Awaiting Spring’s return

Brigid3

Merry meet all,

Tomorrow night the  moon enters its’s second quarter. The moon is currently in Aries and shifts to Taurus tomorrow. Next week, the Full Moon shines on February 14th. Mercury goes Retrograde tomorrow at 4:43 pm and goes direct on February 28. Brace yourselves! On Feb.18th, the Celtic Tree Month of Ash begins. 

The Wheel spins once more next month. Ostara occurs on March 21, 2014. Ostara is the Spring Equinox and is the second of the three spring Sabbats. There is a lot to look forward to.

A seed catalogue arrived in the mail. I pore over it in my spare time. I am already planning my garden. I can’t wait to get my hands in the soil. I’ve started an indoor mini veggie garden that I will move outdoors as soon as the weather is ideal. 

Spring is something to always look forward to. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Decorating your Imbolc Altar

Imbolc Blessings

Merry meet all,

Today we will look at assembling your altar for Imbolc. During Imbolc, many Wiccans and Pagans choose to honor the Celtic goddess Brighid. 

The traditional colours of Imbolc are red and white, because they are associated with Brighid. White is the pure colour of snow and red represents the fire of life and the blood of life. She also corresponds with the colour green, for the green mantle she wears and the stirrings of spring beneath the soil. Place red,white and green candles in candleholders on your altar. 

Your altar decor can reflect the theme of Imbolc. You could place a statue of Brighid on your altar. Add flowers such as crocuses and hyacinths to your altar. Or make a Brighid’s crown as a centrepiece with crystals and candles. 

Brighid is a Celtic Goddess so incorporate a Celtic theme on your altar too. Add a Brighid’s cross made from raffia or yarn. You could use cauldrons, chalices, anvils and cows or sheep. Place a book of poetry, flowers, and faeries on your altar. 

Share your Imbolc altar with the blog. Feel free to include photos!!

Here is how I decorated my altar. I posted this on paganwiccanabout.com. 

What’s On My Altar 

A cauldron, a solar sun symbol, a green, red + white candle, a hammer, two Brighid’s crosses, a feather, a chalice, a Brighid’s candle. These items all represent an aspect of the Goddess Brighid. Fire is her element and she is a solar deity so the solar symbol corresponds with that. The hammer is a symbol of Brighid and the Brighid’s crosses also represent her. My altar cloths are white with a red sash lying across the altar table. These colors represent the Imbolc season.

How I Celebrated Imbolc 

I attended an Imbolc Ritual to rededicate myself to the Goddess Brighid. Women of different ages and backgrounds that shared a common interest met at a friend’s house for the ceremony. We stood in a circle around the table for the ceremony.

We began the ceremony by calling the quarters or directions of air, fire, water, earth and spirit (north for earth, east for air, west for water and south for fire). This is to seek protection from unwanted energies from entering the sacred circle once cast. We lit candles on the table according to the quarter called and acknowledged that we were gathered this night to honor Brighid. We all focused on what was negative in our lives and swept the negative energies under the table with a broom. This is a symbolic action to ensure the energies are banished. Members took a turn to sweep with the broom, asking that the Goddess bless them for the coming year.

A cup of milk was offered to Brighid first, then poured into a bowl on the altar and passed round the circle to each member. The priestess said, “May Brighid lend her blessings to you this season.” Oatcakes were passed round in the same manner.

In the Dedication Ritual, each member was encouraged to ground herself and find inner peace. When we were ready, we individually expressed our dedication to the Goddess Brighid and the God of Mabon. I said: “I dedicate myself to the God and Goddess. Thank you for the blessings you have bestowed up on me this last year.” Then we closed the circle and the ritual ended. We called the quarters in the opposite direction that they were called at the beginning. If we began in the east (air) and ended in north, then we would begin with north (earth) and end with east.

Afterwards, we all joined in a feast to ground ourselves from the ceremony. We chatted and relaxed. Rituals always uplift my spirits and are a chance to release negative tensions. I feel more strongly connected and closer to the Divine Feminine after a ritual. I revere Wicca because it honors the Divine Feminine. I derive inspiration and love from the rituals, strengthening my faith and bond with the Goddess.

The other members receive something from the ritual, each in their own way, whether that is love, courage, inner strength or protection. We had all gathered to honor the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, worshipped by our ancestors dating back to Neolithic times. The Goddess is a symbol of the unity of all life in nature.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Clean your home to release the stale energies and welcome in the early spring energies.
  • Prepare your altar for Imbolc
  • Prepare a special dish in honor of your deities.
  • Burn some wax on your candle and carve a shape of a Brighid’s cross on the candle, then add the corresponding herbs.

 

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Deity of Imbolc-Brighid

brigid

Merry meet all,

Brigid is the patron goddess of the Celts. Her name derives from the Celtic brig or “exalted one”, and she is the daughter of the Daghda. She was connected to the Tuatha de Danann. Her two sisters were also named Brighid. Brighid is a popular Celtic triple goddess. 

Brighid is the goddess of poets, healers and magicians. She was honoured and still is in Kildare. Kildare has many sacred sites in the Celtic regions, and they are connected to Brighid. People still pay a tribute or pray for healing from the Goddess Brighid at the sacred sites in Kildare. 

If you wish to honor Brighid at Imbolc, here are some ways. She is most commonly honoured at Imbolc of February 2nd. Use lots of white flowers and white candles. Also, red is a colour of Imbolc. The red and white colours represent fire and ice. Make a Brighid corn doll and a bed for her. Sweep your house clean and leave her an offering of milk or what you find suitable. 

To learn more about Brighid, I recommend the book ‘Brigid: Goddess, Druidess, and Saint’ by Brian Wright. I can’t recommend this excellent slightly scholarly but amazing reference book enough. I had a hard time tracking this book down. “As a result of original historical and archaeological research Brian Wright provides a fascinating insight into this unique and mysterious figure.” That expresses the scope of this book perfectly. 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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(

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(

The Goddess Brigid

Merry Meet All,

Brigid is a triple goddess. She is the goddess of sovereignty. She is the goddess of Fire, poetry, smithcraft and healing. Often goddesses were given many attributes, not only one. The Welsh word for king, ‘brenin,’ was thought to mean ‘consort of Brigantia. Bruide was the Pictish word for royal throne name. The Bruide name was allotted to each Pagan Pictish King who was perceived as the male manifestation of the Spirit of the Goddess. But the Welsh and Pictish names for the kinds proves that there was widespread favor and honor of the Goddess Brigid.

Brigid is also connected to divination. Since she is a goddess of fire and smithcraft, magick involving candles and fire would be appropriate for Imbolc. Pyromancy is a form of divination that you can practice. Set a candle on your altar and make yourself comfortable. Meditate to be open to receiving any messages. Pray to your deities/ animal totems/ or spiritual guide to guard you as you meditate. Visualize a sacred circle cast around you to discourage any unwanted energies.

Think of any questions you may have and gaze into the candle flames. Phrase the question short and to the point. Try asking something that would require a yes or no answer. Note if you see any dancing flames. Listen to the logs snap.

When you have received an answer to your questions, thank the fire deity and your spirit guides for their presence. Note the answers in your journal or Book of Shadows. The answers may not come into clear form. Trust your initial impressions. Release the circle of protection, and return your awareness to the room you’re in.

You could write down a wish on a sheet of paper and cast the paper into the flames. If it burns fast, it will come to you fast. If it sparks and takes a longer time to burn, you have longer to wait for the wish to manifest itself. Tune into your feelings.

Tomorrow I will post about a cleansing and purification ritual for Imbolc.
Tend the hearth!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch