Then I got breakfast and readied to go and prepare the ritual site for Sweetwood’s Imbolc celebration. The day started out cloudy and cold and the proverbial “groundhog” did not see its shadow. Yeah, an early spring is the forecast! I took with me the ritual tools to the circle and set up the altar. Then I shoveled out the snow around the where the Yule fire had been to about 8 feet away all around. I removed the covering over the charred Yule fire remains and set about to start a fire with some dry kindling. The Sun came out, the woods glistened and with some blowing the kindling started and the Imbolc fire started. I burned much of what was left of the pine wood left from the Yule fire and added nice dry white oak to the fire. Pretty soon the fire was roaring. I decided to dance naked around the fire and charge up the circle. Three times round the circle naked and bare foot I danced calling out to the Goddess, the God and the Fay. It was okay being naked for a brief time and I was glad to get my feet dry and warm again. I got dress and went back to the house to get ready and bring back water, cookies and hot cider for the ritual.
Back at the house Good folk for the Imbolc ritual had begun to arrive. We wait for some good folk who had car problems on the way. Eventually the ritual started about an hour late but hey there were 7 hearty folk at the Sweetwood Temenos Imbolc ritual this year, the most ever! However the fire had died down and it need to be built up again. So several folk blew on it and more dry oak wood was brought and added. So in about 20 minutes we had a roaring fire again with plenty of oak to add lying around the fire.
A welcome to the celebration and a grounding Om around the Imbolc fire was done. Delta and Iacchus then casted the circle with the singing bowl and incense. The charging of the water and libations poured for the 7 elements of the circle was done, followed by a libation to the mischievous makers and Eris of whiskey and finally an invocation to the Goddess and God and the Divine community. Iacchus then went to the Altar to draw a Rune for the celebration and season. He drew the Rune Ken and the letter K; torch, light of knowledge or insight, Kin, will to generate and create and is the rune of the artist and craftsman, it is the Rune of human passion, lust and sexual love and is the emotional root of creativity in all realms and the portrays the mystery of regeneration through sacrifice or death.
Iacchus talked about the season of Imbolc, its traditions and the Sun Goddess Brigit. It was a time of the quickening the lands spirit as the sun light grows longer and warmer. Buds begin to swell, Ewes are lactating and lambing, the swelling breast a sign and a symbol of the winter Sun and hag transforming into the returning Spring Maiden. It is the season for cleaning the house and preparation for birth, regeneration or renewal and planting. The shadow symbol of what we need to let go of or change in preparation for spring and new growth.
Iacchus asked all present to meditate on what they need to let go of or change in preparation for spring and new growth. They were invited to speak this out load or in silence and then place a piece of wood on the Imbolc fire. All spoke truthfully from the heart and the fire did blaze.
Iacchus then asked all the good folk to take some time and meditate on Imbolc and share what came to them when ready. He called on the Goddess of this season to inspire them all in their mediation. One person produced a poem and read it to the gathered folk. Others talked about what the season meant to them and others talked about the fellowship of the Imbolc fire.
When all had their say, Delta taught to and led all in a chant to raise energy and to send off their well wishes for the coming spring. The Chant was “Make yourself a power spot, bring in a spoon and a cooking pot, bring air, bring fire, bring water and bring earth and you, a new universe will birth.” The energy was raised and sent on its way.
We all then shared some cookies with a blessing form the altar and followed with a water sharing. The water sharing had ice with it (it was cold out) and the goblet went from person to person with this blessing, “water shared is life shared, is love shared, Thou art Goddess, Thou art God, drink deep and never thirst!”
Then Delta and Iacchus took down the circle with the singing bowl and incense walking widdershins to each quarter and back to the altar. Delta then spoke the closing words “All from air into air, let the misty veils part! All is ended and all is done, what has been, now must be gone! What has been done by ancient art must merry meet, merry part and merry meet again! The circle is open but never broken!” And hugs and kisses were called for and all passed them around.
The good folk then gathered around the fire in chairs and drank hot spiced cider and talk of the season, the ritual, the future and enjoyed the fellowship of midwinter. As the dark drew nigh all packed up and when to the caretakers’ (Delta and Iacchus) house for the feast, more good conversation and fellowship. Some stayed over and were treated to a movie called “Dangerous Beauty” (a highly recommended movie). The next morning the kitchen witch was added again and prepared eggs and pancakes with maple syrup. And then some more good conversation and laughter before everyone left and so ended Sweetwood Temenos Imbolc 2013.