Imbolc Ritual

Imbolc Ritual

Preparation before the ritual –

Prior to beginning your ritual, take a warm, cleansing bath. While soaking, meditate on the concept of purification.

At the ritual: If possible, wear white, or red and white….

Items needed:

3 white candles (larger than chime candles) with candle holders

7 white tea lights

7 red candles (larger than chime candles)

1 Red Calcite stone

1 Blue Calcite Stone

1 Green Moss Agate

1 – 3 Brigid’s crosses

1 image or statue of Brigid

Goblet for “milk” offering

Plate for “oat” offering

Offering Bowl or Plate

Milk, honey milk, or other liquid offering

Oat cakes

1-7 candle holders for red candles if there are fewer than 7 participants

Sword or Athame to cast circle

Large Bowl for purification hand bath

 

Purifying water for bathing hands (recipe requires, water, peppermint, salt ….)

Imbolc is the time between Yule and the Spring Equinox, the halfway point in the dark months of the year. It’s the time when the days suddenly seem to be getting longer, and the snow is beginning to melt, showing us small patches of earth and green. At this time of returning spring, our ancestors lit bonfires and candles to celebrate the rebirth of the land. In many areas of the Celtic world, this was the fire feast of Brigid, the Irish goddess of hearth and home.  She is the keeper of the flame, the protector of the home, and a goddess of holy wells and springs. At Imbolc, we acknowledge her many aspects, especially that of her role as a deity of transformation.

As the world awakes from the dark slumber of winter, it is time to cast off the chill of the past and welcome the warmth of spring.

Set up your altar with the symbols of Brigid and the coming spring — a Brigid’s cross or dolly, potted daffodils or crocuses, white and red yarn or ribbon, young fresh twigs, and lots of candles. Also, you’ll need an unlit candle for each participant, a candle to represent Brigid herself, a plate or bowl of oats or oatcakes, and a cup of milk.

If you normally cast a circle in your tradition, do so now. Each member of the group should hold their unlit candle before them.

The HP, or whoever is leading the rite, says:

“Today is Imbolc; the day of midwinter. The cold has begun to fade away,

and the days grow longer. This is a time in which the earth is quickening,

like the womb of Brigid, birthing the fire after the darkness.”

 

 

 

 

 

Light Brigid candle

Invocation of Brigid — include her roles Goddess of Smithcraft, placing the red calcite, which is red from the iron’s impurities and Fire is the forge; it is the means by which raw material is shaped and potential released for the blessing and empowerment of each person,

Goddess of the Healing Wells, placing the blue calcite,

and Roles with animals and early planting, placing the Moss Agate

 

The HPS lights the three candles from the Brigid candles, and says:

 

“Bright blessings at midwinter to all! Brigid has returned with the sacred flame,

watching over home and hearth. This is a time of rebirth and fertility, and as the earth grows full of life, may you find abundance on your own path. Imbolc is the season of lambing, of new life, and a time to celebrate the nurturing and warmth of Brigid.”

At this time, the HP takes the cup of milk, and offers a sip to Brigid. (You can do this either by pouring it into a bowl on the altar, or by simply raising the cup to the sky.) The HPs then passes the cup around the circle. As each person takes a sip, they pass it to the next, saying:

 

“May Brigid give her blessings to you this season.”

 

When the cup has returned to the HP, she passes the oats or oatcakes around in the same manner, first making an offering to Brigid. Each person takes a bit of the oats or cakes and passes the plate to the next, saying:

 

“May Brigid’s love and light nurture your path.”

The HP then invites each member of the group to approach the altar, and light their candle from the Brigid candle. Say:

 

“Come, and allow the warmth of Brigid’s hearth to embrace you. Allow the light of her flame to guide you. Allow the love of her blessing to protect you.”

 

Light the personal candle from one of the three Brigid candles, and then with personal candle, light the first tealight candle that is waiting on the altar… As you do so, say:

 

“Although it is now dark, I come seeking light. In the chill of winter, I come seeking life.”

 

Light the second candle, saying:

 

“I call upon fire that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire that brings the light and makes new life.  I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.”

 

Light the third candle. Say:

 

“This light is a boundary, between positive and negative. That which is outside, shall stay without. That which is inside, shall stay within.”

 

 

Light the fourth candle. Say:

“I call upon fire that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire that brings the light and makes new life. I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.”

 

Light the fifth candle, saying:

 

“Like fire, light and love will always grow. Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.”

 

Light the sixth candle, and say:

 

“I call upon fire that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire that brings the light and makes new life. I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.”

 

Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one.  As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

 

“Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun, covers me in your shining light. I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am made pure.”

 

Take a few moments and meditate on the light of your candles. Think about this Sabbat, a time of healing and inspiration and purification. Do you have something damaged that needs to be healed? Are you feeling stagnant, for lack of inspiration? Is there some part of your life that feels toxic or tainted? Visualize the light as a warm, enveloping energy that wraps itself around you, healing your ailments, igniting the spark of creativity, and purifying that which is damaged.

When everyone has lit their candle, take a few moments to meditate on the warmth and nurturing nature of the goddess Brigid. As you bask in her warmth, and she protects your home and hearth, think about how you will make changes in the coming weeks. Brigid is a goddess of abundance and fertility, and she may help you guide your goals to fruition.

 

When you are finished meditating, begin to softly chant

 

“I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am made pure,”

 

Until all are chanting.  When all have joined the chant, repeat it three more times, ending the last time with:

So Mote It Be.

 

Bid Farewell to Brigid and snuff the three candles.

 

Circle caster opens the gate; each person then walks widdershins, and douses her candle before crossing the threshold, and steps out of the circle, as each person leaves, the circle caster douses the corresponding candle on the altar.

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/imbolcfebruary2/ht/ImbolcRit_Group.htm

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