Hold an Imbolc Candle Ritual for Solitaries

Hundreds of years ago, when our ancestors relied upon the sun as their only source of light, the end of winter was met with much celebration. Although it is still cold in February, often the sun shines brightly above us, and the skies are often crisp and clear. As a festival of light, Imbolc came to be called Candlemas. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual.

The seven candles in this ritual represent various aspects of both the seasons and the human existence. Several symbolize the light that emerges as winter finally comes to an end, and another represents the purifying warmth of the hearth fires. One candle is symbolic of the barrier between the positive and negative in your life; a boundary of sorts between our world and the next. Another stands in for the magic of wisdom and inspiration, and for the light that comes into our lives when we experience love.

If you’re a solitary practitioner, don’t worry! This is a ritual you can perform all by yourself. Although this ceremony is written for one, it can easily be adapted for a small group by assigning each participant their own candle, or candles, to light and take charge of.

For the actual ritual click here Imbolc/Candlemas Solitary Ritual

Imbolc in the Southern Hemisphere

Imbolc will soon be here in the southern hemisphere. I put this first article together for the latest edition of the Axis Mundi and have also included a second Imbolc article from the August 2008 edition of the AM.

Imbolc ~ 1st August

by Jenwytch

Imbolc is a cross-quarter day midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara) and is the celebration of the banishing of winter, the imminent arrival of Spring and the stirring of new life in the earth. Imbolc recognizes the maiden aspect of the triple goddess – the fresh, the young, the naïve, the new – and is strongly connected with the Goddess Brigid. It is associated with and also known as the festivals of Oimelc, Imbolg, Imbolic (Irish), Candlemas (British), Feast of Torches, Lupercalia (Italian/Latin), Brigid’s Day, and Brigantia (Scottish).

Here in the southern hemisphere, in 21st century Australia, we are far removed from the climate and rural lifestyles of the people of ancient Europe where this festival, and others that make up the Wheel Of The Year, originated. (See my article [below] in an earlier edition of Axis Mundi for more about the history and origins of Imbolc.)

Due to the 6 month offset of the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres many Australian Pagans prefer to celebrate Imbolc when it is seasonally appropriate here, on August 1st or 2nd, instead of on the traditional northern hemisphere date of February 2nd. Although the majority of modern day Aussie Pagans live in cities or the suburbs we can still look to our backyard gardens, public suburban parks or the National Parks and bushland reserves scattered all around us to see evidence of the cycle of the seasons relevant to this time of year.

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: Imbolc

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.

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/

Imbolc Blessing Meditation

Found this really quick meditation for an Imbolc Blessing today.  I decided to take 4 minutes out of my day to stop and ask for this Blessing from Brigid.

The meditation can be found at the following link:

http://tesswhitehurst.com/imbolc-blessing-meditation/

Blessing of Brigid to you and yours in this Imbolc season.

© 2016 Wolf Woman Ways

Ritual for Imbolc Gathering on Monday, February 1, 2016

For information on when and where the ritual is taking place see post further down this page.

Items Needed

1 ribbon any spring color 20 inches or 50 cm long and, at least a half an inch or 1 cm wide If you do not have time to get the ribbons use strips of paper and then as soon as you can replace the paper with ribbons. Pieces of clear tape to tape paper to planter or wherever and to attach the natural object to the paper.

 
1 permanent marker-white or any brightly colored marker
2 natural items that can easily be tied into the ribbon and will not slip out of the knot holding it (examples shells or feathers or trees sprigs or sturdy flowers or flat stone)
1 Small planter ready to plant seeds of your choice in – OPTIONAL

A few Seeds of Your Choice – OPTIONAL

1 white candle
A drum or use a plastic bowl and wooden spoon or your hand
 
A tasty treat to eat after the blessings
Before Ritual Discussion – Starts at 6:00 PM CT
High Priestess Streggga – Imbolc has arrived and out of the darkness of the winter solstice.  Imbolcs hope for the future is essential -it is a very turning of the wheel and the life force itself . This ritual is  to celebrate Imbloc the beginning of spring. Our intention today is to invoke blessings for the year that’s unfolding
Imbloc arrives with the realization that winter will come to an end and is traditionally associated with the lambs and the first Snow Drop flower. it symbolizes hope, wishes, and all new beginning’s. -Open discussion about this Festival of youth and growth.
At 6:14 PM CT one minute to Circle Time – Let’s take a minute to ground ourselves.
(Ground and think about your growth) hold that thought and lets began!
H.P. Stregga and the rest of the Coven Life staff wish to thank you Sisters  and Brothers for coming. The circle will now be cast.
Lady Beltane: I cast this circle with the Sun God and Mother Earth. The Earth we stand on is now a sacred space out of time and place with any physical plain. This circle will protect all within it and keep out anything that would harm us.
Las Belane – Northeast – Imbolc,  stirrings of new life, breeze and the soil awakening
Ms Dani – East     winds bringing fresh air and change
 Loki’s Little Hippie Witch –  Southeast   sap rising, stirred by the sun
 Loki’S Ltitle Hippie Witch – South    warming sun, promise of light lengthening
 SunRay – Southwest – Seeds that are  sprouting that will become grains and crops
SunRay – West      Rains, feeding life
 Lady Beltane –  Northwest    pattern of life and growth, encoded in each living creature
Lady Beltane – North    renewal of the earth, as life awakens
All Attending – Above and below
H.P. Stregga – Introduction to the Imbolc
Imbolc is the festival opposite to and balancing the Lammas.  the agricultural themes of growth and death especially in the lifecycle of seeds this is the season of youth the birth of animals -the hatching of birds -sprouting of new plant life and the renewal of plants that been dormant through the winter.
(What does it mean to you) moment of discussion:
Grab your drums and let’s chant
Light the candle while chanting the chant above
Plant your seeds in the planter you tied the ribbon around while chanting the chant above

Chant to yourself

Breathing in, singing out
Birth  of new we bring about
Singing out, breathing in
Live the dream, Let the change begin
Blessing of the Ribbons
Taking your own ribbon write a blessing/wish -what you would like to see come true for this new year ?  Now tie that ribbon around the planter you brought or tree or anything that will be a daily reminder (you can even tape it to your bathroom mirror if you do not have a planter or anything else to tie it to) for you look at your blessing call upon your blessing and manifest your dreams and your desires and watch the new beginning of your life take place (You can do this with as many pieces of ribbon you want to tomorrow on Imbolc.
Light the candle while chanting the chant above
Plant your seeds in the planter you tied the ribbon around while chanting the chant above
Everyone share one blessing you asked for please.
Everyone responds “Blessed Be” after each person shares their blessing.
(Blessing from Stregga and any other High Priestess or Elder of the coven)
Closing the circle;
Below and Above
Lady Beltane – North    Renewal  of the earth, as life awakens
Lady Beltane  – Northwest   Pattern of life and growth, encoded in each living creature
SunRay – West    Rains,  feeding the growth of life
 SunRay – Southwest    Seeds  that are sprouting, that will become grain and crops
 Loki’s Little Hippie Witch – South   Warming  of the sun, promise of light lengthening
 Loki’S Ltitle Hippie Witch – Southeast   Sap rising, stirred by the sun
Ms Dani – East     Winds bringing in fresh air and change
 Lday Beltane – Northeast    Imbolc, this games of new life, breeze and the soil awakening
Lady Beltane – The circle is open but remains unbroken may the Gods and Goddesses bless each of us as we go our seperate ways. I return you to our physical plain and time.
H.P. Stregga -Thank you all for attending this ritual it is my hope and desire you all have what you wish for – may your new year be full of love and New life – may you bring forth all those beautiful things that you yourself have the power to manifest – may you strive this year to plant new seeds and may your fruit grow- may your life be full of happiness thank you for allowing me to be part of this gathering in this beautiful Coven. May you be blessed merry part until we merry meet again and so it it!    Mote it be!!!
Now take your cake and eat of it, remember to take some outside as an offering.
Copyright 2016 High Priestess Elder Stregga

Imbolc Offering Plate

Imbolc Plate

 

This is a photo of the offering plate I painted for Imbolc.  It was my first try at painting pottery since 1984!  I learned quite a bit and plan on painting an offering plate for each of the Sabbats.  I have designs I drew in my Bullet Journal to use as a template.  I realized I need to use more simple designs until I get better at painting.  Hopefully you can see the roots of the tree and a seed in the ground just starting to send up a green shoot.  The sun is in a cloudy sky and there is snow on the ground.  The Celtic Triskele kind of got lopsided! It was hard squeezing the plastic bottle to get the paint out.

© 2016 Wolf Woman Ways