Arise! The breath, the life, again hath reached us:
darkness hath passed away and light approacheth.
From the Rig Veda
How will you be marking the festival of Imbolc this year?
You may be welcoming Brigid in her maiden aspect by preparing ‘the brides bed’, complete with crosog (Brigid’s cross), brideog, and phallic representation in the form of a wand or acorn. The bed being prepared by the women, with the men led into welcome her. This masculine participation is essential on more than one level.
Brigid is the Goddess of physicians, healing, midwifery, divination/prophecy and poetry, also of the forge and healing waters. Her triune aspects are, Healer, Poet and Smith.
She transmutes at a physical (land) and a soul level (base into gold).
Transformed herself from the ‘Cailleach’, sterile, cold and ‘taker away’, into ‘Bride’ the maiden. She who brings forth the spring; at the touch of her mantle (cloak) the earth responds, warming and becoming fertile.
The wearing of the ‘crown of lights’ can be a magnificent experience in a group ritual. The solo practitioner can experience this ‘beckoning of the light’, by placing lit candles in the windows of their home at dusk. Over the years we have marked Imbolc in diverse ways, this being one of the most powerful. This festival of lights, creates a beacon that offers a warm welcome and safe harbour for the ‘Maiden’.
If like us you posses a ‘Brigid’s Mantle’ this is the time to recharge it. Hang it outdoors for a day & a night, so that it is reenergised by the sun, moon & stars. You may notice the link with Masonic symbolism here, a correlation worthy of further study. Note also the role of the ladder to the stars, which appears in both Freemasonry and Irish ‘Brigid’ customs.
Once recharged ‘Brigid’s mantle’ is ready for ritual purpose, as a healing tool, a meditation shawl and to inspire creativity for the coming year.
Open the doors to your house and recite the following invitation:
Brede, Brede, come to my house tonight.
Open the door for Brede and let Brede come in.
Safety Notice Candles.
Remember if using lit candles to take some precautions, ensure that they are not going to set anything alight (curtains, robes etc) or be placed where children or pets can reach them.