is one of the few Roman celebrations that is not associated with a particular temple or deity. Instead, it focuses on the founding of the city of Rome, by twins Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf — in a cave known as the “Lupercale”.

The Feast of Nut

The ancient Egyptians celebrated this time of year as the Feast of Nut, whose birthday falls on February 2 (Gregorian calendar). According to the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle.

Christian Conversion of a Pagan Celebration

When Ireland converted to Christianity, it was hard to convince people to get rid of their old gods, so the church allowed them to worship the goddess Brighid as a saint — thus the creation of St. Brigid’s Day. Today, there are many churches around the world which bear her name.

The Goddess Brighid

Like many Pagan holidays, Imbolc has a Celtic connection as well, although it wasn’t celebrated in non-Gaelic Celtic societies. The Irish goddess Brighid is the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth. To honor her, purification and cleaning are a wonderful way to get ready for the coming of Spring. In addition to fire, she is a goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.

Brighid is known as one of the Celtic “triune” goddesses — meaning that she is one and three simultaneously. The early Celts celebrated a purification festival by honoring Brighid, or Brid, whose name meant “bright one.” In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed in her aspect as crone as Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself. Brighid was also a warlike figure, Brigantia, in the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England. The Christian St. Brigid was the daughter of a Pictish slave who was baptized by St. Patrick, and founded a community of nuns at Kildare, Ireland.

In modern Paganism, Brighid is viewed as part of the maiden/mother/crone cycle. She walks the earth on the eve of her day, and before going to bed each member of the household should leave a piece of clothing outside for Brighid to bless. Smoor your fire as the last thing you do that night, and rake the ashes smooth. When you get up in the morning, look for a mark on the ashes, a sign that Brighid has passed that way in the night or morning. The clothes are brought inside, and now have powers of healing and protection thanks to Brighid.

Origins of Brighid

In Irish mythological cycles, Brighid (or Brighit), whose name is derived from the Celtic brig or “exalted one”, is the daughter of the Dagda, and therefore one of the Tuatha de Dannan. Her two sisters were also called Brighid, and were associated with healing and crafts. The three Brighids were typically treated as three aspects of a single deity, making her a classic Celtic triple goddess.

Patron and Protector

Brighid was the patron of poets and bards, as well as healers and magicians. She was especially honored when it came to matters of prophecy and divination. She was honored with a sacred flame maintained by a group of priestesses, and her sanctuary at Kildare, Ireland, later became the home of the Christian variant of Brighid, St. Brigid of Kildare. Kildare is also the location of one of several sacred wells in the Celtic regions, many of which are connected to Brighid. Even today, it’s not uncommon to see ribbons and other offerings tied to trees near a well as a petition to this healing goddess.

Brighid’s Many Forms

In northern Britain, Brighid’s counterpart was Brigantia, a warlike figure of the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England. She is similar to the Greek goddess Athena and the Roman Minerva. Later, as Christianity moved into the Celtic lands, St. Brigid was the daughter of a Pictish slave who was baptized by St. Patrick, and founded a community of nuns at Kildare.

In addition to her position as a goddess of magic, Brighid was known to watch over women in childbirth, and thus evolved into a goddess of hearth and home. Today, many Pagans honor her on February 2, which has become known as Imbolc or Candlemas.

Winter Cymres at the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, calls her a “complex and contradictory” sort of deity. Specifically, “She possesses an unusual status as a Sun Goddess Who hangs Her Cloak upon the rays of the Sun and whose dwelling-place radiates light as if on fire. Brigid took over the Cult of the Ewes formerly held by the Goddess Lassar, who also is a Sun Goddess and who made the transition, in the Isles, from Goddess to saint. In this way Brigid’s connection to Imbolc is completed, as the worship of Lassar diminished, only to be revived later in Christian sainthood.”

Crafts to Honor Brighid

In many Pagan traditions today, Brighid is celebrated with crafts that honor her role as the protector of the hearth. You can make a Brighid corn doll, as well as a Bride’s Bed for her to sleep in. Perhaps the best known decoration is the Brighid’s Cross, whose arms represent the place where a crossroads comes together, the space between light and dark.

Brighid and Imbolc

Like many Pagan holidays, Imbolc has a Celtic connection, although it wasn’t celebrated in non-Gaelic Celtic societies. The early Celts celebrated a purification festival by honoring Brighid. In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed as a sister of Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself. In modern Wicca and Paganism, Brighid is sometimes viewed as the maiden aspect of the maiden/mother/crone cycle, although it might be more accurate for her to be the mother, given her connection with home and childbirth.

http://lyanna.blog.cz/1105/bohyne-brigit

Imbloc (Candlemass, Imblog, Imbole) – February 2nd

Pronounced: EE-Molc
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly, Besom, Spring Flowers
Colours: White, Orange, Red

Name variations:

Brighid; Bride (Scotland), Brid, Brigit, Bridget, Briganta (England), Brigan, Brigindo (Gaul), Berecyntia, Brigandu (France)


Name means Bright One, High One, Bright Arrow, Power. 
Christianized forms: St. Brigit (Irish), St. Ffraid (Welsh), St. Bridget (Swedish), Queen of Heaven, Prophetess of Christ, Mary.

Multicultural Parallels:

Ground Hog’s Day (USA); Aztec New Year; Chinese New Year; Roman Lupercalia; Valentine’s Day (USA); Armenian Candlemas.

Flames: Sacred Fire

  • torchlit processions circling fields to purify & invigorate for the coming growing season (old Pagan)
  • lighting & blessing of candles (11th century, Christian)
  • sacred fire of Brigid (Celtic Pagan)
  • torchlit procession to honor Juno Februata/Regina (Pagan Rome; Christianized, 7th century)

Brigid: Celtic Goddess

Triple Aspects:

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    • Goddess of Inspiration – poets, poetry, creativity, prophecy, arts
    • Goddess of Smithcraft – blacksmiths, goldsmiths, household crafts
    • Goddess of Healing – healers, medicine, spiritual healing, fertility (crops, land, cattle)

Symbols:

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    • Fire – flames, candle crown, hearth
    • Water – cauldron, springs, wells
    • Grain – Brigid wheels, corn/oat sheaf Goddess effigy, Brigid’s Bed
    • Creatures – white cow with red ears, wolf, snake, swan and vulture
    • Talismans – Shining Mirror to Otherworld, Spinning Wheel and Holy Grail 

IMBOLC LORE

It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house – if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.

If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warm

the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate.

Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins – all foods symbolic of the Sun – are also traditional.

Ritual for Imbolc/Candlemas

Supplies: Symbol of the season, such as a white flower, snow in a crystal container, also needed, an orange candle anointed with cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary oil (unlit), red candle to represent the elements, and your ritual supplies.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle.

Invoke the Goddess and God.

Say such words as the following:
“This is the time of the feast of torches,
When every lamp blazes and shines
To welcome the rebirth of the God.
I/we celebrate the Goddess,
I/we celebrate the God;
All the Earth celebrates
Beneath its mantle of sleep.”

Light the orange taper from the red candle on the altar. Slowly walk the circle clockwise, bearing the candle before you.

Say these or similar words:

“All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and
Frost envelopes the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun,
Horned One of animals and wild places,
Unseen you have been reborn
Of the gracious Mother Goddess,
Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God!
Hail and welcome!”

Stop before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze at its flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength.

If you need to look into the future or past, now is an ideal time.

Works of magick, if necessary, may follow.

Celebrate the Simple Feast.

Thank the Goddess and God.

Release the Circle.

Simple ways to celebrate:

Make a Brigid straw doll (Brideog)
One way to bring the magic of Brigid into your homes at Imbolc is to make a Brideog (pronounced Bree-jog). This was traditionally undertaken by the men in the home and the little Brideogs were hung over the doors of people’s homes. Brideogs are made with straw or rushes twisted into the shape of a doll, wrapped in white fabric to represent a little dress and decorated with the first flowers, greenery from the garden, and other pretty things you find in nature.

Make a Brigid cross
Brigid crosses were also made at this time of year and may be familiar if you had a country childhood. Straw which has been soaked overnight is woven around a frame made of sticks. For younger kids you might want to use pipe cleaners. There are many different styles, some with three or four arms, Googling Brigid crosses comes up with various ideas for your family. Hang your Brigid cross wherever you like in your home, but children’s were usually hung over their bed. It was believed that a Brigid cross tucked under the mattress helped aid conception, and they were used to bless seed before planting in spring. 

Feasts and fire
Another Imbolc tradition, as with many Celtic celebrations, is the lighting of fires. Fires celebrated not only the Fire Goddess Brigid, but also recognised the returning power of the sun. In the Christian calendar, Imbolc is known as Candlemas, when candles are lit for Virgin Mary. Lighting a fire is a good opportunity to gather with friends and family, and reflect, share and laugh together. Imbolc was also a time of feasting so you might want to make some food you can cook in the fire, and toast some marshmallows!

Spring clean your home
Now is the perfect time for a good spring clean of your home, usually undertaken before Imbolc Eve. Get rid of anything that is cluttering up your home and stagnating the energy, and scrub all the surfaces down thoroughly. If you can bear the cold, open all the windows and let some refreshing clean air flow through your home. Making it in to preparation for a celebration is also a great way to tempt kids to tackle their rooms and get rid of toys they don’t want any more!

Visit a stream, river or well
Traditionally, Imbolc was a time for visiting holy water; a spring or a well, to both purify us and bring fertility to our dreams. Why not set off on an adventure together as a family to find some water near your home: a river, stream, or well. If the water’s clean, splash some over yourself as you set your intention to cleanse and purify. Glennie Kindred suggests dipping a piece of ribbon in the water and then hanging it from a nearby tree (trees near water are especially sacred) to carry messages of hope and healing. She also reminds us to thank the spirits of the place you visit and pick up any rubbish you see nearby as an act of gratitude. 

FOR MORE IDEAS SEE OUR School of Witchery Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/witcheryschool

References & Sources

  • Farrar, Janet & Stewart (1987). The Witches Goddess. Custer, WA: Phoenix. Chapter 14 & page 206.
  • Fox, Selena (1996). Weems-Wemyss-MacDuff Family History. work in progress. ancestral lineage chart.
  • Green, Miranda (1995). Celtic Goddesses. London: British Museum Press. Chapter 9.
  • Jones, Kathy (1991). The Ancient British Goddess. Glastonbury: Ariadne. pages 23-38. Monaghan, Patricia (1990). The Book of Goddesses and Heroines. St. Paul: Llewellyn. pages 59-60.
  • Moncreiffe, Sir Ian (1977). The Highland Clans. Bramhall House edition. pages 46, 101.
  • Walker, Barbara (1983). The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. San Francisco: Harper. pages 166-118
  • http://paganwiccan.about.com/
  • http://thegreenparent.co.uk/articles/read/six-ways-to-celebrate-imbolc#

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Silliness – The Christian and the Atheist

There’s a little old Christian lady living next door to an atheist. Every morning the lady comes out onto her front porch and shouts “Praise the Lord!”.
The atheist yells back, “There is no God”.
She does this every morning with the same result. As time goes on, the lady runs into financial difficulties and has trouble buying food. She goes out onto the porch and asks God for help with groceries, then says “Praise the Lord”.
The next morning she goes out onto the porch and there’s the groceries she asked for, and of course, she shouts “Praise the Lord!!!”.
The atheist jumps out from behind a bush and says, “Ha, I bought those groceries – there is no God”.
The lady looks at him and smiles, she shouts “Praise the Lord, not only did you provide for me Lord, you made Satan pay for the groceries!!”

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