Imbolc/Candlemas

As I have mentioned in previous posts I am a co-admin for my local Pagan community group and with that I have helped create some generalised information and ritual documents to help out those that may not be experienced or who may just need a little help with ideas on creating their own.

I have been given permission to share these mini essays.  I have found in helping create these little essays that I am also learning some valuable information that I would not normally have learnt had I not been give the role of co-admin.  For that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to grow within myself and, like Odin, to gain knowledge from others.

IMBOLC /CANDLEMAS INCLUDING THE DARK & NEW MOONS FOR AUGUST 2016

“Awakening the Spirit”

imbolc
Brighid’s Cross

This year we have the traditional date of Imbolc/Candlemas (Aug 1st) coinciding closely with both Dark (Aug 2nd) and New (Aug 3rd) Moons, and actual Imbolc date (Aug 7th) in the beginning days of August, as the Sun and Moon move into Leo.  This creates a very powerful window to do ritual and create magic.  To release the old that no longer serves us and set intentions for the coming year.

The Celtic tradition celebrates the Goddess Brighid (Bridget) at this time and waking the Mother Earth from her winter slumber.  The earth (in the southern hemisphere) is in the process of returning back to life after the long winter’s slumber.  The child, born to the Goddess at Winter Solstice (Yule), is now reaching adolescence, just as the powerful sun is starting to increase the number of daylight hours.

The first festival of Spring, Imbolc, means “In the Belly”.  The God aspect is now more focused on the changes he is going through, with each day, his own strength increases, his horns begin to show as he evolves into the Young Stag, the younger version of the Horned God.

The Goddess has now transformed herself from the Mother to Maiden.  She is young and playful, yet not naive.  This is because she has been schooled in the female mysteries by Mother & Crone.  The Maiden and the Young God are the seed of summer, representing the potential of life with the seemingly barrenness of Winter.

To celebrate Imbolc is to engage in Trust.  This is a time of year when everything is uncertain.  The people of the past would have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into another Spring and Summer with no guarantee of harvest or success.  At Imbolc we are asked to trust, almost before anything has happened to justify that trust.

Sitting halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, it is a good time to invoke faith, hope and sunshine, a new relationship, project or venture, using a creative spell.  This is also the time to develop those non-physical skills necessary to the working of magic.

The following are some ideas and activities you may wish to include in your own Imbolc & Dark/New Moon Rituals:

  • Gather Yuletide greens that have now dried and place on your Sabbath fire.
  • Gather Spring time blooms (Acacia/Wattle is especially symbolic to use in our Australian climate as the flowers blooming are indicative of Spring’s return) and place upon your altar or ritual space.
  • List anything you wish to release and cast these into the fire, dancing and chanting with words like:

“Now we banish Winter,
Now we welcome Spring.
Say farewell to what is Dead
And greet each living thing”

  • List new projects and intentions for the coming moon cycle and the year ahead. You may wish to write these on ribbons which can be hung like prayer flags and tied to trees to be blessed by the breeze.
  • Use a drum beat of your choice to maintain rhythm and focus, and whilst hanging your ribbons chant:

“Breathing in, Singing out,
Birth of New, we bring about.
Singing out, Breathing in,
Live the dream, let change begin”

**Ensure if you are asking for change in your circumstance, that you are willing to take ownership and personal responsibility; make a commitment and apply it to yourself. If we ask Deity for assistance we must uphold our end of the bargain, if we expect Deity to uphold theirs. “A Gift for a Gift”**
  • Connect with Mother Earth by “Waking Her Up” which can be done by hitting the ground and chanting:

“Earth Mother, Heartbeat return,
We call upon the Dark mother,
Release and return as the promise of Spring.
Arise, Goddess for the Depth of the Underworld.
Break free and Arise, Gentle Maiden.”

  • Light your candles from the main Fire to represent the purification of the Goddess and the returning of the Sun whilst chanting:

“God of returning Light, we call to thee.
Gather your strength to warm the World.
Return and Bring the promise of Spring”

  • Make Brighid’s (Bridget’s) crosses to be hung over doorways or placed upon your altars as protection amulets. 
  • Use natural reed like materials. Lemongrass and Lavender is advisable for their protective and purifying properties.
  • Collect the Goddess’s healing waters by placing an appropriate vessel outside to be blessed and to collect the morning dew of Imbolc & New Moon for Potion making and Spellcasting.

Adapt these ideas to your own path as we know not everyone in the Spiral follows the Celtic Wheel of the Year.  We have gathered these ideas from many different books and websites as well as our own personal knowledge and inspiration.  For further reading we have included a references list below, this also includes the previously mentioned links on How to make a Brighid’s (Bridget’s) Cross.  We have created this PDF for people who wish to download and save for their personal reference.

Many Blessings and Much Prosperity for the coming season.

Admin

(31/07/2016)

References

  1. Seasonal Dance – Janice Broch & Veronica MacLer (1993)
  2. Wheel of the Year – Pauline Campanelli (1992)
  3. Rituals of Celebration – Jane Meredith (2013)
  4. Llewellyn’s Witches Spell-a-day Almanac (2017)
  5. Dancing the Sacred Wheel – Frances Billinghurst (2012)
  6. Moontime Diary 2016 – Iris Dentenhof (2016)
  7. Lunar and Seasonal Diary 2016 – Stacy DeMarco(2016)
  8. Spheres of Light – http://spheresoflight.com.au/
  9. Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/
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