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Imbolc and Brigit Full Moon
Matriarchal Wisdom
Jan. 15, 2016

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Hello Wise Women,
What a circle we cast and a Web I weave!
The wheel is turning…
Imbolc February 2nd, is a cross quarter, and these four days marked the midpoint between a solstice and equinox. For the ancient Celts, these marked the beginning of each season, with the major two divisions being winter (Samhain), starting the dark half of the year, and summer (Beltane), and starting the light half of the year. It falls midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and in many traditions is considered the beginning of spring.

This time around, the talk is Candlemas, the coming of light and life. Spring is nearing can you feel her approach. The energies are flowing to and fro. The information on Imbolc fills the recesses of the internet if you are interested in creating a ceremony or practice for yourself or a group.

As we prepare for this transition, many of us begin making garden plans, ordering seeds, walking the land or possibly moving the furniture around. Brigit is a goddess of fertility, goddess of the flame and light. She is also a Christian saint to some and there are hundreds of articles about her. The tradition of spring purification is part of the action of early spring on the body.
A sacred fire burned in Kildare reaching back into pre-Christian times. Scholars suggest that priestesses used to gather on the hill of Kildare to tend their ritual fires while invoking a goddess named Brigit to protect their herds and to provide a fruitful harvest.
When St. Brigit built her monastery and church in Kildare, she continued the custom of keeping the fire alight. For her and her nuns the fire represented the new light of Christianity, which reached our shores early in the fifth century.
Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis) a Welsh Chronicler, visited Kildare in the twelfth century, he reported that the fire of St. Brigit was still burning in Kildare and that it was being tended by nuns of St. Brigit. Some historians record that a few attempts were made to have the fire extinguished but without success. It survived possibly up to the suppression of the monasteries in the sixteenth century.
The Christian season of Lent begins near this time (Feb. 18, 2016), and some Candlemas customs have become associated with Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (the day before Lent’s beginning on Ash Wednesday), which is a time of purification. Others practiced the purification rights in spring, such as those initiated in the secret rights of the Eleusinian’s that participated in purification ceremonies in the early spring.

The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day is at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:

February 4, 1841 – from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris’ diary…”Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

Matriarchs of the family, the mother, or grandmother, today guide the family with their love and wisdom. Teaching our youth about the ancestors and teaching them respect for all living things. One aspect of the wise women during the turn of the wheel is the Goddess Bridget. Another one is the change of season and another Maiden, Mother, Crone aspects.

This year on January 20 as we wait for Imbolc, get ready for sky watching, as “All five bright planets will appear together in the morning sky until February 20, 2016. That hasn’t happened since 2005. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn should be visible simultaneously before dawn”. You will be able to see them without a telescope.

My friend Kathy is turning her wheel; she is making Candelaria’s Transition Tapers. This is a time consuming and very magical process. As she updates me on the process, I am amazed at what energy goes into the tapers.
Kathy and I became acquainted through a mutual friend, and have become friends ourselves. Discovering that there were some mutual interests bringing us together, we are collaborating on the formation of a Women’s Alliance. Our interest in Women coming together for common causes, like-minded spirituality has continued to sustain this direction.
In the next three weeks, we will be co-working at least one event, at Broadwell Hill Farm and in conjunction; there will be other individual events on successive days, the times yet to be determined.

Love and Light

Nightsky~

The calendar follows:

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The following dates are subject to weather conditions.
• Sunday, January 17, 2016 Waxing First Quarter Moon
 9:15- 9:45 AM Global Meditation
 10-11 AM Open Studio: meet & greet, self-guided nature walk
 11 AM – 12 PM Potluck Brunch with the Story of Broadwell Hill and Candelaria Crafts
 12 PM – 1 PM Demonstration Pour with Talking Ladle Circle
 1 PM-5 PM Co-Creative Pour with 1:1 assistance and Open Play
 5-6 PM Fire Turned Down, Last Pour, Farewells
o $10 and/or work trade
o RSVP for directions, parking guidance, what to bring
 kathy@broadwellhill.org
 740-448-4000
• Saturday, January 23, 2016 Full Moon
 10-11 AM Open Studio: meet & greet, self-guided nature walk
 11-12 PM Working Potluck Brunch – Last Pours, Finishing Work
 12 – 5 PM Working Studio – Open Play – Self-Guided Nature Walk
 5-6 PM Closing Circle, Candle Exchange
 single 7/8″x18″ taper $50.00 and/or work trade
o $10 and/or work trade
o RSVP for directions, parking guidance, what to bring
 kathy@broadwellhill.org
 740-448-4000
• Thursday, Feb 4, 2016 Imbolc! Mid-Way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox!
o TBA
• Sunday, Feb 7, 2016 New Moon – New Year – Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey
o TBA
 (What do we want to manifest as the Wheel Turns into the New Year?)
• Sunday, February 21, 2016 Full Moon
o TBA