Imbolc was less of a production than Alban Arthan, and somehow less satisfying. Perhaps, for me, doing a bit more makes a calendar day seem more real? It’s something to think about.
Not a big deal.
I’ll begin by saying why I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it: I’m not comfortable copying the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s liturgies exactly, because there is a lot with the well, the tree and the fire, as well as with the gatekeeper that I don’t understand. And, I don’t want to do more than I can understand at the moment. It doesn’t strike me as being ‘my path.’
Praying to dieties I don’t yet believe in would be okay with me, if I were certain that I want to awaken a belief in myself. A sort of (paraphrase here) ‘act as if ye had faith and faith will be given to thee’ activity. But I don’t know which dieties I want to believe in. So much surrounding Imbolc is connected to Brigid, but I don’t know anything about her. Should I hang a cross on my door to invite her blessings? I don’t know.
What I actually did.
A bit like at solstice, I celebrated in two parts. By myself, I went to Hofgaard (whose photo seemed in need of updating, see above) and first told him why I was a bit insecure with the whole Imbolc thing. Then, I began by circumambulating him, getting into what I think of as a ‘sacred’ frame of mind. (At the moment, ‘sacred’ means that I’m pretty insecure, but passionately eager. And I admit to using the word ‘circumambulating’ just because I think it’s a cool word.) The circumambulation is something that sort of has arised on its own from my visits to Hofgaard. It’s a way, I think, to combine my motion with his stillness, though I appreciate the value of being still with him.
Then, I stopped and, speaking aloud — because that makes it more real — I welcomed Spring, committing myself to attend to the signs of it’s arrival. I spoke of the growth we’d like to see in our family, and made clear that I didn’t know which growth is best for me, but that I hoped I would get it.
Not knowing how to approach the question of Brigid, I simply pledged to learn more about her before Imbolc came around again. (Hopefully, before the equinox, but. . .) I told her who I was, and that I hoped that, in as much as she could hear me, she could appreciate my desire to do too little rather than too much.
Then, at the four cardinal directions, I made my offering. Now, I offer birdseed, which is something that resonated with me after reading this post, in which sunflower seeds are offered. For some reason, I tend to offer first in the north, then in the south, then in the east, then in the west. I don’t know why, but it’s what I’ve started doing and I’ll accept it as ‘right for me’ until I learn otherwise.
Then, wishing Hofgaard a spring full of health and growth, I bade him farewell and was gone.
At home, I tried my ‘father holds a conversation at the dinner table’ routine surrounding the fact that this is the day that we welcome spring. We talked about signs of spring coming, but that conversation seemed to resolve around an appreciation of ‘Mr. Sun’ (as he’s called in a song that they sing in daycare) and of the good weather we’d had.
We’ll be going on vacation on Saturday and I expect we’ll be able to get our hands on some reeds/rushes there (I don’t yet know the difference) and I’ll lead a Brigid’s Cross hadicraft. I don’t know that, until I get to know Brigid better, that we’ll try to save it until next year. But, we’ll save them for the duration of the vacation.
Happy belated Imbolc, everyone!