Imbolg Brigantia

Imbolg, or Brigantia, is celebrated on February 1. This is the feast of the waxing light or the feast of lights, and is related to the Goddess Bridget or Bride. Imbolg is associated with the return of life and light and marks the awakening of the earth and the promise of spring.

In Greece, during the Eleusinian Mysteries, people held a torchlight procession on February 1 in honor of Demeter. The torchlight was to aid her in her search for her lost daughter, Persephone. When Persephone was found, light returned to the world. In Pagan religious tradition this is the time when the virgin-maiden aspect of the Goddess is courted by the young Lord God. Their passion for each other is felt in the seasonal energy at this time. Closely related to Imbolg is the Christian festival of Candlemas, which is celebrated on February 2 and is a time of purification.

Imbolg is the time to prepare for what you wish to accomplish in the months to come. At this time, you will want to clarify and refine what you began to work on at Yule. Use a rose-colored candle to help energize and reaffirm your goal.

Ritual Tools, Symbols, and Decorations

Altar decorations: White, silver, or pink altar cloth, white altar candles, bouquet of pink rosebuds tied with silver ribbon, rose-colored candle, wand tied with pink and silver ribbon, chalice covered with a silver or white cloth, white wine, ritual cakes.

Plants and herbs: Rose, baby's breath, vanilla, jasmine, angelica, heather, basil, blackberry, iris, myrrh, and violet.

Oil: Mix rose, jasmine, and violet oil together for anointing; add a sprig of heather to the master bottle.

Food: Custard, lamb, butter, yogurt, cheese, fish, biscuits, candid violets, Irish stew, leek soup, lentils.

Symbols: Bridget's cross, crown of candles, candles engraved with pink or silver hearts, heart shaped boxes decorated with pink roses to place wishes in, white lace potpourri pouches filled with violet, rose, and heather and tied with pink ribbon, clear quartz crystals.

A Ceremony for Imbolg

Light the right altar candle and then the left one, as you say the following:

Right

Fearless Lord, protector, and father of all, Bring forth light, life, and wisdom.

Left

White maiden, gentle mother, silent one, Deliver us from ignorance and darkness.

Cast the circle and call in the Guardians. Face the altar, anoint the forehead with seasonal oil, and speak the following blessing:

My lady who has been with me from the beginning

You are my light and life.

My Lord who comes from the glory of the lady

You are my strength and power.

Let now the dawn and spring of life come forth.

Let now the fire and spirit of life come forth.

Let now the passion and love of life come forth.

Let now the balance and wisdom of life come forth.

Light the rose-colored candle as you say the following:

I pray, banish the winter and bring back the spring, Let the light and life come to every living thing. The glory of the God and Goddess I now behold,

For all that is given shall return threefold. As I revel in the warmth of this divine light, I pray, bless and protect me from this night.

Pick up the bouquet of flowers and hold them in offering as you say:

Lady of light, wise one thou art pure in spirit And love eternal.

Lord of fire, passionate one thou art true force And endless power.

Place the bouquet on the altar in front of the candle. Take a few moments to meditate on the meaning of the ritual.

Relax. Invoke the God and then Invoke the Goddess. At this point you will want to energize the rose-colored candle with your thoughts and desires. Place your hands over the candle, express your desire, and then chant the following:

Passion and fire Bring forth desire.

Pause and then bless the wine and bread through the Rite of Union and the Blessing of the Bread ceremony. Begin your closing segment of the rite by offering this blessing:

Within my heart is devoted feeling Vainly should my lips express. I come before your altar kneeling

And pray this time and place you bless.

Dismiss the Guardians and extinguish the altar candles, beginning with the left:

Left

Lady of light, wise one, thou art pure spirit And love eternal.

Right

Lord of fire, passionate one, thou art true force And endless power.

Take up the circle and allow the rose-colored candle to burn out. Dry the pink rose buds in the bouquet and use in incense.

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