Imbolg ritual

This is the Imbolg ritual we are using this Sunday. Thought I would share it a couple days ahead of time. I haven’t attributed the source of most of it but it’s kind of a conglomeration of different prayers and rituals.

Menu

Bread, honey, butter

Bailey’s Irish Cream

Colcannon

Dessert

Imbolg 2010

Supplies: Chalice and cream, small cauldron and candle for inside, three 7-day candles, Brighid’s bed (acorns with wand and corn dolly, 19 candles for lighting, red candle, white candle, cakes, Brighid altar.

Begin with one white candle lit on the altar.

Circle is Cast
P1: Tonight we celebrate and honor Brighid, triple Goddess of fire and the hearth, Goddess of healers, childbirth and fertility, Goddess of poetic inspiration and divination, metal working and crafts.

We invite you Brighid into our home to bring us tidings for the rest of this year.

Lights white candle candle

P2: Angus, God of youth, love, and beauty. We invite you here upon this night.

Lights the red candle

P2: Story

P3: Behold the God and Goddess,
Once again the Earth is blessed
With life anew inside.
Seeds shall soon begin to sprout
And creatures shall young bear
For this is the Promise, the Cycle of Life
That is born of the love they share.

P4 takes an acorn or hazelnut from in front of the God candle and places it in the Brighid’s Bed.

P3: Bride, the young Maiden of Spring is fragile, yet growing stronger each day as the sun rekindles its fire, turning scarcity into abundance.

Lights candle in cauldron.

P1: Blessing for Hearth-Keepers
by Caitlin Matthews

Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.

Mother of our mothers,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the hearth,
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
Our hands within yours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.

The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance,
from heartlessness,
This day and night,
From dawn till dark,
From dark till dawn

Burning of the Callieach

P2: For more than 900 years the flame of Brigit burned in her shrine at Kildare, tended first by the priestesses of the goddess, and then by the Catholic sisters of the saint.  In the year 1220 the bishop ordered it extinguished.

White candle is blown out.

P3: Soon it was relit.

Candle is relit.

P1: It burned until the reformation, during the reign of King Henry the Eighth, and was extinguished again, and the abbey destroyed.

Candle is blown out.

P4: In 1996 the flame was lit again in Kildare.

Candle is relit.

P2: The darkness of ignorance and fear may well put it out again one day.

Candle is blown out.

P3: But the true flame was not Ireland, the true flame is the Goddess.

Lights the 3 seven-day candles

All: As I kindle the flame upon the hearth, I pray that the flame of Brighid may burn in my soul, and the souls of all I meet. May the spark of Brighid light the love in my soul that it may burn brightly through the day. And may I warm those that are lonely, whose hearts are cold and lifeless, so that all may know the comfort of Brighid’s love.

Nineteen candles are lit for Brigid (everyone takes turns lighting and saying a line)
-I light the first candle to honor Brighid as “Mary of the Gael”
-I light the second candle to honor her as Brigantia, guardian of the Land
-I light the third candle to honor Brighid, daughter of the Morrigan and the Dagda, of the Tuatha de Danaan
-I light the fourth candle to honor her as Mother of the Three Gods of Danu – Ruadan, Iuchar and Uar, who wed the Three Goddesses of Eire :Eire, Fodhla and Banbha
-I light the fifth candle to honor her human birth, daughter of Dubthach & Broicsech
-I light the sixth candle to honor her foster father, the Druid, who foresaw her eminance and was her teacher
-I light the seventh candle to honor Bishop Mél, who was inspired to ordain her as a bishop in the Christian church
-I light the eighth candle to honor her as Sun Goddess, and Maiden of the Hearth
-I light the ninth candle to honor her as Guardian of the Holy Well which heals
-I light the tenth candle in honor of her as the inspiration of Poets and Bards
-I light the eleventh candle to honor her as midwife and healer, protector of children
-I light the twelfth candle to honor her patron of the Blacksmiths, and all other crafts.
-I light the thirteenth candle to honor her as prophetess and Seer, as taught by the Druids
-I light the fourteenth candle to honor her as mistress of domestic arts & crafts
-I light the fifteenth candle to honor her as the celestial dairymaid patron of agriculture and fertility and protector of animals, both wild and domestic
-I light the sixteenth candle to honor her as a Lady of Charity, who gave away all she had to those in need
-I light the seventeenth candle to honor her as Brigit of the Mantle, who spread her healing cloak
-I light the eighteenth candle to honor the Druid’s Oak, under which she built her abbey at Kildare
-I light the nineteenth candle as a clarsach which spells – hours, days and signs, all in a silver bough
Your last is your first, the beginning of the turning sea, the ending of the three. The dancing sun in the hears of all! The candle that never dies!

Cakes and Cream

P2: Holds the chalice aloft.
May this cup be filled with the brightest blessings of Brighid. May all our hopes come to fruition.  May our lives be filled with love. May we be reborn into the Spring.

P1: (Offering)
Brighid you are welcome here to inspire us, to heal us, to prosper us and to bless us with good luck.

(Pours some cream into the offering bowl)

Chalice is passed

P4: (Holds plate of cakes up to the sky) These cakes are symbolic of abundance. Without the love of the God and Goddess and the nurturing elements we would be unable to experience their essence.

(Offering)

Cakes are passed saying, “May you never hunger.”

All: Hold hands.

All: May the holy maiden Brighid, radiant flame of gold,
protect you from all dangers.
No fire, no sun, no moon will burn you,
No lake, no water, no sea shall drown you,
No arrow of fairy nor dart of the Fay shall wound you.
May Brighid’s waters heal you.
May Brighid’s winds inspire you.
May Brighid’s fire warm you.
May Brighid make you strong throughout the year to come.
Under her protection, go in peace.

P3: We honor you, the Maiden, most blessed Brighid. As your candles burn through this night we thank you for the renewed life you offer us all as you emerge from the dark to the light.

P4: We honor you, Angus, great God of Dagda and thank you for your presence in our circle. We send you our blessings as you spread love and light throughout the land.

Extinguish red candle

Circle is Closed

P2: Brighid, we leave you this cream and oats as you bestow blessings on our households.

Place the oats, and leftover cream drink outside the front door. The three candles remain lit through the night.

Closing Song
May the circle be open
But unbroken
May the love (peace, joy) of the Goddess be ever
In your heart
Merry Meet and Merry Part
And Merry Meet again

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Re-done

I try to remember to take photos of the paintings before I finish them. I ended up finishing this one and I don’t like it so I changed it digitally. There is always hope for something you think is ruined or you don’t like I think.

New

I finished this new 16 by 20 canvas this afternoon. It seems so springlike so maybe Spring will be here soon. It is listed in my Etsy shop. I think I cut a tad bit of the bottom off but you get the idea.

Birds

I had these intentions of posting great things here this year and I haven’t been doing that so far. I know it’s only January (barely) but I am going to try a little harder. 🙂 I have a mixed media painting of sorts almost finished to share and also photos from the citra solv results.

I sent out my newsletter this week and if you want to join the list there’s a sign-up on the right there. I try to add something different that isn’t on my blog in the letter.

There are oak trees and birds where I take the dog for a walk. That’s what I did this morning. It was funny seeing how close I could get to the geese before they started waddling away. I did have the dog with me and he is smaller than a goose so I don’t know that they felt threatened.

 

 

When is spring

By the calendar Spring is supposed to be on the equinox in March, but we see and feel signs earlier than that. I usually see some robins out and about and there are different bird songs as well. There is a certain smell of new earth outside. Willow scraped some earth and gravel and experienced it yesterday first hand.

When the sun is out you think you need to wear flip flops and short sleeves. Reality sets in and then you realize it’s getting dark and colder out now that it’s 4 p.m.

The first sign of Spring or Imbolg’s sign is the snowdrop. Although we don’t have any of these planted you can still look for other greening signs of life.

The soccer goal came out yesterday and Willow and Melody tried to play soccer together. Willow sat in the goal so that didn’t go real well. 🙂

Being inside is not good for sleeping I have found. Melody was sick Monday and then part of Tuesday really. She obviously didn’t sleep well those nights but then she has a new thing where she needs water or a snack at 5 a.m. and it takes her a long time to go back to sleep. I think fresh air cures that, though she was outside a lot yesterday and needed goldfish in her bed at 5:30 a.m. We are not supposed to be inside for long stretches of time and it’s not healthy.

Chickens stop laying eggs in the winter when the light is dwindling. They usually start laying again on Imbolg. This year the young hens are still laying eggs. They don’t lay everyday but every other day it seems.

We have had a mild winter and I know it isn’t over but it sure feels like it when it’s 50 degrees out and the sun shines. I hope your preparations for spring are going well where you are.

Empress

You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Going

TOn

Hi there. I keep meaning to get all motivated and post often but then I feel blah and don’t. I took the photo above and put it in my Etsy shop this week. I was going through the National Geographic magazines and I found a map of NYC. I think this was the one from 1989 and it had the World Trade Center on the map. I had two pieces of paper that were citri-stripped and I thought they all went together well.

While walking the dog I found an abandoned mattress with rusty springs. I enhanced the look in Photoshop and like it even more now. 🙂

Herbal salve

Yesterday my circle made some healing salve. It’s an easy recipe and I am surprised that we hadn’t made something like this before.

The herbs were from up the street, though I don’t know where she got them from of course. The beeswax was local as was my lavender! We used baby food jars and an empty, but durable container that had body butter in it.

Herbal Healing Balm/ Salve Recipe

For rashes, scrapes, small cuts, bruises, and very dry skin.

*1 1/2 c. olive oil
*1/4 c. dried comfrey leaves
*1/4 c. dried calendula petals
*1/4 c. dried lavender buds
*2 oz. beeswax
*15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
*15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Place dried herbs into a crock pot. Pour olive oil over them. Turn crock pot on low and let set for four to six hours. Strain infused oil. Discard herbs. Place infused oil into a 1 qt. saucepan and turn on low. Add the beeswax; stir until beeswax melts. Remove from heat and add essential oils. Pour into 1 oz. jars. Let cool and then seal.

*Makes approximately 14, 1 oz. jars. *Recipe may be halved, doubled, etc.