IMBOLC /immolc/ – February 1st-2nd
↳ one of the eight festivities on the Celtic Wheel of the Year, although you can find similar celebrations in different cultures spread all over the planet;
↳ one of the four fire festivals on the Celtic Wheel of the Year – a fire that is always an element of purification and that at Imbolc becomes symbol of healing and creation as well;
↳ the day Brigit/Brigid/Bríde is celebrated: she is a triple goddess, patroness of smithcraft, poetry and healing, connected to element fire; this is why in Ireland Imbolc is also known as Lá Fhéile Bríde (Saint/Goddess Brigid’s Day)
↳ also known as Candlemas in the Christian world: when the Christians reached lands with strong traditions, they had to try and absorb those traditions because repression turned out to be ineffective. This is how February 2nd became the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple for the Christians; but the fire hasn’t died out, it is still present nowawadays in the tradition of carrying lighted candles in procession.
We are still in the middle of Winter, nonetheless Imbolc is the time of the year when we can sense Earth’s early awakening:
daily light is increasing and we can notice it now,
the warmth of sunbeams and the smells that come to our nostrils bring the anticipation of the coming Spring,
the energy of creation and the desire of doing are gently wakening us up from the Winter introspection.
It’s time to celebrate!
I’m offering you a simple ritual – you can modify it as you like to make it yours.
You will need:
– a white candle
– a natural incense stick (I use these ones that are very good: Satya Assortimento di Incensi)
– a pillow
R I T U A L
- Create your Sacred Space
– choose the right place: if there’s not enough space in your home, do as I do, create some! Move the table an inch or two, then the chair and everything else, in order to find a little 15-20 square feet just for you, that is enough
– now is the time for cleaning: if you haven’t done so yet during the day, go on and open the windows to let new and fresh air enter your sacred space; then grab a broom and swipe out the physical and energetic dirt. Light the incense stick and, if possible, carry it to every corner of every room and pass it on the doors’ frames; then go back to your sacred space
- Enter the Connection
– light the candle and sit before it: find a comfortable position (use the pillow to support the hips), lengthen the spine, relax the shoulders, place the hands on the thighs or knees with open palms facing up; gently close the eyes and let the forehead and the jaw relax; bring the attention to the breath that flows in and out through the nostrils; take three full deep breaths, then let the breath go back to its natural rhythm: you can feel it, you can learn its rhythm; keep observing it for a few minutes
– slowly open up the eyes and focus on the flame: observe it; maybe sensations, emotions or thoughts emerge: embrace what arises as a message; if nothing emerges, stay in beautiful contemplation
– wiggle toes and fingers, feel your body once again and move it the way it asks to move right now (you can find some inspiration here, here and here). Then find again a comfortable seated position, rub the hands until you feel a little warmth and place them over your closed eyes for a few moments; then place the fingers at the middle of the forehead and, by applying a little pressure, move them towards the temples (three times); gently massage the temples, the shoulders and the feet; shake the hands to let go of the excess energy
– lie down for a few minutes to integrate the ritual energies; close the ritual by going back to a sitting position and by bringing the hands in front of the heart in prayer position
Lá Fhéile Bríde Shona Dhuit
↟ The Earth and Soul Wanderer ↟