Feb. 2 is a very powerful cross-quarter day in the 8 spoked wheel of the year. Goddess Brigid’s Day is celebrated as IMBOLC or CANDLEMASS, an ancient pagan, Wiccan Festival of the quickening of the light. Catholics, who had to add the ancient holidays onto their new Catholic ones, celebrate this as the Feast of the Purification of Mary.
Popularly known as GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie starring Bill Murray is a classic film based on some very spiritual ideas about Karma.
This day marks the Goddesses’ coming out for the first time after giving birth to the SUN at Winter solstice. Visualize this time as the baby sun nursing from the Goddess’s breast. Traditionally all women had a 6 week “lying in” period after giving birth where they stayed in their homes with their newborns to ensure the mother-child bond and to make the infant stronger. Mother and child were tended in all ways with food, and any other needs by family friends the community, or doulas.
This day is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of Winter. A festival of light and fertility, it was once marked in Europe with huge blazes and fires everywhere. Fire symbolizes our own illumination and inspiration as well as light and heat. Also called the Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, and the Feast of the Waxing Light.
The old Scandinavian custom was to wear crowns of lit candles but most practitioners carry candles during their invocations and ceremonies.
This date celebrates the changing of the Goddess from the CHRONE back to the MAIDEN. It celebrates the very earliest signs of Spring and the noticeable lengthening of the days in the Northern hemisphere.
It is also a day of celebrating the Celtic Goddess Brigid. Brigid is the Goddess of Poetry, Healing, Smithcraft, and Midwifery.
She is a triple Goddess, honor her in all her aspects. Her symbols are serpents, representing the sacred fire of sexuality. All ancient Goddesses knew the sacred secrets of Tantric sexuality, healing, and transformation. Brigid governed wells. There is still a holy well in Ireland where she is workshopped. This is both a fire and water celebration, the balance of masculine and feminine energies.
This is a time for communing with Brigid, for tending to and the lighting of your own sacred flame, the KUNDALINI fire of sexual tantric transformation.
This is a good time for initiations, into covens or self-initiations. Initiations of all kinds are the order of the day.
The TAROT card that would accompany this Festival would be the ACE OF WANDS
The planets are well placed to support the fire and the water.
The MOON is in ARIES for most of the day in PST and EST. Mars is strong in ARIES. The Moon trines Saturn in Fiery SAGITTARIUS in the morning. VENUS is at the last critical degree of watery PISCES. JUNO, the feminine form of genius is at the last degree of SAGITTARIUS. CERES is at the last degree of ARIES.
As a Purification Day
Use water and salt to purify yourself. Wash your hands and face in salt water. Sprinkle salt water which you have blessed charging it. Sprinkle it in every corner of your home. Water is the most important element. Water transmutes all hardness, breaks down anything over time. Water also symbolizes the emotions. We need to purify our emotional bodies as well.
The waters of the earth these days needs our help and intentions. The oceans are polluted from Fukushima, from oil spills, fracking and toxins being poured into the rivers and lakes. Send your intention to see the earth’s waters running clear pure, cleansed. Bathing in Himalayan salt water while burning red candles would be appropriate.
Brigid, GODDESS OF CREATIVITY
Do something creative, read poetry, suspend your critical mind and allow your left brain consciousness to take over and allow a pure stream of consciousness to write a poem, sing, or dance. Dedicate a future work to Her.
At sunset or just after a ritual, light every lamp in the house – if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow.
FOODS TO EAT
Imbolc marks the first calving and dairy dishes are traditionally consumed. You could eat yogurt or sour cream. If you are on non-dairy, honor the cows with a statue of a cow, or transmute your non-dairy soya, oat milk, almond milk or coconut milk to honor the cows and sheep. Hot fiery foods definitely match up with the fiery celebratory nature of this feast.All curries and all dishes made with red peppers, chilies, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. It is traditional to consume Spiced red wines and dishes containing raisins, symbols of the sun’s energies.
Hot fiery foods definitely match up with the fiery celebratory nature of this feast.All curries and all dishes made with red peppers, chilies, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. It is traditional to consume Spiced red wines and dishes containing raisins, symbols of the sun’s energies.
Traditional grains were eaten to celebrate the growth of future grains. Serve crepes pancakes, cakes, and breads. Again if you are on a PALEO, no carbs and no grains diet, use spelt, Kamut, almond, rice, corn, amaranth or whatever and transmute it to honor the ancient grains. Put out a loaf of bread on your windowsill like they did in Ireland traditionally on Brigid’s day. An ear of corn was also set out. Wheat stalks are woven into X-shaped crosses to serve as charms to protect the home from fires and lightning. Clean out your fireplace.
IMBOLC RITUAL SUPPLIES
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly or Spring Flowers
Colors: White, Orange, Red
Ritual for Imbolc/Candlemas
A white flower or snow in a crystal or a paper cut out snowflake to symbolize winter. You could safely set this on fire and let it burn as a symbol of the spring coming.
You will need an orange candle anointed with cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary oil (unlit), red candle to represent the elements and your ritual supplies.
Arrange the altar, light the candles and censer, and cast the Circle. Call in the elements.
Invoke the Goddess and God.
Say such words as the following:
“This is the time of the feast of FIRE/torches/wands,
When every lamp blazes and shines
To welcome the rebirth of the Sun God.
Celebrate the Goddess, Celebrate the God;
All the Earth celebrates, beneath its mantle of sleep.
Light the orange candle from the red candle on the altar. Slowly walk the circle clockwise/sunwise, holding the candle before you. Say these or similar words:
“All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and frost envelopes the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun, Horned One of animals and wild places,
Unseen you have been reborn Of the gracious Mother Goddess,
Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God! Hail and welcome!”
Stop before the altar, holding up the candle. Gaze at its flame. Scry with the fire. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength.
If you need to look into the future or the past, now is an ideal time
SET NEW INTENTIONS
Make new commitments on this day.
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Song to BRIGHID by Lisa Thiel