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RavenStars
January 19th, 2008, 01:00 AM
I'm getting ready to do something earth based by using a bear mask. I'd like to hear what anyone else is doing? I know it's a cross quarter...

cheddarsox
January 19th, 2008, 08:00 AM
I observe the cross quarter, but not as Imbolc.

Winter Solstice feels like anything but the return of the sun to me. Days are still short and dark, and nights long and cold. By Feb 2...I am about pulling out my hair, I am so ready for Spring...but it isn't here yet. I feel like I am running out of resources...my coping mechanisms starting to wear thin. So for the past several years, I have come up with this version of "when life hands you lemons...make lemonade" to get me through to Spring Equinox when the world is a brighter place again.

On Feb 2 I begin my "season of austerity". I simplify things, strip my life down to essentials. For six weeks I get the chance to sort through what in my life is a need, and what is a desire...not because one is better than the other, but just for clarity. I fast from different things...sometimes food, sometimes thought processes, or actions. I allow myself to experience me without something in my life, and see what that is like.

I usually wear something on my person to remind myself...a ring, or bracelet, or something that keeps my intent in mind.

It is like an annual molt for me, shedding the old fur, feathers and skin...to see if a new pattern is emerging beneath.

cheddar

Lunacie
January 19th, 2008, 10:42 AM
There's a thread in the Wicca-Path forum about what people are planning to celebrate Imbolc and the return of Spring.

I was doing research for my Grove's Imbolc celebration and read something about how difficult it can be to appreciate the coming changes when you live here in the heartland (the center of the U.S.), with the skies being gray and the ground either covered with dingy snow or bleached out grass. But if you look for them, you will see signs of change. Last week I noticed one of my trees starting to bud out. This one tree is my constant joy, it's the first one to bud out and the last one to change color and then loose it's leaves.

But the old meaning of Imbolc is "in the belly", meaning a pregnant critter like an ewe. The first sign of pregnancy in us humans is often falling asleep every time we sit down, and Mother Earth has been napping quite a bit the last month or so. But just as with a pregnant mammal, the belly begins to swell and soon you can see the baby kicking away in there. Watch for it... :hehehehe:

Eleisawolf
January 19th, 2008, 02:53 PM
I do, and I even see it as a return to spring. It's when I start looking for the little signs.

February is the coldest, snowiest time in Colorado, and while that seems to put a damper on things, the mornings are slowwwwwwly brightening earlier and earlier and evenings getting dark later and later. I'm more aware of this because of the times I get up and get home, so while it otherwise wouldn't be terribly apparent, I can see it. Some trees are budding out past their post summer trimming, preparing to leaf as soon as they can. Sometimes they'll be surprised by that last late snow, but for now it's the straining at the bit that is interesting.

I don't know what I'll do this year, honestly. Hope for snow, stare out at the blue sky, enjoy the meeting of Grandfather Frost and the Goddess of Spring that creates the turmoiled weather we get but that is definitely pointing toward spring.

This time of year for me doesn't point toward Brighid, but toward Snegourochka, the Snow Maiden. She is of winter surely, but equally of spring. And she is striving for the warmth of love and the love of life...

Peace

Lunacie
January 19th, 2008, 04:11 PM
I do, and I even see it as a return to spring. It's when I start looking for the little signs.

February is the coldest, snowiest time in Colorado, and while that seems to put a damper on things, the mornings are slowwwwwwly brightening earlier and earlier and evenings getting dark later and later. I'm more aware of this because of the times I get up and get home, so while it otherwise wouldn't be terribly apparent, I can see it. Some trees are budding out past their post summer trimming, preparing to leaf as soon as they can. Sometimes they'll be surprised by that last late snow, but for now it's the straining at the bit that is interesting.

I don't know what I'll do this year, honestly. Hope for snow, stare out at the blue sky, enjoy the meeting of Grandfather Frost and the Goddess of Spring that creates the turmoiled weather we get but that is definitely pointing toward spring.

This time of year for me doesn't point toward Brighid, but toward Snegourochka, the Snow Maiden. She is of winter surely, but equally of spring. And she is striving for the warmth of love and the love of life...

Peace

Yes, what I love most about being in tune with the Wheel of the Year is noticing the natural changes, especially the way the days begin to lengthen following the Winter Solstice. I used to have a real hard time with seasonal affective disorder, but simply being aware of how the days are getting longer and spring is getting closer has helped me through many a cold and gray January and February.

I had not heard of Snegourochka, and did a Google for her. I had a hard time finding anything in English that wasn't about the opera, but finally found this interesting page: http://www.passportmagazine.ru/article/983/

RavenStars
January 19th, 2008, 11:08 PM
Thanks, Lunacie, I know about the thread. I am also looking for ideas that aren't Wiccan and that don't include Brigid. I also just like hearing what Pantheists have to say about the passage of the year, which for me is a big part of Imbolc (or whatever you call it) :) Samhain is looking back, and for me Imbolc is looking forward. I like your ideas of making ready, Cheddersox. It's sort of making a ritual away from the altar as it were. Thanks for sharing everyone! Maybe we'll hear a few more ideas and impressions!

Here's the text I used for a page swap on this forum. It's written for Imbolc.

----------------------------------
Rite for Waking the Earth

Masks are powerful ritual tools. They signal to the deeper mind that something magical is about to happen. Come take up this mask and become the essence of the Bear to call winter toward spring. As you follow these words use gesture and movement to awaken yourself!

Lay on the floor or in a chair. Hold the mask in front of your face. Breathe. Feel the Earth holding you. Know that you sleep safe. Breathe deeply. Sleep.

Feel yourself begin to awaken. Your blood stirs within you. Something is in the air! Feel the Earth holding you, but you know that itís time to awaken. Uncurl and stretch.

Holding your mask in front of you, move toward the surface from your cave within the Earth. Stooping, moving slowly. The Earth speaks to you. You have a purpose: winter needs to become spring!

Emerge into the light and stand up. Blinking you look around. Breathe the winter air. Now is the time to call spring to you! Shout, stomp your paws, growl. Say what you feelóbe bear-like, do not be sweet. You crave springódemand it!

When you are ready, breathe deeply again. Know that power of the bear is with you when you lower your mask. Ground and center. Take another deep breath, exhale slowly. Smile, spring is on itís way!
-------------------------------

It's a nice rite but I'm looking for other inspiration. It's kind of short and I like my rituals to be longer. BTW the mask stuff really works!

Lunacie
January 20th, 2008, 01:24 AM
Ah, I love that meditation. Very short but very powerful.

We are going to take small twists of straw or wheat, charge them with the things we want to banish along with Winter (bad habits, shortcomings, negative thinking), and then burn them in the cauldron. Then we will take a small silver coin (or you could use a packet of seeds) and we will charge them with what we want to bring into our lives along with Spring (creativity, inspiration, a certain emotion), and drop those into the cauldron on top of the ashes of the strawman, saying "We build our future on the ashes of the past." Then the ashes and the coins (or seeds) will be planted in the garden, or placed beneath a tree if the ground is too frozen for planting. Seeds could also be started in a flower pot for transplanting into the garden at Ostara.

WildThing
January 20th, 2008, 08:22 AM
I was originally going to do just Brigid (I just read you didn't wanna hear 'bout people who were gonna have her in their Imbolc plans, 'cause most of the wiccans are doing that...but despite not being wiccan, I'd never acknowledged her for Imbolc before, and wanted to do that this year)...and now reading about the Snow Maiden that Eliesawolf mentioned, I think I may look into more aspects of the Snow Maiden. (In particular I'm leaning toward the Snow Goddess of Hawaii, who seems to have four faces).

I happen to be one of those odd pagans who believes that all deities are simply faces, different aspects, humanity's attempt to grasp...the force that runs the universe. So I have no personal problems with honoring two faces (or six lol) for Imbolc.

If I keep Brigid in my plans, then I was gonna have a write-off day, to forge my emotions into something lovely..if possible. Stories, songs. Because I'm a writer, and she's often described as a Goddess of the forge, and the written word (though particularly poetry).
But the Snow Goddess of Hawaii is depicted, in all her faces, as taming the fires -- the light and warmth of the Volcano. When she/they wore the white cloaks the land was cold, but during the spring they'd throw them off and don golden cloaks of sunshine. Embodying winter's cold melting into the spring's warmth.
Which would work well with what I've always felt Imbolc was about...it's more of a...preparation for the return of the spring, not its actual return.
So to honor the Maiden who's preparing to do so, it seems fitting.

And the Goddess of fire (Which Brigid is) is the enemy of the Snow Maiden in many legends..and to honor the duality seems right to me. Though perhaps the make it more fitting, I will honor Pele instead, since she's the Volcano Goddess of Hawaii who's the true enemy of those particular Snow Maidens.
I'd still do the write-off, since they're very similiar..and probably a retelling of the same face. Though to borrow upon the mutable element which Pele herself embodies...the creative and sometimes destructive fires of the volcano.
Along with my shedding of old ideas and aspects of myself which served me well during the previous year and through the winter, to make way for the renewal of myself in finding new parts of me and grow when the sping does return.
Which means major divination and meditation time!
Ah, I do love taking peace and quiet where I can get it.

You can tell I've just these days been finalizing my plans, huh? Lol.

Normally I just wing it, but I decided to do some actual planning this year =)

Anyway, and after that I'll work on some Imbolc-y recipes (which aaaahhh I still haven't found any I like and can afford yet! *panic*)...and once I'm done with all my merrymaking and thinking, I'll go out (and yes, it'll be really cold)...and leave an offering of said food I prepared, for the winter spirits..Jack Frost and the ice fairies and whoever else may be by, to hope that maybe with full stomachs they'll be a little less harsh on us on ol human beings, and maybe feel inclined on leaving punctually for spring.

Lunacie
January 20th, 2008, 10:05 AM
At this time of year, our ancestors were eating the last of the food they had stored last fall, the oats and the apples and stuff like that. Some fruit had been dried and was now something like raisens. And they were also starting to have fresh milk as the ewes were lambing, so anything made from milk was a delight to their taste buds. The chickens were starting to lay eggs again. And they were adding lots of spices to their food to cover the fact that some of it was getting past it's "sell by" date. :lol:

Our group is planning to have a curry (spicy), some homebaked raisen bread, baked mac & cheese made with feta and other cheeses, deviled eggs, and oatmeal cookies. But what I just realized would be great for a solitary who doesn't want to do a lot of baking... would be a grilled cheese sandwich on raisen bread. **drools** Maybe my family will have a little Imbolc celebration the night after my Grove has it's celebration. I'll have to make an extra loaf, eh.

Eleisawolf
January 20th, 2008, 02:56 PM
I had not heard of Snegourochka, and did a Google for her. I had a hard time finding anything in English that wasn't about the opera, but finally found this interesting page: http://www.passportmagazine.ru/article/983/

She's easier to find if you call her the Snow Maiden.

Here's her fairy tale. (http://www.geocities.com/athens/delphi/6422/snow.html)

Enjoy!
Peace

Tanya
January 20th, 2008, 05:27 PM
part of my imbolc ritual is to go for walks, and LOOK for those tiny little hints... the wetter smells on the snow... maybe a dripping icicle... tiny things... soft ness in the gorund, or the scent of earth.

Imbolc is my favorite holiday because it is subtle... it has to be looked for to be found...it is the seed of hope for spring.

Xentor
January 20th, 2008, 07:36 PM
Does anyone celebrate Imbolc?

No. No-one celebrates Imbolc.

:rolleyes:

Windsmith
January 23rd, 2008, 04:49 PM
Imbolc is the "Art Holiday" for our family. We use the cross-quarter days as a time to celebrate the ways that we interact with the world around us (as opposed to the Equinoxes and Solstices, where we celebrate events that take place whether or not we're here to observe them). As the Earth is showing the faintest signs of waking up again, we start to wake from our Winter lethargy and feel the urge to be doing things again. To be creating.

Imbolc this year is on the performance day for the 24-Hour Play Project (http://homepage.mac.com/theatreunbound/Sites/site/TU3/productions/upcoming.html). Most every year, I'm part of a group of 12 playwrights, broken into pairs, who get together at 9:00 on a Friday night and have 8 hours to write a 10-minute play. We stagger home and fall into bed, and the scripts are passed to writers and directors who have 8 hours to stage, rehearse, and perform the plays at 8:00 that night. That's our ritual this year.

RavenStars
January 24th, 2008, 12:45 AM
Wowa. What an exciting project!

I've decided on continuing the bear theme and will have bear foods for dinner with my family: smoked salmon with crackers, dried berries added to salad, honey added to yogurt.

Earthwalker
January 25th, 2008, 09:40 AM
A curiosity... for those of you that mark the cross-quarter, do any of you actually calculate it out so it is the 'true' cross-quarter (or really halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox?). I'm just curious because I'm aware that Feb 1st is a bit too soon to be the real halfway point between these two holidays. I've heard that some calculated based on a number of degrees from a fixed astrological sign, but I don't know much more than that about this method.

Treegoddess
January 25th, 2008, 12:01 PM
I think astrologically, it's Feb. 4th.

Here's a site I found with all the dates listed: (no idea if this site is correct, just googled it!)

http://angelwing309.tripod.com/id4.html

IndigoNightSky
January 25th, 2008, 03:13 PM
I live in a semi-tropical environment. The signs of spring a subtle. If you do not pay close attention, you will miss them entirety. I have already started seeing the subtle clues in the trees and the birds.

I was thinking about going out canoing for Imbolc; getting away from the traffic and other signs of civilization and listening to the river speak.

Lunacie
January 25th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Oh going out in a canoe sounds lovely. But not around here... a man died this week in a fall into a sandpit filled with water, hypothermia sets in very quickly at this time of year.

IndigoNightSky
January 25th, 2008, 05:04 PM
I just checked the weather forecast. Sunday February 3, the temperature should be around 75 degrees. The average water temperature in the river is 72 year-round. I will make sure to pack my sunblock. :cool:

Lunacie
January 25th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Good idea. I find my skin burns twice as fast when I'm around water.

We have a couple of boys who come to our rituals along with their parents and I've been trying to come up with ways to make them feel like part of the group without actually having them do anything 'ritualistic'. I'm making up some little packets for them to throw on the fire in the firepit that should burn in pretty colors. And I'm going to gather some things for them to make their own wands (stick with acorn tip and ribbons with bells) so they can go around the yard and use them to wake up the grass and flowers and trees and stuff.

This time I will say it's the Dad's turn to help the little guys with their project. Next time it will be the Mom's turn to help with some craft or project. After that I may have the older couple do a 'grandparent' project, and then 'aunt L' and 'aunt C' can take a turn. Then I'll turn the class over to someone else and 'aunt R' and I will take a turn. And then we can send the little buggers off into the toy room to play by themselves for a bit. :lol:

Won't be long until I'm looking for ideas for Beltaine crafts, eh?

Eleisawolf
January 26th, 2008, 09:13 PM
I think astrologically, it's Feb. 4th.

Here's a site I found with all the dates listed: (no idea if this site is correct, just googled it!)

http://angelwing309.tripod.com/id4.html

I went to an astronomy site instead of an astrology site. Astronomically, the first cross-quarter of 2007 is February 3 for me (MDT). Compare to the information on this page (http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Unit2/crossquarter.html) and add or subtract the hours difference from GMT to find out when it will be for you.

February is certainly not too early. December is Winter Solstice, and April is Spring Equinox. Halfway between them is generally the beginning of February. :) The cross-quarter usually falls between February 2 and 7.

I love the Farmer's Almanac...

Peace

cheddarsox
January 27th, 2008, 10:02 AM
I tend to observe it on Feb 3, due to some connections I have with that date from my childhood...We used to go to the church to have our throats blessed for St Blaise Day, which was a ritual that, for some reason, had a deep impact on me...Maybe because Feb was so bleak in Chicago? And all of a sudden they pulled us out of school, made us march across an acre of blacktop, climb over the plowed ridges of snow to kneel and get our throats blessed that we would not choke on a fish bone...(significant because Lent would be starting soon)

It just really stuck with me. In fact, one of my favorite pieces of art I've done is of St Blaise (very abstract) dancing with a fish bone. Something is ingrained in me to prepare for rocky times ahead.

I'm encouraged that so many here are able to find signs of spring and have it speak to them.

I see/hear the signs of spring. The chorus frogs have been known to begin their singing here as early as Feb 1, but it is still a few weeks before my spirits begin to believe in spring.

I really like reading about how these days "hit" people and the ways people find appropriate to observe them.

equinox2
February 1st, 2008, 02:07 PM
Quick post - it's been a while, but I check in from time to time.

Fun with the family! We changed a light bulb in the kids room to blue, and have talked about Imbolc and the middle of winter. We make candles and fresh snow just fell today for snow cream tomorrow (1 big bowl snow + 1 can sweetened condensed milk + 2 tsp vanilla). As with any Sabbat, a day of rest and fun, and probably a ritual. We also put 8 candles (in a circle, one candle for each direction and cross quarter) sunk down into the snow and leave them burning out there in the dark night. We watch to see which one goes out last - and make predictions for the year based on that.

Have a blessed Imbolc!

-Equinox

Chaos Hawk
February 1st, 2008, 02:32 PM
I always forget about it, and I did again till I saw your post.

Lunacie
February 1st, 2008, 04:19 PM
Quick post - it's been a while, but I check in from time to time.

Fun with the family! We changed a light bulb in the kids room to blue, and have talked about Imbolc and the middle of winter. We make candles and fresh snow just fell today for snow cream tomorrow (1 big bowl snow + 1 can sweetened condensed milk + 2 tsp vanilla). As with any Sabbat, a day of rest and fun, and probably a ritual. We also put 8 candles (in a circle, one candle for each direction and cross quarter) sunk down into the snow and leave them burning out there in the dark night. We watch to see which one goes out last - and make predictions for the year based on that.

Have a blessed Imbolc!

-Equinox

Darn, now I don't know whether to hope the snow all melts before our Imbolc ritual, or hope it doesn't melt so I can do this with the candles. :lol:

Windsmith
February 1st, 2008, 06:10 PM
Fun with the family! We changed a light bulb in the kids room to blue, and have talked about Imbolc and the middle of winter. We make candles and fresh snow just fell today for snow cream tomorrow (1 big bowl snow + 1 can sweetened condensed milk + 2 tsp vanilla). As with any Sabbat, a day of rest and fun, and probably a ritual. We also put 8 candles (in a circle, one candle for each direction and cross quarter) sunk down into the snow and leave them burning out there in the dark night. We watch to see which one goes out last - and make predictions for the year based on that.Your kids are lucky to have you, Equinox; you always plan the coolest rituals.

Good to see you around, however briefly.

-Windsmith

Jadewynd~
February 1st, 2008, 06:26 PM
Well, I just finish cleansing my altar for tomorrow's ritual honoring Imbolc. Afterwards, I have a nice spicy meal plan to ring in this festival of light and purification. :)

cheddarsox
February 1st, 2008, 06:46 PM
Yikes! the altar...guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow...forgive me..it's been an insane week.

RavenStars
February 2nd, 2008, 12:43 AM
Wow. The candles in the snow. Must be pretty. I could put them out and see which one gets rained on first!

The early trees are starting to bloom around here, a very nice Imbolc sign.

cheddarsox
February 2nd, 2008, 07:39 AM
Since everyone here kept "talking" about looking for signs of spring, I have been paying more attention...and yup, they're out there. The maples are getting ready to bloom, the sun is higher in the sky and staying out longer. And after a year of tough drought, it is raining again.

There have been years that the chorus frogs began to sing as early as Feb 1, but they must know something about what is in store for us the next six weeks...and are keeping it a secret because even the deluge style rains haven't coaxed them out of hiding yet.

so far, the most encouraging sign of spring I've seen is here in this thread...the connectedness and optimism and rich spiritual thinking of the people here. The beauty and symbolism of the rituals, the variety of styles of observing the cross quarter, but under it all, the same force pushing it's hopeful way to the surface.

The people here are the spring rains waking me from my hibernation this year. Every post is a cleansing rain drop, inviting me to come out and greet the sun.

Solya
February 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
I saw some flowers yesterday... however tiny they were, they made me think of spring and new days begun. :smile: I usually do not pay enough attention to Imbolc because I'm at a loss concerning what to do ritual-wise and stuff, but now I realise that I don't necessarily have to celebrate full-blast in order to honour the day itself in a way that's appropriate for me as a person.

I see the renewed optimism and the growth of new things rise to the surface slowly. That makes Imbolc valuable to me. I wish you all a happy Imbolc and hope that new beginnings will make their way towards you as well.

Jadewynd~
February 2nd, 2008, 02:08 PM
Well, living in the New England area I will not see any newly sprouting trees or flowers. But, I do smell spring in the air; not sure if it will be an early spring.....

Lunacie
February 2nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
Well, living in the New England area I will not see any newly sprouting trees or flowers. But, I do smell spring in the air; not sure if it will be an early spring.....

Probably won't be an early spring. The groundhog saw his shadow on the east coast, and it was pretty sunny when I woke up this morning too. We almost had to postpone the Imbolc ritual till next weekend, but we're supposed to be getting snow then too and at least we have sunshine today and the temp isn't down to freezing, so we're going ahead.

We had to cancel Yule because of a blizzard, almost had to postpone Imbolc, and with 6 more weeks of winter it looks like we could have snow for Beltaine as well. This is most unusual for Kansas. :lol:

equinox2
February 4th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Thanks Lunacie and Windsmith!

The SE (Beltane) candle was the last to go out. For a long time it looked like the north would be last for sure! Take care-

Equinox

Lunacie
February 4th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Thanks Lunacie and Windsmith!

The SE (Beltane) candle was the last to go out. For a long time it looked like the north would be last for sure! Take care-

Equinox

Awesome!

We have been seeing so many signs of spring here in the last week, the tree budding, the grass greening, the robins returning. We may get a few more weeks of cold weather and maybe even a few more snow flurries, but I'm convinced the Wheel is Turning!

We had an awesome Imbolc Celebration, half of us were standing in snow and the other half was standing in mud. :lol: The straw bundles were charged with everything we want to banish along with the winter cold and then tied into a strawman, and it burned with a merry fire when set ablaze. :woot: Then silver tokens were charged with whatever we want to bring into being in our lives in the coming months and placed in the cauldron atop the ashes. "On the ashes of the past we build our future."

That had special meaning to me as I watch news reports about the rebuilding in my hometown which was 90% destroyed by a tornado last May. They are rebuilding on the ashes and the rubble of their past.

We had a wonderful time working with energy following our pot luck dinner. We were experimenting with energy, passing it from person to person, changing the temperature or the texture as we passed it along. One gal took hold of the psi ball and began stretching it, then she passed one end of what was now an energy hose to the person on her left and one end of the hose to the person on her right, while holding onto her piece of the hose. And we passed it completely around the circle, so that we ended up with all of us holding onto this hose with energy going around and around inside it, faster and stronger. I've never gotten rope burn from energy but that's what it was feeling like! We really got a feel for energy and for the connectedness of the whole group. :smile: We ended up laying it down on the floor inside the ring of people and letting it soak back into the earth or rise up into the cosmos.

Windsmith
January 6th, 2009, 06:48 PM
It's Cheese-and-Art Day time again here in the "top half." What's everyone up to?

cheddarsox
January 31st, 2009, 10:45 AM
As usual, I will begin a six week season of "austerity", to help me sort out what is a want and what is a need, and what real hunger feels like.

And, the Universe is playing right along...several areas of my life are rather fraught with austerity at this point.

it ought to be an interesting time...

I can really notice the sun coming back round. It's been a dreary Jan here in the south and I've definitely been feeling the effects of it.

I tend to like this "bare bones" season, as we ramp up toward Spring, when I allow myself to really feel things, to indulge in a different aspect of life. Remembering that "wait" is not the same as "no".

Lunacie
January 31st, 2009, 11:31 AM
As usual, I will begin a six week season of "austerity", to help me sort out what is a want and what is a need, and what real hunger feels like.

And, the Universe is playing right along...several areas of my life are rather fraught with austerity at this point.

it ought to be an interesting time...

I can really notice the sun coming back round. It's been a dreary Jan here in the south and I've definitely been feeling the effects of it.

I tend to like this "bare bones" season, as we ramp up toward Spring, when I allow myself to really feel things, to indulge in a different aspect of life. Remembering that "wait" is not the same as "no".

That puts an interesting spin on conditions in my life recently. Very austere and bare bones for the last 3 months as chronic migraine has kept me from having any kind of a regular life - not been able to do things with my family or my coven. Have only been to work (once a week) and to the doctors (once a month). I'm hoping this is only "wait" for me.

Thanks for the insight. :weirdsmil

RavenStars
February 1st, 2009, 04:22 AM
I'm sort of thinking about making candles for the first time. Doing fire based things like cleansings and protection. Fire has been in the forefront of my mind for awhile now. The key word has been courage. Kind of muzzy on the ritual, though. I do need to do some spell work---I'm trying to get a fantasy role playing game started again and am struggling uphill about this. Picked up my first lode stone for this purpose.

BTW, the tulip trees are blooming here. That's the real sign for me that winter is halfway over!

cheddarsox
January 31st, 2010, 10:54 AM
It's way past time to bump this one up

We have snow on the ground...other years the froggies are singing by now...

My soul feels pretty snowed over as well right now

I know what I will be doing internally for this crossquarter, but still up in the air on external observance...I think I need to go on a walk today and figure out how to dress the altar.

Astara Seague
January 31st, 2010, 10:57 AM
I have been seeing signs of spring however small that gives me hope that it wont be long
and the sun staying up longer..Im loving that
Im going to be redoing my alter soon for spring and my decor

Windsmith
February 1st, 2010, 05:43 PM
My wife and I are about to start a 6-month, um...class? Exploration? It's not exactly a class but not exactly a working group - it's a cool thing. Yeah. That's what it is. A cool thing. Tonight we're doing our dedication ritual, which will also be our Imbolc and Full Moon ritual (Ice Moon - the moon-naming is going quite well).

I'm hoping to do some snow magic, which is one of my favorite forms. I either create a small sculpure from snow or draw symbols in the snow that represents an intention (usually something to do with keeping promises, as that's a big association of this holiday for me). Then I leave it ("Just...put it down and walk away."). Wind, Sun and Snow charge it, and then, as Winter yields the dance to Spring, it melts away, carrying my intention deep into the Earth. It's a committment to slow change, which seems to me very needful at this time of year.

Chicory_Witch
February 1st, 2010, 05:48 PM
...

I'm hoping to do some snow magic, which is one of my favorite forms. I either create a small sculpure from snow or draw symbols in the snow that represents an intention (usually something to do with keeping promises, as that's a big association of this holiday for me). Then I leave it ("Just...put it down and walk away."). Wind, Sun and Snow charge it, and then, as Winter yields the dance to Spring, it melts away, carrying my intention deep into the Earth. It's a committment to slow change, which seems to me very needful at this time of year.

Snow magic, it sounds wonderful! I wish there was still snow on the ground here.

cheddarsox
February 2nd, 2010, 05:16 PM
We have just a few small patches of snow on the ground.. I LOVE the snow magic idea...here I go to send my intention to the Universe may it do what it will.

Jadewynd~
February 2nd, 2010, 08:05 PM
Happy Imbolc! Yes, I celebrated today at sundown. The last 2 days I prepared for Imbolc. Cleaned out the cob webs and did some early Spring cleaning. I actually started Spring cleaning after the New Year. But continued to throw out the old and dust collectors. Living my life more simple these days according to the 8 Limbs of Yoga. It's great to unload a bunch of junk!

Celebrated with a little ritual , lit candles in every room and finishing off with some Indian food with my husband. 8):dinnertim

Twig
February 2nd, 2010, 08:13 PM
Does anyone celebrate Imbolc?

Umm just us pagans to my knowledge. Speaking of which it's about sundown and time to light some incence!

I Love you all.

Peace,
Twiig

Lunacie
February 2nd, 2010, 08:40 PM
Happy Imbolc! Yes, I celebrated today at sundown. The last 2 days I prepared for Imbolc. Cleaned out the cob webs and did some early Spring cleaning. I actually started Spring cleaning after the New Year. But continued to throw out the old and dust collectors. Living my life more simple these days according to the 8 Limbs of Yoga. It's great to unload a bunch of junk!

Celebrated with a little ritual , lit candles in every room and finishing off with some Indian food with my husband. 8):dinnertim

Thanks for this. I cleaned the cobwebs on Monday - guess that was my celebration of Imbolg. Several problems prevented our group from getting together to celebrate on the weekend. Don't know if we want to try this coming weeken or not.

*oonagh*
February 3rd, 2010, 09:49 AM
nope.

Heliotrope
May 27th, 2011, 12:43 PM
Hee. I know this is late, but this previous February, I celebrated Imbolc as a period of ritual cleansing, spending February praying and ritually bathing every morning. I was especially aware of my poor health and the changes I would have to instigate in my life if I wanted to honestly be healthy and hale, happy and spiritually fulfilled. I went through a lot of thinking and preparing and cleansing. Now it's May, and I stopped smoking cigarettes (it's been a month), changed my diet from junky to healthy, improved my work habits and began routines for cleaning my house and paying bills (which I was having a problem keeping up with).

I think I'll perform that cycle of cleansing every year!

cheddarsox
February 2nd, 2012, 08:44 AM
Time to "bump" this! I enjoyed re-reading all the input and insights!

This is the start of the Season of Austerity for me, six weeks of "keep it simple". Using up the food in the pantry, not buying new clothes, etc. Life has brought me to a place where I work in a tourist site, and our hours of work are drastically cut, so "austerity" is the name of the game.

My emotional life is challenging right now as well. My divorce, following 25 active years of marriage and two years of separation, will be finalized on Mar 28. I am in addiction recovery and taking a serious and focused look at what I want to keep and what I want to shed in my life. I didn't have the time or insight to write a fresh ritual this year, but in keeping with simplicity and using what is stored, I am going to pull out an old one and keep it simple. My small room was so cluttered that I did some serious rearranging a few months ago and my generous alter space has been reduced to a very tiny one.

This year I have chosen to use the Major Arcana of the Tarot as the focus for daily meditation. I have found them very powerful in my recovery process. And I always think if Windsmith's idea of this being a holy day and season for art. The cold, often icky weather, does invite one to stay where it's cozy and create something meaningful. I am getting some half finished projects done.

I was so glad to be able to find this old thread. Though I have been keeping my private practice and observation of my faith tradition, I have really missed having a faith community, like the one here.

HerbGurl
July 16th, 2017, 08:45 PM
I observe the cross quarter, but not as Imbolc.

Winter Solstice feels like anything but the return of the sun to me. Days are still short and dark, and nights long and cold. By Feb 2...I am about pulling out my hair, I am so ready for Spring...but it isn't here yet. I feel like I am running out of resources...my coping mechanisms starting to wear thin. So for the past several years, I have come up with this version of "when life hands you lemons...make lemonade" to get me through to Spring Equinox when the world is a brighter place again.

On Feb 2 I begin my "season of austerity". I simplify things, strip my life down to essentials. For six weeks I get the chance to sort through what in my life is a need, and what is a desire...not because one is better than the other, but just for clarity. I fast from different things...sometimes food, sometimes thought processes, or actions. I allow myself to experience me without something in my life, and see what that is like.

I usually wear something on my person to remind myself...a ring, or bracelet, or something that keeps my intent in mind.

It is like an annual molt for me, shedding the old fur, feathers and skin...to see if a new pattern is emerging beneath.

cheddar

I really like this idea cheddarsox! February 2nd often coincides with Lent in my practice. I may have to do something similar...