Imbolc Newsletter 2 February 2021
Here we are, now February 2021 and life remains in the status quo! Who would have thought that, after nearly a year, we are all still fighting the virus, still going in and out of lockdown and nearly 6 months and I am still trying to get my shop recovered from the flood…who’d have thought, but it is what it is so, onwards and upwards!!
On the positive note, lockdown cannot keep going and with the fightback, we are hopefully on the way out of this pandemic and I am certainly on the way back with my little shop…more on that later!!
Imbolc sees the coldest of our weather and January up here has certainly been the month of snow and ice. The clear, sunny, blue skies through the day and the dark, starry skies at night herald waking up to frost and the best weather in winter…oh how I do dislike the grey, rainy days so this weather suit me very well…it’s just a matter of the correct clothing and footwear!!
Imbolc heralds the waking of the Earth with the arrival of snowdrops pushing through the snow, which I have seen from mid-January. They are early this year, which is lovely to see, as I am usually searching for them for Imbolc! Mother Nature is waking up and soon, new life will begin to appear as the pregnant ewes milk begins to come in, showing that the first lambs will be born any day. As Alan and I celebrated Burns night with Haggis, neeps and tatties on 25th Jan, our conversation was steered to how times have changed! We expect anything we want to be available today, but back then, even just 100 years ago, food would be getting to an end from the Autumn harvest, so the celebration involved what was left: lamb offal with oats and spices, plus the only things still standing in the Scottish fields…potatoes and turnips! How lucky we are…if only we realised it!
Three wishes… we could all do with a little extra…
Imbolc encourages hope for the coming year, and after 2020, we all need a little hope, so use this wisely! Brigid gives us three wishes on her special day of Imbolc: one Universal, one for the family and the last for yourself!
Place 3 white flowers on your altar (snowdrops from the garden if you can find them) and light a white/natural beeswax candle dedicated to Brigid. From that candle, light 3 more and make your wishes as you light them. This must be done during the day of the 2nd and the candles allowed to burn to the end. Think carefully about what you wish for, as you only get the one chance annually, so make it matter and fill your life with hope for 2021!!
Self-care in this new year…
One thing I have learned over this whole pandemic thing, is to give time to me. Although I am in the shop every day trying to sort it out, set it up, unpack etc, when I am tired, I am done,! I close up and go home and have a little me-time…even if it is just a cup of coffee and a game of Sudoku before starting to make tea or take the dog out!
I think that the need for self-care has never been so obvious or necessary to ensure that your system is not overloaded to allow this virus to defeat your body, and equally, our mental health is supported, so here are some simple things you can do to help yourself physically, mentally and emotionally (if you don’t do them already!):
1. Remember to eat properly and eat well – find some new cooking recipes and enjoy preparing your food: teach the kids at the same time, and remember to take your supplements: Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc help fight this war and help keep your immune system boosted to defend your body against all invaders!!
2. Remember to take your exercise time outside and get that walk or bike ride to help you feed your soul as well as your body…reconnecting with time outside in Nature can only be a good thing for your physical & mental health!
3. Remember to drink plenty water to keep your system hydrated – vary the flavour with slices of orange, lemon or lime and learn to love the elixir of life! This applies to kids too rather than relying on cans of fizzy stuff!!
4. Remember to go to bed and relax: switch off social media and pick up a book at bedtime to ensure your brain relaxes and helps give you a good night’s sleep...sleep is the best self-care there is and if you get a good night’s sleep, you can cope much better with the day ahead!
5. Remember to relax, especially if you have kids: try a nightly bath with oils – my kids soon learned that I was in a much better mood with a relaxing bath that without it, and don’t disturb me…just 20 minutes was all I needed!
6. Get creative – use all this time to read those books, learn to knit, crochet, patchwork, cook, bake or teach yourself guitar, painting or decorating, kitchen drone-flying or DIY…whatever floats your boat or whatever you have always wanted to learn or do, but never had the time…use the time wisely and gain a skill, rather than laying on the settee watching endless daytime tv or playing computer games: do something you enjoy to fill your day!
7. Connect with Nature – whether a daily walk or finding time to tend your garden, deal with your house plants or maybe begin to teach yourself gardening. Plant a few bits on windowsills – anyone has space for herbs indoors for your healthy cooking – basil, chives, parsley, lettuce, sage, thyme. Get the kids to help and tend them…let them see them begin to grown and then regrow after cutting. You can even put a slice of carrot top in a saucer with water and let it grow. Also, how about home Astrology lessons & watch the sky. Look at the clouds, the stars, the Moon. Work out moon phases and star constellations in these clear night skies. Look for the North star, the Orion constellation , the red planet Mars or the Andromeda galaxy: connect with our ancestors and read the night sky.
There is so much you can do for yourself, you deserve it and we are being given so much time locked indoors, there is no excuse not to look for the positive & indulge in special self-care…always look for the silver lining!!
Make your own bath salts…
Sometimes, we just need to feel surrounded by warm water, close our eyes and relax, and a bath in a candlelit bathroom will do that for you and give you indulgent me-time. You will need:
2 cups coarse Sea Salt, 1 cup Epson Salts and ½ Cup Baking Soda. You can make it a milky skin-softening bath by also adding 1 cup whole milk powder. Mix the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
If you like dried flowers in your bath, you can add some dried lavender flowers and some rose petals or orange flowers, but I personally dislike bits floating in my bath, so never use them but this is your bath salts so add here if you would like them (I’m not the one cleaning your bath after!!) Also mix in 15-20 drops your favourite oil blend whether lavender, geranium, sweet marjoram, Frankincense, Black Pepper or Juniper berry or a mix…again, use whatever you would like for indulgence in your bath, as is completely up to you. Put your mix in glass jars and you can add a small amethyst point or rose quartz piece to the jar for infusion too. When you want a self-care soak after a challenging day, run a nice warm bath and add a handful or two of your mix to the water and swish it about until mixed in. Ensure your clothes are warming for when you get out, lose the phone, get in your bath with a good book and glass water, (and a wine if you really want to indulge) and just simply relax…you are welcome!!
How about a glass of Imbolc mulled wine…(if only I could prepare it for you…)
Like the normal mulled wine, you need red wine, but first, take 1 tsp mixed dried rosemary and mint leaves and infuse in a cup boiling water for 10-15 mins. Strain and add to half bottle red wine in a pan, heat with a cinnamon stick and couple cloves for a few minutes till hot, strain and serve…slainte …xx
I intended to cover monthly moons and moon work over the last few newsletters, but time has just disappeared with the flood, the pandemic and no customers, so I intend to catch myself back up!! The Ice Moon is the February moon, which is about spiritual purification, healing and loving yourself (hence self-care!!) It is also said that a cold, snowy February will bring a good spring, but a mild one will bring a stormy March…so watch that weather!!
The end of January can be used to end old cycles and February, when the Earth is beginning to awaken, means a good time to begin afresh, so is a good time to start clearing and making space for the new energies to come in (been doing that for weeks in the shop – gonna be Fab!) Start getting your body, mind and spirit into shape, which is why I have given you a few tips…as those times, they are a-changing!!
So how is the shop, I hear you ask?
When I saw the flood had hit my shop on 12. August, I expected to clean up and be back beginning September, then drying took us to end of September and expected to be back by Samhain. Disaster struck with the damage to the floor revealing it needing to be replaced! That meant the whole shop to be packed, floor removed which we discovered the brick wall between the stock room and the shop floor was actually built on the floor and was just suspended in mid-air, which meant new joists to support the wall or watch the end of my shop collapse, then a new kitchen, work area and toilet and I finally got the shop back by Yule, with all joinery work now complete. Painting took place after New Year followed by the arrival of the carpet tiles, fitted whilst filling shelves where possible, just in time for the arrival of the shop’s new shelving system. Now the rebuild of the shop, making it flow better by changing the layout, then to begin the long task of emptying of all those boxes & baskets and put the whole of the shop back in its new place…and finally, finally, we are getting there. With just 33 boxes to go after the re-construction of the shop, we hope to re-open by end February, ready for our 25th celebrations on 21 March (if we can have any!!). Seems to me that Maggie and the Elements decided that the storm would make a good time to give my shop a new look to celebrate the big anniversary…so I am looking at the silver lining and enjoying it. I have been updating the pictures on FB for you all to see the journey from destruction to our fresh, new beginning, but I am loving my shop’s new look, the magick is back, the fire is on and hopefully you customers will love its new look too!
I will begin again doing collections and orders once a week from beginning February, so if you need anything, let me know by the weekend, and if I can find it/bottle it on a Monday, you can collect or it will be packaged ready for posting on the Tuesday, ( to be posted Wednesday). The rest of the week will be spent undisturbed bottling, stocking, emptying, sorting and rebuilding full time to get ready for opening asap!! WATCH THIS SPACE!!
New Moon: Thu 11 Feb @ 19.06 hrs Full Moon: Sat 27 Feb @ 08.18 hrs
New Moon: Sat 13 Mar @ 10.22 hrs
Bright Imbolc Blessings from
Chris (alias the Green Witch)