I may have missed sending this on the holiday, but I still want to share
our Snow Banishing Ritual and to announce our Imbolc
Candle. Originally I was waiting until we had pictures of the candle
and the page was on the website to send this. That actually happened
last week and still no newsletter. Why? Not sure. I kind of put this
at the bottom of the To-Do list and left it at that. I really do enjoy
writing the newsletter, and I hope you enjoy reading it, but lately
I seem to be putting off that which I love to do for that which I have
No more. Denying myself the things I love only makes my wintertime
blues worse. I really enjoy making soap and my stock was depleted after
the holiday. I put it off all through January, even tho I find it relaxing
and enjoyable. No more. I have already made two batches this week and
will make more next week. Ive been getting great ideas for jewelry
to make but have not made it even tho this is something else I truly
enjoy. No more. I am going to act on the inspiration Ive been
getting. These two crafts may seem like to work to someone else, but
to me they are a way to set my creative self free.
So why send a holiday newsletter that is almost three weeks late? Because
I already had it written in my head and it wanted to be sent. Because
I enjoy writing them. Because I do not want to cross off something that
wasnt done from the To-do list. Because I cannot look my image
of Brigit in the eye until Her holiday newsletter is sent : )
Snow Banishing Ritual
So I was reading emails the week before Imbolc and came across a ritual
to banish the snow from about.com. Their ritual involved going outside
in the snow and walking around a circle making noise to chase the snow
away. Ok, number one, I know at least two of our group was not going
to go out in the freezing temperatures without a lot of complaining
(and thus ruining the energy of the ritual), and number two, annoying
the neighbors with banging and shouting is never a good thing in a ritual.
So of course, I changed it.
I filled a big metal bowl with snow before everyone got here. One of
us drew an image of the sun in the snow in the bowl. I placed it the
center of our alter along with a red taper candle and a lighter. Ideally
everyone would have something to make noise with, we did not. I rang
a bell while everyone else clapped.
High Priestess says:
Old man winter, it's time to go!
Take with you these piles of snow!
Everyone walks around the alter three times, widdershins (counter-clockwise)
to banish the snow, as they bang their drums, ring their bells, and
Melt, snow, melt!
Spring will soon return!
The others continue to walk and make noise while the High Priestess
lights the candle, and places it in middle of the bowl of the snow,
A flame, a fire, all the warmth it brings,
melt the snow, cold be gone, welcome back the spring!
Three times more, as before, making lots of noise and chanting:
Melt, snow, melt!
Spring will soon return!
Stop circling. Take out the candle and let the snow melt as you
do your holiday ritual.
Once the snow is melted, hold up the bowl, and say:
The snow has melted! Spring will return!
Everyone claps and yells to celebrate.
You can use the water later for ritual use, such as scrying. Every
Imbolc we like to do ceromancy, which is really fun. Melt some
candle wax. Then, one at a time, have each person ask a question and
pour some of the melted wax into the cold melted snow water. Give it
a few minutes to float around and harden before removing it from the
water. The fun comes in guessing what the message is. Sometimes it is
very obvious, sometimes it is hard. I had one once that was unmistakably
three snakes, one even had a forked tongue! Last year I had one that
was hard to interpret. The next night in a dark room I held it up to
a candle flame. An image of a broom appeared like magick!
I also want to mention that this ritual really works. We had over a
foot of snow on the ground at Imbolc. One week later, it was all gone.
Our New Imbolc Candle
Impowered on Imbolc crossquarter day, which is when the Sun reaches
15 degrees Aquarius. This candle was created with the energies of Imbolc
in mind: purification, cleansing, strengthening. While we realize this
holiday is closely associated with Brigit, we created this candle with
the seasonal energies in mind without Her association. We are planning
another candle to honor Brigit.
The colors most associated with Imbolc are red and white. Red symbolizing
the birthing blood of the ewes and white for the snow. Since this is
a fire holiday, red can also symbolize fire. Our goal was red and white
glitter. This didn't happen as the white glitter we had turned transparent
in the hot gel. While adding the glitter and scent, the gel was stirred
so much that it formed hundreds of tiny bubbles which made the gel look
white instead of transparent. When we poured them, the candles looked
white with red glitter.
A round bead made of shell looks like a snowball in the candle. The
properties of shell include improving one's self image, increasing personal
strength and endurance, personal growth, and transformation. Shells
also help organize your life.
The scent is frankincense, benzoin, and cinnamon. Frankincense and
cinnamon are both associated with the Sun and fire. Also both are purifying
and strengthening. Benzion was added to sweeten the scent and is associated
with air and Venus. Benzoin is also purifying and adds comfort with
the ability to cope.
We have included the image of a sheep as Imbolc means ewe's milk and
a red & white ribbon along the edge of the candle. Take a look on
the Imbolc Candle page.