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Archive for January, 2019

Blessed Imbolc!

The time around Imbolc has been so eventful the past couple of years! This is the time when new dedicants go through the ritual to begin their year and a day. It’s also the time for elevation rituals and this year, I’m joyous to say, I will, barring any unforeseen events, attain my high priestess 3rd degree. It’s been three years of growth and learning, and I think the thing that has been impressed on me the most is that there is so much more to learn. Always.

The elevation rituals will be tomorrow, February 1st and on Saturday the 2nd, our coven will join together to celebrate Imbolc, the beginning of spring on the Celtic pagan calendar.

Even though it may seem the dead of winter in many places, underneath the earth things are stirring. Seeds and bulbs are thinking about sprouting. In the US we ceremoniously wake up a poor groundhog to see if he will be frightened by his shadow. So hibernating animals are sacred to this time. This is the time when the lambs are born and so all the newborns are sacred to Brighde, the great mid-wife.

We enjoy following the custom of crafting Brighde’s crosses at Imbolc. Even though the goddess, Brighde was canonized as St. Bridget by the Catholic Church, her cross is not, to pagans, representative of the Christian cross, but rather an equal armed cross representing the wheel of the year with its four quarters. Traditionally in Ireland the crosses are made from freshly cut rushes. Since rushes can be scarce in Southern California, we have had to improvise. I discovered that a common plant in my yard, dietes or fortnight lily, has leaves that work because they don’t break when you bend them. Well, a Witch has to think on her feet sometimes! Maybe eventually I’ll discover a source for some rushes but for now we will use our garden plant leaves. Here’s how they turn out:

The top cross is a simple pattern with a more complex pattern on the bottom. The crafting requires concentration but that can be a good thing! When you put your energy into creating an object and then have it blessed and charged by your coven, you have an object for protection magick that can’t be beat! I have been known to scatter these crosses about the house, especially near the front door. There are some excellent videos on YouTube for constructing Brighde’s crosses that you might like to study. Here are some of my favorites:

https://youtu.be/29ZbwPRXwis

https://youtu.be/zRi89vnzF5w

https://youtu.be/bq0ci42PnLc

So, make you some Brighde’s crosses, bake some bannock https://gathervictoria.com/2018/01/15/rosemary-oat-bannock-for-imbolc/, and stir up some colcannon https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/colcannon/ to celebrate the sabbat of spring’s return!

Light a white candle and as you gaze at the flame welcome any messages from our Lady Brighde.

Blessed Brighde, inspire me with your solar energy!

You are the midwife who births new light and new ideas!

You are the poet who tells our story in a beauteous way!

You are the smith who works the alchemy of magick!

Teach me, Lady, your ways!

May your Imbolc be filled with light and love!

Brightest Blessings,

Sarina

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