May ink and quill flow free For Blessed Ladies three Your Fire ever a-burn By its light I do learn Secrets from birth to death Wisdom within your breath Poetess, healer true Bring knowledge anew Teach spells and sacred rites Help me soar to new heights Let inspiration flow Oh Great Fiery Arrow
Yuletide is over, and though the land is still resting in the midst of winter, the days are gradually beginning to lengthen and the Goddess begins to plan. This is the time for new ideas, new thoughts, in the same way that the Earth’s new growth phase beginnings to stir. At Imbolc our thoughts turn towards new projects, new plans, with creativity and inspiration brimming forth to carry us into spring.
Imbolc is a true fire festival, with colours of red, white and orange, with black accents. In line with this festival’s name (the term “Imbolc” means “in milk” or “in the belly”), pregnant sheep begin to lactate and the natural world looks towards the joys of springtime. Soon, the land will be woken by the fire of the sun… A fire that, in the Celtic tradition, is ascribed to Brighid.
Brighid is the Celtic Goddess of fire, healing, poetry, and smithcraft. She is seen as a goddess of regeneration and abundance, and protectoress of domesticated animals, livestock, healers, poets and smiths. Also known as Brigit, Bridget, Bride or Brigandu, she is seen as an “unconventional” Triple Goddess — three aspects of the one divinity, identical, and not part of the typical Maiden-Mother-Crone sequence. The three aspects of Brighid (the healer, the poet and the smith) were unified in the symbol of fire, for her name means “bright arrow,” or simply the “bright one.” Her sacred, undying fire at Kildaire was tended by 19 virgins except on the 20th day of each cycle, when the fire was miraculously tended by Brigid herself.
To mix an incense for Brighid, blend together the following:
1 part crushed rowan berries 1/4 part blackberry leaves 1 part birch bark 1 part willow bark 1/2 part bistort root 1 part oak bark 1/2 part snowdrop flowers 1/4 part flax flowers
Brighid’s symbols are the fire, sun, snake, cow, and wolf. Her colours are red and white. She is the Goddess of fertility, wells and springs, and of creativity. To invoke Brighid, why not try the “The Forge in the Forest” ritual by Mara Freeman:
Light your candle. Gaze into the flame for a few moments, then close your eyes. You will still see the image of the flame against your eyelids. Now imagine it is growing brighter and brighter, and go one step further and imagine you are standing in a place filled with the warmth and red gold light of leaping flames… Imagine, in fact, that you are standing in the entrance to a forge in a forest, where a blazing fire is roaring, and in front of it stands a woman. Thick, auburn hair is tied back, but a few rippling curls have escaped around
her face. She is dressed in dark green with sleeves rolled up to the elbows, revealing strong white arms. Brigit, for of course it is she, stands over a large anvil where all her concentration is focused on beating a sheet of soft gleaming bronze with a great hammer… At last, she looks up and smiles at you warmly. She has finished her creation and holds it up to the light of the fire for you to see. As you look at it, it appears to continually change shape: first it seems to be a leaf, then a globe, … and now it has become a star. Brigit laughs deeply, musically, and tosses the star into the air, where it sails into the night sky and takes its place among the glittering constellations…
And now Brigit turns towards you and asks: What have you come here to create? … You tell her of your vision, whether great or small, personal or for the wider community… and she beckons you over to the fire. As you look into the flames, pictures start to move and you see yourself at work, filled with enthusiasm and passion as you make your vision a reality… … You and your creation are surrounded and shot through with the golden light of inspiration. Brigit is there too, watching over you with love as you work, encouraging you and filling you with confidence and creativity… If any self-doubt or fears start to arise, see Brigit surrounding you with her mantle of protection: a warm soft cloak of green that makes you feel safe and inviolable… Now see yourself with your vision turned into reality, feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride… Thank Brigit for showing you this vision, and ask her to tell you what your first step should be towards bringing it into reality…. Listen carefully, and ask her questions if you need more clarity… When you have finished the conversation with her, see the forge suddenly glow even more brightly, so that all forms and shapes, including that of Brigit herself, melt into a suffusion of golden light… and now see that the light is just the candle flame reflected on your eyelids…Slowly come back to the room. Open your eyes and write down what she has suggested. In the coming weeks, call upon Brigit to help keep your inspiration alight.
. Have a Blessed Imbolc!
About The Author: Heathwitch is a Witch, teacher and author. She runs courses and workshops on energy work, healing, Witchcraft and magic. High Priestess of the Circle of the Moon coven