The day started out overcast but with seasonable temperatures. I got the tractor out and plowed a path back to the circle so that the good folk who came to celebrate Imbolc would not have to wade through 2 foot + snow drifts. I shoveled an 8 foot circle around fire. There was a little more than a foot of deep snow blanketing the good earth of the circle.
I then built a fire with pine left from the Yule fire and oak and hickory wood stacked outside the circle. I went to the altar and thanked the Goddess and God. I did a chant three times round the circle “ Green Song, Earth and Sky, Now we walk in excellence, Seeking knowledge, Touch held high, Now we walk in excellence, Touching hearts and forging ties, Now we walk in excellence, Sweet embraces and sharing sighs, Now we walk in excellence, Rainbow wisdom multiples!” I so prepared the circle for our celebration.
Some good folk arrived early and a gentleman and good soul offered to watch the fire while I went home and dressed for the ritual celebration. When we all gathered around the fire, the snow had melted further away and the ground was bare around the fire. A very hot fire had been made and had die down enough for us to gather around. So Brighid had a very hot fire and a warm welcome for us.
The altar was set with a single white candle and lite from the fire. We had a goblet of water and a goblet of Ewes milk, a plate (pentacle) of wheat crackers, seeds to charge up, incense, singing bowl and some whiskey (to pour a libation to the sprites and mischief makers of the land).
We had a very good Imbolc celebration of 7 good folk and the weather was seasonal and the fire hot. The priestess nd priest gathered everyone around the fire and welcomed them to the circle and Imbolc. We held hands around the fire and centered with a good OM. We cast the circle according to Sweetwood tradition with incense and singing bowl to the 4 quarters. Then gathered the good folk to speak and pour a water libation for each of the elements and for the ancestors, descendants and the community.
Next we meditated on one’s inner conflict or opposition (seeing the shadow) and made a dedication offering of a wheat cracker (a part of it was eaten and the other part offered to the fire). The dedication offering was a promise to reconcile or synthesize the opposites with in or without one’s self and thus create some peace in the world and ourselves. We had ewes milk for drinking and inspiration. All took a sip and spoke what the milk inspired. Then we shared water and took down the circle and passed hugs all around. We hung out around the fire and enjoyed the fire and talked about signs of spring. Eventually we made our way back through the snow to our house. There we had another great potluck; sat around and talked about why we cast a circle...a lively discussion was had.
All merry met and merry parted.