Imbolc ceremony

Please refer to the Imbolc intro. If you have any questions on how something works, please post it in that pre-ritual diary so as not to disturb the ceremony.

Some of the things in italics are notes of what would be happening if we were doing this in person, done either by the High Druid/High Druidess or the congregation. You may “virtually” participate or just “watch,” depending on your comfort level.

Please post any responses within the ceremony to the appropriate comment, so that they thread properly. Thank you all for your consideration.

(Continued in the comments…)

Keltrian Druid SigilWelcome to all. May the blessings of mind, body, and spirit be yours. (Anoints each celebrant on brow with tri-line /|\)

* * * Creation of sacred space * * *

(Caller pick up bell branch and moves to southwestern edge of the ritual space) Out of Tír Andomain, from the days of Avalon, I call the seekers, mystics and dreamers of the past to join with us in this, our sacred rite. (Rings bells three times and moves to north)

Out of Midé, in the present, I call the seekers, mystics and dreamers of today to join with us in this, our sacred rite. (Rings bells three times and moves to southeast)

Out of Magh Mór, as it ever shall be, I call the seekers, mystics and dreamers of the future to join with us in this, our sacred rite. (Rings bells three times and completes the circle, then goes to the center.)

The Past, the Present, and the Future are joined – all times are now.

(Caller speaks at each direction, with the bell branch rung three times after each statement)

I stand in the light of the mythical city of Finias, from which the Sword of Nuada came. I call upon the East to join with me and enter into the Otherworldly Tree.

I stand in the Light of the mythical city of Gorias, from which the Spear of Lugh did come. I call upon the South to join with me and enter into the Otherworldly Tree.

I stand in the shadow of the mythical city of Murias, from which the cauldron of the Dagda did come. I call upon the West to join with me and enter into the Otherworldly Tree.

I stand in the shadow of the mythical city of Falias, from which the Lia Fáil did come. I call upon the North to join with me and enter into the Otherworldly Tree.

(Caller moves to the center. Note: Usneach is pron. OOS-nikh.) I walk to the center; I stand at Usneach. Here I plant the Otherworldly Tree. All places are here. We are at the center of time and space. (Rings Bell three times) So be it!

* * * Statement of purpose, and calling of the “spirits” * * *

We come to celebrate Imbolc, season of rebirth.

(If you wish to do your favorite grounding/centering meditation, do so now.)

Let the veil between the worlds be parted.

(Raises seashell.) O’ Manannan, Lord of the Headlands, Son of the Sea, guardian of the veil between our world and Avalon, I call to you. You who commands Wavesweeper; Manannan of the Red Beard, I beseech you let the mists between the worlds dissolve that the Old Ones may more easily commune with us. So be it!

(Takes up water cauldron.) Ancestors, Old Ones, mothers and fathers of our people, I reach across the veil with my words and call to you. You who have anchored our faith, you of times long ago, I call to you with the water. I call you with water that is the mighty oceans, with water that is the gentle rains. I call you with the water of this sacred vessel, and bid you enter into this water that we, your kin, may be blessed by our communion with you. So be it. (Anoints each celebrant on brow with water.) With this water, I give you the blessings of the ancestors.

(Takes up earth cauldron.) I call you, Nature Spirits: spirit of the wolf and of the deer, spirit of the dolphin and of the hawk. I call the spirits of vegetation: spirit of the oak and of the mistletoe, spirit of the wildflowers and the grasses of the field. I call, too, the mountains and the caves. I call the hidden ones: sprites and fairies, gnomes and dwarves. All spirits of this time, of the present, rooted on this earth with us, I call you to your element of earth, and bid you enter into this vessel of earth, that we, your brothers and sisters, may be blessed by our communion with you. So be it. (Anoints each celebrant on brow with earth.) With this earth, I give you the blessings of the nature spirits.

(Takes up incense cauldron.) O’ Gods, the preservers, the timekeepers: I send my voice across the waves to you. I beckon you from the ancient Sidhes and stone circles. I call you, Lord and Lady, Father and Mother to us all. Come, ride the air to this sacred place and become one with the air of this cauldron, that we, your children, may be blessed by our communion with you. So be it. (Wafts smoke at each celebrant’s brow with a feather.) With this air, I give you the blessings of the Gods.

* * * Calling the Lord and Lady * * *

Wherefore have we come to the Grove on this night?
We celebrate Imbolc, feast of the stirring.
And why do we celebrate?
We welcome the stirrings of spring as they reflect the stirrings of our own spiritual awareness.
And whom do we honor upon this feast?
We honor Brigid, Goddess of fire, smithing, and poetry. We honor Angus Og, God of youth and love.
And why have we chosen these deities to honor on this occasion?
We honor Brigid for the fire that warms the earth. We honor Angus Og for the love that warms the heart.
And what does this time mean to the People?
We celebrate the Gods within us, Angus Og’s love, Brigid’s fire. Imbolc is a time for recharging. We recharge ourselves for the work that lies ahead.
Then let us call the Lord and Lady of this feast.

(Symbolically transfers Brigid from the incense cauldron into the altar candle flame.) O’ Brigid, Goddess of Fire, Bringer of healing and of inspiration, I call you forth from those gathered here and bid you to join the fire of your spirit with this flame, that your countenance may shine upon us during this, your rite. So be it.

(Does the same for Angus Og with remaining altar candle.) O’ Angus, God of Love, of Youth and of Beauty, Patron of lovers, I call you forth from those gathered here and bid you to join the fire of your spirit with this flame, that your countenance may shine upon us during this, your rite. So be it.

(Take candles to center fire cauldron / firepit.) O’ Brigid, O’ Angus, with the flame of your spirit, we kindle the sacred fire. (kindle the Grove fire with candles.)

We also invite the gods of those attending this ritual to join us, and welcome all benevolent divinities — named and unnamed — who choose to attend.

(Continued in the comments…)

11 comments

* * * Offerings and divinations * * * (4.00 / 10)

(This comment may also be treated as a tip jar 🙂

Those who have brought gifts or tokens for the Gods may place them in the offertory, others please direct your energies into it. (Here you may post things you are offering to the Lord and Lady, such as a poem dedicated to the divine, or an offer of a sacrifice.)

(Takes sickle and branch from altar and holds over “offertory.”) O’ Angus, O’ Brigid, be strengthened by the energies of these gifts we send to you. So be it. (Touches sickle to branch, then the offertory is placed in the sacred fire. Since we don’t have a fire here, we can consider the offerings to have been sent to the Divine through the fires of electricity.)

Let us now see what messages the Gods have for us. (Any who wish to divine for messages may post such results as they choose to share here.)

by Morgan on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 15:17:08 PDT

Great Goddess Brigit (4.00 / 2)

I thank you with all that I have for the gifts You have given me this Imbolc…

Today I have been sober for 1,825 days – five years – and that is by Your Grace and Your Grace alone. I am grateful for Your presence in my life today, Your guidance and Your aid.

Blessed Be.

My Blog: Recovery, Spirituality, Politics and Kilts.What more could you ask for?

by Andy Ternay on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 22:20:48 PDT

* * * Grove’s Choice * * * (4.00 / 5)

This is the feast of the waxing light. This is the time of individuation: within the measures of the spiral, we each light our own light, and become uniquely ourselves. Let us unite our energy to call forth Brigid’s fire of light, warmth and healing, which will grow with the growing year.

In realspace, each person would carve a Brigid’s cross on a candle while everyone recites the following chant. For this ritual, I offer a candle and cross, and those who wish can visualize the cross engraved on the candle.

candleBrigid's CrossAs the Brigid’s Cross we scribe
Bless each member of our tribe.
As the Brigid’s Cross we mark
Bring your children from the dark.

As these candles we do burn,
turn the wheel, that Spring return.
Brigid’s fire, on this night,
We bid thee, Goddess, to ignite.

(On final “ignite”, all light candles from Brigid’s altar candle. Pause for a few heartbeats to meditate on the return of the Light.)

We extinguish these candles now, knowing that Her fire burns on. We carry Brigid’s fire to our homes to reignite it there, so that Her blessings may be with us in the coming seasons.

by Morgan on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 15:20:58 PDT

Remembrances & Closing (4.00 / 5)

* * * Remembrances * * *

(Bowl of red-hots (cinnamon candies) is taken from the altar.) Brigid,we remember thee through the fire of your inspiration. (The bowl is passed sunwise and each celebrant takes one and eats.)

(Bowl of candy hearts (converstaion, chocolate, your choice) is taken from the altar.) Angus Og, we remember thee through the tokens of love. (The bowl is passed sunwise and each celebrant takes one and eats.)

(High Druid removes chalices of water & mead from altar, High Druidess picks up sickle and branch from altar, holds above chalices.) Angus Og, Brigid, we have given to you our adoration and praise. Now we ask that you give to us your blessings. Brigid, bring to us healing and inspiration. Angus Og, bring to us your love. So be it. (Branch is touched to sickle blade.)

Behold – The waters of healing, inspiration and love! (A small amount of each chalice is poured onto ground or, if indoors, into a libation bowl. Chalices are passed sunwise for all to drink.)

* * * Closing * * *

We have received the blessings of the Gods. Our closing draws near. Let us now dismiss those whom we have called.

(Hold cauldron of water above altarplate.) We thank thee, Ancestors for your presence at this rite. Through our communion you are strengthened as are we. Now has come the time to close this rite, so depart across the veil if you must, or stay if you will. In love we bid you farewell. So be it.

(Hold cauldron of earth above altarplate.) We thank thee, Spirits of Nature, for your presence at this rite. Through our communion you are strengthened as are we. Now has come the time to close this rite, so depart across the veil if you must, or stay if you will. In love we bid you farewell. So be it.

Angus Og, we thank you for your blessings. The time has come to return to the air with your brethren. I bid you, let your spirit return to the cauldron of sky. So be it. (Flame is touched to the incense in the cauldron, then the candle snuffed out.)

Brigid, we thank you for your blessings. The time has come to return to the air with your brethren. I bid you, let your spirit return to the cauldron of sky. So be it. (Flame is touched to the incense in the cauldron, then the candle snuffed out.)

(Hold cauldron of air above altarplate.) We thank thee, Gods and Goddesses, for your presence at this rite. Through our communion you are strengthened as are we. Now has come the time to close this rite, so depart across the veil if you must, or stay if you will. In love we bid you farewell. So be it.

(Raise seashell.) O’ Manannan, Mac Lir, Lord of the Headlands, Keeper of the Veil, I give you thanks for parting the Veil during this rite so that the spirits of the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits, and the Gods could pass more freely between the worlds. But now is the time for this ritual to end, so, if you must, allow the veil to thicken again. So be it.

Let us return now to the world refreshed by our communion with the ancestors and nature spirits. Let time and space resume their normal course.

We have received the blessings of Angus Og and Brigid. Let us return to the world strengthened by our knowledge.

It is done. Walk with wisdom.

by Morgan on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 15:23:37 PDT

Blessed Be. (none / 1)

Thank you for such a beautiful ritual.

My Blog: Recovery, Spirituality, Politics and Kilts.What more could you ask for?

by Andy Ternay on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 22:21:39 PDT

Thank you so much (none / 0)

That was a beautiful and powerful ritual and a great way to start my day.

Always we begin again – John McQuiston

by fennster on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 05:34:02 PDT

Blessed Imbolc! (none / 0)

And a lovely ritual, too.

The greater the circle, the more the love grows.

by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 06:59:27 PDT

Thank you (none / 0)

My coven won’t be doing our Oimelc ritual until tomorrow. Part of it will be burning our old Brigid’s Wheels (we don’t like to call them crosses) and making and blessing new Brigid Wheels for the coming year.

I could not explain how we make them. My partner usually does ours for the household. They are woven from straw, soaked overnight to make it pliable.

The blessing we use is:
Brigid be with me
Brigid before me
Brigid at my right hand
Brigid behind me
Brigid at my left hand
Brigid above me
Brigid below me
Brigid within me
Brigid be with me.

We repeat this together three times.

Blessed be

by MagentaMN on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 09:48:06 PDT

Blessed Imbolc! (none / 0)

That was a lovely rite…thank you for your time and effort.

I guess I’ll have to whip out one of these some time…perhaps Spring Equinox?

Have a light-filled day!

Blessed Be

Taliesin Athor Govannon
HP, Coven of Caer Arianrhod
Taliesin’s Witchcraft Page

by Taliesin on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 10:53:36 PDT

Tag… (none / 0)

You’re it! 😉

I tend to focus on the fire festivals/cross quarters, so I’m more than happy to sit back while one of you more wiccan-ish sorts does the quarters.

Now if I can just remember to do the Mistletoe rite on the 6th night of the moon this month…

by Morgan on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 11:32:16 PDT

Lovely! (none / 0)

Morgan, I do hope you’ll post the rituals for the other holidays. Our family had a much abbreviated ceremony, but heartfelt nonetheless.

It’s so good to see the return of the light! Brighid’s blessing to us all!

Anne the goat judge

by Anne Johnson on Fri Feb 3rd, 2006 at 10:50:12 PDT

2 Responses to “Imbolc ceremony”

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