Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Yes, The Quickening of Spring is Here.

Spring is Coming!

Imbolc is a holiday with a variety of names, depending on which culture and location you’re looking from.

In the Irish Gaelic, it’s called Oimelc, or Imbolc, which translates to “ewe’s milk.” It’s a precursor to the end of winter when the ewes are nursing their newly born lambs.

Spring and the planting season are right around the corner.

Among agricultural societies, this time of year was marked by the preparation for the spring lambing, after which the ewes would lactate (hence the term "ewe's milk" as "Oimelc"). At Neolithic sites in Ireland, underground chambers align perfectly with the rising sun on Imbolc.

The Goddess Brighid

Like many Pagan holidays, Imbolc has a Celtic connection as well, although it wasn’t celebrated in non-Gaelic Celtic societies. The Irish goddess Brighid is the keeper of the sacred flame, the guardian of home and hearth.

To honor her, or perhaps to bring back a recognition to a seasonal change the following twist on the old purification and cleaning could be done as a wonderful way to get ready for the coming of Spring. First off, in addition to fire, she is a goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.
Brighid is known as one of the Celtic "triune" goddesses -- meaning that she is one and three simultaneously.

The early Celts celebrated a purification festival by honoring Brighid, or Brid, whose name meant "bright one." In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brighid was viewed as Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers who was older than the land itself. In modern Wicca and Paganism, Brighid is viewed as the maiden aspect of the maiden/mother/crone cycle.

A Celebration of Early Spring

She walks the earth on the eve of her day.

Before going to bed each member of the household should leave a piece of clothing or cloth outside for Brighid to bless.

Light incense in a pot of sand as the last thing you do that night, and rake the ashes smooth.

When you get up in the morning, look for a mark on the ashes, a sign that Brighid has passed that way in the night or morning.

The clothes or cloth are brought inside, and now have powers of healing and protection thanks to Brighid.

Happy St. Brighid's Day!  Imbolc! (or Groundhogs Day, Candlemas, or Marmot Day!)


1 comment:

  1. Briaght Blessings Brianne...this was such a super beautiful and magnifncent tribute to the spirit of the season , Spring..and!! Such kindred spirits we are! BEAUTIFUL! I love images you chose..they are gorgeous and your beautiful words!
    yay Shine.on..hope you had a lovely one..
    here's to the beauty of spring..
    Many Blessings kindred!