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!

1 comment:

Oisin G'Dea said...

Wahoo! I love your new blog space. Very nice!

Osh, papa g. & I spent the evening in candle-glow, and after dinner we lit a small bonfire for Brighid in our backyard. The loveliest part was that it included a peat-log Marin brought back with him from his last trip to Ireland, waaay back in June. The thing had dried very nicely and oooh the smell. There is nothing like the smell of a peat fire-- be it in a cozy pub or on our chilly patio.

It was interesting to see how my relationship to fire has changed. Bride is the patroness of creativity, and facing Her flame really made me face my fears not just of fire, but of my own creative will. Potent!

Go raibh maith agat a Bhride... :)
& love to you
Pilar