Friday, February 1, 2008
Celebrating Imbolc with Blood, Fire, and Milk
Today the northern hemisphere celebrates Imbolc, also called Oimelc, which means Ewe's Milk. We celebrate early spring, when the lambs are born into the cold morning dew. For me this is an impatient time. The holidays have passed but it's not yet time to plant. In a week or so I will start a few brassica seeds indoors - I have purple brussels sprouts to try this year. But gardening in earnest is a while off yet.
Today is also known as Brigid's Day, celebrating the Goddess and saint Brigid. She is the goddess of fire, healing, poetry, and crafts. Today I honor her and my connection with the land with a small ritual. I lit three candles, asking for blessings for my family in the Cree way. Then I prayed for abundance in my life - and balance. I am a lactating mother myself at this time, and know how I can both give and need to be nourished in balance. I am very busy writing, doing book promotion, planning the garden, being a wife and friend, and raising my daughter. It's easy to get overwhelmed and burned out. I pray that I burn strong as my candles' flames, and flow as abundantly as the milk I give my child.
I am also bleeding right now, so I saved some of my moon blood (from my Moon Cup) and mixed it with water. I said a blessing that I and the land might be nourished fully. Then I went outside and poured my own blood onto one of my dormant vegetable beds. By Valentine's Day the red blood will be frosted with white snow. How strangely appropriate!
How will you celebrate this day? This time of year? Please share!
Written by Clea Danaan
Clea Danaan grew up in the Pacific Northwest; she now lives in Colorado. she is the author of five books relating to nature-centered spirituality and natural family living. She writes about nature mysticism, chickens, homeschooling, permaculture, and more. Her books have been published in more than six countries and translated into several languages, including French and German.