Imbolc/Early Spring ceremony may essentially be a rite of affirming the Original flame of being in you – this Native, wild self: and this is the Flame that Great Goddess Brigid of early Celtic peoples traditionally tends, the sacred Flame of Being. This is who She is … and it is why She may be entitled as “Virgin”, as She and all Goddesses always are; and as any one of us always may return to, our Original being. It is just that we frequently forget. And this is what “Virgin” means … it has nothing to do with unbroken hymens! We all may be “Virgins”, and always are in the native place of our being. Imbolc ceremony is a Moment for re-membering and dedicating one’s self to this Original Flame in you, your belonging here, your particular direct connection to the ever-present Origins of this place, to your Indigeneity, your autochthonic connection (is another word for it) … which is how I understand “innocence”- it is knowing and acting from your umbilical connection to the Mother, to the Web.
This is a continuation of the Winter Solstice Poetry, where we have celebrated the birthing of new being: Imbolc is about tending this tender new being … making a commitment to it. The ceremony may be a dedication to your particular unique beauty – recognising that, your particular expression … what/who you are gifted to be. And this self/Self is sovereign … it is the pearl of great price: if She (this original Gaian self) is not at centre, nothing is in balance. Her passion to Be must be attended to … this is where the Universe speaks in you: each must listen.
This all takes quite a lot of contemplation (perhaps years) in a culture where we have become so alienated from our Place of Being, from who we are, from our Original selves: where we may have forgotten much of our ancestral belonging to this Earth, and to this Cosmos. The rituals of the Seasonal Moments are a practice of our Indigeneity, of coming back into relationship. Imbolc/Early Spring may be a beginning Moment … a beginning again, as the new light waxes; and New Being struggles through the cold and many challenges.
Below is a photo of my young self that I sometimes choose for Imbolc table-altar. For yourself, you may prefer an image of your baby self, your toddler self, or perhaps any other younger being who beckons your love. Or you may prefer an image of an older self who has the Young One in her eyes – I have such a photo of my mother, taken when she was about 18 just before she married, that I like to put out for Imbolc: sometimes it makes me weep – the innocence in her eyes. Enjoy your Imbolc/Early Spring … tend the Flame within you.
© Glenys Livingstone 2013 (with 2016 edits)
For an Imbolc/Early Spring Meditation from PaGaian Cosmology Meditations CDs:
(this is tracks 1 and 2, CD 2, PaGaian Cosmology Meditations)