In PaGaian Imbolc ceremony there is a tradition of each participant processing on a red aisle/carpet with lit candle in hand; this processing is done upon making a dedication to the unique self, to tending and nurturing its unique gifts and beauty. This dedication is a commitment to Being, expressed as a commitment to the Great Goddess Brigid: it is a Brigid-ine dedication, a “Brid-al” promise to tend the flame of being in one’s self. A red aisle, as is used for the procession of each one in this ceremony, is also commonly used for procession at cultural and political events worldwide, and at weddings; but its origins are not usually considered or understood. It is my opinion, based on Goddess-framed readings (I can’t remember where), that the red aisle/carpet represents the fertile creative flow of the Mother; and certainly that is how it is understood in Imbolc ceremony. In the dedication to Her, to tending the flame of self, each one walks in the Flow and Creativity of the Mother[i]. In processing on Her red aisle, each one is remembering origins, the fecund source of being, invoking Her generative power, which is within each being; and can be relied on.
In the Imbolc ceremony then, Brigid receives each one’s dedication and praises their “commitment and freedom to Be”, proclaiming each as “a Promise of Life”[ii]. It is Her fertile flow that enables it all.
© Glenys Livingstone 2018
[i] I love to think of this when I see dignitaries of various kinds strutting on red aisles: if only there was consciousness of the real power represented beneath their feet!