airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

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Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess
I have one son now coming into his native shaman training and 4 beautiful grandchildren.

Magickal Accidents: The “Oops” Factor

Sometimes our magickal endeavors don’t always work the way they’re suppose to.  Sometimes we mess up and get a whole lot of scattered energy running amok with all kinds of consequences, both for us and our targets, and sometimes even innocent bystanders.  I’ve heard over and over again, “Never do magick when you’re angry”, but at the same time, “Cast your spell while you’re all revved up emotionally, in the heat of the moment, because this is when you are the strongest and your magick will be most successful.”  You hear lots of things, honestly, and sometimes I don’t know whether it’s good to take all this in, or whether it’s best to follow your own instincts.  I guess it depends on how serious a situation is that you would want to cast a spell to change it; or how threatened you feel in order to cast; or how out-numbered; or pissed off; or ‘revengeful’…I know, ‘revengeful’ sounds awful, but it can feel so good (oops).

Everyone has cast a spell that they wished they could take back.  If they say they haven’t, they are probably lying, or they’re in denial.  Because, in spite of what Hollywood movies & tv shows tell us, witches are not some mysterious drop-dead gorgeous immortal creature who can rise above everything– or destroy anything that gets in her way.  Absolutely not– we’re mortal, just like the rest of humanity, and we make mistakes, just like everybody else; and sometimes we even lack good judgment– occasionally, once in a rare while (oops).

Romance is a biggy.  People fuck up here all the time, especially if jealousy and spite come into play, but sometimes just because we can be mean-spirited.  Say you jump on the magickal band-wagon to split up a couple because…because she was a real bitch and you want to teach her a lesson; or because he was dating you first and things were moving along smoothly till she showed up; or because they were crappy to you for a long period of time and by the time fences were mended and you were really getting to know them and possibly to like them, you had already thrown caution to the wind and cast this great big black spell to split them up (oops).

Then there’s those god-awful “love me forever” spells that are just a disaster waiting to happen; because if you’ve went ahead and cast one of these idiotic spells, you could be in for a rude and irritating awakening when you open your eyes some morning and decide you cannot stand anything about the guy in bed next to you.  You decide it’s time to gracefully move on; you decide that there’s ‘bigger fish in the ocean’ (older relatives always tell you this); or you just plain can’t stand the way he whines, eats his food, leaves junk all over your house, or clips the hell out of your trees and flowers when you’re not around to stop him– you also may not like how he belches after a can of pop, or forgets to brush his teeth, or any number of things, but that’s beside the point.  The bottom line is that you want him to “Go Away”…If you’ve already cast one of these sappy “love me forever” spells, while you were caught up in the heat of passion so hot your ass was sizzling no less, when your energy (and hormones) were raging, you are in for one nasty surprise.  To get rid of this love-lorn target, you may find out it’s going to take a lot more than a candle in a cauldron.  These are terrifically difficult spells to break.  What it may take is an attorney and a restraining order (oops).

Money spells– I’m not even going there.  No amount of money is ever enough; and when it is enough, it never seems to arrive on time, it’s always late.  I’m just not sure that spiritual things are in tune with financial issues, and I know that this might not apply to everyone, but for me, this is my personal experience.  Sometimes I believe it’s like ‘selling your soul to the devil’ (which is a really ironic and weird way for a pagan to put it) but that’s the truth– you give up almost everything, like your dignity and self-respect, to grovel and beg the universe for some currency.  It’s too human.  It’s too beneath what we’re really here to learn, what we’re here to experience; it’s the least important thing there is to cast magick for, yet we all do it, we’ve all done it…we’ve sold our proverbial ‘soul to the devil’ for some extra moolah (oops).

How many of us have hired a magickal hit-man? Huh?  Who’d be willing to ‘fess up to this one.  I can only imagine the eventful, unexpected, grandiose, or sublime ways this spell could go awry– it would be like a loose cannon; it would be like trying to teach an old maid to shoot a handgun…yeha, and get out of the way.  She’d be shooting the hell out of everything in front of her, but most likely missing her intended target and leaving a bloody trail of victims who happened to be in the line of fire (oops).

Magick, like everything else in life, needs to be learned and practiced in order for anyone to be really good at it.  It needs to have some personal guidelines, and most important of all, it needs to be practiced with a little restraint and a whole lot of common sense.  And, like everything else in life, you’ll find people who will listen to advice like this and take it into serious consideration; and then there are those people who have to learn everything the hard way (oops).

Magick is a learning experience, and some people never learn…

Poppets: Love ‘em or Leave ‘em; Cure ‘em or Curse ‘em

 When you purchase poppets from my website, they are charged and ready to go– all that’s left is for you to add a ‘personal’ touch with a photo, a lock of hair, a signature, etc.  But did you know that there is a ritual to ‘breathe them to life’ ?  Well there is, and I’m passing one on to you which I wrote myself.  It would be preferable to work this magic within a cast circle.  If you aren’t a practiced occultist, know that this ritual is not a requirement– but I won’t tell you that it doesn’t make a difference, because it sure can.

[Image] Assemble those items that correspond to the four elements– a bowl of water, a lit candle, an incense of your choice, and a bowl of salt.

1.  Cast your circle & call the quarters.

2.  Have your altar prepared, the color of your altar cloth, the herbs and stones present all corresponding to your intentions.

3.  Upon this altar place the items belonging to the elements.

4.  Take a few moments to ground yourself, to gather your energy, to fill your mind and this magical space with your intentions for this poppet.

5.  Lay the doll upon the altar.

For the element of Earth:

Take a handful of salt and sprinkle it across the figure, saying:

“I infuse you with Earth, that you feel physical touch.”

For the element of Air:

Take the doll in your hands and hold it in the smoke of the incense, turning it, moving it, that it is consumed with the smoke, saying:

 ”I infuse you with Air, that you think.”

For the element of Fire:

Lay the doll upon the altar once more and hold the burning candle above it, saying:

 ”I infuse you with Fire, that your passion be unquenchable and you feel the heat of my fury (or love, hate, etc.)”

For the element of Water:

Dip your right hand into the bowl of water and sprinkle the water upon the poppet as it lay on your altar, saying:

 ”I infuse you with Water, that your emotions be overwhelming.”

6.  Leave the poppet lay on the altar.  Take a deep breath and slowly lean over it, until you hover above it’s mouth, your own lips almost touching it.  Exhale now, allow your breath to escape from your body in one long warm draught of air.  And this breath shall enter the poppet and give it life.

7.  Open your circle, dismiss the quarters.  Do with the poppet what you must, according to your intentions.
____________________

Daily Forecast for February 5th, 2014

Crescent Moon
(waxing/44% of illumination)

During this Moon phase, there is a slight slowing down of enthusiasm due to an emerging desire to produce tangible results from the energy being expended. The issue of values enters into the equation and an urge to tie together the data available so that you can utilize current opportunities. There is still plenty of forward motion, and this is a great time to continue initiating and progressing forward. This Moon phase favors gaining more information and the input of others to further your plans.

Moon 24° Aries opposes Mars 24° Libra

Moon enters Taurus

Moon 3° Taurus sextiles Mercury 3° Pisces

Moon 4° Taurus sextiles Neptune 4° Pisces

Something REAL needs to manifest and will happen in your life

The Aquarian New Moon has defined a specific REAL event in your life - between the New Moon and today - you've had a lot of things happening - many REAL events - and undeniable REAL events - however when Moon enters Taurus 10am GMT - 11am Europe - 3:30pm India - 7pm Sydney Australia - 5am USA EST - will create an earth-moving shift in your life.

I've defined Moon in Taurus as "something real needs to manifest" and that's because the New Moon in Aquarius - wants and needs to prove to you that your life is changing and you ARE being liberated - so it needs to DO something REAL - to prove to you that it has a REAL power of transformation.

The astrological chart for 6th February 2014 - Moon in Taurus

The blue lines define the "Good mood" - adaptability, flexibility and change which is crushing the fixed red lines. Everything is fluid - moving - unpredictably good - and changing for the better - world is a good place with a good aura. The only people who will get ANGRY are people that want to live-in-the-past and hate change. Many of the positive moments will be positively triggered by the Moon in Taurus - as it will make you FEEL FANTASTIC - and get your life moving in REAL terms - with REAL events happening.

 

During the past few days - Moon in Aries has made you think a lot - and Moon 24° Aries opposes Mars 24° Libra has certainly created a HUGE amount of energy - that you know you MUST change something in your life - and you feel you MUST do it today. The ironic thing with Moon in Aries - is it makes you want to EXPLODE - because something has deeply affected your mind, thoughts and aura - and it makes you want to BATTLE the things that are wrong with your life - but Moon in Taurus will show you - there's no need to FIGHT the world nor DO battle with anyone - because your aura will make the right things "just" happen - WITHOUT any confrontation.

When you see a "GUARD DOG" protecting a building - there's no need for the DOG to say anything - you "know" what the message is - likewise Moon in Taurus - will help you EMIT an AURA to the world - that defines what you are and what you want. Based on what you've been thinking about in the past few days - "things" will just happen today - with great ease and without any effort. Which will prove to you that when the time is right - everything that destiny wants to make "happen" - happens.

 

Moon enters Taurus creates coincidences in REAL life - things will happen - and not because YOU decide to make them happen, or plan them to happen, or want them to happen, or force and push them to happen - but - "things" will just happen - like magic !

From the moment Moon enters Taurus - you will become QUIET and introvert - even though Sun in Aquarius is making a facet of you extrovert - Moon in Taurus - means you will be contained and living WITHIN yourself. No-one will bother you - nothing will disturb you - because from WITHIN you - Moon in Taurus will make you peaceful and calm - it will be a contrast to the mayhem and intensity of Moon in Aries.

 

From the above astrological chart - you can see that the numerous blue lines of stability formed by Moon in Taurus - Mercury & Neptune in Pisces - therefore it is clear that Moon in Taurus is going to bring a LOT OF STABILITY to make your life worth living - and the way it will do this is creating and manifesting something GOOD in your life.

 

Moon 3° Taurus sextiles Mercury 3° Pisces

Moon 4° Taurus sextiles Neptune 4° Pisces

 

Both these aspects are very close to each other - and will ensure a profound aura of PEACE and TRANQUILITY in your life - your mind and thoughts will be calm and from within you - you will be emitting a stability to the world - whilst being 100% detached from the garbage in the world. Have you ever tried talking to yourself and asking for things - in your mind - without saying anything ? On Wednesday you will be able to focus your mind to ASK - and you will receive - your ability to attract good things and avoid bad things will be controlled by your thoughts - so use your mind wisely and you'll be surprised.

Aries Horoscope
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Although you wish your life was less complicated today, you might have more work to do before you can separate yourself from the noise you have created. Your path may seem clear now, but it still could take quite a bit of determination on your part to reach your destination. Be careful not to slip into denial and fall back into complacency. There are changes that need to be made, so don’t give up the good fight. Your passionate persistence is your secret weapon.

Taurus Horoscope
(Apr 20 – May 20)

No matter how much you might want to focus on your feelings, it’s challenging to stop your mind from spinning around in circles today. You are thinking about so many different things and the thoughts continue to fly by, just out of your grasp. Frustration arises if you attempt to make use of your fantastic ideas, but there’s no reason to be overly concerned about productivity for now. Instead, just sit back and enjoy the show.

Gemini Horoscope
(May 21 – Jun 20)

You don’t want to wait quietly on the sidelines and let something important happen without adding your two cents. In fact, you may be so sure of your convictions today that you are driven to speak your mind whether or not others want to hear your opinion. Keep in mind that you will be better off in the long run if you limit your comments to only the most critical issues. Your words will have more impact if you choose your battles wisely.

Cancer Horoscope
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Your flexible attitude allows you to temporarily minimize an unresolved issue today. You can easily let go of emotions that were bothering you in return for a bit of spiritual refreshment and social enjoyment. However, you might not be ready to relinquish all your feelings, but at least set them aside for a while without judging anyone too harshly. Spending some quality time with your friends or family is more restorative if your heart is fully open to the experience.

Leo Horoscope
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

You may be lost in contemplation today, as you Lions drift off into a rather complex dreamscape. However, ignoring the interpersonal dynamics at work is not a wise move since the current situation could be complicated by someone’s unexpressed feelings. As much as you want to escape into your inner world now, you must meet your professional obligations before slipping away to explore your imagination.

Virgo Horoscope
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You might have already scheduled some fun for yourself today, only to discover that nothing is going to happen quite as you thought. You can still enjoy yourself, but it won’t be without a bit of confusion creeping into your life. Bring yourself back to your center and shrug off the minor inconveniences or you could inadvertently make things worse. Remember the best way to minimize stress and impress others is to keep your sense of humor intact.

Libra Horoscope
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

You can get all wrapped up in mental gymnastics now, even though your stoicism may prevent you from talking about your worries with others. You feel like you should be more lighthearted today, but there are serious issues that just won’t go away until you deal with them. Even with singular focus, resolution probably won’t come quickly. In the meantime, do something creative with your irritation instead of spreading it to others.

Scorpio Horoscope
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

Ironically, you are aware of life’s simplicity and its many complications at the very same time. With the evocative Moon moving through sensible Taurus today, your primary drive is toward experiencing pleasure. Yet, as a Scorpio, you always enjoy delving into a good mystery. Be careful if it appears that someone else can ameliorate your need for complexity, for this is just an illusion. Like it or not, your fate is completely in your own hands.

Sagittarius Horoscope
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Returning to the basics isn’t what normally motivates you, but simplification just may be the most critical theme in your life now. You are at a significant intersection today, and taking the on-ramp to the busy freeway might not be your best choice. You could have a very positive influence on your environment, but you must step out of the fast lane and onto the road less traveled so you can create the type of connections you want.

Capricorn Horoscope
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Rethinking your core assumptions or reinventing your image offers the best chances for success today. Since this transformational process may continue for a while yet, it’s wise to review and reevaluate last year’s accomplishments while they are still fresh in your mind. Strive to put closure on as many loose ends as possible over the next few weeks to make plenty of room for your future exciting endeavors.

Aquarius Horoscope
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Inner conflict may stress you out as you begin to reconsider a logical decision you recently made. Unfortunately, your feelings might not fall in line with your rational analysis today as you expected. Thankfully, your dilemma isn’t all that obvious to anyone else; nevertheless, a special person could come to your rescue now. Remain open to receiving good news from a friend or family member, for it can provide just enough hope to settle your angst and nudge you in the right direction.

Pisces Horoscope
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Your current indecision gets in the way of finalizing your plans. Naturally, you want to do what is best, but your good intentions may go awry today, especially if your expectations are unrealistic. It’s difficult to say no to anything that sounds like fun, even if it isn’t very practical. Instead of needlessly complicating matters even more, rely on a second opinion from someone you trust before making any commitments now that you will later regret.

Y [bw-isa] our Rune For Today        

 Isa       

The Ice Rune,  represents stagnation and a passionless existence. Your life’s course may seem blurry at the moment, but if you persevere you will move onto better days.

Today's Tarot: Star

What has traditionally been known as the Star card is about reconnecting one’s Soul with the Divine — the transcending of personality, family, community and reputation. It has to do ultimately with the freedom to be one’s Self. The Soul is responding to celestial influences — forces that can provide the personality with a stronger sense of purpose. The Star card helps us to remember our exalted origins and our attraction to a Higher Union.

This card could also be called the “Celestial Mandate” — that which refers us back to our reason for being, our mission in this lifetime. The Star reminds us that, in a sense, we are agents of Divine Will in our day-to-day lives. If we let go of the idea that we are supposed to be in control, we can more easily notice and appreciate the synchronicities that are nudging us along. In this way, we become more conscious of the invisible Helping Hand, and we better understand our place within — and value to — the larger Cosmos.

Today's Spirit Animal Oracle

hat Which is Behind You
  Cardinal 
Wake up! Cardinal is chirping at you—bringing a message of personal power. Stop shrinking from your destiny. Stop pretending that you are less than. If you are unsure of your path, ask Cardinal to fly with you—it’s certain he will help you focus, gain clarity, formulate a plan, become self-assured, and step out into the world with the confidence befitting a person of your power. 

 

Your Current Place
  Raccoon 
This masked bandit can make you laugh with his antics, or make you angry when you realize he’s made off with your food! Raccoon is incredibly curious—to the point that he’ll walk into a potentially dangerous situation just to see what’s up. Like Raccoon, are there situations you’re barging into before you have all the information? Might want to re-think this one. 

 

That Which is before You
  Porcupine 
Porcupine has appeared in your reading today to bring a message of innocence and trust. Although Porcupine can throw quills when cornered, he is gentle, loving, and non-aggressive. Is there an area of your life that need Porcupine energy? Have you lost the ability to trust??

~Elder Airwolf~

 

Reminder Spring Class Roster

Spring Class Roster
Well it's that time again and spring class enrollment is now open for registration. So come and see in full detail about the class for you~

LEGION OF PAGANS SPIRITUAL MINISTRY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OF MAGICK
www.legionofpagans.com

SPRING CLASSES REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN 
January 6th 2014

***Visit website for detailed information***

~~~ THE BASIC WITCH CLASS~~~

CLASS REGISTRATION CLOSES ON FEBRUARY 9TH

CLASS ORIENTATION BEGINS ON FEBRUARY 10TH. ALL STUDENTS MUST CHECK INTO THE CLASSROOM

DESCRIPTION & OUTLINE
This class will be following the teachings of the old Celtic Aoumiel Witch.
We will be studying each chapter of Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft.
The course will take 8 weeks but can stretch out depending on what the mini test scores are per-week. We want to make sure that you have an understanding of what you are practicing.

(Instructor-Falling Star-aka Diana S.)



~~~BEGINNERS HERBOLOGY 101~~~
CLASS DESCRIPTION,

~DESCRIPTION~
For centuries Witches have grown there own herbs for magickal,
culinary and medicinal uses. A garden or container with herbs,
can focus on elementals, planetary influences, a particular deity
or particular spell work, such as protection, prosperity or love 
magick. The possibilities are endless.
You will learn how to grow,harvest,dry and use 50 basic herbs in
a Witches daily life.
Class is a 12 week course

(Instructor-Elder Airwolf-aka Donna M.)

~~~~~~INTERMEDIATE WITCH~~~~~~~

REGISTRATION IS OPEN THROUGH FEBRUARY 23RD, ORIENTATION BEGINS ON FEBRUARY 24TH.

This class is a progressive from level one of the Basic Witch and students registering for this class must have had previous training. If you have not taken the first class with the LoP your will be asked for documentation from prior training and an aptitude test to gain entry.

In this class the witch will be learning about the Sacred Connection to Nature, Balancing Light & Shadow as well as some more on progressive spells and casting arts of the craft.

(Instructor Elder Airwolf-aka Donna M.)

~~~WELCOME TO THE HERBS & POTIONS~~~

The next progressive class of Herbology 101

Within the Herb & Potions class

you will discover, how to use 
Witchy Herbs as the art of healing.
You will learn how to combine Witchy
Herbs with Astrology, Tarot, Gemstones
and Planetary correspondences to 
enhance your magickal spells and rituals.
I also will include some Herbal Potions,
that will be a great benefit to every
GreenWitch.
Required Book need for Class :
The Master Book of Herbalism
By Paul Beyerl
Registration begins on January 6th 2014 until minimum quota is met. Notifications will be posted.
This will be a 12 week class.
(Instructor Elder Airwolf-aka Donna M.)

Copyright ©01032014
~Elder Airwolf~

Earth Magick

Earth Magick

EARTH ENERGY

Earth is our ability to manifest desires helping to ground energy and focus. It is passive in nature and represents both the womb and the grave by bringing forth and taking away. It is stationary, without the active ability to create. It is the final outcome and is related to the flesh and all physical matters. It nourishes, affirms, sees, touches, smells, senses, feels and holds. It is both sensual and practical. It can be stubborn and generous and has instinct rather than feeling. Earth is slow, steady ever changing while remaining the same.

Most Earth people have the essential quality of strength and are practical, liking organization. They are steady and solid in efforts being both builders and defenders with a strong sense of responsibility. The Earth signs are concerned with reality and the constants of home, family, and work. They are sensual, and tend to be conservative in their approach to life. They are kind and cautious and it takes much to win their trust and friendship. Once you have it though, they are loyal forever. They are attracted to power and have a negative side of power games, possessiveness, and manipulations. They can forgive with little effort or hold a grudge for years

Earth Magic

The Earth is the body of the Divine. It is Goddess, and the genderless Sacred. The element of earth is associated, in the Northern Hemisphere, with the direction of north (it's associated with south in the Southern Hemisphere), and with animals such as bears, wolves, stags, and horses. It's also associated with forests and fields and the powers of growth, fertility,mystery, and rebirth. With earth magick you can attune yourself to Nature's
rhythms, her cycles of growth, death, and rebirth, and so understand the rhythms of your own body as you age and mature, and the events of your life as you grow, create, outgrow things, and begin again. Earth magic helps you manifest your ideas and desires, tap into your creativity, create prosperity,
and give birth to the life you want. 

This also makes me think of a Hedge witch who reg connects with nature and uses much herbs and natural plants for healing , magick, etc

Earth Goddessess 
Gaia
Artemis
Demeter
Diana
Ceres

Isis yes a Moon Goddess but Earth Goddess She taught Her people agriculture healing and magick

Morrigan
Kali
Pele
There are many more if you search just wanted to name a few.

Earth Magick is the most powerful way to become a part of the Earth. It is not recycling or activism. What Earth magick is, can be summed up in this way; Earth Magick is the art of becoming one with the Original Goddess Power that created the Earth. There are many ways to do this, by spell, by ritual, and by summoning the power directly from the environment around you. If you are run down you can draw power and peace from the trees and plants around you. However, you must first ask permission to do so and bless the plant or tree once the power has been taken. The actual act of taking the energy is by reaching out with your will and “breathe” in the Earth Power. It is revitalizing and relaxing and it eliminates stress. In directing Earth energy, one simply needs to gather a stone, some dirt or a leaf from a tree and use it in your ritual or spell. It adds the “Earth” to your working. Also, you may create an amulet by taking a stone or other natural item and charging it for a specific purpose. Some natural items contain their own “energy” and do not require charging. A four –leaf clover for instance is said to bring good luck. Also certain stones, such as load- stones and other semi-precious stones contain specific magickal properties. Crystals have long been used in magick as power centers and batteries to store the power of the Sun as well as power loaded by the magick user. Burying a spell in the ground is one way to utilize the Earth Power to accomplish a desired result. Also, you can call the Earth element into your spell or ritual to give your goal a “kick” of Earth based energy if the goal falls under the ruler ship of the element. Some of the goals ruled by the Earth element are, Good Luck, Finding Hidden Things, Protection, All Things Relating To Child Birth, Healing, Stability, Self - Control. There are others but that is a basic list. The being attributed to this element is the Gnomes. They are beings that live in the Earth, but are probable arch types for the Earth Spirit or Earth Angel. As with all beings or Powers called to your circle for a specific ritual or tasks be sure to “banish” or bid them back to their places in peace and with harm to none.

~Elder Airwolf~

Women over 40~by Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney's thoughts on women over forty, Do you agree with him?: 

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.


If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.


A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.


Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.


Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.


A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.


Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.


A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.


Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.


Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.


Ladies, I apologize.


For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

BLESSED IMBOLC 2014

 

The Feast of Brighid
Observances and Observations

by
Erinna Northwind

The Yule ends with the Eve of Oimelc. Heed the poet Herrick: toss out your Yuletide greens, they've absorbed all the reek and malign humors they're going to. Soon they'll start releasing them back into the air. So out with them, every leaf and berry with your general housecleaning. Let them be mulch or compost, and the Earth balance and embrace them. Do you see Yule trees end their glory on the curbside? Yours deserves better! Burn its remains, or leave them in a wild place. Then bring in fresh boughs to see out the Winter.

The coming season is one of in gathering. Earth gathers Her forces to burst forth in the Spring, and Her people prepare for A fresh start. What projects will engage your efforts in the year to come? In what new directions will you press? Now comes the time to get our ducks in a row. We reassess and refine our resolutions.

We will turn the pages of nursery catalogs, mapping gardens, penciling in new herbs and shrubs of virtue to plant on our plots of ground. We will stretch our sluggish bodies and set them in motion,,anticipating days outdoors. Pounds put on over the Yuletide will come off, we are determined!! Lady Day should see us leaner and speedier.

But Oimele is more than a boundary-stone between seasons. Pause and listen.

Life stirs in the Earth. You help. The maiden Fire-Goddess Brighid embodies this awakening. Her deep fires rise and warm the roots of trees, Her crown a ring of light. Wear a candle-crown in Her honor. Remember: ancient dancers stamped and pounded on the ground. Bearing torches they formed blazing wheels that revolved and uncoiled and snaked across the fields, blessing them with holy fire. You quench every light and kindle new fire in Her name. From this you light every lamp and know all Nature greets the growing light.

Her maidenhood notwithstanding, Brighid cares for lovers. She rules marriage, childbirth and the family, the hearth Her shrine in every home. Girls, say the grannies, seek Her help to find a bonny mate. Read omens in the ashes. You have no proper fireplace? Make do! Besides poetry and healing, She rules inspiration and smithcraft. Young men, show your sweetheart your devotion, lest a better make off with her heart.

Ewes are Her sacred beasts. In their byres lambing begins. The milk flows. Oi-melc: "ewe's-milk." Pour a libation of milk, or a milky posset made with (Irish?) whiskey.

Gather at midnight with torches and a bucket of hot spiced ale, if you know an orchard that wants wassailing. Go to the eldest tree. Blow horns, bang on pots, make a din. Wake the tree spirits! Sing them the carol exhorting the trees "to blow well and to bear well." Drink a health to the trees. Soak a crust and wedge it in the crotch of a branch. Walk the aisles, singing and slinging a ladleful of wassail on every tree.

No leaf opens. Earth seems to sleep in deep silence; yet life stirs. You help. You are The Wise.

Imbolc is also known as Candlemas, St. Brigits Day, Brides Day, or

Groundhogs Day. The word Imboc means "in the belly". It is the celebration

of the return of the maiden of spring. During this time we see the first

stirrings of life and spring. The Celtic Goddess Brigit/Brigid, pronounced

"Breed", is honored on this day. She is the triple muse Goddess who brings

fertility of the upcoming spring. She is also a fire Goddess who rules over

healing, inspiration, poetry and smithcraft. One tradition is to make Brigit

a bed. This entails making a corn dolly to represent the Goddess in her

maiden form and making a phallic wand and placing them side by side in a

basket. The corn dolly is called a biddy. Another tradition is that a

Priestess should wear a crown of 13 candles. Some do this to represent the

young maiden bringing forth the light of spring and some traditions use this

to represent the Mother, because it is the Mother Earth who is quickened at

Imbolc.

Lore: It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, tolight

every lamp in the house, even if only for a few moments. Or you can light

candles in each room. This is to honor the Sun's rebirth. If snow lies on

the ground outside, walk in it for a moment and recall the warmth of summer.

With your projective hand, trace an image of the sun on the snow.

Colors: White, Yellow & Pink

Symbols: Candles, The Bride, Burrowing Animals, Grain Dolly & Sun Wheels.

Deities: God and Goddess as children, All Virgin Goddess'

Stones: Turquoise & Amethyst

Ritual Oils: Jasmine, Apricot, Carnation, Sweet Pea, Neroli & Olive

Food: Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy,

since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Spicy and full bodied foods in

honor of the sun are equally attuned. Also peppers, onions, leeks, shallots,

garlic and chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishs containing

raisins, any food symbolic of the sun are traditional.

Recipes:

Candied Violets: After picking a large number of violets, spread them on a

cookie sheet to dry for a few hours.

Then beat an egg white to a froth, paint it on each flower with a fine

brush, and (carefully!) pour fine white sugar over the flowers to coat them.

You can color the egg white purple for variety if you wish. (Gum arabic can

be substituted for the egg whites.)

Feather Cake: (Candied violets work beautifully for garnishes on this cake.)

First, rub to a cream 2 tablespoons soft butter and a cup of sugar.

Next, add a beaten egg yolk, half a cup of water and whole milk mixed, 1

and 1/2 cups of sifted flour, and a teaspoon each of baking powder and

vanilla. Beat an egg white stiff as meringue and fold it gently into the

mixed batter. Bake it at a low heat--325 degrees Farenheit--for 25 minutes.

Don't jump up and down or jar the cake while it's baking or it'll fall and

be full of holes. You can add chocolate glaze and/or candied violets when it

comes out of the oven.

Candlemas Oil:

1/2 dram Pine oil

1/4 dram Lavendar oil

4 or 5 drops of Cinnamon oil

1/4 dram Sandalwood oil

1/4 dram Frankincense oil

1/4 dram Myrrh oil

Mix well and bottle.

Imbolc Incense

3 Parts Frankincense

2 parts Dragon's Blood

1/2 Part Red Sandalwood

1 Part Cinnamon

Few drops red wine

To this mixture, add a pinch of the first flower (dry it first) that is

available in your area around the time of Imbolc.

 

Here is a poem, not necessarily about Imbolc, but it has a feeling of

rebirth and renewal to it. This is from "Seasons of the Witch", by Patricia

Monaghan

(Copyright 2004, Creatrix Books. Used with permission.)

Wild Sound

Yours are the hands

of a magician

of wildernesses:

like iris transmuted

into wild blue flags

what you touch escapes

from cultivation instantly

like roses collapsing

into fruitfulness--

You touch me and

suddenly lawns grow

rampant with bedstraw.

A fieldstone path dissolves

into a canyon. Cedars crush

an orgnamental hedge.

An ancent order reasserts

itself, and this, from your

one charm: you know

no garden long withstands

the sorcery of freedom.

Somethings change quickly.

Farther north, the slow

responses: glaciers stir.

Migrations swell like canticles.

And the lockd sea opens

to tthe seeking whle

its savage revelations.

 

 

 

SAINT BRIDE OF SCOTLAND

“Oh the blessing of Brìd on the child of my heart” —Scottish Lullaby

In Scotland Brigid was known as Bride and like her pagan predecessor reigned

over fire, over art, and over beauty, fo cheabhar agus fo chuan (beneath

the sky and beneath the sea.) As she presided over the birth of Spring, so

legends tell that she was the midwife at Christ’s birth. She was called

Muime Chriosd, “Foster-mother of Christ”, while the divine Child was known

as Dalta Brìde, “the Foster-Son of Bride.” Sometimes Brigid was conflated

with the Virgin herself, for in the Highlands and Islands she was often

addressed as “Mary of the Gael.”

Her presence was invoked at childbirths, as Alexander Carmichael recounts:

When a woman is in labour the midwife…goes to the door of the house, and

standing on the door-step, softly beseeches Bride to come in:

‘Bride, Bride, come in!

Thy welcome is truly made,

Give thou relief to the woman,

And give thou the conception to the Trinity.’

Highland women also invoked Brigid’s presence at the hearth-fire, the center

of the home. The hearth was not only the source of warmth and cooking but

also symbolized the power of the sun brought down to human level as the

miraculous power of fire. Every morning the fire was kindled with

invocations to St. Brigid, the “radiant flame” herself:

I will build the hearth

As Mary would build it.

The encompassment of Bride and of Mary

Guarding the hearth, guarding the floor,

Guarding the household all.

 

THE FEAST-DAY OF BRIDE

Bride put her finger in the river

On the Feast Day of Bride

And away went the hatching mother of the cold. — Carmina Gadelica

It was said: "from Brighid's feastday onwards the day gets longer and the

night shorter.” Although this refers to the time of the winter Solstice, the

felt truth was that the goddess brought back the growing light. On the eve

of Là Fhéill Bhrìghde (St.Brigid’s Day), the Old Woman of Winter, the

Cailleach, journeys to the magical isle in whose woods lies the miraculous

Well of Youth. At the first glimmer of dawn, she drinks the water that

bubbles in a crevice of a rock, and is transformed into Bride, the fair maid

whose white wand turns the bare earth green again. Another version of the

story of Spring tells how Bride is a young girl kept prisoner by the

Cailleach all winter long in the snowy recesses of Ben Nevis. She is rescued

by the Cailleach’s son who elopes with her despite his mother’s attempts to

keep them apart with fierce storms.

The coming of Bride was celebrated in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland

with heartfelt prayers and songs. Of these all are gone except for a few

evocative titles and fragments—“Mantle of Bride,” “Staff of Bride,” “Bride’s

Prayer—empty sea-shells on a forgotten shore. But thanks to Carmichael’s

work in collecting old customs, we do know more about the festivities of

this joyful time. On Bride’s Eve, young girls made a female figure from a

sheaf of corn, and decorated it with colored shells and sparkling crystals,

together with snowdrops and primroses and other early spring flowers and

greenery. An especially bright shell, symbol of emerging life, or crystal

was placed over its heart, called in Gaelic, the “guiding star of Bride,”

after the star over the stable in Bethlehem that led Bride to the Christ

child. The figure was named Bride or Brideag, Little Bride, and was carried

about the town in procession by the young girls who were called banal Bride,

the “Bride Maiden band,” all dressed in white and wearing their hair down,

personifying the spirit of purity and youth.

Everyone they visited had to pay homage to Bride and give her a gift such as

a flower or a crystal, while the mothers gave bannocks, cheese or butter,

reciprocating Bride’s lavish gifts of food. When they had finished their

rounds, the girls spent the night at a house where the figure was made to

sit in state, while the girls prepared the Bride feast for the next day.

The young men of the town soon came knocking at the door and were let in to

pay tribute to Bride, after which there were songs, dancing and much

merrymaking until the break of day. At first light, they all joined hands

and sang a hymn to Bride, and shared out the remains of the feast among the

poor women of the town.

The older women of the town also conducted a ceremony on the Eve of Bride.

They too made an effigy of Bride out of oats, lovingly decorated it, and

prepared for her a basket called leaba Bride, Bride’s bed. Carmichael

describes what happened next;

… one woman goes to the door of the house, and standing on the step with

her hands on the jambs, calls softly into the darkness, ‘Bride’s bed is

ready.’ To this a ready woman behind replies, ‘Let Bride come in. Bride is

welcome.’ The woman at the door again addresses Bride, ‘Bride, Bride, come

thou in, thy bed is made. Preserve the house for the Trinity.’ The women

then place the ikon of Bride with great ceremony into the bed they have so

carefully prepared for it.

In her hand they placed a small straight white wand, generally of birch, the

tree of spring, or other sacred wood: straight to signify justice, white for

purity and peace. Then, before retiring for the night they smoothed the

ashes of the hearth. Their dearest wish was that she visit them in the

night, and in the morning they eagerly examined the ashes for traces of her

presence: if they discerned the marks of her wand, they knew they were

favored; if the footprint of Bride was discovered in the ashes then they

were overjoyed, and knew to expect increase in family, flock and field in

the coming year. If there were no signs at all, they were downcast,

believing she must be offended. To remedy this, they buried a cock as an

offering at a place where three streams met—a three-fold confluence of

sacred power—and burned incense on the fire the next evening.

There are places in Scotland where St. Bride’s Day festivities are still

very much alive. For example, Canon Angus MacQueen on the Isle of South Uist

celebrates all the Celtic feast days with his parishioners, especially Là

Fhéill Bhrìghde, when the Brideog is carried round to each house on the

island.

In Ireland, similar joyous rituals were enacted to welcome back the light on

Lá Fhéile Bríde, St. Brigit’s Day. An 18th century account tells how every

farmer’s wife made a special cake, the ale was brought out, the neighbors

came round and a festive evening was had by all. Fresh butter was churned

and always formed part of the meal; the more wealthy farmers gave gifts of

butter to poorer neighbors, along with some roast meat, to celebrate the

return of the bringer of bounty. At this time, Brigid herself was believed

to travel about the countryside, blessing the people and their livestock,

and so an offering of cake or bread and butter was left outside on the

window-sill for her. Sometimes they left a sheaf of corn too, as sustenance

for the white cow who traveled with her. Or a bundle of straw or fresh

rushes were laid on the threshold for her to kneel upon to bless the house,

or possibly so she – or the cow! – could wipe their feet before entering.

In many districts an effigy of Brigid was carried about from door to door as

in Scotland. Often the figure of Bride was fashioned from a churn-dash

covered with straw, emphasizing her presence in the dairy; sometimes it was

a child’s doll decked out for the occasion, and sometimes a young girl

dressed in white represented Brigid herself. The girl might hand out a

Brigid’s Cross to each household, for the saint’s special cross was an

important part of the Irish celebrations in all parts of Ireland. These

crosses of rushes or straw were made on St. Brigid’s Eve and hung in the

house and often in byre and stable too, to honor Brigid and to gain her

protection. The crosses took shapes that are not traditionally Christian,

but bear marked resemblance to symbols of the sun in cultures throughout the

world. One kind was actually not a cross at all, but a figure with three

legs, recalling the three-fold nature of the goddess-saint. It is, in fact,

an ancient Celtic symbol known as the triskele.

A less common design from counties Cork and Tipperary is a shape we should

by now be most familiar with: the circle-cross. An added beauty of its

symbolism is that the figure is formed from triple-braided straw rope, thus

marrying the sacred numbers of four and three. Another ritual object

involving these numbers sounds as if it is from a much earlier time. Known

as the Crios Bríde, or Saint Brigid’s Girdle, it was made from braided straw

rope and carried in procession with the effigy of Bride throughout the town.

At each house, the occupants were expected to pass through it, to obtain

Bride’s protection and good health for the coming year. As they did this,

the bearers of the crios chanted a verse. One version goes in translation:

Brighid’s girdle is my girdle

The girdle with the four crosses

Arise, housewife

And go out three times.

May whoever goes through my girdle

Be seven times better a year from now.

Rituals such as these anchored participants securely in the cosmic order

represented by the four directions and the three worlds: lower world,

physical world and upper world, mediated by the sacred presence of Brigid.

 

CANDLEMAS

A wondrous force and might

Doth in these candels lie… — Barnaby Gouge: The Popish Kingdome

In keeping with the policy of the Catholic Church to subsume pagan festivals

into Christian feast-days, the Day of Bride became equated with Candlemas on

February 2nd, the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At

this time, forty days after childbirth, Mary was supposed to have gone to

the Temple at Jerusalem to make the traditional offering to purify herself.

As she entered the temple, an old man named Simeon recognized the baby as

the Messiah of Israel, and a “light to lighten the Gentiles.” So, once again

we encounter the archetype of the young Sun or Light come to redeem the

darkness, but now in Christian clothing. Certainly, the service most used

for this day in the medieval church made much of this symbolism, playing

upon images of the appearance of divine light in the darkness of human sin,

of renewal and rebirth of light in the dark time of the year, and of the new

light of heaven come to transform an old world.

In Britain, Candlemas was celebrated with a festival of lights. In the dark

and gloomy days of February, the shadowy recesses of medieval churches

twinkled brightly as each member of the congregation carried a lighted

candle in procession around the church, to be blessed by the priest.

Afterwards, the candles were brought home to be used to keep away storms,

demons and other evils. This custom lasted in England until it was banned in

the Reformation for promoting the veneration of magical objects. Even so,

the symbol of the lighted candles had too strong a hold on the popular

imagination to be entirely cast aside. Traces of the festival lingered until

quite recently in other areas of the British Isles like little lights that

refused to be blown out. In Wales, Candlemas was known as Gwyl Fair y

Canhwyllau, Mary’s Festival of the Candles, and was celebrated as late as

the 19th century by setting a lighted candle in the windows or at the table

on this night. Special Candlemas carols were sung by singers who processed

from house to house. One of these contains the lines:

Hail reign a fair maid with gold upon your chin,

Open up the East Gate and let the New year in;

The carolers had to undergo a contest of riddles before being allowed to

enter (an example of ritual at a liminal place.) When they were allowed in,

they might see a young girl with a baby boy on her lap, surrounded by

candles, to whom they sang once more and pledged in drink. She of course

personified Virgin and Child, but in a country where Catholicism never had a

strong hold, it is not difficult to discern a pre-Christian custom similar

to the Scottish welcoming of Bride behind the Christian trappings.

In the county of Shropshire, the snowdrop, first flower of spring, took the

place of candles, being named, “Candlemas bells,” “Purification flowers” or

– with a faint remembrance of Brigid, perhaps – “Fair Maid of February.” And

an interesting survival was noted in Cornwall, where until recently in the

town of St. Ives, a silver ball was passed around from 10.30 till noon on

this day throughout the streets and on the beach. It was started off by the

mayor at the parish church, and whoever holds the ball at noon receives a

small prize. The significance and history of this unusual and isolated

custom is not known. Does the silver ball represent the pale orb of the

returning sun?

Finally, traces of the festival of the growing light can even be traced to

modern America in the Groundhog Day custom on February 2. If the groundhog

sees his shadow on this morning, it means there will be six more weeks of

winter. The custom comes directly from Europe, and Scotland in particular,

where an old couplet goes:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,

there'll be two winters in the year.

A Scottish rhyme about the Feast Day of Bride begins:

This is the day of Bride,

The queen will come from the mound…

In other versions it is a “serpent” that will emerge from a hole, an

allusion which Professor Séamus Ó Cáthain has linked to Scandinavian customs

regarding the reappearance of the hibernating bear. For this is the time

when the animal world begins to stir from its winter sleep in the depths of

earth, and life and light is ushered in by Brigid, the Queen.

 

I have included two solitary rituals this time, and one for a group. Enjoy!

 

SOLITARY IMBOLC RITUAL

First, set up your altar in a way that makes you happy, and brings to mind

the themes of Imbolc. You'll also want to have on hand the following:

Seven candles, in red and white (tealights are perfect for this)

Something to light your candles with

A large bowl or cauldron big enough to hold the candles

Sand or salt to fill the bottom of the bowl/cauldron

Prior to beginning your ritual, take a warm, cleansing bath. While soaking,

meditate on the concept of purification. Once you're done, dress in your

ritual attire, and begin the rite.

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Pour the sand or salt into the bowl or cauldron.

Place the seven candles into the sand so they won't slide around.

Light the first candle. 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, cover me in your shining light. I am

awash in your glow, and tonight I am made pure.

Take a few momemnts 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 damanged.

When you are ready, end the ritual. You may choose to follow up with healing

magic, or with a Cakes and Ale ceremony.

What You Need:

Seven candles, white and red, and something to light them with

A bowl or cauldron with sand in the bottom

 

Imbolc Solitary Ritual from

 

Theme: Welcoming the increasing light

Altar Needs

White altar cloth

Five, white candles

Cauldron

Pen and Paper

Chalice

To prepare for the ritual have a ritual bath with some bath salts. Play some

relaxing music. Set up your altar with the five unlit candles - one for each

element and one in the center to represent the Goddess.

Call the Elements and the Goddess:

Hail to the Spirit of the East, Element of Air. The winter winds blow cool

breezes all around me. Please join me tonight. Light the candle in the East.

Hail to the Spirit of the South, Element of Fire. The warmth of fire makes

me aware of the coming new season. Please join me tonight. Light the candle

in the South.

Hail to the Spirit of the West, Element of Water. The melting snow flows

into the rivers and provide much needed water the earth. Please join me

tonight. Light the candle in the West.

Hail to the Spirit of the North, Element of Earth. The fruits from the last

harvest are providing nourishment during these winter months. Please join me

tonight. Light the candle in the North.

Great Brigit, Guardian of poetry and smith crafts. I am honored to have you

here and to bask in the light of your eternal flame. Please join me tonight.

Light the candle in the center of the altar.

Tonight I celebrate the return of the sun and the rebirth of light.

Work and Meditation

Sit in front of your altar and think about what you would like to manifest

in your life. When you are finished, write your thoughts on your piece of

paper. Place the paper in the cauldron and light it to release your thought

to the Elements and the Goddess. While the paper is burning say the

following:

May the Great Lady Brigit, radiant flame,

Protect all your daughters

No fire, no sun, no moon will burn me

No lake, no water, no sea shall drown me

No arrow of faerie nor dart of fey shall wound me

May Brigit's water heal me

May Brigit's winds inspire me

May Brigit's fire warm me

Under Her protection, I go in peace. *

Drink from your chalice and offer blessings.

If you would like to make a corn dolly, now is the time to do that. As you

are braiding continue your thoughts you want to manifest. When finished,

open the circle.

Release the Goddess and the Elements

Great Brigit, Your welcoming light is increasing all around me. Thank you

for joining me tonight. Hail and Farewell. Extinguish the candle in the

center.

Spirit of the North, the earth begins to show new life. Thank you for

joining me tonight. Hail and Farewell. Extinguish the candle in the North.

Spirit of the West, the rivers are filling and the waters are warming. Thank

you for joining me tonight. Hail and Farewell. Extinguish the candle in the

West.

Spirit of the South, the days continue to grow longer and are beginning to

warm. Thank you for joining me tonight. Hail and Farewell. Extinguish the

candle in the South.

Spirit of the East, there is a hint of March winds swirling around. Thank

you for joining me tonight. Hail and Farewell. Extinguish the candle in the

East.

The Circle is open but remains unbroken.

Blessed Be!

 

Imbolc Ritual for a Coven or Group from

 

This is a Sabbat of purification and rebirth. This Ritual was written with

emphasis on personal and coven purification and renewal in mind.

Altar:

White altar cloth

Candles to represent the Goddess (lt. green) and God (lt. yellow)

Small white flowers

Acorns

Incense (cinnamon, vanilla and myrrh)

Small white candle for each coven member

Ice or Snow

Medium sized pot with blessed soil

Seeds in small pouches (herb or flower)

Pentacle

One white pillar candle

small candle holder (left empty for later use)

Circle:

Angelica and/or bay leaves

Small white and/or yellow flowers

Besom

Preparation:

Sweep the area in a deosil direction. Outline the circle in angelica or bay

leaves mixed with small white and/or yellow flowers. Place a candle at each

of the four quarters. Prepare the altar thus: Place the Goddess candle (lt

green) on left with a bowl of ice or snow in front of it, surround the bowl

with small white flowers. Place God candle (lt yellow) on right with a pot

of blessed soil in front of it, surround the pot with acorns. Place pentacle

in the middle between the bowls. White pillar candle in the middle at the

back. Incense in the back. Place any other tools and props desired according

to personal preference.

Ritual:

When all members have arrived the ritual may begin. High Priestess (or

whomever is leading the ritual) should ask that all members join the circle

with an open mind and heart and only good intention. After the circle is

formed, HP casts the circle by holding out her right hand over the circle of

leaves and flowers. Walk the circle and as the outline is traced, envision

flames of pure white light rising up and cleansing all negativity and

blocking all outside influence and banishing it outside the circle. (this

can be done before the arrival of the coven members if preferred)

HP then approach the altar and greet the coven thus:

“Merry meet on this Imbolc eve. Amidst the darkness the Lady is stirring,

gently awaking from frozen dreaming. The world has awaited this time, the

return of the maiden, and her promise of the springtime come.”

Call the Corners, starting in the North:

“Powers of Earth, the maiden awakes! Honor us here and grant us your growth

and stability.Come and join in our circle of light.”Light the earth candle.

Move to the East:

“Powers of Air, the Maiden awakes! Honor us here and grant us your

inspiration and harmony. Come and join in our circle of light.” Light the

air candle.

Move to the South:

“Powers of Fire, the Maiden awakes! Honor us here and grant us your healing

and illumination. Come and join in our circle of light.” Light the fire

candle

Move to the West:

“Powers of Water, the Maiden awakes! Honor us here and grant us your

receptivity and purification. Come and join in our circle of light.” Light

the water candle.

Return to the altar and invoke the Goddess and God saying:

“Be with us now Ancient ones, hear now our call. Guide us this Imbolc Eve

and grant us your light.”

Light the Goddess then the God candle.

At this point, have a handmaiden (or 2) begin to pass a small white candle

to each person in the circle, moving in a clockwise direction. While they

are distributing explain the upcoming ritual:

“Imbolc is a time of purification and rebirth, a time of cleansing and new

beginnings. Take a moment to reflect on your life. Think of the aspects that

you want to change, the things that hold you back, the things that no longer

have a place in your heart and your mind.”

HP, take the Goddess candle from the altar and beginning in the North

present the candle to each member to light their own candle. And says:

“As you light your candle, envision all of those things flowing away from

you. Imagine the all of the barriers and the bonds stripped away, leaving a

clear path to your new goals. Know that you can achieve these goals with the

blessings of the Goddess.”

When all candles have been lit, return the candle to the altar and take your

own candle and do the same as the other members. (A small candle holder

should be placed on the altar for the HP to place her candle in during the

rest of the ritual)

Have the handmaiden now pass a seed pouch to each member in a clockwise

direction as before.

“Imbolc marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the God. The

growing periods of light awaken her, and grant the god strength. The warmth

of the Sun fertilizes the earth, causing seeds to germinate and sprout, and

thus the earliest beginning of Spring occurs. I ask you now to come forward,

each in turn and place your hand over the bowl of ice(snow) and give to it

your good intentions and blessings for this coven in the year to come. I

then ask that you take the pouch of seeds and plant it in the bowl of Earth,

along with your hopes and blessings for growth and prosperity for our

coven.”

Have the handmaiden hold each persons candle as they plant their seeds.

After all members are finished the handmaiden and then the HP should

complete their planting.

When all have completed their planting, open the floor to any dedication

rituals or renewals that members wish to perform. Any other meditation or

spell work that is desired should be done at this point as well.

HP approach the altar and using the Goddess and God candle light the white

pillar.

“Behold the God and Goddess, Lord of the Forest and his Bride! Once again

the Earth is blessed with life anew inside. Seeds shall soon begin to

sprout, and the creatures shall young bear. For this is the Promise, the

Cycle of Life, that is born of the love They share.”

Thank and release the Corners:

“Powers of Earth we thank you for your gifts of growth and stability. Go now

with our blessings.” Snuff candle

“Powers of Air we thank you for your gifts of inspiration and harmony. Go

now with our blessings.” Snuff candle

“Powers of Fire we thank you for your gifts of healing and illumination. Go

now with our blessings.” Snuff candle

“Powers of Water we thank you for your receptivity and purification. Go now

with our blessings.” Snuff candle

Return to altar and snuff the Goddess and God candle.

“We honor thee Ancient ones and thank you for your guidance and presence

here this night.”

HP walk the circle and grant each member blessings. Then close the circle by

walking with your right hand over the outline and envisioning the pure white

flames you called before moving into each coven member to grant them

protection and peace.

“This concludes our Imbolc ritual. Please join us for the feasting and

festivities to come!”

Leave the white pillar candle burning on the altar until it burns itself

out. When the ice/snow has melted and warmed to room temperature use it to

water the seeds that were planted. Keep any remaining water to use for

future watering of the plant. The resulting plants should be used for future

coven rituals.

 

BRIDGET BRIGHT by Hedgewytch

She is known as Brigid Bright,

Goddess who shines against the night.

At Cille Dara, at the setting sun,

Her sacred flame is kept by one.

Nineteen times the earth turns round,

As sacred springs come forth the ground.

Twenty times the sun has burned,

And now the Goddess has returned.

Alone she tends her thrice-bright flame,

Born of her heart that bears her name.

The Dagda knows Brigid as Daughter,

Triple Blessed by fire and water.

Poets call her name to inspire.

And healers oft gain from her fire.

Wayland too would know her well

As hammer and anvil ring like a bell.

A sorrowful cry did she give meaning,

When first she brought to Eire keening.

Oh Sacred Fire against darkest night,

Burn for Brigid, for Brigid Bright!

Fire in the head...to quicken us.

Fire in the cauldron...to heal us.

Fire in the forge of the heart...to temper us.

 

 

Come in, Brigit, you are a hundred times welcome! - Irish invocation

Once again, it is time to welcome in the early Spring and the festival of

Bride, the Goddess who brings Light and Life to the land. The ancient Celts

called it Imbolc, the time when the new lambs were born and the Earth is

beginning to thaw, and new, impossibly fragile-looking green shoots start to

emerge through the bare soil. This miraculous emergence into light is one of

the major themes of the holiday, which later came to be known as Candlemas,

the Feast of Candles. An old Scottish rhyme tells us that this is the time

when Bride emerges from the Earth, just as in the Greek myth, enacted at

this time of year as part of the Eleusinian mysteries, the goddess

Persephone came out of the underworld and Spring returned once more.

These myths are not only about the return of Spring to the land, but also

the return of the Soul – traditionally depicted as feminine – from its

dwelling in the obscurity of the subconscious mind. In the western world, we

tend to get so caught up in material pursuits that the soul is forgotten

most of the time – even though we never feel truly at home to ourselves

without that connection. At the dawn of the modern age, a poet wrote that

“affairs are now soul size.” His words are even more true today: with the

escalating crises in the world from wars to global warming, now is the time

to fully awaken into what each of us has been called to do during our time

on Earth, to emerge into a life that catches fire from the soul-flame within

each of us.

When humanity listens to the voice of the soul, rather than being seduced by

the astral glamour of consumer-driven culture, then the Soul of the World,

the Anima Mundi, will also emerge, like Bride or Persephone, from deep

within the Earth where it has been hidden, and its long estrangement from

the human race will be over. This is the true meaning behind the Quest for

the Holy Grail, a symbol of the Divine Feminine that was withdrawn from the

world when our insatiable desire for dominance turned it into the Wasteland.

For the Grail to be found, for the Wasteland to be restored to the Courts of

Joy, we must learn to become co-creators in partnership with all the Living

Intelligences of our planet: human, animal, faery or Devic.

Candlemas is marked by the lighting of candles to brighten the long February

nights. This also gives us an opportunity to rekindle our own inner flame

upon the shrine of the soul. So light your own candle this season, and as

you do so, see this tiny flame as a spark of the One Light that shines

through all the worlds. Then sense your own inner flame within your heart

and know that you, too, are a spark of the Divine. Breathe in the peace of

this knowledge, and listen to your soul telling you how to fully awaken into

Light in the emerging year.

 

An Inner Journey Meditation to invoke Brigit:

 

The Forge in the Forest

Light your candle. Gaze into the flame for a few moments, then close your

eyes. You will still see the image of the flame against your eyelids. Now

imagine it is growing brighter and brighter, and go one step further and

imagine you are standing in a place filled with the warmth and red gold

light of leaping flames… Imagine, in fact, that you are standing in the

entrance to a forge in a forest, where a blazing fire is roaring, and in

front of it stands a woman. Thick, auburn hair is tied back, but a few

rippling curls have escaped around her face. She is dressed in dark green

with sleeves rolled up to the elbows, revealing strong white arms. Brigit,

for of course it is she, stands over a large anvil where all her

concentration is focused on beating a sheet of soft gleaming bronze with a

great hammer… At last, she looks up and smiles at you warmly. She has

finished her creation and holds it up to the light of the fire for you to

see. As you look at it, it appears to continually change shape: first it

seems to be a leaf, then a globe, … and now it has become a star. Brigit

laughs deeply, musically, and tosses the star into the air, where it sails

into the night sky and takes its place among the glittering constellations…

And now Brigit turns towards you and asks: What have you come here to

create? … You tell her of your vision, whether great or small, personal or

for the wider community… and she beckons you over to the fire. As you look

into the flames, pictures start to move and you see yourself at work, filled

with enthusiasm and passion as you make your vision a reality… … You and

your creation are surrounded and shot through with the golden light of

inspiration. Brigit is there too, watching over you with love as you work,

encouraging you and filling you with confidence and creativity… If any

self-doubt or fears start to arise, see Brigit surrounding you with her

mantle of protection: a warm soft cloak of green that makes you feel safe

and inviolable… Now see yourself with your vision turned into reality,

feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride… Thank Brigit for showing you

this vision, and ask her to tell you what your first step should be towards

bringing it into reality…. Listen carefully, and ask her questions if you

need more clarity… When you have finished the conversation with her, see

the forge suddenly glow even more brightly, so that all forms and shapes,

including that of Brigit herself, melt into a suffusion of golden light… and

now see that the light is just the candle flame reflected on your

eyelids…Slowly come back to the room. Open your eyes and write down what she

has suggested. In the coming weeks, call upon Brigit to help keep your

inspiration alight.

 

Prayer for Brighid's Day

Brighid's Day is February 2nd. It makes sense to honor a hearth goddess in

the dead of winter, when, in the old times, families would be gathered

around the hearth to warm themselves with fire and companionship. This may

also be used to bless the stove or fireplace of a new house.

Brighid, Our Lady, queen of our hearth,

goddess who guards the heart of our home,

threefold flame who shines in the center:

we honor and praise you,

we offer you our words of worship.

Queen of Poets, may our lives be creative.

Queen of Smiths, may our lives be useful.

Queen of Healers, may our lives be healthy.

Your family is standing before you here,

confident you will do what is right.

 

May Imbolc be a blessed Sabbat for you, and may the promise of spring's

glory bring warmth to your hearts and souls.

 

~Elder Airwolf~