Imbolc Blessings

ib-2015

Today is Imbolc pronounced ‘im’olk. This is the first of 8 Pagan holidays throughout the year called Sabbats. Imbolc is a time to acknowledge the “First Spark” of embedded energies that have been sleeping over the winter. The seeds that are underground acknowledge the returning energy and will begin to convert it to life deep within the seeds, Underground and unseen by man. Even though it is still the dead of winter and certainly feels like winter in most places, the Sun’s energy has been returning ever since the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year, Yule).

On Imbolc we celebrate the first days of Spring, snowdrops and crocuses begin to appear, things become very spring-like with daffodils and hyacinths coming early. Animals begin to wake from their winter hibernation. Nights get shorter and days will get longer, and it will start to get warmer as winter snow and frost begin to thaw.

We celebrate the rebirth of the Goddess on Imbolc after she sacrificed herself on Yule to give birth to the Sun God. Both the God and Goddess are young, the triple Goddess is in her maiden form and gains strength from the earth, while the Sun God will grow in strength over the coming months.

Imbolc is a Celtic fire festival, where in ancient times most towns and villages would build a ceremonial bonfire. The Goddess Brigid, the Goddess of fire, healing, and fertility was worshiped on this day. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the Sun. The Goddess Brigid was so much-loved by the Celts that when the Christians were converting Pagans, they could not change the holiday of Imbolc so the holiday was reformed and renamed to ‘Candlemas’ when candles are lit to remember the purification of the Virgin Mary, and they changed the Goddess Brigid into Saint Brigid.

Imbolc is the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. To celebrate Imbolc, light a fire, it may only be a very small one, and make wishes for the coming year into the flames. Burn any leftover evergreens that were decorating your home at Yule. Clean your homes of clutter that was gathered over Yuletide. Get rid of the old and bring in the new. Plant flowers for them to bloom in the Spring. Use a sage smudge stick to cleanse your homes of stale or unwanted negative energies. (If you’d like a recipe for Smudge Spray, please contact me as it is much cleaner and easier to use than smudge sticks.)

Imbolc is a time of contemplation, to think about the year that has passed, and the mistakes or successes we have had and what we have learned from them to help us achieve our goals, dreams, and ambitions for the coming year. As well as planting seeds to grow in the earth, also plant seeds in your mind to grow and blossom over the coming months.

Have a blessed Imbolc. May the God and Goddess watch over you.

Artwork by me-tal Deviant art

Written credit goes to Wicca Teachings, edited by me for cohesiveness.

Happy Imbolc!

inbloc
Imbolc (pronounced ‘im’olk’ also known as Oimelc) comes from an Irish word that was originally thought to mean ‘in the belly,’ although many people translate it as ‘ewe’s milk’ (oi-melc).Imbolc is one of the cornerstones of the Celtic calendar. For them the success of the new farming season was of great importance. As winter stores of food were getting low, Imbolc rituals were performed to harness divine energy that would ensure a steady supply of food until the harvest six months later.

Like many Celtic festivals, the Imbolc celebrations centered around the lighting of fires. Fire was perhaps more important for this festival than others as it was also the holy day of Brigid (also known as Bride, Brigit, Brid), the Goddess of fire, healing, and fertility. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months. The Goddess Brigid was so much loved that when the Christians were converting Pagans, they could not change the holiday of Imbolc so the holiday was reformed and renamed ‘Candlemas’, when candles are lit to remember the purification of the Virgin Mary, and they changed the Goddess Brigid into Saint Brigid.

As Imbolc is in between Winter and Spring, it reminds us that there is strength in cold as well as heat, death as well as life, light as well as dark. To embrace them both on this day.

At Imbolc we celebrate the young God and Goddess that of the young fertile earth and the young waxing Sun growing more in power day by day.

Imbolc is the ending of Winter and the beginning of Spring, to celebrate Imbolc, light a fire, it may only be a very small one and make wishes for the coming year into the flames. Burn any leftover evergreens that were decorating your home at Yule. Clean your homes of clutter that was gathered over the Yuletide and get rid of the old and bring in the new. Plant flowers for them to bloom in the Spring. Use a sage smudge stick to cleanse your homes of stale or unwanted negative energies.

Imbolc is a time of contemplation, to think about the year that has passed, mistakes, successes, and what we have learned from them to help us achieve our goals, dreams, and ambitions for the coming year. As well as planting seeds to grow in the earth also plant seeds in your mind to grow and blossom over the coming months.

Have a blessed Imbolc, May the God and Goddess watch over you.

*Written credit goes to Wicca Teachings*

Long Night’s Moon

Full Disclosure: I am a Moon Child. That means different things to different people. For me, it’s not just a Wiccan reference and it has nothing to do with werewolves or vampires. (Yes, I just rolled my eyes.) Anyone can be a Moon Child, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. I’m not a full time Wiccan, so the reference isn’t entirely in regard to that aspect of my life.

It starts with being a full blown night owl. I have been a night owl since I was in the womb. To this day I am more alive and energetic under the moon and stars than any other time during the course of a day. I come alive right about the same time the moon rises (or as soon as it gets dark), and by the time the moon sets, I’m completely uninterested in the coming sun. I have little use for it.

I know so many people who adore the sun, who thrive in sunlight, who get depressed without it, who believe they never look good without a tan. I’ve never been one of those people. Give me an indigo sky with the moon and stars any day.

Many people have heard me say “I hate the sun. It’s evil.” I do feel that way, and some of it has to do with the fact that I am extremely photo-sensitive. That and I just plain hate the sun. I am often picked on for my extremely pale complexion. I’ve always been very fair, but have maintained said complexion out of a fierce need to stay out of the sun, unless I have sunscreen on, and even then I’m also wearing polarized sunglasses. I am the most rigorous user of sunscreen that I know.

I have a family history of various types of cancer, so I have religiously used sun protection my entire life. I’ve had my share of sunburns and don’t want to make things any worse, so SPF is non-negotiable for me. I usually walk out the door with, at the very least, SPF 20 on. Bare Minerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer is a natural product, so you don’t have to worry about parabens or any other iffy ingredients. It comes in a couple of different options based on your skin type. On days when the sun is more intense, and especially during the summer, I use a different product as my base. Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 40. This is also a natural product, infused with Argan Oil, and chemical free. It smells amazing and works like a charm. Both products can be worn under make-up or by themselves. (Yes, I’m a bit of a product junkie. Be glad I didn’t start discussing make-up!)

I’m not going to preach my personal views, because we are all entitled to live our lives as we please, so long as we aren’t harming anyone. We all know how important sun and skin protection is. What does this have to do with my love affair with the moon? I have no idea, somehow I got off topic. That happens when you’re naturally long-winded. (That’s a joke. Stay with me!)

My love of the moon extends also to stars. I have always loved astronomy. I could spend hours with a telescope just staring out into the sky. I can always tell you where specific planets are and I love to point out my two most important constellations during the year, both of which shine directly over my house at different times. I can just look up and say “That’s Pisces.” or “That’s Scorpio.” I’m extremely adept at locating planets as well, especially Mars and Venus.

My hope for this final full moon of 2012 is that you will look into the sky tonight, weather permitting of course, and find something you love about the moon and the stars. For the moon will forever balance out the sun. No matter what happens in life…the moon sees all.