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Journey of a Witch

Imbolc- Seeds of Hope

Hope.
We all need it.
Earth herself could use it.

Imbolc is the hope of things to come.
From the depths of winter, spring is brewing.

Days of old.

Many of us don’t live in a cold climate or understand the harshness
of what winter can bring.
Many died in the grips of winter from a lack of food and warmth, including children
from malnutrition or disease.

In our modern cities people still perish in winter storms.

We see winter as a time of sleep. Indeed what better than to curl up
with a good book and a warm soothing beverage on a frigid day.

As I type this, I am shivering and watching the wind whip away my
efforts to cover and protect my plants.

Hills covered in snow can be beautiful, yes.
Whatever the perspective, Winter should be respected.

Our beloved Irish Goddess, Brigid brings us hope.
She is the Goddess of healing, poetry, smithcraft and much more.
Fire is associated with Brigid as she is the Goddess of light.
On Imbolc, we honor Brigid as the seeds of spring push gently
through the snow, slowly reaching for the sun.

In Ireland, this is the time for pregnant ewes to begin lactating.
The seeds of hope, the coming of spring. The long winter is at last
loosening its grip.

Celebrating Imbolc does not have to be on the exact date marked on the calendar.
Go by what is happening in your area.
Not all pagans celebrated festivals at the same time nor did they
celebrate all the festivals celebrated today.

Honor Brigid by lighting your own fire.
Whether that be a physical fire or a spiritual one… or both.
Burn white or red candles if you are not able to
make a fire.
Cleanse your home and hearth by burning Myrrh incense.

Put up a bird feeder (or even better, make one with your children) near a window.
Help your children keep a record of the different birds that visit.
Learn how to identify the different birds in your area.
Children love learning about wildlife and this gives them a wonderful opportunity to study
and learn what is in their own yard while keeping the birds nourished through the cold weather.

Write a poem and recite it. Make music!

Get the kids involved.

Tell them stories; an art they will surely appreciate and one that can be lost in
the age of cell phones and computers.
Flame the fire of their imagination!

I love to light a fire in the cauldron, dance around it with my children,
and serve a feast fit for a Goddess or a God anywhere.

Plant those seeds.

Most of us are no longer at the mercy of nature hunting for our food.
We go down to the local grocery store instead.
Some of the animals associated with Imbolc as food are the most tortured animals on earth.
A wonderful way to honor Brigid is to honor these animals in a non-harmful way.
Go vegetarian, if just for a day. Nourish your body and your soul by
releasing compassion and peace to sentient beings used as food.

Instead of traditional meat and heavy dairy dishes, serve a potato and carrot soup,
linguini with vegetables, or homemade pizza loaded with colorful veggies.
You can find recipes like these and more in
Recipes from a Vegetarian Goddess by Kari Allrich.
The possibilities are endless and healthful.

There are many ways of honoring and celebrating.
Creating love, kindness, and hope is the most powerful way
to honor and to celebrate. Not only will we be filling our glasses,
we will be filling our spirits, and keeping the perpetual flame alive inside each
and every one of us.

May your Imbolc be filled with love and hope.