and open to Her Wisdom."
17th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Gaia
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
11th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon sets: 8:09AM EST
Moon rises: 7:48PM EST
Moon in Leo v/c 1:26AM EST
Moon enters the Mutable Earth Sign
of Virgo at 8:23AM EST
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The message of the wind.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:30AM EST
Sunset: 5:35PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What does the
seasonal cycle of renewal offer you?
Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter
January 31st., 2010
The waning Moon entered the Mutable Earth sign of Virgo this morning - the key phrase for this sign if "I analyze" and the important issues are practicality, organization, cleaning up your diet or your house (Spring cleaning for Imbolc), and attending to loose ends. It is a time for taking responsibility and cleaning up the messes we've been leaving around. There can be a tendency to excessively critical both of oneself and others so think before speaking. It's an inward time and you might find yourself reflecting on personal relationships.
Imbolc or Oimelc, the return of the light
Significance: Imbolc means 'in the belly of the mother' and Oimelc, the feast of 'ewes' milk', the rising of the light and the stirring of new hope. The first festival of spring often when the land is still frozen, it is a reminder that new life stirs within the earth.
Duration: A cross-quarter day. The festival lasts from sunset on 31st of January till sunset on February 2nd.
Mythological energies: This is a maiden goddess festival, but the god is present as her young suitor and in some traditions the first mating takes place, though conception does not occur until the spring equinox. The dark brother still holds sway but the young god of light is growing in power as he is nursed by the goddess in her Mother aspect.
Focus: New ideas: for the promise that winter, whether actual winter or misfortune or stagnation, will end; for planning the future and for putting out the first shots of new love and the growth or regrowth of trust; and for any projects that start in a small way.
Symbols: Milk, honey, seeds, early budding flowers and greenery, also straw to weave crosses in honor St. Bridget/Brighid the triple goddess.
Tree: Willow - with her willow wands, the goddess melts away the snows of winter. And the Rowan - that still provides food in form of old berries still clinging to the branches
Incenses, flowers and herbs: Angelica, basil, benzoin, celandine, crocus, heather, myrrh, snowdrops, violets.
Candle colors: Blue, green, pale pink, pastels, white
Crystals: Dark gemstones such as the garnet and bloodstone, but alse amethysts and rose quartz and gentle moon stones for the stirring of fertility and awakenin feelings.
Deity forms: The maiden goddess Brighid, the Virgin Mary; any maiden goddess or goddesses of the returning light.
Agricultural significance: This was the all-important time when sheep and cattle had their young and so fresh milk and dairy products were available to the community; for the young and very old this could mean the difference between life and death. It also marked the very early stirrings of life with the first flowers and when the land might be soft enough to plough.
The Celtic festival was dedicated to the maiden goddess Brighid who became Christianized as the fifth-century Irish St. Bridget or St. Bride (from which we get the modern term for a woman about to be married).
On Bride's Eve, until Victorian times in Celtic lands, on the 31st of January or the night after, a bride's bed would be made. This was created from a sheaf of corn, sometimes with corn preserved from the last cut down at the first harvest at Lughnassadh/Lammas (the end of July) and would be decorated with ribbons in honor of the earth goddess/St. Bride. It would also be adorned with any early spring flowers.
The bed was made in front of the fire of the tribal hall or later of the main farmhouse in the area, and at dusk the inhabitants would shout:
"Bride (Bridget), come in,
your bed is ready."
The symbolic bride maiden would leave her cows and a cauldron at the door, bringing peace, fertility and plenty.
The women of the household poured milk and honey over the bride bed. The men folk were summoned and, having paid a coin, a flower posy, or a kiss, would enter the circle of fireight and ask for help with their craft or agriculture and make a wish on the bride bed.
In Rome, on 15th of February, the love and fertility festival Lupercalia was dedicated to Lupa, the goddess she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus, the twins who founded Rome. Love and sex rites by young unmarried girls and men were performed in the grotto of the she-wolf to bring fertility to animals, land and people. This festival gave rise to the modern Valentine's day customs.
At dusk on the 31st of January in the pagan calendar and midnight non February 1st, at the Christianized Candlemas, torches, candles and sacred bonfires were lit to attract the sun. There was also a procession clockwise around the frozen fields with blazing torches led, it was said in pre-Christian times. by the maiden goddess herself or a huge corn maiden pulled on a cart made from the last sheaf cut from the previous harvest. This was believed to contain the spirit of the corn mother Brighid who brought back life to the land on this night.
This was a festival of healing of the land as well as people and animals. Eight candles were place in a circle in water and lit so that the light rose from the water of the goddess, the unity of fire and water. This was a festival of milk, also milk being as sacred to the Celts as communion wine is to Christians, for it is the milk of the mother.
Imbolc spells and rituals:
* On the 31st of January after dark, make a tiny straw bed (you can use a small pack of animal's straw from the pet store). Place in it a small doll wrapped in white to represent Brighid and next to it set a small jug of milk in which you have stirred three drops of honey, making a wish for abundance for you or someone else.
* Surround the bed and jug with the first greenery of buds or spring. Place round it symbols of the bessing you would like in your life, whether tiny charms related to your craft (a pen, small piece of wood, or a computer jump drive) or connected with your home. Add a coin asking that your home and those you love will not be short of money. Leave until the 2nd of February at sunset near the family hearth or a source of warmth and each evening add another coin.
* On eithr the 31st. of January after dark or early the next morning, walk around your external boundaries with a small, lighted smudge or one of the Oimelc incense sticks. Waken the energies with a simple chant spoken three times, one after the other, such as:
"Light return, Maiden, melt the snows and metl the hearts
of all who cannot love or accept blessings.
Bless me and bring the new beginning I desire/need."
Bless me and bring the new beginning I desire/need."
* Finish by setting the incense in a deep pot to burn away and pour a little fresh milk on to the earth in the center of the open area, repeating the chant once more.
* If you live in an apartment, you can smudge indoors and tip the milk into another jug to be used for drinks or cereal.
[Excerpts from Cassandra Eason's "Complete Book of Natural Matick"]