Merry Meet Friends
Greetings and Witchy Blessings to you all!
Welcome to the latest edition of our sabbat newsletter. As the wheel turns to Candlemas - Imbolc, as once again we notice that the daylight hours have begun to lengthen and that the sun's warmth is felt once more. Spring bulbs and flowers indicate the return of Spring and illustrating the earths fertility.
This newsletter includes the return of reviews on what grove members have been reading and a section on Goddess Wisdom.
Grove Members will be pleased to know that the Membership Discussion pages on the website will be operational in the next couple of weeks. So please keep an eye on the website and your email for details.
Imbolc (Em' bolc - hard, guttural "c")- 1-2 August Southern Hemisphere
Deities: Brigid, Brid, the Maiden, the Spring Goddess, the Young Lord.
Herbs: Angelica; Basil; Bay Leaves; Myrrh.
Stones: Quartz; Opal; Moonstone; Aventurine, Sunstone.
Also known as Candlemas or Groundhog Day, this Sabbat was traditionally keyed to the lactation of the ewes. This is a celebration of the first stirrings of the Earth as she responds to the wake up call of Spring.
Although this is a fire festival, the emphasis is on light, rather than warmth. It marks the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the new Sun god, who is growing into a young boy by this time. His power is felt in the lengthening days of sunlight, though that power is fickle in his youthfulness as we wake to warm sun one day and cold, grey skies the next.
The Goddess begins to manifest the Maiden aspect, with the first few flowers of the season pushing up through the melting snow.
The most common theme is that of purification. This is symbolised by the sweeping of the circle. It is time to being spring-cleaning. Time to get rid of what's no longer of any use to us - bad habits, old ideas, and preconceived notions. It is time to make way for the new and exciting things to come.
Decorate Altar with White flower (representing snowflake), or snow in crystal container. Orange candle anointed with musk, cinnamon, frankincense, or rosemary oil.
Appropriate Foods include all dairy foods. Sour cream dishes. spicy, full-bodied foods in honour of the Sun. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, or chives. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins - all foods symbolic of the Sun - are traditional.
Looking for ways to celebrate:
- Turn on all the lights in the house for a few moments to guide the path of spring. Alternatively, burn a votive candle in each room.
- Burn any leftover evergreen decorations from Yule. This ensures good luck in the coming year.
- Have a through 'spring clean' using your broom to sweep out any stale energy that has been building throughout the winter months.
The Celtic goddess Brigid is the traditional patroness of healing, poetry (the ancient Celtic tradition of see-poets and bardic lore were the primal retainers of culture and learning), and smithcraft (her sisters carry the alchemical sword and blacksmithing tongs). All of these elements are all practical and inspired wisdom and creativity.
Brigid was worshipped by the pre-Christian Brigantes as the Bringer of Prosperity, but over the centuries made the transition from pagan Mother Goddess to Virgin Mother to Christian Virgin Saint. Her magic powers and strength over fire were consistent through her morphisms, and she successfully made the transition back to goddess again with most of her traditions intact.
She is the caregiver of the fire she keeps burning in the hearths - "it is she who hangs her cloak upon the rays of the sun and whose dwelling-place radiates light as if on fire".
Related Brigid gemstones: Carnelian, coral, agate, sodalite, ocean quartz
Wanting to find out more about Brigid: http://www.celticheritage.co.uk/virtualshrine/brighid.cfm
Places to visit, Books and Magazines to look out and other items of
Witchaven and FODA Postal Address change:
Please note that the postal address for both Witchaven and FODA has changed to:
PO Box 203003, Waiau Pa, Auckland 1852, New Zealand
Magazine to look out for:
Kindred Spirit Magazine - UK's leading guide for Mind, Body and Spirit.
I have become a recent convert to this publication. Kindred Spirit has been published in the UK for 10 years, but has only recently been appearing on NZ bookstore magazine racks. Published bi-monthly and with a NZ retail price of around $15.50 it contains a wide variety of interesting articles. The most recent issues that I have purchased have also had a free CD attached related to one of the articles in the magazine. Articles in the May/June issue included: Moon Magic - the Power of the Goddess, Lucid Living -Become Ultra Awake, Crystal Clear - Hidden Messages in Water. Along with a number of regular features including Natural Wisdom, Creative Cookery, Music Reviews, and a great Resource Directory.
What We have been reading - Fiction
Gene of Isis Book One The Mystique Trilogy - Traci Harding
I have been a fan of Traci Harding after reading the Ancient Future series this new book is described as 'A heartstopping race to unlock the secrets of the Grail Bloodline'. Personally I found it difficult to put this book down, I have since loaned the book to a number of others who have also found it difficult put down. As in a number of Traci's books this book features elements of Time Travel and reincarnation. Following the lives three women, Mia Montrose, Ashlee Granville and Lillet du Lac as they explore the legacy that they were born into. From my perspective a fantastic read. I am only sorry that I need to wait 12 months for the next book in the trilogy to be published.