Bright Imbolc Blessings
The Coming of Bride (Brigid) by John Duncan
Originally posted 2/2/14
Today, February 2, 2014, celebrates Imbolc, St. Brigid, and Iemanja goddess of the sea. Imbolc is a cross quarter day marking the turning of the seasonal wheel between winter solstice and spring equinox. Imbolc’s equivalent was celebrated among many ancient peoples but was particularly beloved in the Celtic tradition. Imbolc celebrates the return of the light. The darkest part of winter is over and the ceremonial first day of spring brings longer brighter days. Imbolc was appropriated into St. Brigid’s day in the conversion to Christianity.
St. Brigid is the protector of fertility of the fields: sheep, goats, cattle, and of human mothers and thus represents abundance of food and milk. Saint Brigid is the white triple goddess, the cow goddess, goddess of midwives, animals, milk maids. She had the ability to restore life to the dead. One would pray to her for maladies of the eyes. Her name means “Fiery Arrow, Bright One, High One”. St. Brigid is keeper of an eternal flame, the flame that guides poets, healers, smiths. She protects all bodies of water and especially healing wells, where people would tie strips of cloth holding their prayers to the cloutie, or hawthorn, trees. The strips would be left to be cleansed by the winds and the energy of the healing wells. Hawthorn trees are also holders of fire and water magic, teaching us how to circulate our energies and passions so we sparkle safe in our boundaries, dancing from the heart.
Connect to Brigid to engage your divinatory eyes to see what is is deep within your well and what you are ready to release. Where can Brigid help you access your transformative fire? Blacksmith what are you crafting? "Many traditional blessings invoke her in Irish (Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid and Mary be with you) and Welsh (Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey). A blessing over cattle in the Scottish isles goes: 'The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms, Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair;'" (http://www.allsaintsbrookline.org/celtic_saints/brigid.html). Connect to Brigid as a guide as you travel moving on open paths.
Iemanja is goddess of the sea, great mother, mover of obstacles, protector of children and fishermen. I had a dream once of going on a long journey and at the end I came to the ocean and at the shore there was one special wave. This wave contained many people of all ages of all emotions. As I walked around the wave I saw many lifetimes and all states of weather. There was snow and ice, clouds and sun. And though there was so much variety contained in the spectrum, I could feel the force of the ocean sparkling as if it all was encased in a sparkling light. All the parts felt small in comparison to this whole, this force saying it is going to be ok. So if you have been moving through deep transformation as so many of us have moving from the last two years in a cycle of water and introspection, then ask Iemanja to connect you to the flow of the great rhythm of the sea, of the life cycles, to help you move through challenges with the force of the waves tempered by the softness of the sea lapping to the shore. May you manifest now with a better understanding and conscious awareness of those watery patterns that sometimes move us unconsciously. May Iemanja’s sparkling force guide you as we enter the Chinese year of the Wood Horse, galloping into action.
Celebrate by lighting a candle in honor of Brigid (and perhaps also eat some delicious cheese or dairy). Take a bath remembering Iemanja. Today is a good day to clean, to set your intention, to connect with the light of your inner flame by doing something that sparks your passion and creativity. May you be blessed this Imbolc with cleansing restorative waters, bright creative flames, and an abundance of fertile cosmic milk.