Imbolc is one of the four fire festivals, celebrating the light returning and the rising of the creative life force. Imbolc works with the energy of the fire, the fire is the catalyst which sets things in motion. It is the electric current that courses through the earth and every part of our bodies, it stimulates us into action, inspires, emboldens giving spontaneity to conviction, it is the threshold of awakening potential. These are the things that Glennie Kindred writes about in her book ‘letting in the wild edges’ about Imbolc. Before I read these things I was a little flat about Imbolc, but now her writings are getting in under my skin and I am excited for this celebration, it has sparked a recognition in my awareness of where we are in the wheel of the year. She encourages us to ask ourselves What do we want from this new cycle of growth at Imbolc ?, it is the time to fire up new intention, allowing it to propel us forward, to transform from the inside, a chance to change the relationship we have with the natural world, to see ourselves in the web of life. Here we can create new pattern, live with new values, at Imbolc Glennie says we can lay down foundation stones, set corner posts, be not complacent but adventurous, grow, change create a more joyful and harmonious future for ourselves.
As GD and I prepare for Imbolc we are trying to find foods and incense, crystals and oils that will add meaning to our celebration. The following recipe I found on a search for Imbolc foods.
We try to shop away from the large supermarkets and purchase from local farms around us, we brought this lovely fruit and veg grown on the farm and it was cheaper than the supermarket!, it tingled with energy.
After a great yoga class today I made a quick soup from the parsnips, it took forty minutes start to finish. It took just six simple ingredients and some seasoning.
1 large onion chopped, 1 clove garlic crushed, 1 knob of butter, 4 lg parsnips, 500 ml semi skimmed organic milk, 1 ltr chicken stock ( we used the stock we made from boiling up the carcass of an organic chicken we had earlier in the month).
Melt butter in a large wok or frying pan, add the onion and the garlic fry gently for 10 minutes, add the chopped parsnips, the milk, the stock and any seasoning you wish to add I added a couple of pinches pink himalayan salt, a couple of pinches of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of turmeric powder. Simmer for 30 minutes, liquidize and pass through a sieve. Reheat and serve with a teaspoon of mixed green herbs. I suspect little bacon chunks would work well with this too.
We also managed to find a Juniper smudge stick at Baldwins which we are using to smudge with at Imbolc. Many magical practitioners Athena from Sagegoddess says take the day off for Imbolc to stay at home and clean, organize, rearrange and prioritize bills, home and personal projects. A besom broom would come in handy here symbolising the sweeping out old patterns to usher in that which is new, fresh and productive, sweeping out what isn’t serving you, ready for the spring. I really need to get me one of those!.
above pic, getting ready, juniper smudge, sage candle, white candles, frankincense oil, citrine tumble and rough crystals and aventurine tumble crystal and egg.
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism this week, explaining why I have been feeling so ill and so tired the last half year, so it seems fitting that at Imbolc I am striving to return to that which is ‘pure, clean and nourishing’, these are the words of Athena on her post about Imbolc and they resonate strongly with me. I will be taking her advice regarding eating whole foods, taking long walks, using organic products, warm baths, gentle candlelight. She says ‘My life is no race to the finish; my life is a winding road with luscious turnouts and sweeping views, replete with sensual reminders to treat myself and those around me with loving care.’ I just Love Athena’s writing, it’s just where I am at.
There is so much more about Imbolc about the Goddess Brighid, ewes milk and crystals and oils, all good for another blog, but for the moment this is my offering. Happy blessed Imbolc everyone.