Archive for January, 2021

Imbolc approaches and although it may not be evident where you live, things are beginning to stir beneath the soil. Imbolc literally translates as “in the belly”. This is traditionally the time when the ewes birth their lambs and snowdrop flowers appear. In the warmer climate where The Magickal Cottage is located we are enjoying daffodils. Time to plant some seeds of both the garden type as well as the spiritual kind! In the belly they can be nourished to sprout and grow in the coming months.

I have been hearing a healing call these days. I follow a shamanic reiki healing path, and it’s plain that during these times of Covid and political turmoil the planet needs healing more than ever. I have had more requests than usual from people asking for healing. My healing altar has been seeing a lot of action! So Imbolc, with Brighde’s healing flame, couldn’t have come along at a better time.

In our coven we call this shining goddess by the name, Brighde (pronounced Bree-duh), but she is known by many names. Many people call her Brigid or Brigit. Then, there’s Bride and Brigantia and probably several others. She’s a goddess of many names, and also a goddess of many talents.

Oh, yes! And she’s also been made a saint by the Catholic Church. Brighde has been syncretized as St. Brighid of Kildare. So many of the pagan customs you hear of that happen around Imbolc (which was renamed Candlemas by the church) have been claimed by the church to honor St. Brighid on her saint day….which happens to be the same date as Imbolc. I know, it can be confusing….

One of Brighde’s many talents is healing. Not only are there several healing wells dedicated to her in the old country, but she also possesses a healing flame, both a metaphysical one and a flame that is tended by the nuns in Kildare, Ireland.

Brighde of the Sacred Flame

One of the many lovely Imbolc customs that I like to honor is to set out a cloth called a “Brat Brighde” on Imbolc Eve. It is said that if you ask nicely, Brighde will pass by and bless your cloth or mantle with healing energy. I’m all for that!

I set out my cloth (actually a scarf that reminds me of her green mantle and flame.) at my garden altar and call on the lady for her blessing by saying:

Lady Brighde, please pass this way.

Lend your healing energy to my mantle on Imbolc Day!

I’ll use it for the highest good with those who so desire,

To receive the healing magick from your blessed Brighde’s Fire!

So Mote It Be!

My Brat Brighde above my garden altar.

You can use the cloth or healing mantle in your healing work. Just cover the parts that need the healing energy with the cloth. I think you could cover a petition or photo and send the healing to a person or animal as well. This energy is perfect to send someone during childbirth.

As you cover the body or petition or photo you might say the following words three times:

By the power of the healing flame,

Bring health and balance in Brighde’s name!

Blessed Be!

I like to weave at least one Brighde’s Cross to set on my Imbolc altar. This is an ancient symbol of the four directions and four elements, and may also be a solar symbol meaning Brighde may have been a solar goddess at one time.

I’ll also be making some Rosemary Bannocks to celebrate the day on February 2nd. So follow the link if you need the recipe for this delicious Imbolc dish. It’s perfect for cakes and ale!

As we start a new season of growth, may the seeds you sow and the projects you grow bless you now and in the months to come.

Imbolc Blessings,


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