Imbolc: A Feast of Hope

Posted on 3 February 2010 at 8:37 am in Priestessing.

Last night my coven gathered together to celebrate the passing of the seasons with our Imbolc ritual.

Traditionally, this is a Feast of Brigid, the saint/goddess or poetry, smithcraft and healing. Or it is a Feast of candles with fire, initiation and purification being common themes.

We celebrate it a little differently. In our lore, the Sun King is born at Yule  and is a Youth, the embodiment of hope and new beginnings at Imbolc. The Lady is recovering from her birthing and is very much in the background at this celebration. We honor Her wish for solitude and rest and Lugh is our main focus.

We light the balefire, and He invokes all of the promise of Spring and Summer with the burning of a sprig of evergreen. Then He takes into the fire all of our hopes and dreams for the new year, to manifest in the coming months.

I love Working with my coven. There is such a good spirit about coming together with them and honoring the underlying cycle of the world.

All yesterday I was seeing the signs of new life around me. The plum trees across the street from where I work are blooming, as are the pink flowered shrubs in front of my building. In my own garden, the Buddleia and roses are are sprouting at the tips of their branches. The Lilac tree (newly planted last year and a non-starter, I thought) has buds on its tips. On the side of the house, the purple tulips, planted in a tub by the previous owner are growing luxuriously.

Sometimes when I walk, the scent of some newly-opened ground flowers will reach me. We have heather planted all around and some kind of low-lying shrubbery that has rows of heart-shaped tiny flowers all laying atop one another. I suspect that’s the source of the scent, but haven’t confirmed it.

Next stop: Ostara (Spring!)

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