Imboleg 2010: preparation

Moon: Waxing Ice Moon, sign of Taurus
Weather: Unseasonably warm, overcast, light rain and humid

I think this year I am going to actually hold a small ritual for Imboleg and invite some folks from the coven that Rose was head of. I also think I am going to invite my sister-in-law and my aunt. I know it is this weekend, but I also know that the ritual does not need to be precisely on that day. I'm actually leaning towards the prospect of combining the ritual with a full moon observance. Saving the private observance of Imboleg for myself at home.

This year is going to be a year of changes. I can feel it coming. I think that we all need to get ready for the coming year and that the changes are going to be big enough that we need to sweep away the remnants of the past year. I am going to be a bit of a sassy thing and bring a little bit of the paganism with me to the game I'm attending this upcoming weekend. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think it really wouldn't be fair to everyone. So, I believe I'll just let it remain separate.

For the ritual, if I can manage it, I want to do a candle blessing and purification ritual. I don't know if this thaw is going to hold. If it does, however, I believe that I want to take the opportunity to burn slips of paper with the things we're purifying ourselves of. I also believe that I want to burn slips of paper with prayers for the new coming spring. I'm fairly sure that it will be a straight forward and simple thing. Some of the best magic, however, is the simplest.

Because Imboleg is deep winter's end, I want to reflect this. The last of my winter altar images are going to get put away. I believe that the altar 'furniture' is going to be rearranged somewhat as well, with a new altar cloth laid down. I think I'm going to replace the rose quartz sphere with the marble egg. I also believe that I'm going to replace the raw rose quartz piece sitting there with a clear quartz point. The stalks of wheat that are in the vase sitting on the altar in a position of honor are going to be replaced with a small pot of soil. I'm not fully decided on this. I may just let it stay until it...

Actually, I just figured out what I should do. I should take one of my small bowls that I use for offerings and put seeds in it. I'm going to need to think about what kind of seeds, but it'll make sense soon enough. The colors pink are frequently associated with this Sabbat because it's so close to Valentine's day. I don't know if I want to do that, though. I'm thinking something closer to a spring green. And I'm also thinking that it'd be more fitting to have a small pot of flowers rather then the seeds on the altar.

I don't know what'll be best. I suppose I am rambling, but I do know that enough time has passed that we really should do something. Rose would be heartbroken to see how the circle has fallen apart with out her.

Candle Magic for Healing

Moon: Waxing Ice Moon, sign of Taurus
Weather: Unseasonably warm, overcast, light rain and humid

The link I have above is to a website that has done a fair amount of homework on this subject. They do a pretty good job of representing the 'standard' understanding of color associations for candle magic. I'm not going to write down the spell I used here because I have yet to write it into my Book of Shadows. Furthermore, it is more effective to make your own spell then to use one from someone else.

All of that said, I have a blue candle burning on my altar right now. It is infused with the oils of rose and chamomile. While the packaging for this candle says it is for positive energy, I'm not using it for that. The nice thing about candles in magic is that the people who sell them can suggest what you use them for but you ultimately decide how you use them. I could discuss that and ramble along on that topic for a while but that's not the objective with my post here.

I wanted to talk about healing magic and candle magic. Candle magic is something that works fairly quickly, in my opinion. If I wanted to do magic that manifest within a week or a few days, I get a candle that burns quickly and use it for this purpose. Candles that take longer to burn can equate to a longer time period until manifestation. That is, however, if you are keying your spell to the consumption of the candle. It is possible to focus the spell's manifestation on different elements of the use of the candle.

I have a big fat pillar candle on my altar. It is one that I burn when ever I am praying or meditating. It serves as a visual focus for me and as a representation of my offering to the Gods. Other candles have different purposes and my use of them reflects it. They all have the same basic function, which is to be a physical tie to what I am working to accomplish and a psychological key to help me enter the correct mindset to engage in the task I have. I like candle magic because even the act of lighting the candle helps to settle and focus me. It is a ritual all by itself.

Healing magic... Oh how much of a mixed blessing that is. On one hand, we like to think that healing magic makes us feel wonderful and somehow removes all ailments. It doesn't do that, however. Properly constructed healing magic works to help the subject reach the state that will be maximum health for them at that time. It doesn't specify that they are what is commonly understood as healthy. I've done healing magic that brought that result. I've also done healing magic that brought death. It was not my intent to bring death, but death was the healthiest state for the person to be in, for it released them from the great suffering that they were in.

Healing magic, like love magic, is a double edged sword. My blue candle is focused upon my psychological healing. Since I have put it on my altar and started burning it, it hasn't alleviated my flashbacks, night terrors, or the trembling fear that stalks my heart often these days. Instead, it has been forcing me to confront them by placing situations and events into play that serve either as a mirror or draws these buried things up into the light of my conscious mind. It is not comfortable, gentle, or anything even remotely resembling pleasant.

It is as difficult to heal as it is to be wounded. In many ways, I believe it is harder. I think this healing magic that I am working on is like calling in another pair of hands to assist me in forcing the infection out of a wound that had scabbed over. That other pair of hands won't shrink from something because it causes me discomfort. It is very, very hard to accept that magic works like this but when you do accept it, you become far more successful.

Right now, however, I look forward to when the pain eases back to more tolerable levels. I don't believe I'm going to cast anything to make this healing progress faster because these kinds of things, if they go quickly, seem to turn very, very ugly in the midst of moving rapidly before hitting that desired result.


St. Distaff Day?

Waning Snow Moon, Sagittarius
Cold but seasonal, light area wide snowfall, winds from the north-west

In Medieval Europe, the day after the Feast of Epiphany was known as St. Distaff day. This was the day when women resumed household work and the holiday season ended. It was a day when pranks were played and men and women embraced the new year. I am not Christian by any stretch of the imagination but there's something to be noted about having a day where work of the home is celebrated.

On my little altar in the living room here, I have a little braided wrist distaff and my spinning materials are all about. I've been ill and much of the household orientation has been upended as a result. Instead of it being done by intention, it was by necessity that my husband took on the role of Mr. Mom for the last few weeks. To say the least, the children were a bit taken aback by the change in routine. In medieval households, such changes were light hearted and done with a sense of exuberance to brighten up the dull days of deep winter.

It was good to have the experience, I think both my husband and I learned a lot from it. I learned that I needed to step back and let him handle things when I can't do them. It's not easy to do that. He learned what I did everyday and the challenges and joys of it. I don't think he's laughed quite as much as he did last week at the antics of the boys in a long time at work. I may intentionally incorporate something like this into the observances of the year, this way we have reminders like this when we need them.

I'm also fairly certain that the little boys will make fine Lords of Misrule. They've got a good start on it as it is right now.