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IMBOLC

Next Imbolc get-together February 2019

4 February 2018 - St Brigid's Well, Faughart (Old Graveyard) - Healing on Many Levels

imbolc 2018 centre

Imbolg centre 2018

 

The green figure was created several years ago by Dana and Marta and is symbolic of Maeve, the land goddess, of Tara, bringing that energy to mingle with Brigid at Faughart.

Story of the Day from the Host:

 

We gathered at Brigids Well in the graveyard on the Hill of Faughart, Co. Louth, where it is said Brigid was born. There were six people present plus - we felt - many more tuning in from all over the world and beyond. As there were three males and three females present the energies were nicely balanced and we proceeded with a meditation based on Brigid. Afterwards, as it was the Christian celebration of St Blaise also, some work was done for balance and healing of the Throat Chakra.

 

The feminine energy was acknowledged and its importance recognised in the Universe after which we had an “Open Heart” session which included poems, songs, music and a special gift given by one among us who brought each individual down the steps of the well for a powerful one-on-one healing session. Altogether we were there for almost two hours during which it was quite chilly but dry. (As we went to our cars the rain began!)

 

When the sacred space was closed we adjourned to a wonderful local vegetarian restaurant where we ate, drank and continued chatting for about an hour. When we left we noticed a magnificent rainbow had formed nearby which seemed a lovely ending to our Celebration. All in all, this was a wonderful day and having spoken to those present since, there truly WAS healing on all levels.

 

imbolc 2018 well faughart

imbolc 2018 tree

A healing meditation will commence. This will relate to “healing on many levels”:

 

Personal - Physical, Emotional, Spiritual. Past, Present, Future.

 

Global – Land, Sea, Sky. Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.

 

Universal – Healing of all energies in the universe, for the highest good of all.

imbolc 2018 ravensdale

imbolc 2018 graveyard

Left: Looking across the valley to Ravensdale Forest and Cooley.

 

 

Imbolc firesong written by Xenia


Cold nights have come and calmed the world,

the land lays down in peace.

Strong winds have blown, what`s left is whirled,

when frozen are beliefs,

 

Then we light the fire, face the pain

and lend each other hands.

Let the warmth full trust go through your veins

and see the fires dance!

 

Light of the flame, memories remain,

dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.

 

When snowflakes cover hope and green,

big steps are seen as sin,

and you feel, you cannot stand the death,

until the new begin,

 

Then we light the fire, face the pain

and lend each other hands.

Let the warmth full trust go through your veins

and see the fires dance!

 

Light of the flame, memories remain,

dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.

 

Coulorful the life goes on,

Brigid we give thanks,

heaviness and fear are gone,

just let us sing again.

 

Light of the flame, memories remain,

dance cause you can and bring life through your brain.

 

 

snowdrops at tara

A Sacred space will be opened, directions called in etc. And the ceremony will begin.

 

In the circle will be symbols relating to the Goddess Brigid (Fire, Blacksmiths, Healing, Poetry etc). All welcome to bring something with them for this.

 

The fire will be lit (weather permitting) in a cauldron.

 

We will welcome Spring-time and all that it signifies:  Growth, renewal, light etc.

 

A poem honouring Brigid, written especially for this occasion will be read.

 

Anyone present will be invited to read poetry – their own or otherwise - if they wish. There will then be an “open heart” section where folk are invited to share with the group – a song, story, blessing, picture etc.

 

The circle will then be closed, suitable music played and the ceremony will conclude with light refreshments.

 

 

Fiery Imbolc wishes from Marta & Dana - a beautiful inspired piece of artwork by Dana.

 

dana imbolc 2018

 

Kathleen Verigen and her friends shared an Imbolc celebration in Oregon

 

click here to find out more about Kathleen at http://anamcaraconnections.com/

 

Kathleen 2018b Kathleen 2018a

Images from their retreat.

Kathleen relates:  We were a group of 8 women. I was assisting the facilitator as it was a first time experience for her to lead in this way. Not one of the women knew of Brighid, so it was actually extra special. During our 2-night stay at Leaping Lamb Farm, a baby lamb was born. Someone shared with the farm owner the story of Brighid. So she named the wee lamb Brighid and said it would become a pet. How sweet!

Kathleen 2018

 

 

  

4 February 2017 - St Brigid's Well, Faughart (Old Graveyard) - Brigid's Mantle

Our theme is St. Brigid's Mantle and a topic that has emerged is the celebration and symbolism of 3 Brigids (Fire of the Hearth, Forge and Inspiration)

Brigid, the 'Fire of the Hearth', was the goddess of fertility, family, childbirth and healing. Connections to white.

Brigid, the '"Fire of the Forge', was like the Greek goddess Athena, a patroness of the crafts (especially weaving, embroidery, and metalsmithing), and a goddess who was concerned with justice and law and order. Connections to red – attribute : smith's hammer

 

Brigid, the 'Fire of Inspiration', was the muse of poetry, song history and the protector of all cultural learning. Connections to green-blue – attribute : staff

Before the event you may like to tune in, each in our own way, to the Spirit of the Place and 'knock on the door',  checking in with guides and guardians there.  There is no need to share anything private of course but this is something we would do as a planning group if we were all sitting in the same room together.

As always everyone is invited to take up different roles spontaneously.   Just to put some focus in place, the basics are:  Smudge and light - Directions and elements - activities - open heart contributions - closure - food and drink.  If you feel particularly called to do one of these please speak up at the start.

 

From Pat:

9 souls joined our ancestors in the graveyard on Faughart Hill, County Louth, Ireland, for the celebration of Imbolc.  For centuries pilgrims have been visiting the Holy Well in the graveyard believed to be St Brigid's birthplace.

A wonderful celebration was held where we called in the directions as usual, symbolically stepped through Brigid's doorway with the intention of birthing our dreams for the coming year, heard about a wonderful Tibetan prophecy and learned how we can - perhaps MUST - fulfil the role of Shambhala Warriors and save this wonderful planet on which we all currently live.

IMAG2129

Jean taught us a wonderful fire and water dance which resulted in a very powerful experience as we danced on the Hill of Brigid's birthplace surrounded by the graves of our ancestors, with the ocean in the distance to the East and the setting sun to the West.

IMAG2123 IMAG2126

We all agreed in discussion that there was a feeling of shifting energies both locally and worldwide and that we must answer the call to become Shambhala  Warriors.

Tibetan Legend of the Shambhala Warriors and their Prophesy as passed on by Joanna Macy. This recalls the Great Turning as read out at the 11.11.11 event  we held on Hill of Tara.  Go to http://taracelebrations.org/other-activities/111111-full-report/ for that information.

The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers that threaten life on Earth do not come from evil deities or extraterrestrial powers. They arise from our own choices and relationships. So, now, the Shambhala warriors must go into training.
"How do they train?"   ---   "They train in the use of two weapons."
"The weapons are compassion and insight. Both are necessary"

 During the open heart various people read poems and articles which were enjoyed and appreciated by all.

IMAG2121

 

Don't Quit

 
When Things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
 
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
 
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - 
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

 

31st January 2017 and in an Irish household Brigid's crosses are made by the family, including one that has just that little bit extra - a standing up version.

Brigid's crosses

and from Marta and friends in Switzerland

Imbolc crosses 2017

 

Jera Imbolc 2017
Marta has drawn a rune for Imbolc 2017.   It is Jera:
 
harvest / results of earlier efforts are realized (represents the 12 months of the year),
 
fruitful season / achievement of a goal (peace, happiness).
 
Jera can break through stagnancy (break through to the new spring?), life cycle, cyclical pattern of the universe, natural development.
 
Jera follows in the order of the runes Isa and Isa is "ice", so Jera's spring follows Isa's winter-- the frozen stagnancy is broken by the turn of the wheel and things are moving again.
 
Marta comments, I also relate Jera to Frey and Freyja who we worked with last year on Ostara / Spring Equinox at Fourknocks.  Continuing that 'sandwich' of Fourknocks, Susan was drawn there again at Winter Solstice. 

 

brigit1

Brigit patron of Fire in the Hearth (candles), the brave and bold leader of Spring (Snowdrops), Fertility (polished egg), mysticism(Crystals), Christian and preChristian ( cross in next picture) and Healing (Bhrat Bríde).

Brigit is wearing her Bhrat on a cold and windy St. Brigits night on the coast of Galway. Some of you might think she looks a lot like Mary Magdalen......... mmmm..... Have you ever seen both in the same room at the same time?

 brigit2

Well of the Saints by John Millington Synge

This is a three-act play written by Irish playwright J.M.Synge and first performed on 4th February 1905 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

Set amongst a lonely mountainous district in the east of Ireland the play focusses on two blind beggars.

They are miraculously cured but so dislike what they see of the world that they prefer to return to blindness.

Quote:  There's the sound of one of them twittering yellow birds do be coming in the spring-time from beyond the sea, and there'll be a fine warmth now in the sun, and a sweetness in the air, the way it'll be a grand thing to be sitting here quiet and easy smelling the things growing up, and budding from the earth.

Unity Bands

Thanks to Ros for drawing attention to these. 

It is World Cancer Day on Saturday 4th February - unity bands (for the wrist) are being sold to bring about connection, to stand in solidarity and to bring about renewal amidst unutterable despair. This feels like Brigid.
 
 
unity wrist band
 
Eilish spent long hours planting the labyrinth with snowdrops and it has paid off at last.
 
labyrinth snowdrop
 
And the frogs are one of natures signs that the earth is awakening to Brigit's call
 
frogs 2017
 
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, winter snowfalls finally arrive
 
2017 nova scotia
  
 

31 January 2016 - Hill of Tara - Rise & Shine

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Above: Mound of the hostages, Hill of Tara

 

We will meet at the entrance to the hill of Tara at 7.55am and walk up to the Mound of the Hostages, open the circle, sprinkle all there with water from Brigid's well at Faughart, acknowledge the day, the returning light, the new growth, acknowledge Brigid in her form as Mother - she gave birth to the sun at the solstice, and in her form as maid, with new growth evident, and crone, the wise woman. 

This is also the feast of the poets, so if anyone has any poem to share, now is the time. Hopefully it will be clear enough to see the sun as it goes in through the passage way, this cairn is aligned to sunrise around the day of Imbolg.

mound art taratara samhain alignmentsnowdrops

Above: The Mound of the Hostages passage tomb oriented towards Imbolg sun rise and the flower du jour, pluiriní sneachta, snow drops

 

We will then have a toast and offer the contents to ourselves and the land, then use some more of the water to do similar, and if everyone brings a small bottle, they can bring some of the water home.

There will also be some seeds for yellow flowers which people can plant and use that water to nourish the first seedlings when they come up.

We will then go over to the two fairy trees that (at least up to yesterday - 17 Jan) were bare of any offerings, petitions, on their branches, and we will tie our yellow ribbons with our intentions to the branches and if all agree, sprinkle the water on the land surrounding them.

Please come suitably dressed for an early morning walk on the grassland of the hill.  Also bring any poems that inspire you that you would like to share.

A table is booked in Maguires teashop at 9.30am for those wanting a hot drink and/or breakfast after the event.

 

.Report:

Over 20 of us were treated to a fresh spring day with biting wind, cold and mist. No sign of any sun. Susan said that on a morning like this the Cailleach would not be gathering any fire wood and prophesied that on this account the Cailleach was expecting a fine summer........we shall see.

 

imbolc 2016

 

After calling in the directions and acknowledging our distant celebrators we called in Eileen in spirit to join us. Bernie read out a poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep...” and then Susan opened a bottle of Baileys to toast Eileen, her friendship and creative input into Tara Celebrations over the last number of years.

 

 salute to eileen on tara

 

In keeping with the season we had wheat and dairy (in the form of  bread cheese sticks and Baileys, Eileens favourite tipple , as it turned out.

 

Sunday is traditionally the first day of the week, ruled by the sun, (yellow), and the magical aspects of this day include protection, healing, spirituality and strength. And of course Brigid is the patron saint of healers, she is the goddess of poetry - Bernadette read out a poem - and also the goddess of smith craft, if you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. EIleen again!

 

We took some bulbs for planting and a brightly coloured Brigits cross made from pipe cleaners.

 

st brigits coloured cross

We reassembled at the fairy trees to tie a ribbon for a fruitful 2016 wandering in and out through the trees which formed a sacred portal.

 

ribon on fairy tree

 

imbolc fairy trees

imb crosses

 

Next we walked to the well which was in flood and had some reflective time helped by Jean's thought provoking cards designed by Fr Jim Cogley.

 

tara well flood 2016

 

And finally we retired to a warm and tasty breakfast in Maguires where we delighted to welcome celebrator/visitors from the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Galway, Navan and even Dublin.

 

Pluiriní Sneachta or snow drops at the well.

 

 snowdrops at tara

Time of the year for Rainbows and healing crystals too

 

crystal rainbow

1st February 2016 -Meditation & Healing Circle

The Imbolc weekend was rounded off with the regular first Monday of the month Open Heart Meditation & Healing Circle at Bective Mill.  This focussed on Brigid in her role as smith, worker with fire.  A meditation on meeting Brigid at a forge in the forest and telling her what we'd like to create this year with her help and requesting that she aid in keeping the inspiration alight in the coming weeks.  A magical, mystical, calming night was had by all.

 

issuu screen catch imbolc

 

Click here to see the Issuu periodical for Imbolc

The information is drawn from years of Tara Celebrations reports and information. Each TC ceremony is run in awareness of the dominating energies of the current cycle, leading to an accumulated wealth of experience. We observe the festivals and attune our lives to seasonal changes. We cannot avoid the fundamental reality that we are effected by the place at which we live on earth.

 

With each issue we journey through the wheel of the year,

Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn,

Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh,

informed within the two Solstices and Equinoxes.

 

We shall, by discovering time qualities, enjoy what adds flavour and spice to our lives, expressed as physical phenomena, mental attitudes, emotions we undergo and spiritual intentions. For example, we find that Samhain is a good time for introspection and planting the seeds of new projects, allowing them to germinate over the winter months. Beltaine, on the other hand, is a time to embark on projects requiring courage and energy.

 

 

 

- Imbolc archive

Imbolc 2017 - Brigid's Mantle - Brigid's Well, Faughart Old Graveyard 2016 - Rise and Shine - Hill of Tara 2015 - Planting the Seeds of our Dreams...

Page last updated: 18th Feb 2018