A SEASONAL ACTIVITY FOR IMBOLC

by Autumn Rose

Autumn Rose

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.)

Tealight!

Poetry: Leborcham Lies to Conchobar

Leborcham Lies to Conchobar

by Jenne Micale

Cracks in the mud - geograph.org.uk - 1271501

"Cracks in the Mud" - Ian Paterson [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Her face -- a riverbed
in high summer, webbed with
grief that cracks as mudflats,
and cattails of hair hang

ragged and gold, yet shot
with tarnish. Skin is bark
sloughing on the hard ground
strained by a drought of joy.

The very image of
the Cailleach, blight's white crone --
spring's bud blasted by
the hard wind of regret!

Leave her to her bleak home
in the leaf litter, man --
a warrior should have
a beauty like sunrise.

Such I tell you, old friend.
with my Druid tongue, I give
the unaccustomed lie
to king stag in his hall.

And why? For the twigs in
my crane bag have always
their alphabet of
truth, although twisted, bent

as winter's brow, as my
own hag hand. But here -- here
is what I do not say,
what I deny you, king:

That love's laughter lights her
hair, her green eye, her bird
of a soul -- firing her
brand, a star in the dark

as his arms, circling, sweep
her from the grass's green bond --
a whirl of air and sun,
desire, dream and sunrise.

No hardship can chip it --
no grief can cage a soul
fledged to freedom in the
blue with its mate soaring.

But see -- the words I twist
do not lie so much, king.
They are but a vision
if she had stayed with you.


Originally published in Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick


Cover of Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick -- Issue #42

Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick -- Issue #43

Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick, Issue #43 -- The Heroes Issue. Is available in its entirety from MagCloud.

Music by Kwannon
(Jenne Micale)

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