imbolc

cheap, easy ways to decorate your altar for the sabbats
  • Imbolc/Candlemas:seeds or bulbs, candles, red and white
  • Ostara:flowers, eggs, milk, honey
  • Beltane:flowers, ribbons, acorns
  • Litha:oak leaves, sun symbols, sunflowers
  • Lammas:bread, wheat, beer, honey, corn dolls, iron
  • Mabon:fall leaves, cornstalks, grapes and grape vines, pomegranates, apples
  • Samhain:tarot cards, mirror, food offerings, mulled wine, dark bread
  • Yule:holly, pine cones, mistletoe, fruits, nuts, bells
Lavender Faery Wine for Imbolc

Ingredients:
1 cup of milk per serving.
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp of vanilla extract
½ a cup of brewed lavender tea
Lavender buds or cinnamon

Steep lavender buds or any lavender tea in ½ a cup of hot water. The more tea leaves or buds you use, the stronger the lavender taste will be.
Warm a cup milk on the stove; be careful not to boil or else it’ll froth up and make a mess.
Once warmed, pour in the tea, honey, and vanilla extract.
Serve in a teacup and sprinkle lavender buds or cinnamon on top.

Back to Imbolc-Candlemas

The Wheel of the Year

Imbolc: Hell yeah it’s almost spring

Ostara: Hell yeah it’s spring 

Beltane: Hell yeah it’s summer 

Midsummer: Hell yeah it’s the middle of the summer

Lughnasadh: Hell yeah it’s the first harvest 

Mabon: Hell yeah it’s the second harvest 

Samhain: Hell yeah it’s the last harvest

Yule: Hell yeah it’s winter

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Master Post: Five Ideas for Celebrating each of the Eight High Days, designed with the solitary practitioner (or a family) to do together, put together by chronarchy for The Magical Druid.

If you are interested in the original individual posts for reblogging around the holiday, you can find them here:

Piety isn’t simple: it’s okay to do something small to mark the season. Don’t let complexity get in the way of what you need to do, though. Small things go a long way.

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Candle Spell

Imbolc is just around the corner and to celebrate I came up with this DIY recycling candle spell that’s great for any occasion. I always have pieces of wax and bits of candles too small to use safely laying in around, and I thought, what a waste! Since Imbolc has traditions of bonfire and candles, I felt that making custom spell candles for the renewal of spring would be perfect. These can be modified for any occasion or spell you have; it doesn’t have to be just for Imbolc ;) 

You’ll need:

  • Wax or bits of candles
  • Wicks  
  • Heat safe containers (I recycled shallow metal tins)
  • Oven (or a way to melt the wax, double boilers also work, etc.)
  • A oven safe tray shallow enough to put a bit of water in
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Pen

 Optional:

  • Dried plants
  • Essential oils
  • Decorative tape and strings

The white candle is a cleansing-negativity-and-illness-banishing spell. It uses white wax, bay leaves (3 to represent the triple goddess), lavender, and cleansing essential oils (lavender, clary sage and cedar wood). The red one is a happiness-joy-and-courage spell, using red wax (there was white wax in there too but the red dye is STRONG so keep that in mind while making yours) and orange, grapefruit and ylang-ylang oils for exhilaration and warmth.

Instructions are under cut! Please be safe making these has it require using heat. I’m not responsible if your burn your fingers darlings ;). Do not leave anything burning unattended. 

Keep reading

The Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals, observed by many modern Pagans. It consists of either four or eight festivals: either the solstices and equinoxes, known as the “quarter days”, or the four midpoints between, known as the “cross quarter days”.

The festivals celebrated by differing sects of modern Paganism can vary considerably in name and date. Observing the cycle of the seasons has been important to many people, both ancient and modern, and many contemporary Pagan festivals are based to varying degrees on folk traditions.

In many traditions of modern Pagan cosmology, all things are considered to be cyclical, with time as a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Sun’s annual death and rebirth.

Yule/Winter Solstice: a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christian reformulation resulting in the now better-known Christmastide. A celebration the beginning of longer days, as this is the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight. 

Imbolc: the first cross-quarter day following Midwinter this day falls on the first of February and traditionally marks the first stirrings of spring. It is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year’s new life. 

For Celtic pagans, the festival is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, daughter of The Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Among witches reclaiming tradition, this is the  time for pledges and dedications for the coming year.

Ostara/Spring Equinox: from this point on, days are longer than the nights. Many mythologies, regard this as the time of rebirth or return for vegetation gods and celebrate the spring equinox as a time of great fertility.

Germanic pagans dedicate the holiday to their fertility goddess, Ostara. She is notably associated with the symbols of the hare and egg. Her Teutonic name may be etymological ancestor of the words east and Easter.

Beltrane: traditionally the first day of summer in Ireland, in Rome the earliest celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. 

Since the Christianization of Europe, a more secular version of the festival has continued in Europe and America. In this form, it is well known for maypole dancing and the crowning of the Queen of the May.

Litha/Summer Solstice: one of the four solar holidays, and is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.

Luchnassad/Lammas: It is marked the holiday by baking a figure of the god in bread and eating it, to symbolize the sanctity and importance of the harvest. Celebrations vary, as not all Pagans are Wiccans.  

The name Lammas (contraction of loaf mass) implies it is an agrarian-based festival and feast of thanksgiving for grain and bread, which symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest. Christian festivals may incorporate elements from the Pagan Ritual.

Mabon/Autumn Equinox: a Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three Pagan harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas / Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.

Samhain: considered by some as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets, and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness, which is balanced at the opposite point of the wheel by the festival of Beltane, which is celebrated as a festival of light and fertility.

IMBOLC MASTERPOST

History Lesson

Imbolc

St Brigid’s Day

Candlemas

Figures

Brigit

Brigid

Symbols

St. Brigids Cross

Brigit Doll

Sheep

Food

Recipes for a Pagan Soul

Baked Custard

Butter Cake

Rosemary & Garlic Roast Lamb

Crafts

Brigids Cross

Bride Doll

Sheep Garland

Music

Cernunnos Rising

Welcome Bird

Hymn to Bridget

I hope everyone finds these informative! Welcome 2015 and have a Blessed Imbolc!

Imbolc Ritual Bath

Imbolc, the Sabbat marking the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Solstice, is a quiet celebration for cleansing and nurturing the soul. Prepare this bath on Imbolc after sunset for a restorative bit of magic (and coincidentally softer skin). 

Items needed: 

  • 1 cup whole powdered milk
  • ½ cup honey 
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • large pieces of lemon peel 
  • lavender essential oil
  • clary sage essential oil 

Light several white candles while drawing a warm bath. Slowly add the powdered milk, and swirl the water until dissolved. Then add the honey, coconut oil, and lemon peels. Drop in the essential oils in equal amounts. 

Upon entering the bath, take a few minutes to center yourself in the water. Think about what issues from the previous calendar year are lingering around in your life that you would like to expel in the months going forward. Visualize the purifying energy of the white, restorative water flowing through your body and preparing you for the year ahead. If you wish for a simple protection measure after leaving the bath, rub a little extra coconut oil onto your skin. 

As a secular witch, these are the personal holidays I celebrate.

While as a witch I enjoy the idea of celebrating the cycles of the year I do not celebrate the Wheel of the Year. The Wheel of the Year is a religious Wiccan concept linked with the life cycle of Wiccan deities.

For me, I enjoy recognizing the changing of the seasons. It makes me contemplate my place in my ecosystem and gives me time to set aside to plan for my future and to reflect on the past. I also enjoy a reason to celebrate and to take some time out of my life to relax and enjoy existing. For every holiday I will do a tarot reading for things to focus on until the next holiday and I usually walk around the neighborhood I’ve lived in for 15+ years to pay notices to changes in things in plants and animals. On some of the holidays I reset my house wards, but some set to moon cycles. Mostly I make food from seasonal ingredients and give myself a reason to celebrate. Also, most of my holidays don’t have set days. They are set to when I can carve time out my life. I make room for them in my life. I’m working on writing more down for each of my holidays but I’m going to be doing it as the seasons change this year. So, Here is and outline of my holidays.

Candlemark

For me, my new year starts at Candlemark (somewhere between February 1-4) It’s the mark of the beginning of the end of winter, the light is coming back in small bits. I make candles for the year for Full Moon Dance Night* and I make food with things I’ve canned or frozen the summer before to bring some summer into the end of winter like a soup made with tomatoes from the garden. I also like to  buy seeds, plan my garden and sometimes plant seeds inside. This is also a time where I finally feel that I can shake the holidays and really set to do the things I have spent a month planning.

Spring Equinox

(somewhere between March 20-23) is like a tipping point. There are getting to be more vegetables and new growth in my garden. Time for planning and often for spring travel.

May Day

(May 1st) is International Workers Day. I never work on this day. It is a day of rest, but also an acknowledgement of workers and a day of protest against injustices.

Summer Solstice

(between June 19-23) My birthday is the 19th and it always get wrapped up in this. It’s a time to stand in the garden barefoot and and eat strawberries ahd have picnics.

First Harvest

(August 1) My garden is producing good stuff, but it is the beginning of the end of the growing cycle. It’s time to give thanks to my yard and share my harvest. Also, I’m a sucker for school/office supplies and this is whey they start bringing out lots of neat new things for Back To School, so I indulge in buying some new pens or notebooks for myself.

Autumn Equinox

(sometime from mid- September to September 23) to Sometimes it’s not the equinox at all. Sometimes it’s the first or second week in September when you start to see a familiar slant of the sun and the air feels a bit brisk in the mornings. It’s the beginning of soup weather and filling the house with the smells of baking bread.

Halloween

(October 31) Halloween is pretty much a secular holiday as it is, so celebrate! Put the garden to rest, pick those last lingering tomatoes. Buy the fun decorations. Give candy to kids. Dress as someone different and walk the world that night. Explore your shadows and prepare for the darkness ahead.

Winter Solstice/ Sockstice

(December 20-23) For me, this is Sockstice at my house. We invite people over and have a sock drive for a local group that supports people affected by domestic violence. There’s food and drink and laughter filling the house with warmth and we often have a fire on a dark and cold night. Also, we listen the 1st wave ska music as our holiday music. I don’t know why we have been doing that for 6 years, but we have.

The point is that The Wheel of the Year is a Wiccan system of holidays and I’m not Wiccan so I’m not just going to take the names and take the meaning out. Some of the Wiccan names are taken from older Celtic holidays names associated with pagan and folklore, sure. Also, societies have celebrated the changing of seasons for millennia. So, how can that be incorporated into my celebrations. As a secular witch, I first I asked myself why I wanted to celebrate the changing of the seasons? What value did it hold for me? Besides that I just want holidays, which I answered above. How do I give myself space to celebrate and to make my own holidays? How can I draw from the place I live regionally? What do these times of the year mean to me? These are what I came up with and I’m going to be working on expanding on them through this year.

Imbolc is upon us! Here’s a handy reference guide of witchy business to get up to.

For me, Imbolc is a great time to celebrate the warmer months coming soon and the return of the sun. Anything with solar or fiery correspondences works well for me around Imbolc, as well as anything having to do with keeping a happy home or inspiring creativity and the arts, since Brigid works with poets and artists often. 

Spells and Rituals 

A spell to enhance creativity**

Solitary Imbolc Ritual**

Threshold Protection Spell**

Folk Magic for a Happy Home**

The Magician Tarot Spell

Better Business Artist’s Spell

Imbolc Lush Bath

Hearth Fire Protection Spell

Brigid’s Healing Spell

Imbolc Candle Spell**

Incense

Home Purification Incense

Eighthfold Hearth Incense

Sun Incense

Sun Incense 2

Fire Incense

Imbolc Incense

Nine Woods Incense

Happier Home Incense

Herb Sachets/Jars

Home Protection Sachet

Home Protection Jar

Home Protection Sachet II

Herbs Associated with the Sun

Herbs Associated with Fire

Oils

Brigid’s Oil

La Candelaria Oil

Sabbat Oil

Sabbat Oil II

Imbolc Oil

Imbolc Oil II

Persephone Oil

Tarot Spreads

T.S. Eliot’s Poets and Writers Tarot Spread

Imbolc Stirring Within You Spread

Other

Sabbat Soap

Fire Bath

**not from my own blog