my first video for wordless wednesday. this is one made by my friend carol during a lovely women’s weekend we both attended at cascadia retreats in roberts creek on british columbia’s sunshine coast. by luck, we chanced upon an up helly aa celebration which, i found out, is europe’s biggest fire festival.
sometimes things work out real well. the other day i found the yellow monday meme and was wondering how i might participate. and then it all started falling into place. like this:
in the pagan tradition, today is Imbolc, also known as oimelc. this is usually translated from the gaelic as “ewe’s milk” – the time when the ewes get their milk, ready for the newborn lambs. some also say that “imbolc” means “in the belly”. like other festivals around this time of year (valentine’s day!), it is a festival of fertility and of greeting the coming sun and the spring.
imbolc is also often referred to as brigid’s day; brigid the maiden of the tripartite goddess maiden, mother and crone; brigid, goddess of fire and hearth; and brigid, goddess of arts and crafts, specifically bards, smiths and physicians. brigid is the feminine counterpart of lugh, a god with whom, along with hekate (the crone aspect of the tripartite goddess, by the way), i feel i have a special connection.
brigid represents women’s potential. she is the eternal flame burning in the heart and hearth of every woman: ‘moon-crowned brigid of the undying flame’. brigid also stands for poetical inspiration and healing, and the fire of the divine forge.
imbolc is celebrated by lighting sacred fires. the roman catholic church turned this celebration into candlemas. (with thanks to two pagans)
so … in the spirit of imbolc, below are some notes i made a little while ago for a fire ritual; i’d like to share them with you. may the fire be with you.