|Image Courtesy of candyjones.com|
Since today is Imbolc I though I'd post a little something about it. Now for those of you who don't know Imbolc , also known as Brighid’s Day, is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring observed by the Celts. To celebrate, the Celts made Brighid's crosses, and a doll-like figure of Brighid (a Brídeóg) was passed from house-to-house. Brighid was said to visit one's home at Imbolc and to in order to be blessed by her, people would make a bed for Brighid, leave out food and drink, while items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless.
In the Christian traditions Imbolc was a festival of Saint Brighid, who is said to be a Christianization version of the goddess. This hybrid of the pagan/christian Holiday is mostly celebrated in Ireland. This is where some of the old customs have survived and it is celebrated as a cultural event by some (once again we see the Christians trying to convert the pagans by taking their holidays).
Imbolc has always had a special place in my heart mainly since I am called to Brighid. It usually is a day that I celebrate alone, meditating or writing under the direction of Brighid. I also usually, in the tradition of the Celts, leave an article of clothing out at night for her to bless on Imbolc Eve. It is a day of the celebration of the coming spring and for me the harnessing of my creative juices that tend to go into hibernation over the winter months.
This year is different though. As many of you know I am getting married next year. There is so much that needs to be done, but one of the things that is first on the list is to get my dress. So by happy accident on Imbolc all my bridesmaids will be up not only for the Bridal Expo that day but also to go dress shopping with me. This is so fitting since in Wiccan traditions, Imbolc sometimes was seen as a "women’s festival" with specific rites only for female members of a coven.
My Imbolc will be filled with my favorite woman (including my amazing mother) celebrating the coming of my wedding which will be in the spring of next year. I’m hoping that I can channel the guidance of Brighid into picking the perfect wedding dress for me and the perfect bridesmaid’s dresses for my bridesmaids. It is my hope that next year on Imbolc Eve I will have Brighid bless my dress, so that my wedding will be filled with the joy of spring!