Home » A Druid's Blog » February Blog 2018 – A Druid’s Web Log – Imbolc and the Light is Slowly Returning

February Blog 2018 – A Druid’s Web Log – Imbolc and the Light is Slowly Returning

It is February 1 as I type this. The January thaw is over and done with, last night we had a hard frost and an inch of snow. As is my custom on Imbolc Eve, I laid out my “cloots” (strips of cloth to use for healing throughout the year), made a “Bride Doll” (a straw doll made from this year’s grain) and put out a candle. Its now fifteen hours later and the candle is still burning!

Imbolc, of course, is the old name for “Candle Mass”. The Christian church had a deliberate policy of taking our Pagan festivals and sacred sites and re-naming them in honor of saints. Imbolc or Imbolg (in the belly) is the ancient celebration of the lactation of the ewes. Back in the day no one could troop down to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. It wasn’t until three days before the sheep gave birth that they would start lactating again, so this was a reason to celebrate. Imbolc is an old European milk festival.

Imbolc is also the festival of the Goddess Brighid; the tripe Goddess of Poetry, Healing and Smithcraft. She later morphed into “Saint Brighid” and many churches are now dedicated to her. Imbolc was also a celebration of the return of the light and the fact that it was light enough to do the dairying without a candle. The church created “Candle Mass” in response, the idea being to bring your household candles to a church so the priest could bless them.

In ancient times Imbolc was the festival where equal-armed solar crosses were made, to protect the house and barn. These were later re-named “Brighid’s crosses”, even though the Christian cross doesn’t look anything like this; it has a longer stem and shorter arms and top.

As with all the old Fire Festivals (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasad) it is an important day to put out offerings for the Fair Folk, because this is the time they “move house”. I put out whole grain artisan bread on the Fairy Altar. Other appropriate gifts would be milk, cream, a wee dram of whiskey, or a bowl of porridge with a pat of butter on top (symbolic of the Sun).

NEWS YOU CAN USE

There is an effort underway to shut down “canned hunts”, the kind that claim to be for the benefit of endangered species. They are nothing of the sort. Captive and tame animals are deliberately put in the path of so called “hunters” so rich men with powerful guns can slaughter them just for fun. Read more here;

BOOK NEWS

I am just putting the finishing touches on a book about the herbs of Samhain (Halloween) and my new Witch book, due out in September from Inner Traditions, has a cover.

My newest tree herbal, the revised and expanded TREE MEDICINE TREE MAGIC got a nice little review

Below find the usual round-up of the past Moonth’s archaeology, herb, climate, nature, Celtic, religion and ethics news. Enjoy!

*And remember that you can purchase books signed by the author (me!) from this site www.elleneverthopman.com*

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

HERB NEWS

HEALTH NEWS

CLIMATE AND NATURE NEWS

RELIGION NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

VIKING NEWS

POLITICS AND ETHICS

 

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