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Memories of Imbolc

There are many myths associated with Brigid or Bride and problems arise as there appears to be several Bride and their stories have been squashed together over time. Bride has links with fire, arts, beauty, sky and sea. With man being the highest type of beauty (!) she watches over their births. With this in mind, she is associated with Mary, mother of Jesus. This Sabbath became Christianised into Candlemas. Candles are often part of rituals far beyond then just their practical uses in lighting the way during rituals celebrated at night. Light is alleged as being carried by the Devil, usually on his head, and he would light witches torches off it. Therefore it would seem the right time to call Lucifer at the time of Candlemas.

Some activities associated with this time is to look after the hearth as this is a fire festival. A old -fashioned traditional dish was made with the freshly docked tails of lambs. Bride dolls are created out of oats, dressed in woman’s clothing and buried as part of fertility rite. The doll is also placed into a basket called “Bride’s bed” and is left either in the door step or on the hearth. A white candle is left burned next to it. Spring cleaning has its roots in Imbolc as it is the time to get rid of the clutter both physical and mental. It is a time to break old habits and to start seeing the world afresh.

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