by Autumn Rose
A complete seasonal ritual includes a Seasonal Activity, also known as Grove's Choice when the ritual is performed by a group. Below is a suggested Imbolc activity for a solitary practitioner, with a proposed variation for a Grove.
Fill a fondue dish with ice cubes. Place the dish, along with its base, an unlit red votive candle, and matches or a lighter, at the front of the altar.
Elevate the dish of ice cubes.
Say: This is the frigid Land, stark and barren as the Cailleach holds it yet in her icy grip. Set the dish down.
Light the candle and elevate it.
Say: This is the fire of Brigid, which warms the frozen Land that it may once again become fertile.
Place the candle in the base and the dish on top of it.
Say: The struggle between Brigid and the Cailleach is an ancient one. The Crone will not easily surrender her dominion over the Land. But the fire of Brigid burns eternally, and only for a while can it be damped. Now, as it does every year at this time, the struggle begins. May the fire of Brigid burn bright and hot. May the Cailleach be driven back to her lair. I add my warm breath to the warmth of Brigid, to aid in her vital work.
Blow on the ice cubes.
Variation for a Grove:
At the beginning of the seasonal rite the Grove Tender distributes ice cubes to the participants, who then file past the altar and place their cubes in the fondue dish. At the end of it the participants again file past the altar, each one blowing on the ice cubes to assist Brigid in her task of warming.
(When the ice cubes are melted, you may wish to save the meltwater in a consecrated vessel to use in a cleansing ritual of your choosing, at Spring Equinox or some other time.)