So been quiet here for the past couple weeks as I worked on my ritual for Imbolc. In the past I have never really done a ritual per se. My Imbolc has always consisted of burning a candle for the Brigids, burning incense, for the past 6 or 7 years smudging the house with juniper and cleaning the house.
In short, for me Imbolc is about cleansing and purification. I can’t really say where I got this idea from it just sort of evolved over time (probably came about with discussions with other CR folk) until it stopped being a thing and just became the way it is done. It is so ‘not-a-ritual’ my housemates/wife would only know I was cleaning the house and making it smell nice.
This year, as part of my 12 months of ADF ritual for genti I wrote and conducted an Imbolc ritual. the Brigid’s were the focus of the worship and the work is purification. I did my ritual cleansing of the house with juniper as part of the ritual but completed and closed it before I started the vacuum and mopping.
In a previous article I talked about using apples as the medium to receive the blessings but for Imbolc I switched to butter. This year it was regular unsalted butter but I am already planning on using my grandmothers churn to make fresh butter. We can’t get raw milk in my state but some friends in PA may be able to help me out so I can make butter as our ancestors did.
Why butter? Because no matter what Old Irish term you use for the day, it has something to do with dairy. Oimelc is understood to mean “ewes, milk” and Kim McCone translates Imbolc as “butter wolf”, more about that in the Hidden Imbolc article. In any case…it’s about butter. So, the making of and consumption of butter seems appropriate to the day.
Since the ritual was indoors it was quiet and smooth. Other than cats wanting to eat my blessed butter (which I used in making cookies) nothing unusual occurred. I did not do any of the other usual Imbolc activities this year, but seeing as I have just helped found and am the Grove Organizer for Five Rivers Protogrove, ADF I expect some of the traditional activities to became part of our Imbolc celebrations.
I hope you had a nice Imbolc. Use the comments to tell me what you did.