“As a Triple Goddess, Brigid fires her arrows of inspiration (poetry, writing, arts and crafts), healing (the fire of life within our physical bodies), and smithing (fire of the hearth and home and the alchemical fire of change) right into our hearts, igniting us to action.”
~ Stephanie Anderson Ladd
Last year, as I wove my Brigid’s Cross with our community, my prayer to Brigid, Goddess of the Hearth, was that she lead me to my new home, my new hearth. I had been living in an apartment, separate from my community ritual space for the first time in over a decade. I am just not one for apartment living, but this was my “short term” solution that had lasted three years…and I was ready for it to change. I hung my cross on the back of my apartment door and each day I would see it, hold my vision of a sweet hearth fire, and thank Brigid in advance for finding me the perfect home.
With an abundance of gratitude for the gifts that Brigid has bestowed upon my world, this year I will be burning that cross in the fire pit of our new backyard. The community will be weaving Brigid’s Crosses in front of the hearth in my new home. It will be good to once again celebrate her day in front of a warm and crackling fire, connecting the hearth of our community with the inner flame of the Goddess.
Imbolc, the February spoke on the Wheel of the Year, honors Brigid, the Celtic Triple Goddess of poetry and inspiration, healing and renewal, fire and smith craft. The term Imbolc/Imbolg, or sometimes Oimelc, means “in the belly” or “in milk.” The name derives from our agricultural history ~ in early February, the sheep and other herd animals are in heavy pregnancy, or already giving birth and beginning to lactate. Hence, there are babes ‘in the belly’ and mothers ‘in milk.’
Though the cold still keeps us indoors, deep within the Earth life has already begun to stir. We see evidence of the Goddess bursting forth from her winter slumber as the snowdrops dot the areas of melted snow. It is a time of new beginnings and of growth.
I encourage you to sit by the fire or in the sweet softness of candlelight, and contemplate what is next for you. What is germinating just beneath the surface that will soon stretch and reach toward the warmth of the Sun? On this coming Sunday, honor Brigid and all the many ways She manifests. Nestle up to the fire with your favorite poetry or even choose to memorize your favorite poem. Shake a small jar of milk into butter, or create a seasonal milk-based dish or beverage. You might take some time to allow your creative juices to flow and make new art. There are so many ways to pay homage to this powerful Goddess. To help you prepare and to begin tapping into the powers of Brigid, we’ve included a magical recipe for a fiery and healing Imbolc Tea. We hope that it helps to bring clarity as to how you may carry Brigid’s energy forward, serving you in the highest good through the remainder of the Winter.
Imbolc Clarity Tea
2 tsp fresh Ginger root, grated (Success)
1 tsp Coriander seeds (Health)
1/8 tsp Cinnamon (Spirituality & Power)
1/8 tsp ground Cardamom (Love)
Pinch Allspice (Healing)
Pinch Cloves (Protection)
2 tsp Chamomile (Purification)
In a small saucepan, add everything but the Chamomile in water and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add Chamomile flowers. Steep for another 10 minutes. Strain out herbs and serve hot.
Clove, Cinnamon, Coriander, Ginger, and Chamomile are all traditionally associated with Imbolc.
*Note – Please use herbs, *not* essential oils in this recipe. The links provided above are solely for your reference and/or in case you wish to use the corresponding oils for another ritual purpose. Click here for more on Essential Oil Safety.
~ Recipe reprinted from Karlyn Rayne
Herbs & Flowers: Snowdrop, Bay, Heather.
Incense: Sage, Bay.
Color: White, Green, Red.
Decorations: Horseshoes, White Flowers, Candles, Poems.
Foods: All Dairy Products, Seeds, Herbal Teas, Honey, Fresh Greens, Salmon, Curries.
May Brigid’s flame burn brightly in your life, illuminating the dark places and bringing warmth to your heart. From our hearth to yours, Blessed Imbolc!
To learn more about the Wheel of the Year, please read Rhianna’s blog post from the DG Archives.