For Imbolc 2014 I will be joining the Norfolk Goddess Temple for an open celebratory ritual on Saturday 1st Feb. As a Solitary, I may not work directly within a coven or specific group, but I do enjoy connecting with my local pagan community to honour and reflect the turning of the Wheel.
The atmosphere and energy within an open circle is something quite special, being present to experience the moment shoulder to shoulder alongside others, we each contemplate what Imbolc means to us individually while we honour the returning light to the land by coming together as a community.
I love hearing other people share their experiences of Imbolc, their personal traditions (both old and new!), their ways of celebrating and what this time of year means to them. The green-fingered folk in particular are restless, itching to get out into their growing spaces to work with the land. Domestically-inclined people start to plan their spring clear out, to welcome in new energies of the Spring. Others reflect on the seasonal transformation Maiden and Hunter energies of the Goddess and the God. Some make Bridie dolls, and others make Brighid crosses.
For me personally, Imbolc is a time of renewal, of the Sun returning to the Earth, the Hunter kissing the Maiden’s cheek with his gentle golden rays, awaking Her from winter slumber…Nature’s way of expressing the tale of Sleeping Beauty.
The warmth of spring light melts the streams and rivers, driving away Jack Frost until next winter. The creatures and plant-life come out from deep hibernation, turning to greet the light that begins to envelope the Earth. The land awakens to the coming spring, the natural energies tingling in anticipation, ready to grow and explore.
After a winter spent reflecting inwardly, contemplating within the darkness, the early spring sun shines with inspiration and I feel energised, ready to begin new projects, welcoming the changes within and around me. I clean and cleanse my home as a way of honouring the Goddesses of the Hearth (the Greek Hestia, and Celtic Brighid).
My own private celebration of welcoming and honouring Imbolc will involve fire-spinning dedicated to the Maiden and Hunter. My dance to honour my deities of begins with the fire fans, and in my mind I think of the Goddess stirring from frosty dreams, gently reaching out and rejoicing after a long rest. With soft, fluttery movements and intricate patterns, I attune to the Goddess energies as she blinks in the strengthening light. I dedicate the dance of my fans to Brigid and Hestia, the Goddesses of the bright, healing flame. Then comes my beloved fire hoop, a sacred circle of spinning flame; this part of the Imbolc burn is to hail the bold Hunter, to Apollo (linked to the Sun) and Helios (who drives his flaming chariot across the sky). With the fire hoop, I am within the centre of a flaming vortex, the pivot for the burning circle which swirls around me, roaring and crackling against the chill of the dark.
Imbolc Burn ~Tahlia
We gather here on this evening cold
To welcome what’s new and let go of what’s old
Tis the eve of Imbolc, the coming of Spring
To help us find joy in every thing
Goddess Brigid, the divine one of flames
May smile upon us during our games
As her Sun King once again returns
We hail and welcome them to our burn
Green shoots and buds begin to grow
Ambitions and dreams shall we sow
Bring forth new life to walk this earth
As Maiden blesses this realm with birth
Tis time for seasons to naturally change
For us to reflect and fear not the strange
Witness the flames of our hope burning bright
Bless us all with love and light