Monthly Archives: January 2013

Creative crafts for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

I apologize for the recent lack of posts. I have been down with an illness and now have my health under control. So today I took time off from my usual obsessive writing/ editing and spent an afternoon on some creative tasks. The first thing I did was make my own deck of Zener cards. I bought bristle board, which is cheaper than card stock. I used a tarot deck card as a template. I used the High Priestess card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck for the template. I cut around the card carefully. I fashioned twenty five identical cards and then counted out twenty five cards. I separated the cards into five piles. I googled the symbols for the cards and using a black permanent marker, marked the symbols on the cards. I left the deck of cards on my altar to empower them with energy.

Next, the purple candle. I made a purple candle earlier in the fall. However, I did not make the candle correctly. So I melted down the wax in a double boiler. I let the wax simmer and added some other old wax for fragrance. I removed the old wick and set it aside. I poured the hot purple wax into the glass mold / jar carefully. Then I set the candle on the counter and secured the wick. I hope this time the wick is centred and it burns properly this time. The candle is cooling on my kitchen counter now.

Last night, I made a pendulum from embroidery thread and a clear quartz crystal. The crystal had a piece on the top that had a hook so I secured the embroidery thread. For the string, I used blue and white embroidery thread to complement the crystal. The crystal comes down to a point, which will make it an excellent pendulum. I tied a dragon ornament to the other end of the string. The pendulum is beautiful now.

Every Imbolc, I become very creative. I am not surprised by this burst of creative energy because Brigid is one of my matron deities. Do you get a burst of creative energy at Imbolc? I would love to hear from you.

Tonight is the Full Moon. Worship the Moon in all her glory and power. Blessed Be

Lady Spiderwitch

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Cold Wolf Moon

Merry Meet All,

Who says January isn’t an exciting month? I have been busy. The Cold wolf Moon will howl in the night sky on January 26. Imbolc occurs on February 2. There is lots to do and prepare for. Imbolc is about the return to the light half of the year. Burn frankincense to invoke the energy of the sun.

The Crone is fading in her power. The Maiden emerges in the spring. The Crone is still there, hiding in the shadows. You can still call on her for wisdom and strength at the full Cold Moon. Visualize a Goddess, older, wise and strong, and leave an offering for her. Consider her to be your mentor. Light a candle and offer sandalwood incense. Ask her to be your guiding light.

Cold as stone, the night you roam,
Guiding light leads me home

Meditate also on the energy of the wolf. Draw the wolf card in your animal totem deck and see if there any messages for you. Wolves are one with the night and the moon and its phases.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Resting in the Darkness

Merry Meet All,

Today the snow is blowing hard. The sky is a greyish white and tree boughs darken against the colour of the sky. I think that makes trees appear even more beautiful. A graceful birch tree trunk reaches to the sky outside my bedroom window. I love trees. They have sheltered and protected humans and animals for millennia. Some tree branches shiver from the harsh wind. It is not long though till the arrival of spring. I cling to the dark half of the year like a single leaf or berry clings to a bough.

Why? I like this time of year. I always turn inward and rest. I feel the energy within me. I love the simpler crude beauty of winter. The white snow, the bark of the trees that stands out more in winter, and the energy that lingers, according to me, from Samhain. Samhain is my absolute favourite time of year. I don’t fear it.

I love summer too. The days stretch on and my garden is in full bloom. But winter is my time of rest and like the foxes and bears that hibernate in caves and dens, I store my energy to reserve it for the coming months. I get a lot done too. But Imbolc can be a time to plan for the coming spring season. Don’t get me wrong, I pored over that seed catalogue. I can’t wait to try organic container gardening.

I am plugging away on my ghost story. I am currently reading The Witches’ Book of the Dead by Christian Day and a tome of actual ghost occurrences for research purposes. That is why I love this time of year. I fear I will not have the same energy to want to work on it in the summer. It is not a light story. It is not for the faint of heart. This time of year feels perfect to work on it. But then I am taking forever to finish it. I always seem to have just one more book to read for my story. Eventually I will have to stop researching and complete my editing. I have to send my novel out there.

Enjoy the winter season
Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Ice candles for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Ice candles are easy to make and lots of fun. Ice candles are a perfect way to celebrate Imbolc in the chilly month of February.

You will need the following:

Ice
paraffin wax
color and scent, essential oils
a taper candle
A candle mold or cardboard container
a double boiler
or two pans

Melt paraffin wax in a double boiler. Be sure the wax is never placed right over the heat, or you could start a fire. While the wax is melting, prepare the candle mold. If you choose to add color or scent to the candle, do it now. Use colors and scents that are appropriate for Imbolc.

Place the taper candle in the cardboard carton. Centre the candle. Fill the carton with ice. Pack the ice in around the candle. Do not use large chunks of ice.

Once the wax is melted, pour the wax into the mold. Be careful. As the hot wax pours in, it melts the ice, leaving small holes in the candle. Let the candle cool and poke a hole in the bottom of the container so the melted water can drain. It is good to do this over a sink. Let the candle ‘set’ overnight to harden the wax. In the morning, peel back all the cardboard container. You now have an ice candle in time for your Imbolc celebrations.

Tie a red and white riboon around the candle. Give the candle as a gift or use it in your rituals for Imbolc.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Prayers for Brigid

Merry Meet All,

A blanket of snow covers Halifax. I can’t believe how much snow we are getting. I am hibernating in my apartment. Though Imbolc is around the corner, the ocean of snow is forcing me indoors to write my blog.

Imbolc is the time to honour the Goddess Brigid. The white mantle of snow shelters the sleeping earth but Imbolc is the first Sabbat of early spring. Here is a winter meal blessing you can say at meal time to welcome spring.

Winter comes to an end
the supply of food lessens
Yet we give prayers for the bounty
In the chilly winter months,
We are grateful for our fortune
and the food from the snowy earth.

Light a candle at the meal. A new candle would make it special. Leave the candle in the fridge for twenty minutes and then set the candle in a meaningful candleholder. Focus on the warmth emanating from the candle and reflect on Brigid’s flame.

Here is another prayer for Brigid.

FIRE MEAL BLESSING

Brigid is the lady of flame,
the fire that warms our food
Hail to Brigid and to the hearth,
May she bless our food!

These are some prayers that you can focus on while dining or even meditating. Add your own meaning or words to them if you follow a different tradition. Imbolc is the traditional time for Brigid.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Crafts for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

BRIGID DOLL

Around the time of Imbolc, I become extremely creative. I get like that at Samhain, too. Here are steps to make an Imbolc corn doll. You can find corn husks at the local grocery store. You will also need ribbon, yarn and some cotton balls.

Take on strip of a husk, and fold it in half. Place two or three cotton balls in the middle, and twist the husk, securing it with string to make a head. Leave a bit in the husk and back, and under the head, to create the torso.

Make the arms for your doll by folding two husks in half and tying at the ends with string to make the hands. Slip the arms between the husks (torso), and tie off at the waist. Consider using ribbon or yarn in colors that correspond with Brigid. Slip cotton balls in to give the doll shape.

Arrange more husks, upside down, around the doll’s waist. Overlap them slightly and tie in place with yarn. Tie the waist and then fold the husks down, so now her skirt falls downward, to where her feet would be. Trim the hem of the skirt to even out the hem. Let the doll dry.

Once the doll has dried, you can decorate her. Use yarn for hair and a marker for her face. You can use beads, sigils, make her an apron, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Place your Brigid doll on your altar. When you invite her into your home, you invite her energy and blessings.

BRIGID’S BED

Here is how to make a Brigid’s bed. It is simple to make. You can find the craft supplies at your local art store or thrift store. Begin with a blanket. You can use a small cloth for a blanket. Or stitch up a mattress by sewing two rectangles of fabric together and stuffing it with down. Place this in the basket. Make a pillow in the same manner. Put a warm blanket over the top, and set on your hearth or altar.

Put your Brigid doll on the bed before you go to sleep at night. If you do not have a Brigid doll or do not have the time to make one, then use a besom instead. The broom stands for the symbol of female power. Keep her company with a Priapic wand.

Welcome Brigid by gathering around the fire and saying the following chant three times:

Brigid is come, Brigid is welcome!

Let candles burn beside Brigid through the night. Leave them to burn in a kitchen sink or bathtub all night long. Meditate before you go to sleep to wish for fertility and abundance.

I hope you enjoy these crafts and have a wonderful Blessed Imbolc!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Deities of Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is associated with Brigid. She is the goddess of smithcraft, poetry, and healing. There are other deities associated with Imbolc and Valentine’s Day.

Aenghus Og, a Celtic god, was associated with love, beauty and inspiration. He went to a lake and found fifty women chained together. One of them was the girl he was in love with, Caer Iborneith. All the girls but the one he loved were turned into swans every second Samhain. Aenghus was told he could marry Caer if he could identify her as a swan. They both turned into swans and flew away while singing exquisite songs to each other.

Cerridwen represents the powers of divination and prophecy. She was the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge in the Underworld. Many other deities may be associated with Imbolc. These are just a few. Imbolc is the time of the early stirrings in the earth and when ewes give birth to kids. The Wheel of the Year turns again.

Make an offering at your altar to the deities of Imbolc. Some offerings could be milk and honey, wine, make a bed for Brigid, offer herbs or seeds. Ask that the deities bless and enchant your Imbolc this year.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Home Clean for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Start your Imbolc off right on the right broomstick with a house cleansing ceremony.

The first step is to physically clean your home. Put on some pagan chants or related music and clean every inch of your home. Vaccuum the floors, wash the floors, water your plants, scrub the pet food bowl clean. It has been proven that dishtowels and pet food bowls contain the highest number of germs. Do the laundry and wash all the dishes. Set aside a bag or a box for recycling and one for donations.

Now you can spiritually clean your home. You will need the following items:

A bowl of spring water
Sea salt
A smudge stick of sage or sweetgrass
A blue candle
Blessing Oil
A clean glass bowl

Begin at the front door with your cleansing tools. The front door is where you enter and exit the home many times. Now move through the house in a sunwise direction with the salt, sage, candle flame and water. Chant an incantation such as:

By the element of water,
by the element of air,
by the passionate element of fire,
by the grounding element of earth,
I cleanse this space.

As you travel from room to room, anoint each door and windowsill with the Blessing Oil. Trace the sign of a pentagram on the window and door. This prevents anything negative or unwelcome from entering the home.

Once you have gone through the entire house, put the salt outside, spill the water outside and extinguish the smudge stick. Let the candle burn down and dispose of the wax. The salt, water, flame and smudge stick will have absorbed the energies of what you were cleansing and must be disposed of immediately after cleansing. They will otherwise contain those energies.

You can opt to sit in the center of your home and meditate on filling your home with positive energy. As you sit on the clean (!) kitchen floor, close your eyes and visualize the whole house being filled with white light. Get into every crack and crevice. When you are done, open your eyes. Marvel at how positive your home feels. Your home is cleansed for Imbolc!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Cleansing ritual for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is about cleansing and purification. You can cleanse your home, your mind, body and spirit. The best way to do this is in a ritual. I just refreshed my altar and smudged it with sage. My altar was still dressed for Yule. But the Wheel of the Year is soon turning to Imbolc. The altar cloth is white and I placed my serpent wand (elements of earth and air), an artificial and beautiful birds’ nest, and a cow figurine on my altar. I think the best colours for an Imbolc altar are whites and muddy browns. The colours signify that winter is still here but the snow is melting to reveal the muddy colours of spring.

Here is a ritual to do for a cleansing. First, try to be undisturbed for the ritual. Tell your family you need some time alone. Turn off the phone and dim the lights in the bathroom. Light candles or add an essential oil to the candle then light it to waft the fragrance around the room.

Play a CD of your favorite soft classical music or music with nature sounds such as a waterfall or whales. Relax in the tub. As you run the bath, use herbs that have cleansing properties. Put herbs into a muslin cloth or bag and suspend the sachet from the faucet so as the warm bathwater runs through it into the tub. The herbs associated with cleansing are rosemary, lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, and peppermint. You can use one of these herbs or combine them for extra powerful cleansing.

Relax in the tub and meditate on the herbal bathwater and clear your mind. Take as long as you feel is necessary. Concentrate on pushing the negativity within you leaving your body. When you drain the tub, the negativity will flow down the drain, leavin you purified.

Relax after you leave the tub. It helps if you set towels or a robe and your warm plush slippers nearby so they are within reach. Take deep breaths to ground your energy. If you used Epsom salts, have a glass of water. The salts can dehydrate you. You need to replenish your body with water. If you have a shower stall, you can hang the herbal sachet from the shower faucet.

After that cleansing ritual, cleanse your home to welcome Imbolc, the first spring Sabbat. Stay tuned for a house cleansing and blessing ritual tomorrow.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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An organic tradition

Merry Meet All,

I just returned from a local farmers market to pick up some delicious organic apples. Think of how long farmers have been growing and selling their food. It is a long time. I support the farmers markets because they sell organic food. When you buy the food, you know it is not poisoned with chemicals, that livestock was not forced to suffer to make the milk or pork or whatever, and you feel good about yourself, about the food and that you are doing your part for the economy and the earth.

I am sure the Goddess Brigid would hold that in her favor. More and more companies and stores and farmers markets are becoming more sustainable and organic. People are demanding organic food. This cannot be just a fad. We must maintain the demand for organic food. Do you really want to take into you something sprayed with chemicals? You do not just eat the apple, you take in the energy of the apple. So you take into you the poisons and the intent of who sprayed the chemicals onto the apple. Do you really want to consume that? I would hope not. Since I have been eating organic food, I can’t believe the difference in how I feel. I can think more clearly, feel healthier, and actually have more energy.

In ancient Ireland and Scotland, such chemicals and preservatives were unheard of. It was not till the Industrial Revolution that we began to spray everything. Think of how good food tasted back then. Chemicals and pesticides and the chemicals injected into cows and chickens hurt the animals and poison lakes, rivers, streams and the oceans and kill the aquatic life.

You can grow herbs, fruits and vegetables and know they will contain no toxins. Pressure companies to initiate sustainable practices and to produce organic food and other products. There are alternatives available. Organic herbs retain the lovely essential oils that they are so loved for. This is the way it should be. We need to care for the earth, because then we do that, we are truly honoring the Goddess and the God.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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