This past week has gone quickly and I never got round to writing up our Imbolc Ceremony, which took place on Saturday February 2nd. You may remember that not only was it a very rare, dry day; it actually had blue skies and sunshine!
Stood in the Grove waiting for everyone to arrive, you could feel a little heat in the sun, although whenever it popped behind the odd cloud it got a bit chilly. Still it’s nice to know that even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, Spring is on the way.
We had a fourteen people attend in total which I think is probably our largest group at a ritual so far. Steve and Sarah did the organising bit this time. We were well impressed with the ritual booklets, complete with colour illustrations, and didn’t indulge in the usual script burning after the ceremony! They had the brilliant idea of making Bride’s Crosses during the rite. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this, and so it turned out, did most of the others, so we all stood together in the centre while Sarah patiently explained how to do it several times over. You can see my effort in the photo above!
Bride figures prominently in the Imbolc Ritual, which is a celebration of the first stirrings of life after the Winter. She is associated with the returning light and it is thought that the unusual design of her (pre-Christian) cross has parallels with solar symbols found throughout the ancient world.
There were very few squirrels about. I spotted one sunning himself stretched out on the branch of a tree but we couldn’t persuade any to join us despite the lure of nuts. After teasing Mark about buying hazelnuts at Alban Arthan, I remembered that we still had a stash of peanuts and corn that we’d got for our poor lost hamster. I brought them along with me but had to leave them under the bushes for them to find later.
The ritual was followed by a trip into Town for the traditional curry, followed by a glass of real ale, which rounded off the day nicely!