Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

imbolc 13

Yesterday the kiddies and I did our candle making Imbolc tradition. Out came the dusty candles with drowned or broken wicks and we broke them into little pieces with hammers.  I had a whole pile of half melted, crooked tapers and so we mashed these up too and saved the unused wick parts for the new candles.  After calling it a day, we lit the candles and had  a ritual welcoming the growing light as the seasons get ready to turn. I told them that between now and Ostara signs of spring will start popping up so be on the look out! Offerings of white food and milk were also given to the White Goddess and my six year old made up a song while my toddler and I played bells and rattles.

Saturday Tulie hosted an Imbolc ritual at her big farmhouse and we all had a wonderful time. I wrote a new song for Imbolc/St. Bride’s Day/Candlemas and sang it with my autoharp to help shift the energy into circle casting. We decorated Bride’s Bed with wish-flowers and we drew cards from the wands tarot suit. I received the five of wands which indicated the spark of inner courage. We meditated to the song Fire Prayer and received visions or feelings from Bride. (If you have never heard of this musician I highly, highly recommend checking out her whole Fire Prayer CD!)

The evening was topped off with feasting, singing, chit-chat, laughter and more magic. As the night wore down it was only Tulie, JJ and I left. I felt the urge to dance. JJ felt the urge to drum. Tulie didn’t have a choice… more magic was coming! She began to sing and before we knew it we were all raising energy and invoking the Goddess once more.

As a Mystic, I rely mostly on experience to guide me on my spiritual path. Opening up one’s practice for room for spontaneity welcomes this experience.

Here is text from the Carmina Gadelica about the custom of making Bride’s Bed:

The older women are also busy on the Eve of Bride, and great preparations are made to celebrate her Day, which is the first day of spring. They make an oblong basket in the shape of a cradle, which they call ‘leaba Bride,’ the bed of Bride. It is embellished with much care. Then they take a choice sheaf of corn, generally oats, and fashion it into the form of a woman. They deck this ikon with gay ribbons from the loom, sparkling shells from the sea, and bright stones from the hill. All the sunny sheltered valleys around are searched for primroses, daisies, and other flowers that open their eyes in the morning of the year. This lay figure is called Bride, ‘dealbh Bride,’ the ikon of Bride. When it is dressed and decorated with all the tenderness and loving care the women can lavish upon it, one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Tha leaba Bride deiseal,’ Bride’s bed is ready. To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Thigeadh Bride steach, is e beatha Bride,’ Let Bride come in, Bride is welcome. The woman at the door again addresses Bride, ‘A Bhride! Bhride thig a stench, tha do leaba deanta. Gleidh an teach dh’an Triana,’ Bride! Bride, come thou in, thy bed is made. Preserve the house for the Trinity. The women then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony in the bed they have so carefully prepared for it. They place a small straight white wand (the bark being peeled off) beside the figure. This wand is variously called ‘slatag Bride,’ the little rod of Bride, ‘slachdan Bride,’ the little wand of Bride, and ‘barrag Bride,’ the birch of Bride. The wand is generally of birch, broom, bramble, white willow, or other sacred wood, ‘crossed’ or banned wood being carefully avoided. A similar rod was given to the kings of Ireland at their coronation, and to the Lords of the Isles at their instatement. It was straight to typify justice, and white to signify peace and purity–bloodshed was not to be needlessly caused. The women then level the ashes on the hearth, smoothing and dusting them over carefully. Occasionally the ashes, surrounded by a roll of cloth, are placed on a board to safeguard them against disturbance from draughts or other contingencies. In the early morning the family closely scan the ashes. If they find the marks of the wand of Bride they rejoice, but if they find ‘long Bride,’ the footprint of Bride, their joy is very great, for this is a sign that Bride was present with them during the night, and is favourable to them, and that there is increase in family, in flock, and in field during the coming year. Should there be no marks on the ashes, and no traces of Bride’s presence, the family are dejected. It is to them a sign that she is offended, and will not hear their call. To propitiate her and gain her ear the family offer oblations and burn incense. The oblation generally is a cockerel, some say a pullet, buried alive near the junction of three streams, and the incense is burnt on the hearth when the family retire for the night.

~Blessings to All~

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Heading out soon for my fourth Pagan Spirit Gathering! Every summer solstice Circle Sanctuary organizes this week-long gathering open to Pagans of many paths. Hundreds of people have been attending since 1980. I’m in store for sweat lodges (all done responsibly), workshops, bonfire dancing, daily community rituals, pagan concerts, camping, morning yoga sessions, mead tasting, drumming and a humungous, ginormous candlelit labyrinth! My kids love the children activities and playing with others. As a family we attend live concerts every night. I can’t wait to drift of to sleep to the sound of drumming in the far background. I’m hoping to meet new people, too!

Every year there is a magickal gift exchange. This is a great activity for any group of people, no matter your size. Everyone brings a magickal item they do not want anymore and wraps it simply so that it does not show what the item is. Then, after placing the item within a circle, everyone goes around a few times to set the intention of getting what you need and then choose one and sees what they get! This is the second year that I’ve crafted my own gifts to give, one for me and one for my husband. I just got done making the black, maroon, blue and purple cord-wrapped wand. There is a bumpy reed within it and golden coral sticking out the top. The jingle-rattle is made with some of the pine wood I had to recently trim off of our tree to make room for a fence. I’m also going to be placing a small bag of healing land spirit food to be scattered or burned (mullein, tobacco and orange native wildflower).

The Yard

This Sunday, after working for three days, my husband and I finished putting up our fence!!! This deserves all those exclamation points because no more chasing around my toddler to keep him out of the street, no more stopped cars to google over me while I do yoga or cast circle and no more worrying about stray dogs biting my five year old. The six-foot tall fence is going to allow us to do anything we want. Sunbathe naked? Go ahead! Make love under the stars? OF COURSE! Summon spirits by a bonfire? Yes! (Okay, well this may not be new, but at least I can do it with style now). I already have a faerie shrine under a tree and an outdoor temple, but as soon as I get back from camp I’m going to be adding a walkable labyrinth and more herbs (already have lady’s mantle, thyme, lavender, lemon grass, catnip, garlic  and lemon balm growing).


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