Blessings of Imbolc and February!

This comes from an email I received today from Mystery School of the Goddess

More than ever, we need to embrace our powerful, spiritual centers and call in our Woman Wisdom. February is a very special month as we celebrate Imbolc, Brigid’s Day, Vasant Panchami – Saraswati’s Birthday, Orisha Goddess OYA’s Feast Day, and Aphrodite’s Feast Day all in the first week of the month!

We are gathering with Goddesses of Power, Passion, and Purpose that can infuse our practices, inspire our creativity, and give us a potent center of purpose.

As well, February is an eclipse month this year with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse on February 10 and a New Moon Solar Eclipse on February 26. Eclipses bring sudden endings AND beginnings. These particular eclipses will also be highlighting the theme of balance – our needs versus our wants, our physical health versus our mental health. Jupiter turns retrograde on February 5 and that may affect our lack and luck mentality. Stay tuned to MotherHouse of the Goddess Astrology updates from Mary Lomando for more information.

Consider February a final “Spring” cleaning that is preparing us for the NEW of Spring Equinox in March. Think about what is working for you and what needs to be released. Time to review and adjust your intentions for the year and prepare to make positive use of the fertility of the Equinox!

 

 

Wiccan Holidays in the Southern Hemisphere

What is the Wheel of the Year, or Wiccan holidays, for those in the Southern Hemisphere?

It gets a little tricky, since Wicca was created in the Northern Hemisphere. Since it’s a nature religion, an Earth religion, this makes a big difference.

After all, a Midsummer ritual in the North happens in June.

In the South, though, this is midwinter!

So what does a Southern Witch do?

The Controversy

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link: http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/wiccan-holidays-southern.html

Imbolic 2017 is on Thursday, February 2, 2017: Imbolic Question?

Thursday, February 2, 2017 is Imbolic 2017. Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced or ), also called (Saint) Brighid’s Day (, , ), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

said to take the form of a

Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced or ), also called (Saint) Brighid’s Day (, , ), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

Groundhog Day and Candlemas-USA

You might be wondering why I posted this. If you either read to the point of how Groundhog day got started or just scroll down to it you will see it tied into Candlemas/Imbolc.

Groundhog sees his shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter

There will be six more weeks of winter, according to America’s favorite groundhog.

Every Feb. 2, the marmot known as Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow in western Pennsylvania and looks to the ground for his shadow — marking the annual celebration of Groundhog Day.

A local morning weather story, an excuse to relive the comedic Bill Murray cinematic classic, a legendary way to get your predictions around the start of spring — Groundhog Day is all of these things and more. While many look forward to and enjoy Phil’s February appearance, others are unsure what the prediction fuss is all about.

Get the information you need on Groundhog Day with answers to these frequently asked questions:

When did Groundhog Day start?

Groundhog Day stems from an ancient European celebration of Candlemas. A midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox, legend has it that fair weather on Candlemas predicated a stormy and cold second half to winter. The celebration transformed in America, where Pennsylvania Germans incorporated the groundhog into the meteorologic prognostication

Where did Punxsutawney Phil get his name?

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, after which Phil is named.

How many Punxsutawney Phil groundhogs have there been?

While the lifespan of a groundhog is roughly six years, those in the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle lightheartedly claim there is only one Phil, and all other groundhogs are impostors. It is also claimed that one groundhog has lived since 1886 — sustained by a drink of “groundhog punch.” It is unknown how many groundhogs have actually played Phil.

What happens if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow?

If the groundhog sees his shadow, legend has it there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, this implies an early spring.

How many times has Punxsutawney Phil seen his shadow?

Since 1887, the groundhog has seen his shadow 102 times — forecasting a longer winter — and not seen it 18 times.

How “right” is Phil?

Since 1988, the groundhog correctly predicted the weather 14 times and incorrectly 15 times. This is determined based on cross-referencing Phil’s prediction with the national average temperature for the remainder of February.

RELATED: Groundhog Day through the years

From ALL News

Imbloc (Candlemass, Imblog, Imbole) – February 2nd

Pronounced: EE-Molc
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly, Besom, Spring Flowers
Colours: White, Orange, Red

This holiday is also known as Candlemas, or Brigid’s (pronounced BREED) Day. One of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called “Imbolc” (the old Celtic name).

This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.

To read the rest of this fastening article please click on this link: http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/imbolc.asp

It is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring. It is the day we honour the rebirth of the Sun and we may visualize the baby sun nursing from the Goddess’s breast. It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery. If you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. She is a triple Goddess, so we honour her in all her aspects. This is a time for communing with her, and tending the lighting of her sacred flame. At this time of year, Wiccans will light multiple candles, white for Brigid, for the god usually yellow or red, to remind us of the passing of winter and the entrance into spring, the time of the Sun. This is a good time for initiations, be they into covens or self-initiations.

Lammas History: Welcoming the Harvest

The Beginning of the Harvest:

At Lammas, also called Lughnasadh, the hot days of August are upon us, much of the earth is dry and parched, but we still know that the bright reds and yellows of the harvest season are just around the corner. Apples are beginning to ripen in the trees, our summer vegetables have been picked, corn is tall and green, waiting for us to come gather the bounty of the crop fields. Now is the time to begin reaping what we have sown, and gathering up the first harvests of grain, wheat, oats, and more.

This holiday can be celebrated either as a way to honor the god Lugh, or as a celebration of the harvest.

Celebrating Grain in Ancient Cultures:

Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

In Greek legend, the grain god was Adonis. Two goddesses, Aphrodite and Persephone, battled for his love. To end the fighting, Zeus ordered Adonis to spend six months with Persephone in the Underworld, and the rest with Aphrodite.

A Feast of Bread:

In early Ireland, it was a bad idea to harvest your grain any time before Lammas — it meant that the previous year’s harvest had run out early, and that was a serious failing in agricultural communities. However, on August 1, the first sheaves of grain were cut by the farmer, and by nightfall his wife had made the first loaves of bread of the season.

The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass. In early Christian times, the first loaves of the season were blessed by the Church.

Honoring Lugh, the Skillful God:

In some Wiccan and modern Pagan traditions, Lammas is also a day of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. He is a god of many skills, and was honored in various aspects by societies both in the British Isles and in Europe. Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-NAS-ah) is still celebrated in many parts of the world today. Lugh’s influence appears in the names of several European towns.

Honoring the Past:

In our modern world, it’s often easy to forget the trials and tribulations our ancestors had to endure. For us, if we need a loaf of bread, we simply drive over to the local grocery store and buy a few bags of prepackaged bread. If we run out, it’s no big deal, we just go and get more. When our ancestors lived, hundreds and thousands of years ago, the harvesting and processing of grain was crucial. If crops were left in the fields too long, or the bread not baked in time, families could starve. Taking care of one’s crops meant the difference between life and death.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

Symbols of the Season

The Wheel of the Year has turned once more, and you may feel like decorating your house accordingly. While you probably can’t find too many items marked as “Lammas decor” in your local discount store, there are a number of items you can use as decoration for this harvest holiday.

  • Sickles and scythes, as well as other symbols of harvesting
  • Grapes and vines
  • Dried grains — sheafs of wheat, bowls of oats, etc.
  • Corn dolls — you can make these easily using dried husks
  • Early fall vegetables, such as squashes and pumpkins
  • Late summer fruits, like apples, plums and peaches

Crafts, Song and Celebration

Because of its association with Lugh, the skilled god, Lammas (Lughnasadh) is also a time to celebrate talents and craftsmanship. It’s a traditional time of year for craft festivals, and for skilled artisans to peddle their wares. In medieval Europe, guilds would arrange for their members to set up booths around a village green, festooned with bright ribbons and fall colors. Perhaps this is why so many modern Renaissance Festivals begin around this time of year!

Lugh is also known in some traditions as the patron of bards and magicians. Now is a great time of year to work on honing your own talents. Learn a new craft, or get better at an old one. Put on a play, write a story or poem, take up a musical instrument, or sing a song. Whatever you choose to do, this is the right season for rebirth and renewal, so set August 1 as the day to share your new skill with your friends and family.

From: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/LammasFolklore/a/Legends-And-Folklore-Of-Bread.htm

The Door Washing Charm

Imbolc Greetings from The Goddess & The Green Man.
Happy New Year to you all.  We’re not featuring any products this time.  Instead, here is a simple and effective charm, using items readily available in the home, for you to gently wash away that lovely, but now faded, energy of Yule. It’s time to get ready for the bright and hopeful energy of Imbolc and new beginnings!

The Door Washing Charm
To cleanse and lift the energy in your home

You will need:

3 drops of lemon essential oil or a teaspoon of natural lemon  juice
2 drops of lavender oil
Hot water
A white cloth
A bowl or bucket

Place your lemon oil or juice into your bowl and pour on hot water. When the water has cooled sufficiently stir well in a clockwise fashion. Then take your cloth and gently wipe your door starting in the centre and working outwards in a clockwise movement. Whilst doing this repeat three times  (either aloud or in your head):

“Happiness and calm be welcome inside. May peace and love here always reside.”

When you have done this wring your cloth out under running water, dry thoroughly and keep it for further cleansing.  Pour your water out safely outside. And feel the difference.

Copyright © 2017 The Goddess & The Green Man

https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/

Lammas/Lughnasadh Rites & Rituals

Set Up Your Lammas Altar

August 1 is known as Lammas, or Lughnasadh (it’s February 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). This is a day to celebrate the beginnings of the harvest, when the grain and corn is gathered. It’s also a time, in some traditions, of honoring Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god. Here are some ideas for dressing up your altar for your Lammas (Lughnasadh) celebration! Setting Up Your Lammas Altar More »

The Celtic Hearth Goddess Brighid

Brighid was a Celtic hearth goddess who is still celebrated today in many parts of Europe and the British Isles. She is honored primarily at Imbolc, on February 2, and is a goddess who represents the homefires and domesticity of family life. Be sure to read our collection of articles related to this powerful triune goddess.
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