26 July 2012

The Southern Imbolc

Spring is almost upon us, and despite the fact that I've had iris in my garden since July, there are still no jonquils, daffodils or grape hyacinths on display.  One of my more elderly neighbours does have a wonderful array of jonquils that offer up their delicate scent as I walk pass.

Normally Imbolc celebrations is held at the covenstead where the "battle" between Brighid and the Cailleach are enacted, or we make Brid Crosses from reeds collected from the local wetlakes.  This year however, Imbolc falls just prior to the full moon, which means that it will be a dual event.

The full moon next week is the first of two that will occur in August, being about 10 degrees of Aquarius.  This moon is also in conjunct Asteroid Cyrene, the lion-taming huntress.    Marina, from Dark Star Astrology, explains in detail what this means, along with the relationships with the other planets.  She also provides keywords associated with this upcoming moon such as innovation, inspiration, rebirthing and the emerging from the cocoon.

Brighid Cross made from reeds
Under the light of the full moon, we will be awakening Mother Earth so that she will rejoin with her beloved, the Sun God again.  At this fragile time of the year, when Winter (the Cailleach) still has not quite loosen her grip upon the land, we will acknowledge and honour our own fragile hopes that reside through ourselves.

With this Sabbat being strongly associated with the Goddess Brighid, candles will be lit from her sacred flame as a gift to all those in attendance.

The following "Blessing for Hearth-Keepers" is taken from The Little Book of Celtic Blessings by Caitlin Matthews

Protection of the Home and Family
Brighid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, Kindle us,
Beneath you mantle, gather us,
And restore us to memory.
Mothers of our Mother,
Foremothers strong,
Guide our hands in yours,
Remind us how
To kindle the Hearth.
To keep it bright,
To preserve the flame.
Your hands upon ours,
To kindle the light,
Both day and night.
The Mantle of Brighid about us,
The Memory of Brighid within us,
The Protection of Brighid keeping us
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness
This day and night,
From dawn 'till dark,
From dark 'till dawn.

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