The Wildwood held it’s Imbolc Ceremony last weekend, at our Grove on the Edge – as it’s dedicated to Bride it seemed fitting! The Bride doll is still in situ and has survived a year remarkably intact, although the large quartz point she was holding has disappeared. I’m thinking it may have slipped down into the bole of the tree – there is a deep hollow filled with water under the ledge where she sits. It’s rather comforting to think of it safely resting deep in the black water.
Unfortunately we didn’t have any fine Spring weather, just more rain, which took the form of one of those really drenching drizzles. Despite this we had a wonderful turn out, including two new folk – I just hope getting so cold and wet hasn’t put them off too much! A hot drink at the cafe afterwards seemed to restore everyone’s spirits.
Lindsey had baked fresh bread and to this we added goats milk as an offering. We had grand plans to make Bride’s crosses from drinking straws but in the end it was just to cold and wet to stand around. Plus a few of us were beginning to lose the feeling in our hands!
As Bride is the goddess of poetry, we shared a few poems during the ritual. I read out this poem which I found on The Melbourne Grove’s Website:
Although the chill of winter
Is still settled like a cloak
Resting its cold folds upon the earth
Beneath, her heart is beating
Just waiting for the sign
That signals it is time for life’s rebirth
For the seed of light is growing
It reminds us of its warmth
Whisp’ring to new shoots to show their face
And the seed of life now quickens
Responding to its call
Stirring from within earth’s safe embrace
The wattle it hangs golden
See it gracing every bough
A promise of the spring that’s yet to come
And the life still lying dormant
Starts to shift in winter’s sleep
Responding to the newly growing sun
Each seed has rich potential
Now, to grow into new life
So set your year’s intent without delay
A time so rich with promise
Feel it echoed in our lives
May Brigit bless our growth and light the way
Jowen, Imbolc 2009
We all felt the urge to set an intent for the year and spent a few minutes in contemplation before The Closing.
The poem I found for our ritual booklet was this one:
Kindling the Fire
As I kindle the flame upon my hearth,
I pray that the flame of Brighid may burn in my soul,
And the souls of all I meet today.
I pray that no envy and malice,
No hatred or fear,
May smother the flame.
I pray that indifference and apathy,
Contempt and pride,
May not pour like cold water on the flame.
Instead may the spark of Brighid light the love in my soul,
That it might burn brightly through the day.
And may I warm those that are lonely,
And whose hearts are cold and lifeless,
So that all may know the comfort of Brighid’s love.
I thought I’d include a photo from our Alban Arthan ritual which was also held on the Edge and which I missed writing up. We’re planning to resume our nomadic ways for the next nine months, so it will be a while before we hold ritual on the Edge again (although many of us visit the Grove on and off during the year to meditate, perform workings or make offerings) We will be holding our Alban Eiler ceremony on a sandy bank, close to a grove of hornbeams, in a piece of ancient woodland. Just by the junction of two rivers which meander through our part of East Cheshire, can’t wait!