How To Hold an Imbolc Candle Ritual (for Solitaries)

How To Hold an Imbolc Candle Ritual (for Solitaries)

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Imbolc is a festival of light — celebrate it with candles and flames!

Hundreds of years ago, when our ancestors relied upon the sun as their only source of light, the end of winter was met with much celebration. Although it is still cold in February, often the sun shines brightly above us, and the skies are often crisp and clear. As a festival of light, Imbolc came to be called Candlemas. On this evening, when the sun has set once more, call it back by lighting the seven candles of this ritual.

** Note: although this ceremony is written for one, it can easily be adapted for a small group.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varied

Here’s How:

  1. First, set up your altar in a way that makes you happy, and brings to mind the themes of Imbolc. You’ll also want to have on hand the following:
    • Seven candles, in red and white (tealights are perfect for this)
    • Something to light your candles with
    • A large bowl or cauldron big enough to hold the candles
    • Sand or salt to fill the bottom of the bowl/cauldron

    Prior to beginning your ritual, take a warm, cleansing bath. While soaking, meditate on the concept of purification. Once you’re done, dress in your ritual attire, and begin the rite.

  2. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

    Pour the sand or salt into the bowl or cauldron. Place the seven candles into the sand so they won’t slide around. Light the first candle. As you do so, say:

    Although it is now dark, I come seeking light. In the chill of winter, I come seeking life.

    Light the second candle, saying:

    I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life. I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

  3. Light the third candle. Say:

    This light is a boundary, between positive and negative. That which is outside, shall stay without. That which is inside, shall stay within.

    Light the fourth candle. Say:

    I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life. I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

  4. Light the fifth candle, saying:

    Like fire, light and love will always grow. Like fire, wisdom and inspiration will always grow.

    Light the sixth candle, and say:

    I call upon fire, that melts the snow and warms the hearth. I call upon fire, that brings the light and makes new life. I call upon fire to purify me with your flames.

    Finally, light the last candle. As you do so, visualize the seven flames coming together as one. As the light builds, see the energy growing in a purifying glow.

    Fire of the hearth, blaze of the sun, cover me in your shining light. I am awash in your glow, and tonight I am made pure.

  5. Take a few momemnts and meditate on the light of your candles. Think about this Sabbat, a time of healing and inspiration and purification. Do you have something damaged that needs to be healed? Are you feeling stagnant, for lack of inspiration? Is there some part of your life that feels toxic or tainted? Visualize the light as a warm, enveloping energy that wraps itself around you, healing your ailments, igniting the spark of creativity, and purifying that which is damanged.

    When you are ready, end the ritual. You may choose to follow up with healing magic, or with a Cakes and Ale ceremony.

What You Need

  • Seven candles, white and red, and something to light them with
  • A bowl or cauldron with sand in the bottom
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Symbolism of Imbolc

Symbolism of Imbolc

Imbolc can be symbolically represented by a dish of snow, evergreens and/or candles. Ritually, you may choose to light and hold candles (symbol of light) within the Circle. You may also want to place a wheel symbol upon the Altar. It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house — if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth. Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red chimney and place in a prominent part of the home or in a window. If snow lies on the ground, walk in it for a moment, recalling the warmth of Summer. With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the snow. Other Pagan activities may include the gathering of stones and the searching for signs of Spring. It is considered taboo to cut or pick plants at this time.

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IMBOLC LORE

IMBOLC  LORE

It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every
lamp in the house – if only for a few moments. Or, light candles in each room in
honor of the Sun’s rebirth.   Alternately, light a kerosene lamp with a red
chimney and place this in a prominent part of the home or in a window.

If snow lies on the ground outside, walk in it for a moment, recalling the
warmth of summer.  With your projective hand, trace an image of the Sun on the
snow.

Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc
marks the festival of calving.  Sour cream dishes are fine.  Spicy and full-
bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned.  Curries and all dishes
made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate.
Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins – all  foods symbolic of the Sun –
are also traditional.

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Light Is Returning

Yule Comments & Graphics

Light Is Returning

Light is Returning
Even though this is the darkest hour
No one can hold
Back the Dawn

Let’s keep it burning
Let’s keep the light of hope alive
Make safe our journey
Through the storm.

One Planet is turning
Circle in her path around the sun
Earth Mother is calling
Her children home.

© Charlie Murphy

The Witches Magick for Dec. 20th – A Winter Night’s Blessing

A Winter Night’s Blessing

 

While preparing your bed, read this blessing aloud as part of your nightly prayers.

“When the nights are dark and stormy,

and things become hard to see,

Dear God and Goddess

Help to keep the light within me glowing,

So that no matter which way the wind’s blowing.

I am on the path I should be:

I am one of the blessed,

Who seek complete union with the divine,

I am one of the shining ones,

Whose light continues to brighten the night,

In the name of the Lord and Lady, Blessed Be!

As you shift to sleep, imagine that you are a candle the Goddess has lit. Imagine your light burning bright and shining like a star in the night sky. Every night, your light grows brighter and brighter and your life becomes filled with the joy of divine love.

The Witches Magick for December 5th – A Winter Night’s Blessing

A Winter Night’s Blessing

While preparing your bed, read this blessing aloud as part of your nightly prayers.

“When the nights are dark and stormy,
and things become hard to see,
Dear God and Goddess
Help to keep the light within me glowing,
So that no matter which way the wind’s blowing.
I am on the path I should be:
I am one of the blessed,
Who seek complete union with the divine,
I am one of the shining ones,
Whose light continues to brighten the night,
In the name of the Lord and Lady, Blessed Be!
 

As you shift to sleep, imagine that you are a candle the Goddess has lit. Imagine your light burning bright and shining like a star in the night sky. Every night, your light grows brighter and brighter and your life becomes filled with the joy of divine love.

Daily OM for November 15th – The Sun Is Always Shining

The Sun Is Always Shining
Remember the Sun

by Madisyn Taylor

If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away.

There are times when gloom or darkness causes us to momentarily lose sight of the light. Although it is at these times when the thought of the sun can help us. Its warm, glowing rays brighten even our thoughts, and it’s good to remember that despite appearances the sun is shining right now. We may not be able to see it at this very moment, but if clouds block our view, they are only filtering the sun’s light temporarily. If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away, and it’s only a matter of time before it will shine on us again.

When we remember that the sun is still shining, we know that things are still in motion in the universe. Even if life feels like it is at a standstill, sometimes all we need to do is have faith and wait for the time when everything is in its perfect place. Or we can we can choose to follow the cues of the sun and continue doing our work and shining our light, even when we can’t yet see results. In doing so we exercise our patience, making sure we are prepared when opportunity knocks and all other elements are in their right and perfect places.

The sun also reminds us that our own shining truth is never extinguished. Our light shines within us at all times, no matter what else occurs around us. Though the sun gives us daily proof of its existence, sometimes our belief in our own light requires more time. If we think back, however, we can find moments when it showed itself and trust that we will see it again. Like the sun, our light is the energy that connects us to the movements of the universe and the cycles of life and is present at all times, whether we feel its glow or not.

The Daily OM

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 10

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – October 10

“I think that’s what unity is – knowing one another and coming together and working with no conflict.”

–Chief Alan Wilson, HAIDA

When we are aligned with spiritual values, we cannot be in fear or conflict. When we are aligned to spiritual values, we have the Creator whispering solutions in our ears. Unity is one of the spiritual values. When we value unity we value solutions. If we think this way, then we have no conflict within ourselves.

Great Spirit, let me see through Your eyes.

Relaxation Ritual

Relaxation Ritual
It is good to do this ritual before any other rituals are performed.

Sit or lay in a place where you will not be disturbed for at least five minutes.
Get comfortable. If you are sitting, you back should be straight. Whether
sitting or lying down, your arms and legs should not be crossed. If sitting,
rest your hands, palms down, in your lap. Your eyes should be closed.

Visualize a ball of beautiful, warm light surrounding your feet. If you can not
“see” the ball of light when you visualize it, that is okay. Just know that it
is there. truly know that if your powers of visualization were different, you
would be able to see it. The ball of golden warm light always brings peace and
total relaxation. Wherever the ball of light goes, tension departs. Let it go,
and as it goes, feel your feet filled with the warm, golden glow of peace and
total relaxation.

Now allow this ball to rise up your legs and up your torso. Then allow it to go
down your arms to your fingers, and finally up your neck and into your head
until you are completely covered with the warm, golden glow of total peace and
relaxation, and all tension is gone. If you notice tension anywhere, send the
ball of light there and the tension will vanish.

Stay in this state of deep relaxation for a few moments. Know that you can
return to this state whenever you like simply by doing the relaxation ritual. If
you are having trouble sleeping, try this instead of suffering or taking
dangerous pills. Be at one with yourself.

It is important not to go from a state of deep relaxation into total alertness;
the effectiveness of this ritual would be lost. when you are ready to come out
of this state of deep relaxation, take three deep breaths and feel fresh life
and energy coming into your body with each breath. be sure to record your
experiences.

Laugh-A-Day for Sept. 18: You might be a redneck if…

You might be a redneck if…

You’ve ever barbecued Spam on the grill.

You own all the components of soap on a rope except the soap.

The best way to keep things cold is to leave’em in the shade.

You’ve ever raked leaves in your kitchen.

The neighbors started a petition over your Christmas lights.

Your brother-in-law is your uncle.

You entire family has ever sat around waiting for a call from the governor to spare a loved one.

You go to the family reunion to pick up women.

Your grandmother has ever been asked to leave a bingo game because of her language.

You can’t tell what color your car is because of the dirt.