Imbolc, Love, and New Beginnings

January always seems to last an entire year, just by itself, doesn’t it? However, February has finally come and sooner than later, Spring will be blossoming all around us.

Imbolc, or Brigid’s day, is today- and it’s the first time I’ve set out to honor the day between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

I’ve always celebrated at least a few Sabbats a year, but it wasn’t until I wrote an article for the local Pagan newsletter that I realized I wanted to celebrate them all. Each point on the Wheel is representative of different phases the Earth goes through, and is symbolic of the changes in which I, too, go through. It was through writing the article that I realized it’s not just about seeing a day on a calendar and lighting a candle- it’s about taking a moment to honor not only your path, but yourself. It’s an excuse to slow down and show gratitude.

So, this year, the first year in my practice, I’ve purposely decided to craft a ritual surrounding this day. I have the Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials books, and spent a bit of purposeful time reading the Imbolc one over the past week. I found a beautiful Candle Blessing Spell that I plan to preform tonight. It involves a single white candle to be lit among all the candles you’ll use throughout the year, in order to bless them. It involves visualizing the light from the candle being passed through the others, symbolizing the returning light of the sun as the days grow longer. I have a Quartz Wand that I plan to move from the lit candle to the unlit candles, just to solidify the visualization in my mind. I will probably also burn Francinscense resin to further purify and amplify the blessing. The Single White Candle burns down, and the other candles are then blessed with light.

I was also invited to a Disting, which was my first encounter with not only the word but the ritual itself! For those who don’t know, as there’s several types, the one in which I was invited has to do with honoring the Plow and the archetypes of the Farm. Unfortunately, I cannot make it due to scheduling issues, but it led me into further research on my own- as curiosity always prevails. While I love the idea of honoring the Farm and Plow, it doesn’t truly suit my practice; therefore, I felt that I wasn’t really going to miss out by not being able to attend. However, in my research I did find another tradition of Disting that fits my practice so well I’m surprised I haven’t found it before!

Disting, in this form, is a Norse tradition in which the family honors the female matriarchs who have passed on, but whom have decidedly stayed behind the veil to guide us. Some call them Spirit Guides, others call them Guardian Angels, it wholly depends on your views, I suppose.

I’ve been receiving some very clear signs over the years that my Great Grandmother, a woman I adore to this day, is still with me. I’ve chosen to conduct a ritual in her honor, and for the other women guides I might have- whom I might not have met or made contact with yet.

The ritual is simple, and it involves food- one of my favorite things ever! Red candles are anointed with the Othala Rune to honor the inheritance your matrons have passed on to you. These candles are burned while the family eats food that is reminiscent of the departed women. I, unfortunately, don’t have a lot of family history or memories to go on- so, we won’t be eating an heirloom recipe, but I do remember by Great Grandmother being a very loving woman who just wanted to spend time with me. We used to do crafts all the time, and it’s probably where my love of making things is derived from. Anyway, my plan is to cook one of my family’s current favorite meals, Keto Lasagna, while involving my husband and son in the process. Then, we’ll sit down, light our candles, give our thanks to the women guiding us from the other side, and enjoy time being with each other. My husband’s Grandmother, also a guide I believe- was Italian and loved feeding him; she passed just a few years before we met, so this honors them both in the best way.

February is also the month of love. Stores are lined with Pink Hearts and Red Candies, teddy-bears and cards galore. It’s a commercialized mess, but I see it as a reminder to not take our loves for granted (which we so often do). My husband and I don’t buy into the gimmicks, but we do make a point in February to take a night just for us- and though this is the first year celebrating Imbolc, we’ve used February as the celebration of our love blossoming in the New Year. This year will be no different, but, I’ve chosen to also honor the buddings of all love by planning several posts this month that involve Love, Sex, and Magick spells surrounding the heart shaped holiday! Just remember, none of my spells are meant to circumnavigate free will!

Which brings me around to this wonderful blog! January was such an adventure for me! I’ve had this dream for ages, and have never watered any intentions in order to cultivate it. Yet, here I am, headed into the second month of this blog and chugging right along. I’ve even bought a domain name, making this thing all kinds of official!!

I learned so much last month, and I’m sure I will continue to learn as the months progress! The biggest thing I learned is that I am a writer and a teacher. It’s always been a one-day thing for me, as in “one-day I’ll be a writer, one day I’ll be a teacher”. No, not one day- right now. I write, which makes me a writer, I teach, which makes me a teacher. There are no other qualifications needed to pursue my dreams!

The other lesson I learned is that I have such huge expectations of myself! Which is fascinating, in that I have always felt I couldn’t accomplish anything, but it’s also a bit detrimental. I wanted to write every day, posting a blog entry every day for the entire year of 2019- and while there are some bloggers out there than can do this no problem, I’ve found that I’m letting a lot of other areas slack in order to create content here. Therefore, in order to keep my magick thriving, and my love for my dream alive, I will be cutting back on my posting. Instead of 7 days, I’ll be posting 4. I’m taking the weekends to enjoy my family, as I realized during my day off that I’ve truly missed them (and how much time I’ve spent attached to this screen).

I’m hoping this will do two things: 1) allow better and more fulfilling content to appear on this blog instead of page fillers. Which, in turn, will give you better things to read. 2) Keep me from getting burnt out! I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of gal, and in becoming who I want to be, I realize that’s not always necessary. 4 days is plenty, and I’m sure you’ll find that it’s often enough not to be missed!

Right now, the schedule will be Mondays,Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! I’ll be taking Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesdays off. Though, you may find I’ll post on Wednesday because it calls to me to do so, but I’m going to set the weekends aside for being completely present with my family!

So, starting today, the first of February, I’m going to be celebrating many new beginnings. The beginnings of spring, the beginnings of love, and the beginnings of my dreams.

How about you? Are there any beginnings you’d like to celebrate? How about the beginning of the rest of your magickal life?

Until the next time, my friends…

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