Imbolc


Today I celebrated Imbolc.  In the morning when I woke I saw that the forsythia had one bloom on it, which I took as a good omen because for me the forsythia blooming is the first sign of Spring.

As usual I did a small ritual.  What is unusual is that I took my shoes and socks off, because as well as celebrating Bridget’s day I was going to do a Snake Dance to awaken the earth and to properly connect I needed to be barefoot.

I marked the circle out as usual and asked the tree itself (which is a weeping willow) my ancestors and the gods of my ancestors to protect and watch over me in my ritual.

I then started saying about Bridget : about how her cross was a protection symbol.  I then set off to do The Snake Dance and saw a woman frowning at me.  I should have taken this for a sign that all was not well, but I missed it.

I then did The Snake Dance while singing The Snake Song.  This is in order to wake the land up for Spring (see Sarah Lawless’ post The Serpent and the Land) and after that I saw a woman smiling at me, which I should have taken for a sign that I’d done this well.

People reading this who don’t live in Britain may be wondering why I am doing this when I saw an omen that Spring had come.  Well, in Britain Spring may have come, but it can disappear again.  I have known Imbolcs when it snowed and once we had several inches of snow in March.  The British weather is at best unpredictable and I for one don’t want the land to go back to sleep again, so I did The Snake Dance and Song.  Besides which, the omen may have just meant that it was right for me to do The Snake Dance and Song.

The Snake Dance and Song is something I have made up.  I’m not reproducing the Song here as I feel that people should make their own up, but the Snake Dance is so simple that people may very well make up the same one.  The Snake Dance is just moving around in a wiggly way as a snake does and only going forward by moving sideways, just like a snake.  Sarah’s blog says that people used their hands, but I don’t see what’s wrong with substituting feet.  Besides which, I have been meaning to use dance in ritual for a while now, and this seems like a good time.

After I’d wound down the circle and went home I did a meditation.  I knew that Bridget wasn’t happy with me and a deity can speak with you with less impediment in meditation.

It turned out that I’d said the wrong words about her in meditation.  I spoke of her protectiveness when I should have spoken about her as a goddess who chose the wrong man and made the first keening in Ireland when her son died.  I should have spoken about her as fire : the fire which makes the smith create tools and weapons and the creative fire which helped me to write The Snake Song in around half an hour, whereas the first and last quatrain I’d written took two hours to write.

To remedy this Brigit told me that I am to write this up in my blog so that others will not make the same mistake.  I was also to make a Brigit Cross, which I have done and hung it up on the door.

For the first time we have a house of our own and in accordance with folklore the old Brigit’s Cross has been hung in the rafters to protect the house against fire.  While I was going up the ladder to the loft to hang the Cross, my betrothed was at the bottom (I couldn’t reach the ladder so had to get him to do it) saying “I don’t know where you’ll be able to hang it” and I saw a nail sticking out of one of the rafters.  The deities certainly provide when you need it and when something’s right.

I also got a gift from the tree of a forked stick.  It’s too small to make into a stang, but I’ll meditate over it when it’s seasoned and find some use for it.

All in all, it’s been an interesting and humbling Imbolc for me.  I hope yours has gone well.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: