Imbolc

Imbolc is a pagan festival marking the start of spring.  The name may have its origins in an old Irish word for ‘in the belly’ but is sometimes translated as ‘ewe’s milk’.  Celebrated in early February it marks the start of the lambing season.  The festival honours the goddess Brighid (Brigid, Brigit, Brid, Bride), goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft, of Fire, of the Sun and of the Hearth and of fertility.

We made a plaited loaf, the braid is said to represent Brighid’s role as the bride, goddess of fertility and the hearth.  To recognise the value of milk in rebirth we made home made butter (good for the arm muscles).  Forgot to get a photo before I had a chunk – oops.

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We took a walk to look for signs of spring – not many but lots of mud and the odd daisy and buds starting to open up.

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Then as we hadn’t found any we came home and made our own snowdrops.

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And a priapic wand to see if we could help summon Spring.

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Not being organised ahead of time to make sure we had the natural materials in, we adapted and honoured Brighid’s role as the sun goddess with a pipecleaner Brighid’s cross

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We also marked her position as Goddess of fire by making and lighting a candle.  We melted down an old candle and coloured the wax with crayons.  I messed up the first layer unfortunately but can’t be perfect all the time 😉

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And ended with a slightly bigger than intended (and rather worrying at one point) indoor bonfire.

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Links

http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/imbolc_candlemas

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/holydays/imbolc.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/

http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/celtic-goddess-brigid.htm

 

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