Imbolc Solo Ritual
by Maria Ede-Weaving
Ritual Statement: I draw circle in my sacred space to celebrate Imbolc, the festival of growing light. Though the cold chills me and the wet winds keep me hunched in upon myself, there is a stirring within the earth, a stirring deep inside my winter ponderings that comes in the shape of a tiny spark. It is the seed quickening in the soil; it is the candle flame lit in the darkness. The days quietly lengthen and my hope rises like the tender green shoots of early spring bulbs.
Grandmother Winter’s presence is with me still, but it is now that she calls forth her golden and joyous daughter to touch the land, and my being, into life. As the Maiden Goddess of the inner fire walks upon the earth, snowdrops and crocuses spring beneath her feet; as her warm fingers touch my face, I sense the tender beginnings of renewed hope.
Calling the Goddess: I call upon the Goddess of the Sacred Flame and Holy Well – Maiden of snowdrops and the first stirrings of spring. Your seemingly fragile blossoming is filled with the strength of your inner fire, surviving the harshest frosts, snows and storms, just as the light of my spirit survives the darkness and cold, your love protecting it like hands cupped round a flame. You are that moment of magic as the first glow of light emerges from the dark horizon, signalling the coming of dawn.
Come with your warmth and energy and quicken the seeds of my new life; come with the life-giving heat of your fire to thaw all that is frozen and trapped within me; come with the melting release of your waters, cleansing away the staleness of my spirit, the winter debris of my heart. You are the liberation of the land from winter’s grip – free me from my own stagnation. You are the bright spark of life and inspiration that burns in us all – be the hearth fire at the centre of my home and heart, sustaining and warming, a place to gather and draw inspiration, nourishment and comfort. Be the fire of passion that animates my creativity that I may create my world anew, that I too may become the spring. Goddess of the sacred flame and the healing waters, please be present to bless my ritual. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Calling the God: I call upon the God of this time of quickening, he who has been held in the still darkness awaiting the warming and life-giving touch of the Goddess’ heat. Her fiery kiss melts the stillness and the first, barely perceptible, flow begins; the movement of new life ever building and strengthening.
God of life renewing, at the edge of my senses I begin to feel your energy increasing, visible in the growing light and the first greening shoots of Imbolc. Like the seeds that feel the stirring of growth in the dark soil, I feel the first call of your desire, a sense that I must soon stretch, moving up from the warmth and safety of the dark to the ever-quickening call of the light. God of youth, beauty and love, please be present to bless my ritual and give new life to my winter-weary mind and body. You are loved, honoured and welcome here.
Healing Well and Healing Waters:
You will need a bowl filled with water, a floating candle, a pen and paper.
Take your bowl of water – this is the Goddess’ Healing Well. Hold it up and say,
Goddess of the healing well, fill this water with your power. As you hold the well in your hands, visualise the water glowing with the Goddess’ healing energy.
Take your floating candle, hold it up and say,
Goddess of the flame of inspiration, fill this candle with your power. See the candle glowing with the Goddess’ golden, transforming energy.
Write on a piece of paper the following:
I am cleansed, healed and renewed by the Goddess’ healing waters; I am transformed, strengthened and vitalised by her inspirational flame.
Place the paper beneath the well. Place the floating candle upon the water and light it. Focus for a while on the golden candle flame dancing upon the water’s surface. As you relax and focus, close your eyes and perform the following meditation.
Lighting the Inner Fire:
It is a cold, crisp night in the hours just before dawn. The starry sky arches its vast, twinkling darkness above you. You are sat upon the earth; the soil is hard and frozen; the grass glistening with frost. The land is silent and asleep. Your body and being are motionless, chilled and inert like the winter earth but you sense inside yourself a coming change and you know that you must prepare for its coming.
Draw your attention inward to the very core of yourself; this place is the centre of the scared circle of your being, and it is here that you will light the sacred fire. This sacred fire is the spark of life; it is the fuelling heat at the centre of the planet; it is the burning sun at the heart of our galaxy; it is the fire of the smith that will magically melt and transform you; it is a candle flame of hope in the darkness.
Standing at the centre of your inner sacred circle, you see the tinder and dry wood of your life, ready to be lit, and in its lighting, you know that the heat of this fire will bring change in the land, will bring the first tender signs of new life and renewal, of growing strength.
Become aware of your solar plexus. There is a flame that always burns here. Take some of this perpetual flame upon your finger and now light the wood at the centre of your inner circle from it. At first it glows only beneath the dark wood. Blow upon it the breath of your ideas, dreams and visions. As you do this, the flames begin to grow until the fire lights up the darkness.
You find yourself back beneath the vast starry sky, upon the frosty, frozen earth, but now you are aware that there is a glow at the centre of your being. Feel its warmth and light spread out through your chest, down your pelvis, into your legs and feet; feel it moving up through your shoulders, down your arms and in to your hands and fingers, up through your neck and into your head, until your whole body is filled with its golden heat and light. You are radiant in the darkness. Stay here in this moment for a while – take note of the feelings and images that arise.
Your attention moves from the inner glow to the land around where you sit. You gaze down at the once frozen soil beneath you. The frost has melted into life-giving moisture; droplets are hanging
from the blades of green, and through the earth a carpet of snowdrops rises, drinking in the life-giving melt, strengthening themselves in the warmth of your glow. As if by magic, you watch their brave green shoots pierce through; their delicate, white blossoms unfurl and hang in gentle bells of white. You have lit the fires of passion and inspiration and the land responds with the first tender signs of a new beginning. Pause for a moment; take note of all you feel and see.
When ready, you gaze at the horizon. Along the line of the land, a slim strip of the sky begins to lighten: the dawn will soon be here…Come back to your body, the present moment and open your eyes.
Now take the piece of paper from beneath the bowl and burn it in the flame of the floating candle, releasing its energy out into the world saying,
For the good of all and with harm to none; In full faith, so be it done.
Maiden Goddess of the Sacred Fire, gold-red woman, flame and honeycomb, song of the blackbird and touch of the sun, may the sweet taste of your healing waters remain upon my tongue; may your bright flame burn in my heart always. I thank you for your presence and blessings.
Bright God of the Growing Light, vibrancy of youth and golden glow of love, kiss me awake from my winter slumbers. May your sweet music inspire bright new visions and may your passion fill me with the energy to bring these to life in the coming months. I thank you for your presence and blessings.