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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

A Blessed Imbolc

A Blessed Imbolc

Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-molk or i-molg ), also called (Saint) Brighid’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa’l Breeshey), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 31 January–1 February, or halfway between the winter solstice and the Spring equinox. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. It was observed in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Welsh Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau.

The date of Imbolc is thought to have been significant in Ireland since the Neolithic period. This is based on the alignment of some Megalithic monuments. For example, at the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara, the inner chamber is aligned with the rising sun on the dates of Imbolc and Samhain.

Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.

Imbolc celebration

"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."

Fire Circle from http://www.angelfire.com/magic2/imbolc/

The Circle and the Flame: in celebration of Imbolc

The Circle and the Flame for Imbolc
Wolf moon rises, broken promises
are healed and the feast begins:
as they say, “in the belly”,
the wintry light is pregnant
with Summer’s milk and flowers;
ewes’ udders waken light
and all the wights delight;
Tribe and Land, language and rocks,

meet in the circle of this flame:
the bones of earth, elemental nooks
of all the circle’s measure
hold the ancient tribes in bondage
to the laws of fealty;
knowledge of this old way
begins in words borne of valor:
deeds of ancient warriors dying
for the people of the Land;
remembrance of this light,
the women show their troth
sewing banners of the woolen cloth
with twisted threads of memory
to hold the thoughts of poets strong;
spider, asp, and wasp; thistle, gorse, and nettle:
all children of the goddess lands:
keepers of its mysteries;

Niall of the Nine Hostages knows this truth:
the Old Crone cast her eye upon him,
and he recognized the green spark of goddess tears;
the center holds, the Bilious, the World Tree:
golden leaves waving above
gathers the tribes into the inner circle;
so in the dead month, under the wolf moon
we celebrate in feasting,
when raven’s nest and lark’s sing,
and rain brings lambs to birth;
for then the Old Woman of the year,

Cailleach, rises with her white wand,
a bride of spring, breathing power
into the Winter King, releasing him
from his dour sleep of harsh snow,
while serpent lords scatter
to the four winds of time,
knowing their time is at an end;
then the “Exalted One”, Brigid,
golden haired, encircled by children
comes among her people
to celebrate the Feast of Imbolc!

(A Collection of Imbolc Poetry)

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