Today is Brigid's Day (or Imbolc), that familiar place on the wheel of the year where we begin to feel the first stirrings of spring. I am fortunate to celebrate this holy day within a circle of women but also have my own household tradition. I began this morning by burning some evergreen branches (from Yule) in a cauldron to symbolize letting go of the old to make way for the new. I lit a candle from the cauldron fire as I stood and watched it rise and fall and finally die out.
I carried the candle into the house and lit the candles on the Brigid altar to represent the new light of longer days as well as new beginnings. I'm trying to keep the original flame going all day long by lighting fresh candles as needed. Brigid is most well known for the following aspects: Craft, Inspiration and Poetry; Magic and Transformation; and Childbirth and Healing. This means that she may be invoked for help and guidance in those areas -- the same as we energetically connect with spiritual teachers, saints, biblical figures, plant spirits, or even archetypes. Brigid seems to be patroness of the things that interest me the most, so I feel a sense of devotion to her.
The green hand long cloth reminds me of Brigid who is both a Sun Goddess and a Moon Goddess. I see this round as a moon but that can change.
A gathering of sacred objects along with plants, seeds, sticks and feathers. This is also the time of year when seeds for future crops are blessed by Brigid so I put representative packets of my garden seeds in a clay pot.
A Brigid's Day lunch of miso soup was had -- carrots, turnips, onions, greens.
Miso Soup: In a little olive oil, saute a small turnip, a medium onion, and 2 carrots, sliced however you wish. Add 2 1/2 cups water and 2 vegetable bouillon cubes and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped greens (napa cabbage, bok choy, spinach, etc.) and remove from heat. Take out 1/2 cup of the broth and mix in a tablespoon of miso. Add this mixture back to the pot and you are done. Never boil miso. I always double this recipe but only use 3 vegetable bouillon cubes. (This is good for clearing out residual radiation and medicines from the body, and always beneficial for anyone in recovery.)
It's dark and snowy here, perfect for playing the Imbolc channel on Pandora, having a fire going in the fireplace, and finishing up one tiny nine-patch.
Blessed Be YOU, as Michelle says....and visit her site for more on Brigid's Day.