Imbolc means “in milk” or “in the belly”. It refers to the time of lactation for livestock in preparation for the birthing of baby animals in the spring. On Feb. 1, in this time between winter solstice and spring equinox, Imbolc is the celebration of newness, the promise of fertility, new life and new hope. Please click here to continue reading about Imbolc and the Feast of Brigid.
Imbolc means “in milk” or “in the belly”. It refers to the time of lactation for livestock in preparation for the birthing of baby animals in the spring. On Feb. 1, in this time between winter solstice and spring equinox, Imbolc is the celebration of newness, the promise of fertility, new life and new hope. Although the stirrings of spring may not yet be apparent, we are assured there is a quickening underneath the surface of things and in the womb of Mother Earth. While we are still amidst the season of winter that may appear lifeless, we feel the promise of the return of the light and renewal of life. We don’t see the symbolic snowdrop blooming in our part of Canada at this time of year, but I’ve included a picture for us to look forward to.
Feb. 1/2 is also known as the Feast of Brigid (Brighid, Brigit), one of the four fire festival days from the old Irish calendar. Brigid was a fire goddess in ancient Irish mythology and associated with fire and any fire symbolism, including light, candles, heat warmth or sunrises. She is considered the patroness of poetry, metal working, medicine, arts and crafts, cattle and other livestock and spring. Brigid is mother and protector of crops, pregnancy and sexuality. Thus the festival of Imbolc was a festival of lights and celebrated as the return of the sun to ensure fertility in the coming season.
In Christianity, Feb. 1 is observed as the feast day of Saint Brigid or Candlemas. Candlemas is a mass in honour of the lights of the church and old wax and partially burned candles would be removed and replaced with new, blessed candles. Saint Brigid is celebrated for her generosity to the poor and lived from 451 to 525. She founded the sanctuary in Kildare as well as a school of art, including metal work and illumination. The nuns maintain her perpetual, sacred flame at Kildare, except at those times in history that the flame was extinguished.
The Feast of Brigid is celebrated with hearth fires and special foods, many including dairy products such as butter or milk (season of calving). On Imbolc Eve, Brigid is said to visit households and bless the inhabitants as they sleep. Before going to bed, items of clothing or strips of cloth would be left outside for Brigid to bless. The fire ashes would be raked smooth and in the morning people would look for some kind of mark on the ashes as a sign that Brigid had visited. The clothes or strips of cloth would be brought inside, and believed to now have powers of healing and protection. Other traditions involved the making of Brigid’s crosses and doll-like figures of Brigid.
So, however you want to celebrate Feb 1 and the early stirrings of spring and longer days of light, you may want to try out these following recipes from http://circleofthesacredmuse.com/celebrations/imbolc/.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Truffles
1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur
1 Tbs. Butter
12 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate pieces
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
powdered sugar or cocoa
Melt chocolate pieces, Bailey’s and cream together over very low heat. Whisk in yolks, one at a time-mixture will thicken. Whisk in butter. Refrigerate several hours or overnight until firm. Make small balls with a teaspoon. Roll in powdered sugar or cocoa.
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Warm milk–DO NOT BOIL. Add honey and vanilla. Mix together and pour into a mug. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
And I will leave you with a poem found at the above source to keep Brigid in mind.
Kindling The Fire
This morning, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth, I pray that the flame of Brigid may burn in my soul and the souls of all I meet today.
I pray that no envy or malice, no hatred or fear may smother the flame.
I pray that indifference and apathy, contempt and pride may not pour like cold water in the flame.
Instead, may the spark of Brigid light the love in my soul that it may burn brightly through the day.
And may I warm those that are lonely, whose hearts are cold and lifeless, so that all may know the comfort of Brigid’s love.
The Woman’s Way
As the fall season approaches in the northern hemisphere, the fruits of the season are harvested and often it was the woman that was involved in that harvest as she was responsible for the planting of the crops. Femininity has always represented fertility, compassion and gentleness. In days of yore it was the female that bore the children, looked after the family and household and nourished the family with plants grown in the garden. The woman’s role has changed over the years, but females are still drawn to looking after others with loving kindness. Females still feel responsible for this role, as it is as much a part of us as our own names. We feel we need to help grow and nurture things in our lives, whether that is our families, a career or volunteer position, and it can take toil on our health and energy.
Today, females need to be aware of ways to accomplish their dreams without sacrificing themselves. Following these following three ideals will help every woman along the way. First, every woman needs to honour herself. This means taking time for herself, whether that is just time alone, doing things for herself and taking the time to remember whom she is. These things need to be scheduled into our busy days, whether it is time to relax, or do something that you really want to do or go out for a fun evening. Part of this is accepting help when needed. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Second, every woman needs to learn to do things to empower herself. She should feel strong and proud of whom she is. This may mean taking a new course to learn something that will help yourself or others. Continue to expand your mind and boundaries and be open to new experiences. Taking courses really allows one to learn about one’s self. And with this knowledge one is able to understand others on an even deeper level. Lastly, every female needs to keep room in their lives for joy. Love life and love yourself. It is simple to say, but sometimes hard to remember. Always stay positive, smile, laugh and enjoy the little things rather than be waiting for something you believe is unobtainable. And with love in your life, miraculous things will happen.
Even if you feel the responsibility to look after everyone and everything, you must look after yourself first. You may need to work hard, but reward yourself too, not just after the harvest, but before and during those times too. Everyone will be rewarded with your feelings of love.
Wanda Davis, M.Sc., B.Sc., B.Ed.
Elements of Healing Energy
<img Check out the poster!
Release Your Limiting Beliefs
Using Reiki to Release and Heal
What is holding you back from being successful?
Having problems with Health, Wealth or Relationships?
Are you ready to do what it takes to Release It?
Come to Our Creating Success Workshop
In this Workshop you will:
- Discover which limiting belief is most preventing you from being successful
- Utilizing specific tools and techniques
- Prepare yourself to release the limiting belief using the power of your mind
- Receive healing to help release the limiting belief
- The use of Reiki will assist the process and provide healing for you to move forward (no Reiki experience required)
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Where: Westmount Public Library, Ferraro Room B
Wonderland Road, London
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Investment: $47 plus HST (Includes Reiki healing worth $75!)
Your facilitators will be:
Mary-Anne MacPherson, RNCP Wanda Davis, M.Sc., B.Sc., B.Ed.
Nutrition & Transformation Expert Reiki Master/Teacher
Creating Infinite Success Elements of Healing Energy
Your investment can be covered by EAP
or submitted on your income tax form.
See update information on the Heartfelt Healing Centre.
Wanda is speaking about Shamanic Healing on Oct. 16 at 7 pm at the Central London
Public Library. See the poster for more information. vitality_health_seires_2012