Daily Stuff 1-5-22 Epiphanios of Kore

Hi, folks!

We’re taking our usual Winter Vacation and will be closed from 1/4 until 1/20 if the COVID numbers come down. If they stay high it might be longer than that. If you need something contact us here or on Facebook. We can make time to be at the shop. Featured photo by Ken Gagne.

 [posting at 9pm] Rain gauge at noon on 1/4 – 1.1 in. 50F and overcast, wind at 2-10mph, AQI 1-57, UV1. Chance of rain 97% today and 94% tonight. SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY through 8pm Wed. GALE WATCH from Wed eve through Thurs. night. FLOOD WATCH for Thurs./Fri. Showery today from 4-10am, then rain, then rain w/ wind through sunrise on Friday. After that it should dry out and we could even see some sun from Saturday through Thurs, with a few showers on Wed. Temps normal for this time of year.

Monday evening we got to sleep at a good hour and I was up by the time Tempus headed out for the paper run. I spent the time putting things away, organizing the pantry, embroidering and reading…. more reading than anything, because I was awfully tired, still.

Tempus got home later than he has been because he stopped at the shop to pay bills. He still couldn’t make a couple of the deliveries, power poles are down! Once he was home he slept hard. I was up around 2, but awfully dozy. I put away clean dishes and the crockpot, made a chocolate pie, then set up yorkshire pudding. It didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I usually do it in my glass pan, but I tried making individual ones. They taste fine, but didn’t want to come out of the molds, at all, so we ate them in kit form. I still need to clean the fridge, but I’m doing that tomorrow.

We headed for the shop around 7. Tempus had run some errands, earlier, but I’m going to get this done and go home while he heads off for the bulk route. I’m going to work on the rag doll tonight. I have to remember to have him get my fiberfill down.

Today we’ll be at the shop from 3-5 or so. Just try the door to find out if we’re still there.

Sunset on 9/29/16 by Ken Gagne

plant red elderberry Ruis

Today’s plant is Red ElderberrySambucus racemosa. It’s a large shrub that has white flower clusters in the spring and red berry clusters late in the summer. – Planet: Venus Element: Water Deity: Hel, Holda, The White Lady Magickal properties: Exorcism, Prosperity, Banishment and Healing  – The leaves and berries are used for protection and in breaking spells that were cast against you or to undo spells of evil intent. Growing an elder in your garden will protect your property from misfortune and harm. In Europe they planted elder in cemeteries to keep away the evil spirits. Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms, and music on panpipes or flutes of elder have the same power as the wand.  Elder should not be cut without first making a prayer, and don’t burn Elder in fear of bringing about ill-luck. “Elder is the Lady’s Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be.” More here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_racemosa and here:http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Elder.htm

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Today is the Epiphanios of the goddess Kore, the night when she gives birth to Aeon, the year-god. The last paragraph of this section talks a little about this.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aion_(deity)#Identifications …and the page has more information in historical context. Here is some more information about Persephone/Kore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone

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The Days of Volos – Procines (January) 1-6 – These moonlit and frosty nights have a name: The Holiday of the Wolves. These days are set aside for the worship of the God of pets and of cattle, whose name is Volos. We give our thanks for the animals on these days, which bring food and sustenance to our homes from ancient times. We also defend them from the ravenous wolves which attack. (Slavic Pagan Calendar)

The shop is closed until 1/20 for our winter vacation. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook message or email at anjasnihova@yahoo.com If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.

Love & Light,
Anja

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Today’s Astro & Calendar

Moon in Aquarius enters Pisces at 4:17pm

Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3:48pm on 1/17. Diana’s Bow – On the 3rd day after the new moon you can (weather permitting) see the tiny crescent in the sky, the New Moon holding the Old Moon in her arms. Begin on your goals for the next month. A good time for job interviews or starting a project. Take a concrete step! God/dess aspect: Daughter/Son/Innocence – Associated God/dess: Vesta, Horus. Phase ends on 1/6 at 10:33pm.

Moon passing twilight planets. On the evening of the 3rd, the Moon will be only about 30 hours old (30 hours since new Moon) for East Coast observers; 33 hours for the West Coast. Not many people ever notice a Moon this young.

This evening the Moon is under bright Jupiter, as shown above.

Procyon, Sirius, and Betelgeuse

Sirius and Procyon in the balance. Sirius, the Dog Star, sparkles low in the east-southeast by about 7 p.m., depending on your location. Procyon, the Little Dog Star, shines in the east about two fist-widths at arm’s length to Sirius’s left. But directly left? That depends. If you live around latitude 30° (Tijuana, New Orleans, Jacksonville), the two canine stars will be at the same height above your horizon soon after they rise. If you’re north of that latitude, Procyon will be higher. If you’re south of there, Sirius will be the higher one. Your eastern horizon tilts differently with respect to the stars depending on your latitude.

Crescent Moon – A thin crescent Moon, 14 percent illuminated, will hang in the sky the evening of January 5. – NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

The Moon passes 4° south of Jupiter at 7 P.M. EST tonight. Now in the constellation Aquarius, our satellite is some 14 percent illuminated and features on its eastern limb (west on the sky) are visible. Most prominent is the circular Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises). Just above it is the large crater Cleomedes, while farther south on the lunar face is Langrenus, which sits at the eastern edge of Mare Fecunditatis (Sea of Fertility). If you have a lunar map handy, you’ll notice that Mare Crisium appears farther south than on your reference. That’s because of libration, which causes the Moon to appear to “nod” up and down from month to month.

Saturn, magnitude +0.7 in central Capricornus, is about the same distance lower right of Jupiter. And the star way off to the right of Saturn and Jupiter (by 3 or 4 fists at arm’s length) is Altair.

Runic half-month of Eihwaz/Eoh 12/28-1/11 Represents the dead, and the yew tree, sacred to Winter shamanism. Nigel Pennick, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books,

Sun in Capricorn

Goddess Month of Hestia runs from 12/26 – 1/22
Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20,
Uranus (1/18/22) Retrograde
Color – ?
©2021 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright

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Celtic Tree Month of Beth/Birch, Dec 24 – Jan 20, Beith – (BEH), birch – The silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is the most common tree birch in much of Europe. It grows up to 30 m (100 feet) high, but is more often found in spreading clumps on sandy soils. It is one of the first trees to colonize an area after a mature forest is cut; this is probably a large part of its symbolic connection with new beginnings. It is cultivated in North America, often under the name of weeping birch. The three trees in my front yard form root sprouts that would take over the bed where they are planted if I didn’t cut them back. The common birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.) is almost as widespread as the silver birch, but grows primarily on acid or peaty soils. It can reach 20 m (65 feet) in height. Birches are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae). Curtis Clark

Beth – Birch – Ogam letter correspondences –
Month: November
Color: White
Class: Peasant
Letter: B
Meaning: New Beginnings; Changes; Purification.

Phagos – Beech Ogam letter correspondences to study this month
Month: None
Color: Orange-brown
Class: Chieftain
Letter: PH, IO
Meaning: New experiences and information coming

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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
W    5     High   2:44 AM     7.5   7:52 AM    Rise 10:30 AM      5
~     5      Low   8:07 AM     3.0   4:52 PM     Set  8:35 PM
~     5     High   1:51 PM     8.9
~     5      Low   8:52 PM    -1.2

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Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Look in your heart for your happiness. Once you find it, share it, send your love and light into the world. It needs it!

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Journal Prompt – What if? – What would happen if you could fly whenever you wanted? When would you use this ability?

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Quotes

~   The campaign to make poverty history—a central moral challenge of our age—cannot remain a task for the few, it must become a calling for the many. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I urge everyone to join this struggle. Together, we can make real and sufficient progress towards the end of poverty. – Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General; from his message to be delivered on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, October 17, 2006
~   The English resisted the Danes heroically under Alfred, never fighting except against heavy odds, till at the memorable Peace of Wedmore Alfred compelled the Danes, who were now (of course) beaten, to stop being Danes and become English and become Church of England and get properly married. – Sellar and Yeatman; 1066 And All That
~   The minute I looked at her, I knew I had something. She had an extraordinary quality of purity and nobility and a definite star personality that is very rare. – David O Selznick; on Ingrid Bergman
~   The things required for prosperous labor, prosperous manufactures, and prosperous commerce are three. First, liberty; second, liberty; third, liberty. – Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887), American human rights advocate

Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall. – Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

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

  • 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:

  • 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 Wiccan Chicken

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road? Part 3 – How Some Pagan Authors Might Respond:

Margot Adler: The recent chicken resurgence, it can be argued, is directly based on a response to the suburban middle class experience. While I found that chickens-who-cross-roads who responded to my survey are of a wide range of ages and backgrounds, I discovered some trends in the “why” of crossing the road. For some it is was freedom. For some it is chickenism. Many chickens told me they crossed the road for intellectual satisfaction. One thing is clear: the growth of road crossing by chickens is expanding in the numbers of chickens and in the ways they cross the road, including at chicken festivals and for political blocking of roads.

Starhawk: The chicken crossed the road to reclaim the crossing experience, the experience of being fully alive, with streams and earth and rocks and road, in the fullness of her chickenhood after thousands of years of roosterarchy. The chicken crossing the road—not a chicken laying eggs, not a chicken being roasted and eaten—a chicken strong and free, crossing the road, this is something I can believe in. We chickens, as chickens, can empower ourselves to live in harmony with the Earth who gives life to all chickens and Who has been terribly scratched by roosters. Exercises: Dance the Spiral Chicken.

Issac Bonewits: Real crossing-the-road, we have seen, is a very interwoven and complicated subject. Our conclusion could be that real crossing-the-road is the build up of chicken emotion in conjunction with chicken concepts to vary the modulation of chicken energy so as to effect the modulation of the road’s energy. That’s all! Perhaps it is unfortunate, though, to use the word “chicken” in relation to it, since the “C” word is being used now in a way it was never used before in the English language and is an utterly meaningless term without a qualifying adjective. And this, of course, is the fault of the medieval Christian Church, through the Gothic Chickens it invented and used as the basis of persecuting men, women and chickens. The word “chicken” itself comes from an Indo-European root, “cheeka/e” meaning “one who lays eggs,” and it has no relation to the later Anglo-Saxon word for “wise spirit of flight,” as so often stated by certain contemporary “Chiccans.” An’Chk’Rrhod (“Our Own Chickens on Our Own Roads”), an authentic Neo-Chicken Rooster tradition, offers the best of paleo-, meso- and neo- Chickenism …

Llewellyn’s Practical Chicken Magick Series: To some people, the idea that “chickens crossing the road” is practical comes as a surprise. It shouldn’t. The whole idea of Crossing the Road is practical for chickens. While Crossing the Road is also, and properly so, concerned with spiritual growth and psychological transformation –the “why” of crossing the road– every chicken’s life must rest firmly on material roads. Crossing the Road is the flowering of chicken potential. And the profits from publishing all those books on how to do so? Well, that ain’t chicken feed…

Carlos Castenada: 4/10/1964 I spent 14 hours, without food or water, sitting on the dirt and under the sun in front of Don Juan’s house, grinding chicken feed. I asked Don Juan if I could have a drink of water, and he told me that it was always this way, that a man who wanted to cross the road with the chicken cannot have any food or water till the chicken feed is ground. I asked Don Juan if the chicken is an ally, like the little smoke. Don Juan seemed to get angry and stayed silent. After I completed grinding the corn, I hallucinated from heat exhaustion, and Don Juan said I was ready. As I collapsed to my side, I spilled the chicken feed around me. A chicken appeared to be eating the feed around me, and I became strangely absorbed in the vision. I heard Don Juan’s voice tell me, “You must let the chicken cross the road into you. It is very painful, but for a man of knowledge it is easy.”

Scott Cunningham: A chicken passes between the grasses, clucking. The wind blows, and the chicken knows, *knows*, that this is the time. She puts her energy into taking the steps, in harmony with the gravel and the stones of the road. She is across; it is over, and the chicken stands in the field on the other side of the road. … Natural chicken crossing is unique among most other branches of the art of chicken road crossing. It doesn’t require years of collecting or fashioning coops, feeders or hen houses. Indeed, the most important tools of natural chicken crossing are free: the road, the chicken and you, your personal chicken power. You’re already familiar with it. You’ve felt it. You *are* a chicken. Crossing the road is you, with your chicken need. And, you can do it on your own. After all, who initiated the first chicken?

Janet and Stewart Farrar: Since so many editions of Gardner’s Chicken Book of Crossings have appeared in print (some accurate, some not), we think it won’t “lay an egg” too much if we clearly present “The Chicken Crossing Rite,” especially if we do so after two and half pages of well researched introduction set in six-point type. In version A of the Chicken Crossing Rite, we find many pseudo-archaisms (e.g.,”Yea, Ye Anciente Rite of Ye Chiks and Ye Rodes is a moste powerful Crafting,taking thy athame…”); however, Doreen Valiente notes (in version C, which is what we present), and we agree, that underlying it all is a basic ritual for summoning the astral road through the spirit of the Chicken (drawn down in the person of the High Priestess, holding the black handled feed bin; of course, a second degree may assist or perform the rite when….

 “Seth”/Jane Roberts: Session 666; Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1969; 9:00 p.m.: Now, you create your own chicken, each of you individually and en masse. Your physical senses fool you into believing you are seeing a chicken crossing the road, when instead, the chicken has already crossed the road, and hasn’t even begun to cross the road. There is a probable chicken that never crossed the road as well. Further, because you each perceive a chicken, there is not only one chicken but, in fact, many different chickens. As I have said before, time is simultaneous. All probable versions of the chicken–past, present and future–exist at once in the spacious present. It is only because you *believe* [emphatically]that time is linear, with each moment followed by another in one-line kind of fashion, that you perceive the chicken taking chicken steps to get to the other side of the road. It does no good to ask “Which came first, the chicken or the egg,” either, for they both exist at once in simultaneous time.

[9:10 p.m.] Now, there are families of chicken consciousness. All life seeks value fulfillment, for consciousness is consciousness. What you perceive as a chicken may be something far different in another reality. The chicken may, for example, be a fragment personality of your entity. The chicken is no less than you are, however, simply because it is a chicken. Now, the chicken has its reality, and you have your reality. But the chicken is more than a chicken [emphatically], and *you are more than you think that you are!* [Pause one minute]: The chicken crosses the road because it *believes* it can, and it does. It knows that it is sacred and that it will not die. You (underline ‘you’) also are sacred and you will not die. But as long as you believe that it is unsafe to cross the road, you must take chicken steps and obey the laws that you have agreed upon to get to the other side safely. [End at 9:30 p.m. Jane came out of trance easily. She didn’t remember a word she had spoken as Seth.]

Doreen Valiente: Old Chicken really did exist, and she really did cross the road. Gerald talked about her often, but she didn’t cross the road till before I began studying with Gerald. Still there are records of Old Chicken which confirm her reality. As for all the comments that Gerald had a “thing” for chickens, that is simply not true. The reason we worked with chickens is really quite simple: it worked!

Silver Raven Wolf: Although many times people have asked me why exactly the chicken crossed the road, I often wonder myself. My point is that every chicken comes to the road in a different way, and there is no one correct way for the chicken to get to the road to be crossed. The study of crossing the road is hard work if the chicken is going to develop any degree of proficiency. It is not something where you can just cluck yourself across the road. The first time my chicken crossed the road was for my chicken’s friend, whose rooster was being abusive. The chicken worked the steps for crossing the road after carefully considering all the reasons for crossing the road and all the steps she would have to take. Finally, my chicken just started clucking and flapping her wings and started across the road. When she reached the other side, her friend’s rooster was respectful! Afterwards, the chicken ate some corn to ground herself.

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