Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blessed Imbolc

Imbolc marks the middle of the dark half of the year. A time when from the darkness of winter, the seeds of light and creativity take root and begin to grow.  It is a time for  swollen bellies.  Either from pregnant  herd animals or swollen from the nursing of the young who have already been born.   A time when the tools of the harvest will be consecrated for the work that is ahead of them.  Some will use Imbolc as the first day of ploughing. Others will simply decorate their plough or splash "the water of life" (whiskey) across its blade.  Offerings of cheese, milk, or special Imbolc cakes are left for the fae in hopes that they will bless the land and its ability to produce. It is a time of celebration for the return of the sun and the  last leg of the journey towards the emergence of Spring.

Imbolc is dedicated to Brigid, the goddess of fire, inspiration, and the sacred wells.  She also represents the triple aspects of poetry, smithcraft, and healing.  Brigid crosses as well as corn dollies are fashioned after her at this time of year.  The crosses are woven of wheat and given as protective charms for the home.  Brigid's snake also is said to emerge from the womb of Mother Earth  to test the weather, much likened to the Groundhog. 

Imbolc is a time when the sun is welcomed back.  The symbol of yellow flowers represent the sun.  Likewise white represent the winter which is passing.  The herbs of Imbolc are many.  Angelica, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Heather, Myrrh, Violet and Basil to name a few.    Basil is a traditional herb and used in many dishes during this time.  This is a time when such herbs are taking root and beginning to grow.  Eventually in time they will bud and flourish.  Yet before we focus on what is to come, we must first rid ourselves of what has past.  A cleansing.  Such things must be done before we can fully enjoy the present.    A simple ritual helps in this process.

Take a yellow string, yarn, or ribbon and tie it to your broom.  I personally use the one I made which sits by my front door at this time of year.  Yellow represents  courage, wisdom, higher intelligence and enlightenment to things to come.  Such attributes help in discerning negative thoughts that may block you from your true purpose.  Sweep your house as you would in any spring cleaning.  Likewise clean your mind of any negative thoughts or wishes.  Open up yourself to the limitless possiblities before you in the coming birth of spring and the remainder of the year.  End the rite by taking a black string, yarn or ribbon and tieing it to your broom.  Black represents your willingness to embrace the unknown or unconscious desires.  Sweep towards the heart of your  home.  Drawing to you all the goodness that is your right.  Consecrate the rite by saying:

In perfect love and trust
I bring to me all that is good and pure
Harming none and helping all is how it shall be
This I make true
Three times three times three

Once again the wheel turns... a constant movement it makes.  Each phase a part of us.  Each turn moving us closer to that which we are to be... to that which we are to become.  As Imbolc passes may you find peace in knowing that which lies in yourself.  May you believe in what is calling you as well as the direction that it calls you to.  May you trust yourself to be equipped with what is necessary to follow through.  And may you find the help and encouragement from those around you when it is needed most.  To all I wish a very blessed Imbolc.  May the sun shine brightly on us all in the days to come.   Lastly, do not forget to light a candle for Brigid as well as to welcome the sun as it returns. 


Linda in New Mexico said...

Janie, thanks so much for this informative post. May the sun shine brightly on you as well. Brightest late winter blessings, Linda

mxtodis123 said...

Wonderful post...and I just love that yellow flower. I like that ritual. I'm about ready to go lght all my candles. Hubby's not too keen on all those candles, but he allows it. One day I will explain the old superstition his mom had about candles and incense. Always hid them when she came around.

Bogaman said...

Hopeing today finds you without the ice, and a warming trend awaiting round the corner. X.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a cute little lamb! Imbolc blessings to you!

mrsb said...

Hope you had a blessed and joyous Imbolc, Mother Moon!

faerwillow said...

~love the broom ritual...i think mine would appreciate a little color added...thank you! as for your last paragragh...quite touching words...i will take these with me as a reminder each day...beautiful...brightest blessings~

Anonymous said...

Oh I love that lamb photo! I want to cuddle up with it. :) Hope you had a wonderful Imbolg.

OleCrowsNestJournal_Nan said...

And a lovely Imbolc season to you my friend! I agree that yellow flower is gorgeous!

Mother's Moon's Message said...

thank you for the compliments on my hibiscus.. I have to say they are one of my favorites and always get photographed throughout the summer... Yellow Orange, Red Pink.. I love them all The yellow one reminded me so of the sun

Dede said...

Your pictures of flowers are always so gorgeous! Hope that you had a blessed Imbolc my friend!


Bridgett said...

Lovely, informative, and touching post.

Happy belated Imbolc. :)