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 Imbolc/Oimelc/Candlemas/St. Brigit's Day

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LadyMoonPanther
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PostSubject: Imbolc/Oimelc/Candlemas/St. Brigit's Day   Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:05 pm

February 1 or 2 -- Imbolc
Also known as: Oimelc, Candlemas, St Brigit's Day.

As with all Old Tradition observances, this holiday is usually celebrated beginning at sundown on February 1 and continuing through the day of February 2. Imbolc means in the belly of the Mother because that is where seeds are beginning to stir as it is Spring.

Another name for this holiday is Oimelc, meaning milk of ewes since it is also the traditional lambing season in the old world.  Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year.

This holiday is especially sacred to the Celtic Fire Goddess, Brigit, patron of smithcraft, healing, midwifery, and poetry.  It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal.   The Maiden is honored, as the Bride, on this Sabbat. Straw Brideo'gas (corn dollies) are created from oat or wheat straw and placed in baskets with white flower bedding. Young girls then carry the Brideo'gas door to door, and gifts are bestowed upon the image from each household. Afterwards at the traditional feast, the older women make special acorn wands for the dollies to hold, and in the morning the ashes in the hearth are examined to see if the magic wands left marks as a good omen. Brighid's Crosses are fashioned from wheat stalks and exchanged as symbols of protection and prosperity in the coming year. Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is place by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun.

A Covens High Priestess may wear a crown of lights (candles) to symbolize the return of the Goddess to her Maiden aspect, just as the Sun God has reached puberty.  Brighid's snake emerges from the womb of the Earth Mother to test the weather, (the origin of Ground Hog Day), and in many places the first Crocus flowers began to spring forth from the frozen earth.  

The Christian religion adopted a number of these themes, as follows: February 1 became St. Brigit's Day, and February 2 became Candlemas, the day to make and bless candles for the liturgical year. The 'Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary ' adapts the Maiden Goddess theme. The alternative date of February 14 Old Candlemas, Christianized as Valentine's Day is employed by some Covens.

Symbolism of Imbolc:
Purity, Growth and Re-Newal, The Re-Union of the Goddess and the God, Fertility, and dispensing of the old and making way for the new.

Symbols of Imbolc:
Brideo'gas, Besoms, White Flowers, Candle Wheels, Brighid's Crosses, Priapic Wands (acorn-tipped), and Ploughs.

Herbs of Imbolc:
Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Blackberry, Celandine, Coltsfoot, Heather, Iris, Myrrh, Tansy, Violets, and all white or yellow flowers.

Foods of Imbolc:
Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Poppyseed Cakes, muffins, scones, and breads, all dairy products, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, Raisins, Spiced Wines and Herbal Teas.

Incense of Imbolc:
Basil, Bay, Wisteria, Cinnamon, Violet, Vanilla, Myrrh.

Colors of Imbolc:
White, Pink, Red, Yellow, lt. Green, Brown.

Stones of Imbolc:
Amethyst, Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby, Onyx, Turquoise.

Activities of Imbolc:
Candle Lighting (light Candles or lamps in each room of the house right after sunset for a few minutes to honor the Sun's rebirth), Stone Gatherings, Snow Hiking and Searching for Signs of Spring, Making of Brideo'gas and Bride's Beds, Making Priapic Wands, Decorating Ploughs, Feasting, and Bon Fires maybe lit.  
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PostSubject: Imbolc Purification Candle Oil Recipe   Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Imbolc Purification Candle Oil Recipe

Ingredients:
1/8 cup olive oil
3 drops juniper oil
2 drops eucalyptus oil
1 drop pine oil

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar and use to anoint candles.
2. Store any remaining oil in refrigerator.

Celtic Tree of Rowan Protection Charm
Author: Karri Aldrich

Also known as the Mountain Ash, the Rowan tree has long enjoyed magical eminence for it's protective properties. WIth the festival of Imbolc just around the corner, it is a perfect time to clear your space of negative energy by making a protection charm for the remaining winter days ahead:Burn a sprig of rosemary to cleanse your home, sweeping the rooms widdershins-counter clockwise to banish stagnant energy. If possible, find a branch or twig from a Rowan-Mountain Ash tree. If Rowan is not available, use a sturdy branch of Rosemary. Wind a red ribbon around the branch and with each wind say:

"The power of Rowan protects me and thee"

Hang the branch above your door. You're done!
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PostSubject: Prayer for Imbolc   Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Prayer for Imbolc

On this Imbolc day, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth,
I pray that the flame of Brigid may burn in my soul, and the souls of all I meet today.
I pray that no envy and malice, no hatred or fear, may smother the flame.
I pray that indifference and apathy, contempt and pride, may not pour like cold water on the flame.
Instead, may the spark of Brigid light the love in my soul, that it may burn brightly through this season.
And may I warm those that are lonely, whose hearts are cold and lifeless, so that all may know the comfort of Brigid's love.

Morgana West Source The Wheel of the Year, Copyright © 2001 Morgana West
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PostSubject: Imbolc Ritual   Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:28 pm

Imbolc Ritual

Gather a white candle and your purification oil and a representation of the season such as a cut out of a snowflake, or if you have it, real snow. Place these items on the table that you plan to use as the altar. With a sharp object, scratch you're your wishes for the new season into the candle wax. Anoint the candle with three drops of the oil by massaging them into the writing on the candle and recite these words:

"This is the time of the feast of torches,
when every lamp blazes and shines
to welcome the rebirth of the God.
I celebrate the Goddess,
I celebrate the God;
all Earth celebrates
Beneath its mantle of sleep."

Light the candle and recite these words:

"All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and frost envelops the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun,
Horned One of animals and wild places,
unseen you have been reborn of the gracious Mother Goddess,
Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God!
Hail and welcome!

Stand before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze at its flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength. Your ritual is now complete. Celebrate with a simple feast with friends and family.
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