Monday, February 1, 2010

Light the Imbolc Fires at Sundown

"I'm one with the Goddess
and open to Her Wisdom."

18th Day of the 2nd Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Demeter
Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
12th Day of the Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Luis/Rowan
Moon Phase: waning Gibbous
Moon sets: 8:38AM EST
Moon rises: 9:04PM EST
Moon in the Mutable Earth Sign of Virgo
Rhiannon's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The promise of horizons.
Sun in Aquarius
Sunrise: 7:29AM EST
Sunset: 5:37PM EST
Solar Question for the Day: "What is being
initiated in your life at this time?"
Imbolc (Gwyl Mair) Quarter of the Year
February 1st., 2010


  Imbolc is the time when things stir beneath the surface. It is the time of infinite possibilities for the new cycle of life and creativity, when energies are still gathering in the astral, preparing to manifest. The celebration is sacred to Brigid, goddess of smithcraft, poetry, and healing. Take time to concentrate on what you wish to manifest in the coming year. What needs craftwork applied to it, on any level? Can you sing or write it into existence? Does any healing need to happen in your life?
   Decorate your altar in red and white. Place a bowl of white roses in the center, flanked by red candles. Write a poem dedicated to Brigid. Don't worry, it doesn't need to rhyme - it only needs to to be from the heart! Take a specially painted and prepared pot of earth and place several seeds in it. Let each seed represent something you wish to manifest. Honor and nurture these seedlings. Take a glass bowl filled with clean water and a handful of small, clear crystals. Name each crystal for something in your life that needs to be healed and drop them one by one into the bowl. As each healing occurs, remove that crystal. When the bowl is empty, pour away the water.
[From: written by Cerridwen Iris Shea for "Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2010]


Feast of the waxing light,
restore our hope!

Imbolc - celebrated between February Eve and February 3rd depending upon tradition, most commonly February 2nd in North America.  Also known as: Imbolc, Candlemas, Brigantia, Lupercus, or Disting. Certain Western European traditions celebrated festivals from sundown to sundown. If you choose to observe Imbolc according to that model, your festival would begin at sundown on February 1st. This is one of the cross-quarter holy days, halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.

Imbolc has always been a fire festival so far as we know. The old ones did not have the advantages of astronomical understanding and were beset by a sincere concern that the longer, warmer days might not return. The bonfires were intended to encourage the return of summer. LIke all good pagan festivals, Imbolc was adopted and adapted by Christian missionary monks. It was brought indoors, reduced to candles and renaemd Candlemas (Candle Mass). The Roman version of this goddess festival, Juno Februata, was adapted as the Virgin Purification feast.
[From: 2010 Seaon's of the Witch datebook]

   There are minor magickal energies today to aid spells/rites done to release unwanted emotions.

"Sweet, sweet Serenity
Calm and Peace wash over me
Send away unwanted fear,
fill the hole with health and cheer."

Another Imbolc Altar:

by Patti Wigington - 2008

This is my household Imbolc altar. I've laid out altar cloths in red and white, to symbolize both the melting snow of the season (at least, we HOPE it's going to melt) and the fire of the sun. There's a Brighid's cross at the center, that my kids and I made out of chenille stems. A bouquet of early spring flowers sits above some winter greenery, left over from Yule. My Celtic cross candleholder is one of my favorite ritual items, and I also have a cauldron sitting there which I've toted around with me for years. I have a few other little goodies on there, including a set of prayer beads I made, and an Imbolc greeting card from my High Priestess and mentor. Finally, the two red candles on either side are the ones I use during my Imbolc rite to celebrate the ongoing return of the sun.

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