Rites & Rituals


“I remember I saw you, I saw you dancing through the woods.
I watched you dance away the snow, from the shadows where I stood.
I smelled your scent within the breeze, it dropped me to my knees.
As I watched you, so longingly….
And the Wheel turns, can you feel the fire inside, begin to burn?
Can you hear the wind whisper our names?
Destiny that cannot be changed
As it is willed, so is it done
Our dance has just begun
When the Moon is kissed by the Sun”
Imbolc, I imagine somewhere deep within a sacred grove of ancient trees. The youthful God stands quiet and still. The Mother aspect of the Goddess has been shed into the cold Earth to begin her work from below of prying Winter’s grasp from the land and leaving in her place the Maiden. An unseen source, softly fills the air with music as the Maiden lightly dances her way through forest and field. The youthful aspect of the God watches in silence as her steps melt away the snow. His eyes stare in disbelief at the small, fragile flowers her steps appear to conjure up to defy the stark black and white world of Winter’s palette. He thinks about stepping out to meet her but instinct holds him back, whispering, not yet, not yet. As the Maiden dances closer and the music in his head grows louder, his eyes grow heavy. His vision blurs and he feels himself drifting in between what is and what can be. The Maiden dances ever closer, weaving her spell over all. She reaches down with her magick to slowly awaken those that deeply sleep. She reaches out with her dreams to those awake but caught in Winter’s stupor, to believe once more in the turn to Spring. For a few brief moments, for those whose eyes are open to see, there exists a fleeting glimpse of Spring. It is barely a thought, that dances just beyond your touch. It is so small a sign of color amidst the bleak void of Winter, that it lies beyond sight of all but the greatest dreamers. It is there though and as more of those sleeping awaken, join with those already dreaming, the intention of Spring takes hold and turns toward manifestation upon the Wheel. When the young God regains his senses, the Maiden has long since danced away. His thoughts swirl back and forth between succumbing to Winter’s immediate embrace or holding onto an improbable notion of Spring. I often wonder, each year when Winter and Spring begin their tug of war, if it might be the combined belief in or lack of belief toward either season that determines the time line for stable change. It is inevitable that Spring will eventually prevail but it is often far from decided until considerably past the equinox. These are the thoughts and the imagery that move me, as I consider the magick of Imbolc. As I do my ritual to celebrate the midpoint and subsquent fading of Winter, lighting the white candle in my cauldron, I think about all of the new life possibilities coming. I think about renewing my self promise to embrace the wonder of Spring with all of my senses as free as is possible from the taint of the mundane. As I take a long drink from my wooden chalice, savoring the cold champagne, I tell myself that I will allow the energy to wash over me, intoxicating me with Nature’s rush. Then as I sprinkle one last pinch of incense over the charcoal, I promise myself, that no matter the situation, I will strive to teach, to heal, to open eyes to see. Imbolc is the moment when I whisper my dreams, for the year that comes in earnest now, into the seeds I’ll sow. As it is willed, so mote it be………