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Thread: Imbolc/Candlemass?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
    As you may have gathered from some of the posts above, Imbolc is the time when we celebrate the new lambs being born, and the mother ewes begin producing milk to feed the baby lambs. That's why milk or dairy based dishes are traditional foods for the Imbolc festival.

    In my part of the country we are deep into winter. Sure the days are getting just a little bit longer, and the nights are getting just a little bit shorter - but the weather is the coldest it will be all year. There is generally cloud cover over our heads and snow cover under our feet. It's hard to feel connected to nature in these conditions.

    But by looking at the new baby lambs we are reassured that the new flowers are just a few weeks away from poking their heads above ground. We are reassured that the soft green leaves are going to start emerging from the stark tree branches. We are reassured that the sun will return and warm us once again. So weather-lore is also a part of this holiday - it's where the idea of Groundhog's Day came from.

    So we light candles to remind us that the light is indeed returning, the clouds will begin to part and let the sun warm these new plants as the baby lambs are getting old enough to wander outside with their mothers and graze on the tender shoots. Some countries have an old tradition of placing a lit candle in each and every window of each and every house, or having the oldest daughter of house wear a crown of lit candles as she takes breakfast cakes and goes around to waken everyone. And that means this is also a good time to make new candles as you burn the last of the ones you made in the fall to see you through the long dark winter.

    Imbolc is a time for honoring the Goddess Brigid, a fire goddess. So all the flames are also in her honor. Candlemas is the Christianized name for the holiday, and the Fire Goddess became Saint Brigid. This is a Celtic/Irish holiday. Imbolc is pronounced 'em-bolk.' Brigid's name was pronounced 'breed' in some parts of Ireland - her homeland.


    ps, I'm a Wiccan.
    Amazing post, Lunacie!!
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." - Stephen King.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloaked Raven View Post
    Amazing post, Lunacie!!
    Thank you. I used to suffer so bad from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Just learning about the wheel of the year and being able to watch for the changes myself helped me to keep from getting so depressed during the dark days of winter when the light is gone by 4:30 or 5 pm. I noticed yesterday when Katlin went to meet a friend after school that it was nearly 5 oclock and it wasn't dark yet. And it's only two weeks past Winter Solstice. Changes happen fast when you're aware of them.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
    Thank you. I used to suffer so bad from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Just learning about the wheel of the year and being able to watch for the changes myself helped me to keep from getting so depressed during the dark days of winter when the light is gone by 4:30 or 5 pm. I noticed yesterday when Katlin went to meet a friend after school that it was nearly 5 oclock and it wasn't dark yet. And it's only two weeks past Winter Solstice. Changes happen fast when you're aware of them.
    Very true about noticing the changes. I get a little down during the winter months too, that's part of the reason why I look forward to Imbolc so much... It means that we are getting closer to spring here and the days are getting even longer.

    In fact, I don't think I turned on the living room lamp until after 5 yesterday for Lil Cloaky... Quite a change from the solstice, when I had to turn it on for him at 4 p.m.
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." - Stephen King.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloaked Raven View Post
    Very true about noticing the changes. I get a little down during the winter months too, that's part of the reason why I look forward to Imbolc so much... It means that we are getting closer to spring here and the days are getting even longer.

    In fact, I don't think I turned on the living room lamp until after 5 yesterday for Lil Cloaky... Quite a change from the solstice, when I had to turn it on for him at 4 p.m.
    Isn't it awesome? We gain about an hour of daylight each month between the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Of course, I don't always appreciate that in the summer when I have more chances to sleep in rather than getting up and helping get the girls off to school. My bedroom window faces east so it starts getting hot in my room by 8 am around Midsummer. And that's with room darkening window blinds and curtains. On the other hand, in our old house my bedroom was on the west side of the house so it stayed hot in that room much later at night, even with the windows open to catch any breezes. (that was before we had central air) Maybe I'm just hard to please?
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
    Thank you. I used to suffer so bad from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Just learning about the wheel of the year and being able to watch for the changes myself helped me to keep from getting so depressed during the dark days of winter when the light is gone by 4:30 or 5 pm. I noticed yesterday when Katlin went to meet a friend after school that it was nearly 5 oclock and it wasn't dark yet. And it's only two weeks past Winter Solstice. Changes happen fast when you're aware of them.
    I suffer from SAD as well and I know what you mean
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
    Isn't it awesome? We gain about an hour of daylight each month between the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Of course, I don't always appreciate that in the summer when I have more chances to sleep in rather than getting up and helping get the girls off to school. My bedroom window faces east so it starts getting hot in my room by 8 am around Midsummer. And that's with room darkening window blinds and curtains. On the other hand, in our old house my bedroom was on the west side of the house so it stayed hot in that room much later at night, even with the windows open to catch any breezes. (that was before we had central air) Maybe I'm just hard to please?
    Very awesome!! I didn't realize just how much daylight we gain each month between the winter solstice and the summer solstice before... You learn something new every day.

    Our bedroom faces south so it gets very hot in the mornings too... That's why both my husband and I installed the air conditioner in the bedroom so both of us could sleep!!

    (Nah, you're not hard to please, you know what you like!! )
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  7. #27
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    This year we celebrate "the quickening" of life during Imbolc. We symbolize the quickening by lighting candles as the quickening is the spark that awakens the dormant seeds to life. Imbolc means in the belly and that's exactly where the seeds reside so I always plant a seed or bulb during Imbolc.





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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astara Seague View Post
    I suffer from SAD as well and I know what you mean
    Not my favorite club to belong to. I was amazed at how much it helped to become aware of these changes and anticipate the return of the light and the warmth. I've had FibroMyalgia for the last 40 years, so really notice the cold because it makes me hurt more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cloaked Raven View Post
    Very awesome!! I didn't realize just how much daylight we gain each month between the winter solstice and the summer solstice before... You learn something new every day.

    Our bedroom faces south so it gets very hot in the mornings too... That's why both my husband and I installed the air conditioner in the bedroom so both of us could sleep!!

    (Nah, you're not hard to please, you know what you like!! )
    I didn't realize how big the change was either until I learned about all this Wheel of the Year stuff. If they taught us this in school I sure don't remember it. Of course, I wasn't suffering from SAD when I was a kid I guess. But look at it . . .

    Winter Solstice - Sunrise 7:39 am / Sunset 5:12 pm
    Summer Solstice- Sunrise 6:06 am / Sunset 8:53 pm

    We gain an hour and half in the morning, and almost four hours in the evening. Seems like dawn and dusk last longer in the summer than they do in the winter. Is that just my imagination? Maybe it's because the sun is further south in the summer instead of almost overhead like in winter.

    This information is for Kansas, it's probably a little different in Canada. But that's a five and a half hour difference in the length of daylight!
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  9. #29
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    Hey thankyou all so much for the info. Lunacie, that was EXACTLY what I wanted. You make it sound so beautiful. I can feel what Imbolc should be to people. Also loving the idea of celebrating the life spark in the seeds. It sounds like the opposite of the harvest celebrations, with added celebration of the light. Awsome!

    I think I'll be celebrating the coming of light this Imbolc, with candles. I'm a vegan, so can't do the dairy thing! But the idea of a ritual with planting a seed is wonderful. As a christian witch, I'll be thanking the father for giving Jesus, the light of the world, and for causing the sun to shine it's light. Will also praise the Lady holy spirit for sparking life around the world.

    For you christian witches/mystics/friends/whatever! Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

    Came off my night shift this morning to be greeted with heavy snow! Driving home 20 miles was fun! I'm weird tho. Unlike many of you I REALLY connect with nature in the winter. I don't know why but I see God/dess in the starkness and melancholy of winter. Everyone was moaning about the snow this morning. I was running around like a kid, throwing snowballs at my colleagues and making snow angels! I really see God in the snow and I'm in raptures about the purity of the snows beauty. I guess I'm not in the SAD club!
    "Picasso said :"Good taste is the enemy of great art." When I was depressed, people would tell me that God loves me. I would say "Big deal. God loves everybody. That doesn't make me special, that just prooves that God has no taste!" And you know, I really don't think He does. Thank God. For he makes a masterpiece of us." - Rich Mullins

  10. #30
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    Glad to hear that was the inspiration you were hoping for. And glad to hear you don't suffer from depression, at any season. There are those who have SAD in the summertime rather than the winter. I suspect for many of us though, depression is a genetic neurological condition related to ADHD and other genetic neurological conditions.

    I never spent much time reading Genesis - looks like I missed some interesting stuff. That particular passage is very Paganish. Wicca is all about the balance between polarities - opposite ends of the same concept, all part of the big picture eh?
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