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Imbolc Wisdom for the Modern Day Ritualist

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

Ritualist???? I can hear my husband saying, 'Sounds like a Roberta word"...so we'll add to the The Roberta Dictionary lol

definition ~"a person who practices ritual and ceremony as a sacred and spiritual way of life." OR "a person that honours and connects with Divine Spirit through Rituals"

So lets say it all together now... "My name is _______ and I am a Ritualist."

How's that resonate within you?


Now that we have established that you are a Ritualist and most likely are reading this Blog, because you saw the word "Imbolc"...and you're thinking how will you ritualistically honour Imbolc...here is some wisdom and options for you....


First some wisdom on Imbolc and Brigid.


Imbolc


Celebrated on February 1st & 2nd. Also known as Candlemas, Saint Brigid’s Day or St.Brigid’s Feast. It is the first Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year. And it is the first fire festival of the wheel too.

It marks the first glimpse of Spring within the land and the fact that spring and the planting season are just around the corner.

In Canada and the northern United States, we don’t often see this or even feel this as Springtime, (especially with it being -25 degrees celsius and colder this year!!!) …yet it is important to think of this as the returning of the sun, the days are starting to get longer. The land itself is shifting. The trees will soon run their sap, the animals begin to feel this shifting. And us humans feel the awakening of the seeds of our hopes and desires we have dreamed since Samhain and Yule …it is time to tend to them so they can sprout and grow their roots.

Imbolc gets its name from the Irish Gaelic Oimelc, which translates to “ewe’s milk.”
This Sabbat, which falls on February 1 or 2, is often a celebration of the goddess Brighid, who appears as St. Brigid in the Christian faith.

Who is this Saint....Goddess Brigid????

She is an Irish Goddess and is the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth. She is also the goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.

Brighid is known as one of the Celtic 'Trinity Goddesses', meaning that she is one and three simultaneously....viewed as part of the maiden/mother/crone cycle.


Pagan Goddess turned Christian Saint?

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 Goddess Brighid as a saint and hence the creation of St. Brigid's Day. Today, there are many churches around the world which bear her name. St. Brighid of Kildare, IR is one of Ireland's most beloved and honoured patron saints.


When I traveled to Ireland this past autumn, I spent my last day and night in Kildare, and visited St.Brigid's Well and Cathedral...such a beautiful and magical place.


For more on the story of Brigid from Goddess to Saint, here is a wonderful article I came across

~ Celtic Goddess Brigid and the Story of the Enduring Deity




Ways to Celebrate Imbolc and to Honour Goddess and Saint Brigid


Imbolc Activities


~Have an Imbolc St.Brigid's Feast with family and friends


~Make a Brigid’s Cross - St.Brigid's Cross Tutorial

This is a very traditional Irish Brigid Cross. You can use other materials such as long wheat stalks ( you will have to soak them for a few hours before using so you can bend them without them breaking.) You can also use drinking straws, pip cleaners, rope/thick dense yarn or sticks and twine.


~Clean your home. Think 'spring cleaning'


~Energetically Cleanse your home. You can do this by Smudging with sacred herbs, such as white sage, cedar, and bay leaves. You can also use prayers/blessings, sound healing, and simply lighting a candle and calling St.Brigid to bless and protect your home.


~Have a bonfire to represent and honour Brigid and the first fire festival of the Wheel of the Year. Also a great time to do a burning ritual.


Foods for your Feast

Think of foods that have dairy, fruits, nuts, seeds, hearty vegetables, breads....and lamb if you want meat.


~Irish Honey Butter

~Potato Soup

~Seed Bread

~Irish Brown Bread

~Ritual Cake

~Fruits, Nuts and Seeds

~Variety of Cheeses

~Rosemary Cheese Biscuits

~Brack Bread

~Boxty Cakes

~Spiced Wine


Brigid's Fire Meal Blessing

"Brigid is the lady of flame, the fire that cooks our food! Hail to her and to the hearth, and may our meal be good!"


You can find recipes for these by google searches. Here is a website that has some Imbolc Recipes- Raven & Crone


Imbolc Ritual


Supplies needed:


~Bay leaves

~Blessed salt

~Red or yellow candle

~Cinnamon stick

~Clear glass holder


~Place blessed salt also known as witches’ salt into a clear glass container. Fill approx. ¼- ½ full. Place your candle in the middle. Stick 3 bay leaves into salt around the candle. With a Mortar and Pestle, grind your cinnamon stick into a powder. Use some to sprinkle onto your candle. Left over cinnamon can be used in Kitchen witchery.


The magical workings and energies of your items…

Bay Leaves to bring prosperity and blessings. Represents the sprouting of new life from the land.

Blessings Salt to bless, protect and purify your home. Also represents snow in winter.

Red or Yellow Candle corresponds to Saint Brigid’s Flame and the returning of the sun.

Cinnamon for the fire and power. The awakening of the land and the spark and spice of new life

within you.


Ritual~

Light your candles as you call upon Saint and Goddess Brigid. Ask her to bless your home and dreams, and guide you through this Imbolc Season. Place your Imbolc offering somewhere in your home to work its magic for the year. Light your candle when you need Brigid’s guidance, wisdom or need to awaken the fire within you to birth new dreams…think of it as planting a new seed in your dreams.


I would love to hear how you celebrate Imbolc and honour Goddess and Saint Brigid.😊

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