Celebrated on the 1st of February, Imbolc means in the belly, because our mother the Earth is expecting. She’s expecting spring, and so we celebrate the transformation of old woman winter into young maiden spring. Imbolc is referred to by others as Saint Brigid’s Day. It is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Pronounced “Im-Bulk, or “Em-Bowlk”. Also called Oimealg by the Druids, who happen to be my ancestors. Oimealg means “lactating sheep.” For they have given birth as the Earth calls forth new life.
Because I am a Green Witch, my rituals center around soil, seeds, nature and giving honor to my Goddess, Gaia. A dear friend gives me a quart of goats milk each September, and I freeze this until February. I will thaw it and mix it with a quart of rain water. In ceremony on the 1st of February I will mix the milk and water together, and slowly pour it around my medicinal herbs. Milk is the symbol for the Mother, and rain is a symbol for life. For without milk and water, there would be no young, nor life.
I am blessed to have a solar greenhouse, so in February I will prepare my seeds in pots for planting later in March or April. This is also a sacred ceremony, holy to those who serve the Earth Mother. I will prepare the flats with seed starter mix, smooth it out, add rain water I have collected to moisten the soil, and sprinkle seeds on top of the soil. Before I cover them with a sprinkling of soil, I will moisten them with spit. My own spit. This will bind my DNA to them. I will become a part of the plants as they grow, and later they will become a part of me. This is our bond, a union that will go on and on forever.
I have favorite daily rituals that are meaningful to me. I gather basil and angelica in a bouquet and place it on my china cabinet. I scatter bay leaves around, and add the petals of daffodils.
I bless the animals in ceremony at dusk. The little ones, deer, rabbit, goats and lambs. I anoint my wrists with jasmine and ylang ylang oil, and it is done.
Dinner is a green salad for vitamins. Cheese for the creatures who bless me with nourishment, brown rice, grains of health, and fruit bread, made from apricots and raisins. A lone white candle burns outside as the evening comes to a close.
Bless be the Earth, and all who dwell upon it. Bless be the new season, may it be filled with peace. May we be filled to overflowing with wisdom and love.
Blessed Be, sweet ones
~ Meadow Walker