What is Imbolc? January 30 2016

Imbolc, the Goddess awakens and the dark days of Winter are slowly retreating. Imbolc is the first of the Spring Festivals, it celebrates life returning to the Earth, daffodils are starting to grow and lambs are being born. It is the first official day of lambing and although there still may be snow, the lighter days restore well-being as Spring is not far away.

Imbolc is the festival of Brigid, the Goddess of the Earth she is reborn and this in turn is awakening the Earth and its inhabitants. Imbolc is an ancient festival which was Christianized into Saint Brigid’s Day, St Brigid is one of the Patron Saints of Ireland along with Saint Patrick. Saint Brigid herself was a nun, an abbess who founded many monasteries of nuns, including one at Kildare. It is no coincidence that this Saint shares the name of the goddess nor the fact that on this day on the Christian calendar Spring is celebrated and lambing officially begins. Imbolc has been a long held tradition for many centuries and one of the most looked forward to festivals as in olden times if you had survived Winter this far then you would make it through to Spring. Christianizing this festival and yet maintain the ancient connections would have been essential in converting the Celtic people. All the main festivals have been Christianized apart from Samhain, Halloween, all efforts to replace this festival failed and of course it is still a popular night for non-Pagans today.

How you can Celebrate Imbolc in the Traditional Celtic way.

To invite Brigid in to your home a member of your family will need to collect some rushes and walk three times around your home outside, then he or she will need to knock on the door three times when you answer the door you will need to say: Welcome my goddess to my home, please enter, dine and rest. The rushes should be placed inside your front door as a carpet to welcome the goddess.  

On Imbolc Eve Brigid will visit everybody’s home it is traditional to eat a feast and save some food for the goddess, a place should be set for her and the food left on the table with a glass of wine. Welcoming the goddess to your table will ensure plentiful supplies in your home.

If you make a bed for your celestial visitor on your couch, you invite security into your life.

Finally, if you leave a full set of clothes on your doorstep on the night of 1st February the goddess will bless them for you and if you put these clothes away and wear when you become unwell they will heal you.

Spells and Witchcraft

Imbolc is a Sabbat, one of six holy days. This Sabbat is linked with divination, re-birth, fertility and new love. The Goddess has been born again as a virgin and she will now wait for her love the Green man to be reborn and join with her again. This is the beginning of the wheel of the seasons again as everything revolves in cycles. At Imbolc if you read for yourself pay extra attention to the guidance you receive, predictive dreams will be experienced and magic which will reveal your future will be very clear.

If you would like more information about spells and readings, please click here.  

The Influence of the Cold Moon November 29 2014

The ground is barren, cold. The trees have lost their leaves and the lush green, warmth of the summer has become a distant memory. But, we live in centrally heated homes, travel everywhere by car or bus and are kept warm at work by our employers, so does it really matter? Yet, only 100 years ago life was very different; the cold, grey skies and the lack of daylight had a profound effect on life, health and mental stability. People centuries ago used the Autumn months to prepare both their homes and themselves against the onslaught of Winter. No anti-biotic to fight the seasonal infections and only natural remedies even for the seriously ill. Winter was taken seriously. Many people living in rural locations would have to walk miles to get provisions such as milk and wheat if the winter store ran low or your livestock were not taken care of.

This is the time when the local witch was at her busiest. Of course her preparations would have begun in the summer months, drying the herbs and preparing potions for chilblains and other cold related afflictions. People seem to have been hardier than we are today but perhaps better prepared would be a more apt description. In those times the modern Winter depression was non -existent, Winter had a purpose and was endured by the people as it was endured by the land. Being in turn with the Earth, the seasons and the phases of the moon was simply part of life in the 1600’s. The witch or wise woman was the answer to many ailments and her preparation for winter saved many lives.

Today many people forget the need to prepare their homes and bodies for Winter. Stocking up on vitamins and eating plenty of hearty foods not only comforts but also protects. Having sufficient fuel stored through the summer would aid you financially and also walking out in the cold actually boosts your immune system, so try wrapping up and heading out for twenty minutes activity a day without your car and keep yourself healthy!

The main lesson which you should to learn from the past is that even if you have no interest in the Earth, the seasons and the moon phases you cannot avoid feeling the effects of them on your body, your mental state and your home.

The Cold moon this year is 6th December and this moon will herald a phase of release. If you use the energy of the moon through its phases through Waxing, and Waning until the next Full moon on January 5th 2015 you will be preparing yourself to beat the winter blues which threaten everyone when the sky is grey and the dark nights are so very long.