*Festival of Lights*Brigid*Candlemas*Fire
In the Goddess’ Turn of the Wheel, we now move to the counter quarter of Imbolc that falls between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
The Festival of Imbolc or Imbolg – pronounced without the ‘b’ sound – is sometimes known as Oimelc, means ‘ewe’s milk’ – named due to the birth of the first lambs at this time, and celebrates the return of fresh milk. It is the celebration of the gradual dawning of increasing light, bringing nature to life again. For Imbolc we celebrate the Waking Light of the soul. Our spirits begin to quicken as we anticipate the rebirth of Nature.
This celebration commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. The Goddess is seen in Her three aspects at Imbolc, as the new-born Flower Maiden; the Mother, or bride of fertility, awaiting the fertilizing Sun God, and the Dark Crone of the dark half of the year.
Imbolc is a gateway indicating work to be done inside and outside ourselves before action is undertaken!
The sun is growing in strength, the Child of Promise, re-born at Yule, is now the growing Child. All is pregnant and expectant. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring. Imbolc is a ‘fire festival’. Particular attention was paid to the hearth fire and keeping it alight. Imbolc marks the transition and transformation from death to rebirth, as the light of day grows significantly longer and you can be assured that Spring is right around the corner. At this time the animal world comes out of hibernation, the birds fly north again. This is a very holy day for initiations of the priests and priestesses and a day to devote yourself to the God/dess and your own spiritual path. This is also a very powerful time for intuitive and visionary work and to seek inspiration, especially for healers, poets, and artists. At this time if you really tune in, you can just begin to feel and sense the “inner stirrings”, the seeds beginning to stir, and the inner light growing stronger.
It is time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle. What was born at the Solstice begins to manifest, and this is the time for individuation, as we each light our own light, and set ourselves tasks and challenges. We nurture and kindle our resolutions and begin to look outwards again, do outer activity, although first we look deep within to discover what potential lies there waiting to be fulfilled.
HOW YOU MAY WANT TO HONOR AND CELEBRATE IMBOLC
As the days begin to get longer, it is an Imbolc tradition, to celebrate the return of the sun by lighting every candle or lamp in your home to welcome the return of the Sun. Some symbols you may wish to include in a ritual could include a white flower or snow in a crystal container. A white candle can be anointed with essential oils of cinnamon, frankincense or rosemary to symbolize the renewing energy of the Sun. Candlemas/Imbolc is a time to welcome back the return of the light, inspiration and creativity. Imbolc is a good time to clean your home, attend to your health and pay old debts. A time to retreat and connect with the sacred internal flame; a time to honor your unique light, a time to do your own purification ritual and blessing, to tend to and honor the sacred flame of your heart and hearth once again.
This time is also known as ‘Brigit’s Day’, and St. Brigit’s Day in honor of the great Irish/Celtic Goddess Brigit, Goddess of the Triple Flames of inspiration, poetry, and smithcraft, a healer, midwife and poet, as well as a Goddess and overseer of the sacred healing wells. Her elements are both Fire and Water. This holiday was marked through the kindling of sacred fires, since Brigit symbolized the fire of birth and healing, the fire of the forge, and the fire of poetic inspiration. In Irish tradition, they create a Brigit’s Straw Cross and bed with a phallic symbol over it to honor the union of the Sun God and the Goddess, and thus the return of the fertility of the Earth. Another tradition was to wear a crown of lights, to honor the growing light of the Sun. This was also the festival to honor Hestia/Vesta, Goddesses of the Hearth and a time to clean out your hearth, set new intentions for the center of your home and build a new fire.
From Kathy Jones Avalon Goddess Temple…Enjoy this video: https://youtu.be/A6W2UfdNbQ0
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We are a Sanctuary that nurtures the illumination of consciousness through honoring the re-balancing of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, celebrating the beauty and sanctity of the natural world and the embodiment of our Essential Selves, through the Wisdom teachings of the Divine Feminine.
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