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Whispering Oak Coven
Merry Meet
Imbolc, February 2nd 
5th-Jan-2008 10:40 am
Brigid
Groundhog's Day. The day the little guy comes out of the ground and if he isn't afraid of his shadow, he stays out to play promising us an early spring. If he runs back inside we'll have 6 more weeks of winter, or so they say. This day is also Imbolc, aka Brighid's Day.

The celts used to celebrate this day by cleaning their homes ("spring cleaning" may have come from this holiday) and laying fresh rushes on the floor. They would also clean out the fireplace for the year. Not only was this the place to cook but a fire was left all the time during the winter to keep the home warm. This day the fire would be put out and the old ashes swept out. This was also a night of feasting. So (the story tells)the family would journey together to the Priestesses of Brighid who tended Brighid's Sacred Flame with a torch. They torch would be lit from this flame and blessing were bestowed to the family for health, creativity, a peaceful home, etc. They family would then take the torch home and relight their hearthfire with it. They would cook a meal for a village feast and they would all gather in the center of the village that night for dancing, feasting, and merriment. A young couple hoping for a baby could make a corn dolly and petition Brighid to bless the home with the pitter patter of baby feet. This done, the couple could expect to be expecting baby by Beltaine.

The sacred fire is tended today by the Daughters of Brighid. Each geographic location has a cill (pronounced "cell" ) or more and each person in a cill takes a flameshift. Each cycle of flameshift lasts 20 days so each person is assigned a day. On their shift at sundown the person performs a ritual and lights a candle that represents that sacred flame.

Rituals for Imbolc can include making candles, making the Brighid's cross, and making corn dollies. Also it is seen as brining in good luck for the year if you finish burning all old candles from the previous year and setting out new, fresh candles.
This ritual is also the time to celebrate the young Sun as He gathers strength. By Beltaine He will wed the Goddess. She is still at this time in the underworld being reborn to return in Ostara as the Maiden.

Blessed Be!
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