New Moon for Imbolc

Imbolc celebration

Merry meet all,

Tonight is the New Moon. The moon will be in Aquarius. It’s great that the New Moon occurs so close to Imbolc. Imbolc is the first of the three spring festivals. Imbolc is about new beginnings, which is what a new moon represents. 

The moon grows fuller after Imbolc. I plan to make a candle in honor of Imbolc. I want to make the candle white, and I’m gathering the supplies I’ll need. I have lots of herbs and cooking oil. I also have lots of wick and other things. I hope the candle turns out beautiful. I promise to keep you all posted. I also plan to heavily clean my apartment and erect an Imbolc-ish altar. I’m attending a public  Imbolc ritual hopefully, if all goes well. 

I’d love to hear your plans for Imbolc. Have you started your seeds and plants yet? Felt a burst of creativity? Getting excited over the increased daylight hours? You’re feeling the first stirrings of spring. I get like that too at this time of year. Winter won’t last forever. 

This year, something special is happening! The Earth Spirit Society is participating with the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. Here is a link to more information about the Interfaith Harmony Week: http://worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com. The Earth Spirit Society is a group that seek to learn from each other and celebrate the eight Sabbats of the year. “… a group of individuals from a mix of religious traditions and spiritual paths largely composed of neo-Pagans and eclectic individuals that work together to serve and educate our communities.” http://essns.org/we_are.html (credit). It is awesome that Earth Spirit Society has the opportunity to be connected with the Interfaith Harmony Week. It shows that positive change has been created. 

I look forward to the celebration! I will keep you posted about that as well. 

 

Enjoy Imbolc and the New Moon! 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Cleaning House for Imbolc

Ewewithbabylamb

Merry meet all,

Did the post title grab your attention? I thought so. House work is not fun but since Imbolc is a Sabbat about cleansing and purification, I think housework should be involved too. 

The trick is to make it fun. Turn the chore into a ritual in itself. Begin by gathering all your cleaning supplies and dish gloves. Wipe your counter clean so you have a place to store them. Light a black candle for ridding your home and your sacred space of negative energy. I see my whole living space  as a sacred space. Play music to get you into the mood. Burn incense or a simmering incense mixture on your stove that corresponds with purification. Your home is your sacred space and should be treated as such. So don’t view this as a chore. You could set a timer if you are pressed for time. It makes the work go faster!

Now, you can get to work. Dust, mop, and scrub every inch of your home. Recycle and throw out the trash. Donate items to a thrift store or the Salvation Army. Wash the dishes and scrub the floors. Clean your whole apartment/ home. Burn frankincense essential oil to really give it that good clean smell. Mint and lavender are associated with cleaning. Who can resist the pure fresh scent of lemon. Your place should be feeling good and smelling great by now. Add essential oils and herbs to your dish water and mop water. 

When you are done, extinguish and toss the black candle. Let it burn down. Light a white candle to return positive energy to your home. Water your plants and feed your familiars! They will thank you! Say a prayer to your chosen kitchen witch deity or or other chosen deity for their blessings for your home and family, including pets!  Let the white candle burn down. 

Smudge your house with sage and asperge with salt and water. Draw a pentagram with your power hand over the bowl of saltwater. Say a blessing as you sprinkle the corners of your home with the saltwater. Sweep out bad energy with your besom. 

It couldn’t hurt to clean and scrub your altar too. Your home and altar area are now sparkling clean and revived with clearer energy. I hope your home feels great now. 

Now sit down on the floor to meditate in the most central spot of your home. Imagine your home filling with pure white light or energy. Imagine that to look anyway you want. Send the white light/ energy into every crack, every crevice. When you are done, open your eyes. Feel a difference? Good!

Store your cleaning tools and magickal supplies where they belong. Discard the white candle. You are now ready for an Imbolc celebration. 

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(

Imbolc

CIMG0912

Merry meet all,

I survived the worst winter storm ever. Here, in Nova Scotia, we accumulated 40 cms of snow. I thought my house would blow down. Winter is here. But hope for spring remains. Imbolc is around the corner. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Imbolc. The ewes and cows begin to produce milk. To the ancient Celts, who survived on their stored food, this would be a relief. 

Imbolc is a time of magic and the first stirrings of life in the soil. Imbolc is a holiday that was celebrated by the ancient Celts. The Irish Gaelic called it Oimelc, or “ewe’s milk”. The ewes nursed their newly born lambs. The Celts also celebrated their version of Groundhog Day, but with a serpent instead of a rodent. They sang a song:

Thig an nathair as an toll
(The serpent will come from the hole)
la donn Bride
(on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
(though there may be three feet of snow)
Air leachd an lair
(On the surface of the ground.)
 In the early agricultural societies, the time of Imbolc was marked with the spring lambing, when the ewes lactacted. At some Neolithic sites in Ireland, underground chambers glow with the rising sun on Imbolc. 

I shall post more here about Imbolc. Stay safe and warm this winter!

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch

* Thanks to paganwicca.about.com for information. 

 

 

New Year

Yule woods

Merry meet all,

I trust you all had a wonderful holiday and New Year. Now that things are back to normal, there are new things to look forward to.

This month, we have some special lunar energy. January 1st and January 30th are New Moons and Super Moons. January 15th is the Full Moon, also known as Wolf Moon and Cold Moon. Get your crystals and candles ready!!

The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Imbolc. Imbolc is the first of the three spring Sabbats. I love Imbolc. I don’t exactly enjoy winter and it cheers me to know spring is around the corner. 

Stay tuned for more posts here about Imbolc!

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

 

 

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

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

Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

Imbolc is almost here! Imbolc is one of the three spring Sabbats. The Wheel of the Year turns on its axis to spring. We are passing the cold crust of winter and soon buds will be blossoming from the earth.

Ewes are nursing their lambs. Spring and the planting season are around the corner. The Goddess Brigid corresponds with Imbolc. In pre-Christian Ireland there was a goddess called Brighid, and she was the daughter of the god Daghdha. She was an ancient Mother deity to the Irish. The Irish Druids had their own concept of the Goddess Brighid. The Druidesses liked the goddess Brighid. The Druidesses were prized for foretelling the future, and the leaders trusted them. Brighid (The High One) was the new name for the goddess. She was credited with fertility aspects, agriculture, and animals. Goibhnui, whose name meant ‘smith’, and was a smith god, and Dian Cecht, whhose name translates to ‘he who travels swiftly’, their attributes were credited to Brighid. That is how the goddess came to be honored with the triple aspects of fertility, smithcraft and inspiration. The attributes remained with the Goddess Brighid (The High One) to this day.

Some Irish traditions keep to this day. In Ireland, it was customary to rake the ashes of the hearth over the embers, a custom known as coiglt as nine (raking the fire), which preserved the mother fire, the an mhathair and then the fire was stoked to life in the morning. Hearth prayers and blessings were recited and the same practice prevailed in Scotland. They depended on the hearth for warmth, healing and cooking. Another practice involved peat since it was a common fuel. Peat was easier to keep in the fire. It was called smaladh (in Celtic Gaelic, which meant hill or mound.) A ritual developed from the practices of tending the hearth. The women of the house created a circle from the hearth ashes. The circle was divided into three sections and a small mound in the center. “Three pieces of peat were laid between each section, with each piece touching the central mound. The first peat was laid down in the name of God of Life, the second in the name of the God of Peace, and the third in the name of the God of Grace.” Ashes were then covered over them. It was known as the Three of Light, Tula non Tri (Mound of the Three”. The Celts loved everything in threes. The woman closed her eyes, stretched out her hands, and intoned a charm for the hearth, the Beannachadh Slamadh (Smooring Blessings).

“Smooring the Hearth (Smaladh An Tula)
I will smoor the hearth
As Bride the Fostermother would smoor.
The Fostermother’s holy name
Be on the hearth, be on the herd,
Be on the household all.”

Another popular tradition was making Brighid’s crosses, a tradition that carries to this day. We still honor Brigid, the Goddess, during Imbolc. I will post more about Imbolc and Brigid this month. Be sure to stay posted to learn more about Imbolc.

Information for post from the book Brigid: Goddess, Druidesss, and Saint by Brian Wright.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch