Festival of Lights
Brigid is the Celtic Goddess of Inspiration, light, and the hearth. It is said the infant Goddess was born at the exact second of day break and rose into the sky with the sun as flames licked around her head. Her symbols include fire, cows, milk, candles, and light. Brigid is the spark of creation in all of us. She fills the empty vessel with light so that we may bring forth fruition.
Imbolc celebrates the initial stirrings of spring, and the return of the warmth and light to the world. It’s a perfect time for cleansing and purification! Basically time to come out of hibernation and greet the sun. As the wheel of the year turns at Imbolc the Goddess is a young mother, and the God is growing from an infant at Yule to a vigorous child.
White (probably due to the ties to milk)
Yellow (the sun)
Several white taper or tea light candles
Chalice filled with milk
Seeds of some sort (herbs to transplant on Ostara work wonderfully)
A small pot with soil in it
Goddess and God candle
Small Thing of water
Begin the ritual by placing the white taper or tea light candles throughout the house, and one on the altar. Once all the candles are placed turn out all the lights in the house. Pour your seeds into a bowl. Then light the sage wand and cleanse yourself, and your space. Once the space is cleansed walk deosil around the circle with your finger or athame. You can cast the circle silently or with the chant I have:
“I cast the circle round and round,
From earth to sky, and sky to ground;
Outside time, and outside space,
The circle is cast I reside between the worlds.”1
Visualize the inside of the circle growing with white light.
Invoke the four quarters by standing at each coordinate point, light the candle after you have said the quarter invocation.
East (Air Candle): I open my mind to the East – Powers of Air, and the steady gale. Blow clean the negativity of the darkness passed. Moving breath of the Goddess may you bring fourth creativity and inspiration. Light the candle.
South (Fire Candle): I open my mind to the South – Powers of Fire, and the eternal flame. Ignite my inner passion. Sacred touch of the Goddess may you bring fourth my never ceasing inner will, and irrevocable change. Light the candle.
West (Water Candle): I open my intuition to the West – Powers of Water, and the flowing stream. Move within me. Sacred blood of the Goddess may you bring fourth my higher will, and the divine will of the Goddess. Light the candle.
North (Earth Candle): I open my Spirit to the North – Powers of Earth, and the gentle unfolding of Spring. Move around me. Sacred womb of the Goddess may you bring fourth reverence, and compassion. Light the candle.
Once the quarters have been called proceed to the Goddess Invocation. “I dedicate myself and my ritual to Brigid Goddess of inspiration, creativity, and light. I welcome you into my circle, may your light fill me, and may it bring me replenishment in abundance. Blessed Be. Light the candle. Next close your eyes and visualize the silence and coldness of winter. Feel it all around. Open your eyes and light the taper candle on the altar. Visualize the light pulsating from the candle into your body. See your body aglow. Create a doorway in the circle and walk through your house lighting all the candles one by one. Once you get back to the center of your house or wherever your ritual is taking place close the circle, and say. “Goddess Brigid bringer of light may your divine energy spark the creativity within me, and birth inspiration to cultivate my dreams.” Take your potted plant and seeds. Pour your intentions into the seeds; see them representing your goals, your wishes, and your dreams. Once you’ve charged the seeds plant them into the pot, put your fingers into the soil. Feel it warm just as the sun warms the earth for the stirrings of spring. You too are warming the earth with your energy. Once this is complete pour a small amount of water unto the soil, and place it in a window seal after the ritual is complete.
Proceed to the cakes and ale portion of the ritual. On Imbolc I like to walk outside and pour a small amount of milk on the ground as offering to the Goddess Brigid, and thank her for once again stirring the Earth back to life from the coldness of winter. Thank and bid farewell to the quarters. At each candle say “Stay if you will go if you must in perfect love and perfect trust, So mote it be.” And extinguish the candle.
I hope everyone has a great Imbolc!