Imbolc is a fire festival that celebrates the first signs of spring. Its name means “in the belly”, referring to the life growing beneath the earth. This is a time of new beginnings and setting your goals for the year. Therefore it is an optimum time of cleansing and purification. One way to incorporate this is a cleansing bath. Use a sea salt scrub to not only scrub away old skin but old habits as well. After the bath has been completed smudge yourself with a sage stick. Now you are free to start your new journey. Light a white candle and sit down and write your goals, the everyday, the spiritual and magickal.
Archive for the ‘Sabbath’ Category
There are several foods that are associated with Imbolc including hearty winter dishes, preserves,dairy dishes and bread. Meat roasts, root vegetable and heavy sauces are great for group rituals. Deep in the winter months fresh food is harder to come by, and people would have been surviving on what was pickled. Imbolc is believed to have derived from the Gaelic world “Oilemc”, “ewe’s milk” and this became the reason for the celebration, as this was the first sign of spring., with the birth of new lambs and a new food source, milk. This was the symbol that even though things still appeared harsh, changes for the good are on the way. Any dishes that involve cream, eggs and cheese will always go down well at imbolc.
There are many alternative names to Imbolc (Feb 1st). These include Imbolg, Candlemas, St Bride’s Day, Brighid’s Day or Saint Brighid’s Day, Festival of Light, etc. Some see this as the start of the return of the longest day, especially as the ewes start producing milk prior to lambing. However, nature does not work to such a strict time scale and lambs are born 147 days after mating. Some take the blooming of Blackthorn as an indicator of Imbolc, but again this can happen at different times through the UK. One thing that is obvious at this time and that is the days are getting noticeably longer.
As Yule comes, the snow may not have yet fallen, but there is a strong chill in the air. The colours for your altar, are cool blues, whites, reds and greens. Candles of wintry colours will compliment your altar and sparkles is never a bad thing. Yule is the time of the return of the sun, and so solar representations are always welcome on the altar. This could be golden disc, yellow candles, just anything that is bright and shiny. Evergreen boughs can be place on the altar as well as holly, and the yule log. Antlers or reindeer could be there as the symbols of fertility. But anything seasonal can be place on your altar, fruit and nuts, mistletoe, candy cane and bells. And many of the natural aspects can be incorporated into some crafty items for the altar, such as incense, wreaths, herb sachet and pentacle.
Yule is a festival of rebirth and the return of the sun, as after the longest night (21st of December) there is a return of light, promise, and hope. The Goddess gives birth to the Sun God. The days start to grow longer and all that has been hidden starts to emerge again. It is also the time of the eternal battle of the Oak and Holly King. The Holly King rules from the Midsummer to Yule, from here he must surrender his life to the Oak King who will rule until the Midsummer.
Orange is the colour of the performing arts and stage magic. It is associated with pride, courage, heroism, attraction, kinship, prosperity. it is attuned to warmth, friendship, abundance, spirit, will, principles, theory and alertness, opportunities, happiness, mental alertness, kindness, material gain, removes feelings of abandonment and helps to seal a spell, encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, plenty, charges your sexual energy and enhances the immune system. Orange is also the colour of Sun, Leo and Sagittarius, Sundays, Samhain, and Beltane. It is connected to the Sacral Charka (Pelvis, kidneys, womb, bladder, blood, lymph, gastric juices, sperm, adrenaline.) While people whose aura contains orange are seen as needing to reduce their stress levels, it is the natural aura for people who are outgoing, have physical vitality and harmony. Orange overall has a gentle warming effect. Orange should be used sparingly as it is not a good colour for nervous or easily agitated people.
Green is the element of Earth, vegetation, gardening and herbalism or wortcunning. It has always tied in with fairy folk, the Green Man and Gods and Goddesses of the forest. It is associated with fertility, prosperity, hope, joy, delight, growth, healing, new beginnings, financial gain, spring, immortality and change. Forest green is linked with fertility, the body, courage, classical music and woodland sounds. Ivy green is more the emotional side of life, such as coping with grief, pondering and hushed music or silence. Pale Greens aid the healing process. It is connected to Venus, Mercury, Aquarius and Cancer. Green is linked to Wednesday and Friday, Beltane, Yule and Ostara. Its Charka is the heart, (upper chest, breasts, lungs, heart and air circulation). People who have a green aura, have a trusting and loving character, and is often the colour aura of artists. These are individuals with balance and harmony in their life.