Saturday, January 30, 2016

Imbolc 2016: Hail Brigid!






May Brigid Light the Love in my Soul
____








On this Imbolc day, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth,
I pray that the flame of Brigid may burn in my soul,
and the souls of all I meet today.

I pray that no envy and malice,
no hatred or fear, may smother the flame.
I pray that indifference and apathy,
contempt and pride,
may not pour like cold water on the flame.

Instead, may the spark of Brigid light the love in my soul,
that it may burn brightly through this season.
And may I warm those that are lonely,
whose hearts are cold and lifeless,
so that all may know the comfort of Brigid's love.





          
                For  many pagans and Wiccans, February 2 marks the important holiday, Imbolc, and their attention may be focused somewhere other than the television screen. 

Imbolc/Oimelc/Brigid`s Day, on February 2 and the preceding eve. associated with fertility, are celebrated as a fire festival midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox later in the week. Celts often choose the full moon nearest the midpoint.

Ref. In the Northern Hemisphere:
http://pagancalendar.co.uk/index.php?gotoyear=2016&gotomonth=1
Imbolc Eve - http://pagancalendar.co.uk/event.php?zodiac=astrological&getdate=20160131&tz=Europe/London&id=5271

Imbolc is one of four major pagan sabbats, or holidays.

1. Imbolc is one of four major pagan sabbats, or holidays, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. In between these sabbats, pagans celebrate the seasonal solstices and equinoxes.
2. Imbolc is pronounced "IM-bulk" or "EM-bowlk."

Imbolc falls on the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

3. Imbolc falls on the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Although it is attributed to the ancient Celts, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and indigenous groups are also believed to have celebrated an equivalent holiday.
4. Nowadays Imbolc may be related to Candlemas and Groundhog Day, and indeed there is evidence from early Irish lore surrounding weather divination this time of year.

Imbolc honors the Celtic goddess, Brigid.

5. Also called Brigid's Day, Imbolc honors the Celtic goddess of fire, fertility, midwifery and the young. Many Pagans will pay tribute to Brigid by arranging an altar and 'invoking' the goddess through prayer.
6. The term 'Imbolc' derives from Old Irish and means "in the belly," or alternately "ewe's milk." The interpretation lends significance to the holiday as a celebration of fertility, reproduction and the young -- all overseen by the goddess Brigid.

Seed and bud imagery may be used in Imbolc rituals.

7. Imbolc observes the waning of winter and approach of spring. Pagans often use fire and other forms of light to encourage the lengthening of day. Seed and bud imagery may be used, as well, to promote the growth of new life ensured by springtime.
8. As with many pagan holidays, food and music are essential. Dishes for Imbolc tend to incorporate seeds, dairy and other spring-evoking foods.

Celebrants often prepare talismans to use during Imbolc ceremonies, including the Brigid's Cross.

9. Celebrants often prepare talismans to use during Imbolc ceremonies and then keep in their homes. These include a Brideog -- a small straw doll dressed in white cloth -- and a Brigid's Cross, also often woven from straw.
10. Imbolc is a time for spring cleaning. Some clean their homes, take ritual baths and de-clutter their lives in other ways. This is believed to create space for the goddess to come into people's live and for new seeds to take root in the coming spring.


Prayers, Hymns & Chants to Goddess Brigid






Hail, Brigantia! Keeper of the forge,
she who shapes the world itself with fire,

she who ignites the spark of passion in the poets,

she who leads the clans with a warrior's cry,

she who is the bride of the islands,

and who leads the fight of freedom.

Hail, Brigantia! Defender of kin and hearth,

she who inspires the bards to sing,

she who drives the smith to raise his hammer,

she who is a fire sweeping across the land.

~~~
The winter is coming to an end
The stores of food are dwindling,

And yet we eat, and stay warm

In the chilled winter months.

We are grateful for our good fortune,

And for the food before us.
~~~
This is the season of Brighid,





She who protects our hearth and home.

We honor her and thank her,

for keeping us warm as we eat this meal.

Great Lady, bless us and this food,

and protect us in your name.
~~~
Bride of the earth,
sister of the faeries,

daughter of the Tuatha de Danaan,

keeper of the eternal flame.

In autumn, the nights began to lengthen,

and the days grew shorter,

as the earth went to sleep.

Now, Brighid stokes her fire,

burning flames in the hearth,

bringing light back to us once more.

Winter is brief, but life is forever.

Brighid makes it so.
~~~



Mighty Brighid, keeper of the flame,
blazing in the darkness of winter.
O goddess, we honor you, bringer of light,
healer, exalted one.
Bless us now, hearth Mother,
that we may be as fruitful as the soil itself,
and our lives abundant and fertile.

~~~

I Wish You All Blessings of Love & Light this Imbolc.
May Goddess Brigid Light the Flame within Your Soul.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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