AS ABOVE, DEFINITELY MORE BELOW!!!
Pull up a chair and grab a cuppa and a blanket my lovelies, let’s have a natter about Imbolc…I know, the tree has barely gone back into the loft and the weather is anything but spring like and enchanting, just walking out into the garden brings on hyperthermia and chattering teeth. Surely it’s not time for another festival?
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I have a secret to share with you all, shhh, don’t tell everyone!
I’m not all that keen on Imbolc, there I said it, and it’s out there now, never to be taken back. It’s not that I don’t actually like it, more like I struggle to see the point of it. There is no harvest to celebrate, no sun to dance in and everything is hidden away under the ground. I appreciate the unseen, after all I work with magic, and all those promising shoots are wonderful and hopeful, but when it comes to Mother Nature I like things loud and proud, kind of in your face screaming look at me!
I find it hard to relate to the symbols of the plough and Brighid dolls, candles are something I use every day not just for Imbolc, milk is something I don’t drink much of (unless it’s chocolate of course) and bulbs are beautiful when you can venture out to gaze at them blooming but most of the time they hide away from sight.
I find the festival of Imbolc such a hard one to celebrate, and yet I so want to honour the tradition of our ancestors. I want to do something that will be the start of a modern day tradition that I can carry down to the generations to in order to celebrate all the promise of Imbolc…the hopeful festival.
After a bit of meditating and a lot of coffee and cake, which goes without saying really, I decided I needed something at Imbolc to represent hope, something to share and something to enjoy doing, after all what’s the point of anything if you don’t enjoy it? Then it came to me, albeit slowly (yep, my dodgy brain again), that the festival of Imbolc is all about what’s happening below rather than all the stuff we can see up above, so why not go with the flow and work with what comes naturally at this time on the wheel of the year?!
So here it is…my new, pass down to the grandbabies and all of you tradition for celebrating Imbolc…
Spring seed offerings!
You will need;
Any white paper approx. 1 sheet per offering A4 size
(Recycled is great / junk mail etc…) Newspaper will work but give you a grey colour so try and use something with a white base if you are giving these as a gift.
Bowls and Bucket
Native flower/herb seeds (approx. 10g to make 25 offerings)
Dried flower petals/ herbs. Coloured paper, food colouring, edible glitter etc…
Muslin square or a thin tea towel
Ice cube trays or silicone moulds
Shred the paper and place in a bowl or bucket and cover with warm water. Leave to soak for a few hours, or overnight if you can.
Once soaked, take out the soaked paper, place in another bowl, cover with warm water and use a hand blender to blitz to a smooth pulp. You can use an electric blender or liquidizer if you have one.
Once blended add your seeds and any petals/herbs, glitter or food colouring and mix really well.
As you mix say;
‘Goddess above and Goddess below
Let us reap what we do so.’
Draw the shape of an Imbolc symbol in your mixture with your finger, a candle, pentagram or a flame would all be good!
Pour the paper seed mixture into a tea towel or muslin cloth over a bowl and strain off the water (you can reuse this to water your plants, no need to waste it!)
Squeeze and squash until you are left with a dry looking pulp.
Press pieces of the pulp really firmly into the moulds or shape into small balls squeezing with your hands.
Carefully pop out the compressed offerings from the moulds and place on a baking rack to air dry.
Allow to dry thoroughly for around 24 hrs and store in an airtight container or jar.
When you are ready to use, simply take outside, dig a small hole in the earth and pop in the offering just under the surface of the soil.
Say this blessing;
‘I give this gift with blessings bright
In the name of the Goddess, with love and light!’
Cover the offering with a thin layer of soil saying,
‘So mote it be!’
Use up all your junk mail for your paper base, a great way to recycle!
If you add glitter or food colouring use biodegradable and natural products.
Select seeds that are native to your country…Wildflowers, herbs or grasses that would normally grow in your climate will all germinate well.
Make sure your offerings are thoroughly dry before storage to prevent sprouting.
Use dried herbs or finely chopped fresh hardy herbs like Rosemary and Sage to add another layer of magic to your offering.
Water your offering after planting if the weather is dry.
If you have any, plant a couple of bulbs at the same time!
Enjoy reaping what you have sown! Once your offering has flowered collect the seeds and make some more…keep the cycle going!
This mixture of paper and seed all bundled up into a pretty shape or balls makes a beautiful gift for anyone too, just pop two or three into a bag and attach a label explaining what they are and how to use them…spread the Imbolc love!
Ahhh, at last, something to actually DO at this time of year, these little shapes full of hope and seed will become my yearly Imbolc ritual. They will drag me off the sofa and out from under my blanket, push me outside to touch base with the Earth once again. Representing all that’s going on below the surface that we can’t yet see and all the promise of things to come as the wheel turns through the year is quite an amazing feat for some recycled paper and seeds… In fact they may even be the answer to the ‘I don’t like Imbolc feeling’ lol, who knows!
I know I have rambled on again and not even offered you another drink! Have you finished your cuppa? Perhaps I can offer you something else my lovelies? Chocolate milk?
Sorry I am all out of milk…
I know, forget the milk and just let me get that chocolate!!!
Big hugs and bright blessings guys, Oh and Happy Imbolc!