The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “Imbolc”

The Wheel Turns and We Begin to Awaken

The Wheel turned to Imbolc this first week in February.  It is frigid, snowy, and still where I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  As I’ve been leaving for work, it is dark and still, so much so that even the outside lights don’t light up my path.  Yesterday, both Mouse and I noticed that in the east we could see the pinks and lavender of the dawn.  It was very heartening.  It is one thing to know, because the weatherman tells us, that we are gaining more light each day, it is another things to witness and experience it.

At Imbolc, Mother Earth begins to stir and awaken.  Still snuggled warm in her earthy bed, her dreams turn to spring and growth rather than the deep sleep of wisdom and meditation.  There is a deep quickening beneath the soil.  Seeds and bulbs feel the change and begin to stir inside their skins and shells.  The Earth hasn’t yawned and stretched and gotten fully awake, but we know it’s soon.

As humans, we begin to stir and awaken, moving from our hibernating state to awakening.  We feel our creativity comes back and ideas, fresh and new, begin to excite us.  We start by preparing ourselves and our spaces.  One of the customs for this time of year, in honor of Brigid, is to clean our hearth.  We can look at our hearth as our home, our workspace, our hearts, our souls or whatever is full of cobwebs and dust.  Go widdershins around your  spaces and sweep out the stale and outdated so you can welcome in the fresh new life.

Over the years, our circle has done different rituals to celebrate Imbolc.  One of my favorite is to light different colored candles for our wishes and then raise energy for the success of the wishes.  The glow of the candles remind us of the sunlight’s return and the warmth of the fire melts the cold surrounding our hearts.  Another favorite ritual is to tie different colored ribbons to a tree branch, raising energy for their success.  I keep the branch indoors in a sunlit window until Ostara when Mouse and I plant it outside in our garden.  There the weather and the birds take the ribbons as gifts.  At Lammas, the Sabbat opposite Imbolc, we burn the branch and the ribbons, raising energy in thanksgiving for the harvest of our souls.

And on a light-hearted aside, I’m kind of a musical comedy Witch so the holidays often bring to mind a song from a musical.  My favorite for Imbolc is “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here,” from On a Clear Day.  Since everything is on the internet, you can find a video from the movie sung by Barbra Streisand ; and the lyrics are below because you can’t help but sing along.

May your awakening be exuberant, rowdy, happy, and creative.

 Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here :

Hey buds below … up is where to grow
Up with which below can’t compare with.
Hurry – it’s lovely up here …
Life down a hole takes an awful toll,
What with not a soul there to share with
Hurry – it’s lovely up here!
Wake up, bestir yourself,
it’s time that you disinter yourself
You’ve got a spot to fill – a pot to fill
And what a gift package of showers, sun and love
You’ll be met above everywhere with,
Fondled and sniffed by millions who drift by,
Life here is rosy – if you’re a posy
Hurry it’s lovely here!
Climb up geranium, it can’t be fun subterran-ium
On the exterior, it’s cheerier
RSVP peonies, pollinate the breeze,
Make the queen of bees hot as brandy
Come give at least a preview of Easter
Come up and see the good we’re giving
Come up and see the grounds for living
Come poke your head out,
Open up and spread out,
Hurry it’s lovely here!

Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head

This is the time of Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of many aspects.  She is the guardian of the hearth, smiths, warriors, and poets.  Brigit was born at sunrise, just before dawn, and a tower of fire burst from her crown and leapt to the heavens, making the house look like it was on fire.   She is the daughter of the Dagda and one of the Tuatha De’ Danaan.  Variations of her worship was found throughout the ancient Celtic lands and she had many names.  She was deeply revered.  When the Romans invaded the Celtic world, they called her Minerva and when Catholicism spread, they made her into St. Brigit.  Thus is the extent of her power and influence.

Her name has many meanings including “power,” “fiery arrow” and “she who exalts herself.”  She has responsibility and power over much of life.  She is the patroness of poetry and inspiration, patroness of hearth and home, patroness of the forge.  Through that triple responsibility, she rules  fertility, healing, creativity, the crafts, spinning and weaving, goldsmith and smithcraft, poetry, and bardic lore.  Her power was imbued in the countryside, so that the highlands,  hills, wells, streams and rivers were her body.  Her symbols speak of her power:  fire, wells, cauldrons, the forge. mistletoe, and the Rowan tree.  She is associated with animals emblematic of the bounty of the world, the ewe, boar, and cow.  Snakes are also sacred to her as a symbol of transformation and change.  She invented whistling so she could bring friends to her side in time of need; and she invented keening to express sorrow too great to be held inside.

Her magic is born of mystery.  She is a triple goddess, but not in the Maiden-Mother-Crone aspect revered by modern pagans.  Her triplicity is expressed in her most potent symbol, fire.  She is the Muse, the Fire of Inspiration, of poetry and lore.  She is the Fire of the Hearth, the patroness of childbirth, fertility, home-crafts, and of healing.  She is the Fire of the Forge, patroness of smithcraft and the art of war.  She is protection, creativity, procreation of all sorts, healing, transformation and renewal.  Her triplicity has been expressed as “Fire of the Hearth, Fire of the Forge, Fire in the Head,” with the fire in the head denoting the fiery power of poetry and eloquence.  And so we get fired up by her and her inspiration.

 The Charge of the Goddess Brigit

I call to you my children, my sisters and brothers to hear my charge

I, who am Brigit, Brid, Brigantia, Braga, Branganca, Fraid and many other names,

Do charge you to find the fires of life within your soul

And forge yourself to be strong, sharp and powerful.

Pull the elements of the earth into your being;

Breathe the inspiration of poetry, song, and art into your soul;

Be heated by the flames of the fire and ember;

Be tempered and soothed by the cool waters from my sacred well;

And be shaped and fused into magic at my hearth


Come to my wells for healing and wishes

Be nourished and soothed by the waters

Tie your wishes to the branches of my trees

And know that wishes spoken

Become the magic of the world

Become your wishes, the magic at my well.

Sing the inspiration of the mystery with your voice

Inspire yourself with joy and love

Delight in the blessings of creation

Become the Art you were meant to be.


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