Category Archives: Brigid Bed

Brigit, the ancient Goddess )O(

Sblossoms2

Merry meet all,

The Celtic goddess Brigid is typically honored in the beginning of February. Brigit is an ancient Goddess with mysterious origins. She became hugely popular in Ireland and Britain.

Brigit is one of the Tuatha de Danaan, or people of the Goddess Danu.  Legend tells that Brigit was the daughter of the Dagda, the Lord of Great Knowledge. Other legends tell that she was Dagda’s consort, not his daughter. Brigit is a triple goddess: smithcraft, poetry and healing. She has been compared to Minerva, a Roman goddess and Vesta, a virgin fire goddess.

Brigit is revered for her healing powers. She is a goddess of fire. She is famous for her healing springs and wells. The Druids linked Brigit to the late winter arrival of light and the early promise of spring. Brigit’s connection with the growing season also gives her a role as a fertility goddess. She was a patroness of domestic animals and crops. Brigit is the one who sparks the “fire of the poet’s heart, of the healer’s hands and the fire used by the smith.”

Brigit is knowledgeable about healing herbs. She was a patroness of many healing springs and wells. She is a goddess of smithcraft. Smithcraft was viewed as pure magic, the ability to make to transform stone or ore-bearing rock into tools and weapons. She held sway over poetry and creative arts. Poetry was an oral tradition held by the Celts. Much of their history is lost in the mists of time because the history, family lineage, and mythology  is all orally kept. The bards told of all that in their songs and poems.

Brigit continues to inspire her followers today. Light a candle or many candles in her honor this Imbolc. Ignite the flames and follow a tradition kept by our ancestors. Blessed Imbolc

 

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, candles, celebrations, Cleansing ritual for Imbolc, corn doll, Crafts for Imbolc, Creative crafts for Imbolc, deities of Imbolc, doe visits in morning, esbat, ewe's milk. fertility, February, Feline familiar, fertility, festivity, fiery, fiery energy, fire, fire festival, healing, herb magick, herbal crafts, Herbal tools, herbs, herbs and flowers, house cleansing ceremony, ice candles for Imbolc, Imbolc, Imbolc blessings, Imbolg, lunar magick, Lunar magick crafts, Lunar Moon, rebirth, recipe, recipes, recipes and lore, reverence to God and Goddess, snow moon, snowdrops, spring, spring equinox, spring poems, Spring's arrival, Spring's Rebellion, The Crone of Winter Solstice, time of Crone

The History of Imbolg

Ewewithbabylamb

Merry meet all,

Imbolc springs to life soon in February. Imbolc is the next turn in the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is the first of the three spring Sabbats, the other two being Ostara and Beltane. It is one of the great Celtic fire festivals.

Brighid is often honored during this time. She is a goddess of fire and fertility. Imbolc is a time of magical energy related to new beginnings, the goddess and fire. Life stirs within the soil. The sun brightens and the days slowly grow warmer. In the Irish Gaelic,  Imbolc is called oimelc, meaning ewe’s milk. At this time, the cows and ewes are nursing their calves, a common precursor to spring. Imbolg also means “in the belly”. Imbolc is also known as Candlemas,  the Feast Day of Saint Brighid, Le Fhelle Brid, Imbolc has a Celtic connection. Brighid is a triple aspect Goddess. She is a keeper of the sacred flame and a guardian of the hearth.

To our ancestors back to the Paleolithic times, the winter season was a true horror. Imagine dealing with glaciers, frigid winds and cold, and scarce food. The wind howls and you hear the ghostly voices of your ancestors. The wind cuts like wolf fangs, its so cold. The clan chews on the last of the mammoth meat, starvation is close. Any sign of spring then was a sign of survival, a cry to the soul. The Crone was valued then in the clans, but she finds it hard to keep up as they hunt for elusive oxen. The Crone was the wise woman, the one the clans turned to for hope, wisdom of how to survive and store food. She knew the early signs of the coming spring.

The Maiden doesn’t transition and emerge till the cold fierce time of the Crone is passed. Winter even in our time is still upon us. If you listen closely to the wind, it might whisper messages to you. Be sure to heed them. The Crone’s cloak of darkness and snow still hovers over the earth. Spring is a few weeks away. Soon the ice shall thaw to leave room for crocus and tulip bulbs. A common symbol of spring is the Bear who awakens from hibernation. When animals emerged from hibernation, it was a favored sign of spring. The idea of the goddess in bear shape was a reality through the Paleolithic times in Europe.

Bears are protective of their cubs which made the bear a popular mother figure. Sheeps and ewes correspond to spring.

I shall post more about Imbolc in the future. For now, stay warm and keep posted.

 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

3 Comments

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, broomsticks, Cast-iron, Cat Magick, Colourful flames in cauldron, coneflower, crafts, Crafts for Imbolc, Creative crafts for Imbolc, crocuses, crone goddess, Crone Season, dark time of year, deities, deities of Imbolc, early frosts of spring, earth, ewe's milk. fertility, festivity, fire, fire festival, flowers and herbs, fresh buds, frost, full moon, power of spring, Prayers for Imbolc, spring, spring equinox, spring poems, Spring's arrival, Spring's Rebellion, tulips, Uncategorized

A Garden to honor my ancestors

Seedling Magick

Merry meet all,

Tonight I’m sipping coffee and I occasionally peek out to my blossoming garden. It cheers my heart to see the plants grow. I also take pride in it for a different reason. 

I am carrying on the work of my ancestors. I am part Celtic and part Viking. My maternal grandmother is from Scotland. My maternal grandfather is from Cape Breton-French Acadian. My father was Norwegian. 

They would have worked hard in a garden to provide the food to feed their families. It was a produce or perish way of life then. They would have raised livestock. I don’t raise livestock but I do have two familiars. A garden was necesary. I also know how to fish, saw wood, gather and store wood, and operate a real wood stove. I know how to identify animal tracks, herbs and berries, and cook homegrown food- and ride horses. I often practice slow cooking, as opposed to eating processed food out of a can. Yes I do know to work a coleman stove. 

Allow me to elaborate here. One time in Pleasant Bay, my sis Niki harvested some root veggies from her garden. She cooked a pot of stew and it was cooked on the wood stove. I love the sound of a stainless steel kettle rattling on the wood stove- and a woodpecker pecking at the outdoor house walls. Then I was given the pot of soup and I held the pot of stew on my lap the way to the main house, where we all enjoyed it. I mean, it was delicious. Well it was made from totally locally grown vegetables and cooked on a wood stove. What was there to not like? 

I also can sew and clean. I know you may be thinking these seem like such domestic chores- especially since last fall, I was in the kitchen literally cooking all day. But I filled glass dishes with the plastic red lids with four different soups and I was able to feed myself all winter long. 

I have a fresh stash of lentils and beans. I know what to do with them. Performing this work is satisfying because I feel like I am carrying on a tradition. I have occasionally gone camping, maybe not as often as I should. Spending so much time in Pleasant Bay has helped me appreciate going for a simple walk. Well today was rainy. I also know how to make candles, make crafts like candles, jewelry, and bind books But my main pride and joy is my garden. I fail to understand why no one started a garden in the backyard here before me. Oh well my job. And I love it! I bought a celtic cookbook to also honor my ancestry. 

I am studying the different gods and goddesses in the Celtic pantheon. That is just fascinating to me. I do have a hard time getting my hands on books and information on the Vikings so I could honor that side of my family. I hope to learn more about them. 

I plan to make good use of the raspberries in my garden in jam and maybe eat them with pancakes. I plan to grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, beets and radishes, potatoes, chives, garlic, rhubarb, and onions. For someone who lives on a meagre budget as I do, this is a lot of food. This includes the herbs and flowers I shall also harvest in the fall. The Witch Hazel will be cool. I haven’t planned on what to do with that yet. I can also harvest roots, seeds, and flower petals for various magickal uses. 

I let my Samhain pumpkins compost in my garden all year. The orange pumpkin was closer to the house. The white pumpkin composted over the tulip and garlic bulbs. When I raked the leaves this spring, I didn’t find the white pumpkin. I guess that is how well it composted. But the soil, bulbs and bugs would have benefitted from the nutrients from it. I did find the dried crumbling remnants of the orange pumpkin. I know it helped the soil. 

I planted snowdrops because I read they were sacred to Brigid. This is one of many ways I hope to explore and deepen my connection to my ancestors.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

Leave a comment

Filed under acorns, an organic tradition, ancestors, ashes, autumn, autumn magic, blessing. earth, blessings, blossoming flowers, Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, broomsticks, Broomsticks & Cauldrons, Broomsticks and Besoms, bulbs, carrot tops, carrots, Cast-iron, Cat Magick, cats, container gardening, crocuses, drying herbs. gathering, early frosts of spring, early harvest, earth, earth care, earth day, eggs, energies, energy, environmentally friendly, ewe's milk. fertility, faeries, faery crafts, Faery gardens, faery magick at Midsummer, fall, family, Farmers market, farmers markets, fertile, fertility, fertilizer, festivity, fiery, flow, flower, flowers, flowers and herbs, folklore, four elements, fresh buds, garden, garden magic, gardening, germinating, God and Goddess, Goddess, gods and goddesess, Green abundance, greening your pumpkin, guinea pigs., hardy plants, harvest, Harvest Moon, healing, healing properties of herbs, heirloom seeds, herb, herb crafts., herb harvest, herb magick, herbal crafts, Herbal tools, herbs, herbs and flowers, history, homemade strawberry jam, Honoring your ancestors at Samhain, how to make elderberry jam, importance of organic seeds, lavender, lemon verbena, lettuce, lore, Magic Cat, magical cavies, magical guinea pigs, Moon, moon magick, moon's pull on plants, Nature, organic, organic berries, organic food, organic herbs, origins, peas, Pleasant Bay, Popular magickal Herbs, power of spring, Preparing your garden for Fall, processed food, pumpkins, radishes, recipe, recipes, recipes and lore, recycling, reverence to God and Goddess, seeds

Snowy moon of Imbolc

CIMG2258

Merry meet all,

Tomorrow is Imbolc!! I am happy about that and I hope you are too. The weather here is scary enough to make me seriously reconsider stepping out my house. The road is icy and slippery and rain has fallen over the snow. it is a recipe for disaster. It cheers me greatly to know spring is on its way. 

The magickal colour today is brown and the magickal incense is sandalwood. The moon is waxing to full and will be full on February 3rd. When the moon is waxing, it represents the maiden or starting new projects. I just transplanted the sage and milk thistle seedlings into new pots. The moon is in Cancer now. Cancer is a water sign and transitions. 

Saturdays are ruled by Saturn. Saturn corresponds with inheritance, discovery, real estate, protection, structure and reality. Imbolc is fast approaching. The full Snow Moon in Leo is on the 3rd. The snow piles higher now, which is how the full moon in February gets its name. 

I plan to clean my whole apartment and cook myself something nice tomorrow. I also plan to perform a ritual tomorrow night. 

Merry Imbolc blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, broomsticks, Crone Season, dark time of year, deities of Imbolc, early frosts of spring, healing properties of herbs, ice candles for Imbolc, Imbolc, Imbolc blessings, Imbolg, lunar esbats, lunar magick, Lunar magick crafts, Lunar Moon

Winter Blues

Brigid3

Merry meet all,

I dream of gardening. Beautiful flowers crowning my garden. Every time I look outside, I am depressed by the sight of snow. This is the hard stretch. February to March make winter seem like it will last forever. 

Mercury is in Retrograde till the 28th. So hang in there. It is eight more days. Today the moon is in moody dark Scorpio. Today is Thor’s Day. I like to pretend or deny Mercury is in Retrograde. It’s easier that way. 

I always get a burst of creativity in February.  Brigid is the matron deity of poets and smiths. It comes as no surprise that I would be feeling extremely creative. This month, I have made an entire gypsy skirt, wood burned a Celtic design on a wooden box, and started veggies and plants indoors. I also pored over seed catalogs. I am probably not the only one.  

Take heart. Spring is around the corner. The Wheel of the Year will spin again. Remember to honor the Goddess Brigid. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll

A Brighid Corn doll

EPGBRI

Merry meet all,

You may want to make a Brighid corn doll. You can make a corn doll out of corn, wheat or corn husks. Dress up the corn doll in spring colours.

To make this simple doll, use fresh corn husks. Husks need to be dried and softened. You will need yarn or ribbon, and some cotton balls.

Take a strip of the husk, and fold it in half. Place 2 or 3 cotton balls in the middle, and twist the husk, and tie with string to form a head. Leave some husk in the front, and below the head, to create a torso. Make a pair of arms for the doll by folding a couple of husks in half, and tie at the ends to form hands. Slip the arms between the husks that form the torso, and secure at the waist.

Arrange some more husks, upside down, around the doll’s waist. Overlap them slightly, and secure with yarn or twine. She should look like she has her skirt up over her face. Tie the waist and fold the husks down, so now her skirt comes downward. Trim the hem of the skirt to even it out. Allow the doll to completely dry.

Once the doll has dried, you can leave her plain or decorate her. Draw on a face with a marker and glue on some yarn for her hair. You can add clothing, an apron, a Brighid’s cross drawn on with a marker-whatever you choose.

Place your Brighid doll in a spot of honor for Imbolc. Place her on the hearth or in the kitchen. Ask for Brighid’s blessings in health, fertility and abundance.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid Bed, Brigid doll

Decorating your Imbolc Altar

Imbolc Blessings

Merry meet all,

Today we will look at assembling your altar for Imbolc. During Imbolc, many Wiccans and Pagans choose to honor the Celtic goddess Brighid. 

The traditional colours of Imbolc are red and white, because they are associated with Brighid. White is the pure colour of snow and red represents the fire of life and the blood of life. She also corresponds with the colour green, for the green mantle she wears and the stirrings of spring beneath the soil. Place red,white and green candles in candleholders on your altar. 

Your altar decor can reflect the theme of Imbolc. You could place a statue of Brighid on your altar. Add flowers such as crocuses and hyacinths to your altar. Or make a Brighid’s crown as a centrepiece with crystals and candles. 

Brighid is a Celtic Goddess so incorporate a Celtic theme on your altar too. Add a Brighid’s cross made from raffia or yarn. You could use cauldrons, chalices, anvils and cows or sheep. Place a book of poetry, flowers, and faeries on your altar. 

Share your Imbolc altar with the blog. Feel free to include photos!!

Here is how I decorated my altar. I posted this on paganwiccanabout.com. 

What’s On My Altar 

A cauldron, a solar sun symbol, a green, red + white candle, a hammer, two Brighid’s crosses, a feather, a chalice, a Brighid’s candle. These items all represent an aspect of the Goddess Brighid. Fire is her element and she is a solar deity so the solar symbol corresponds with that. The hammer is a symbol of Brighid and the Brighid’s crosses also represent her. My altar cloths are white with a red sash lying across the altar table. These colors represent the Imbolc season.

How I Celebrated Imbolc 

I attended an Imbolc Ritual to rededicate myself to the Goddess Brighid. Women of different ages and backgrounds that shared a common interest met at a friend’s house for the ceremony. We stood in a circle around the table for the ceremony.

We began the ceremony by calling the quarters or directions of air, fire, water, earth and spirit (north for earth, east for air, west for water and south for fire). This is to seek protection from unwanted energies from entering the sacred circle once cast. We lit candles on the table according to the quarter called and acknowledged that we were gathered this night to honor Brighid. We all focused on what was negative in our lives and swept the negative energies under the table with a broom. This is a symbolic action to ensure the energies are banished. Members took a turn to sweep with the broom, asking that the Goddess bless them for the coming year.

A cup of milk was offered to Brighid first, then poured into a bowl on the altar and passed round the circle to each member. The priestess said, “May Brighid lend her blessings to you this season.” Oatcakes were passed round in the same manner.

In the Dedication Ritual, each member was encouraged to ground herself and find inner peace. When we were ready, we individually expressed our dedication to the Goddess Brighid and the God of Mabon. I said: “I dedicate myself to the God and Goddess. Thank you for the blessings you have bestowed up on me this last year.” Then we closed the circle and the ritual ended. We called the quarters in the opposite direction that they were called at the beginning. If we began in the east (air) and ended in north, then we would begin with north (earth) and end with east.

Afterwards, we all joined in a feast to ground ourselves from the ceremony. We chatted and relaxed. Rituals always uplift my spirits and are a chance to release negative tensions. I feel more strongly connected and closer to the Divine Feminine after a ritual. I revere Wicca because it honors the Divine Feminine. I derive inspiration and love from the rituals, strengthening my faith and bond with the Goddess.

The other members receive something from the ritual, each in their own way, whether that is love, courage, inner strength or protection. We had all gathered to honor the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, worshipped by our ancestors dating back to Neolithic times. The Goddess is a symbol of the unity of all life in nature.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Clean your home to release the stale energies and welcome in the early spring energies.
  • Prepare your altar for Imbolc
  • Prepare a special dish in honor of your deities.
  • Burn some wax on your candle and carve a shape of a Brighid’s cross on the candle, then add the corresponding herbs.

 

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

4 Comments

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, broomsticks, ice candles for Imbolc, Imbolc, Imbolc blessings, Imbolg

Deity of Imbolc-Brighid

brigid

Merry meet all,

Brigid is the patron goddess of the Celts. Her name derives from the Celtic brig or “exalted one”, and she is the daughter of the Daghda. She was connected to the Tuatha de Danann. Her two sisters were also named Brighid. Brighid is a popular Celtic triple goddess. 

Brighid is the goddess of poets, healers and magicians. She was honoured and still is in Kildare. Kildare has many sacred sites in the Celtic regions, and they are connected to Brighid. People still pay a tribute or pray for healing from the Goddess Brighid at the sacred sites in Kildare. 

If you wish to honor Brighid at Imbolc, here are some ways. She is most commonly honoured at Imbolc of February 2nd. Use lots of white flowers and white candles. Also, red is a colour of Imbolc. The red and white colours represent fire and ice. Make a Brighid corn doll and a bed for her. Sweep your house clean and leave her an offering of milk or what you find suitable. 

To learn more about Brighid, I recommend the book ‘Brigid: Goddess, Druidess, and Saint’ by Brian Wright. I can’t recommend this excellent slightly scholarly but amazing reference book enough. I had a hard time tracking this book down. “As a result of original historical and archaeological research Brian Wright provides a fascinating insight into this unique and mysterious figure.” That expresses the scope of this book perfectly. 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, corn doll, Crafts for Imbolc

Crafts for Imbolc

Merry Meet All,

BRIGID DOLL

Around the time of Imbolc, I become extremely creative. I get like that at Samhain, too. Here are steps to make an Imbolc corn doll. You can find corn husks at the local grocery store. You will also need ribbon, yarn and some cotton balls.

Take on strip of a husk, and fold it in half. Place two or three cotton balls in the middle, and twist the husk, securing it with string to make a head. Leave a bit in the husk and back, and under the head, to create the torso.

Make the arms for your doll by folding two husks in half and tying at the ends with string to make the hands. Slip the arms between the husks (torso), and tie off at the waist. Consider using ribbon or yarn in colors that correspond with Brigid. Slip cotton balls in to give the doll shape.

Arrange more husks, upside down, around the doll’s waist. Overlap them slightly and tie in place with yarn. Tie the waist and then fold the husks down, so now her skirt falls downward, to where her feet would be. Trim the hem of the skirt to even out the hem. Let the doll dry.

Once the doll has dried, you can decorate her. Use yarn for hair and a marker for her face. You can use beads, sigils, make her an apron, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Place your Brigid doll on your altar. When you invite her into your home, you invite her energy and blessings.

BRIGID’S BED

Here is how to make a Brigid’s bed. It is simple to make. You can find the craft supplies at your local art store or thrift store. Begin with a blanket. You can use a small cloth for a blanket. Or stitch up a mattress by sewing two rectangles of fabric together and stuffing it with down. Place this in the basket. Make a pillow in the same manner. Put a warm blanket over the top, and set on your hearth or altar.

Put your Brigid doll on the bed before you go to sleep at night. If you do not have a Brigid doll or do not have the time to make one, then use a besom instead. The broom stands for the symbol of female power. Keep her company with a Priapic wand.

Welcome Brigid by gathering around the fire and saying the following chant three times:

Brigid is come, Brigid is welcome!

Let candles burn beside Brigid through the night. Leave them to burn in a kitchen sink or bathtub all night long. Meditate before you go to sleep to wish for fertility and abundance.

I hope you enjoy these crafts and have a wonderful Blessed Imbolc!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch )O(

Leave a comment

Filed under Brigid, Brigid Bed, Brigid doll, corn doll, Crafts for Imbolc