Imbolc Newsletter 2 February 2018
Imbolc, when the nights are beginning to not get so dark so early, and although the weather worsens once the days begin to lengthen, life is beginning to wake up once more as the lambing season draws near and snowdrops push their way through the snow. I am beginning the newsletter whilst stuck in snow high in the French Alps, along with thousands of other skiing tourists, having come up here with my man to see in our 1st New Year together as Mr & Mrs, with hopefully fresh snowfall for plenty of skiing and walking. However, we got more than we bargained for as storm Eleanor hit the Alps and most of the week was a write-off, due to too much snow!
I love the snow. I love walking in the snow. The only sound is the crunching of the snow, as everything else always seems so silent. You get time to think, time to pause, and time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. Survival is prime in your thoughts…not minor problems. I went on a walk myself after a night of snowfall, to the next quarter to meet Alan, who was skiing there. It was a set path I had walked the previous day, yet halfway along it, I realised that I was completely snow blind. I could not see a thing. There was a wall of snow to my right, white thick sky pouring with snow, and a huge drop to my left, and somehow, I had to stay on the path. Talk about superb exercise for mind and body!! Nothing at all went through my head except how do I not fall down this drop and kill myself!! When survival is a prime fact of life, nothing else matters. The head completely clears of all mundane rubbish except I knew I had to ask Skadi to guide my Way.
Skadi…the Norse Winter Goddess
Dressed in white fur and metal armour, with her wolves, bow and arrow and snowshoes, her domain rules the mountains in winter. She is the complete embodiment of strength and courage during the winter months when ice, frost and snow take over the mountains. She is happiest when hunting, skiing or walking decked in her favourite snowshoes in the snow-covered mountains of Scandinavia, the area being named after her!
I mention her now as she rules over those dark times we all go through one time or another, and brings out the things that are really important from within (like not falling down that mountainside!) She positively encourages and rules over independence, strength and justice, stopping at nothing to get where she needs to go, but with passion and integrity, she is determined to live life to the full, no matter how harsh the winter gets or how hard the circumstances become!! Skadi helps you be determined to overcome, no matter how tough the climate or how difficult it becomes, to provide for yourself and your loved ones…Women power at its best… go girl!!
Winter is a dark time but is part of every year. When times are dark, it calls mainly for patience and persistence because, after every dark winter comes the Spring, when new life and growth will begin again.
We are going through tough times once more and our country’s future is not certain, but under the snow, life goes on. Animals hibernate. Seeds await germination, and Imbolc is symbolised by Snowdrops pushing through the snow and ewe’s milk, meaning new life and fresh meat is on the way. The circle turns once more and life goes on regardless of the circumstances around. Out of the dark comes the light. Winter does not last forever and the cold will eventually warm as the Sun returns, so enjoy the purity of the winter and embody the strength of Skadi when challenged. Light a fire, stay warm and dry, and snuggle up with those you love till Spring gets here!
Snow and the kids…
Like I said, I love snow and there is nothing like snow to bring out the child in you. When we were in the centre of the storm and could not move due to 100mph gusts of wind (no, literally could not move, skiers included, pinned on the mountainside), so figured a long early lunch would be a good thing and wait to see if the weather improved. A nice bottle of Pinot later, we headed back to the hotel, where Alan spotted 2 plastic sliders! What a hoot up the hill with the kids, sledging down the slope! Turned out to be the best and funniest part of the holiday! Check out the video on FB…only one I could get because impossible to fingerprint into the phone on a snowy day!!
Back to Imbolc and what to do…
I like to decorate my altar with an orange or yellow sphere candle to represent the sun beginning to gain strength. If you have snow on the ground, collect some in a water dish, put it on the altar and allow it to melt to show that winter will soon melt away and make way for Spring, as the sun begins to gain strength and heat up the ground.
Place white flowers on your altar and blend incense of copal, juniper berry and cinnamon, and burn on charcoal around the home and on the altar for peace and purification on this day. Light your usual white candle dedicated to Brigid alongside your 3 snowdrops or white flowers and light 3 white tea-lights or candles for 3 wishes…one universal wish for the country, refugees or similar, one for someone special and the last for yourself. Let the candles burn out. After Imbolc, begin cleaning and de-cluttering your home & make small healthy changes to your diet to begin to purify home and body of dust and debris (not mentioning the winter coat) in preparation of the arrival of spring because it will soon be here…cannot wait for the Sunshine to return again!!
Spell for love at Valentine’s day…
We everyone wants in life is to be in love and be loved by that special person. I am lucky to have finally found my Mr. Right but not all have found their Mr./Mrs. Special yet, so here is a New Moon spell for you…
The Birch is the tree of new beginnings, so find yourself a little piece of bark paper from a local birch tree… if there is none on the floor under the tree, it should just peel right off without detriment to the Birch and thank the tree for its gift to help you find love.
At the new moon, write in red on the ‘paper’ a message, such as “Please bring to me a love so true” or in your words, your message for love. Prick your wedding finger and add a couple drops blood to the parchment. Then simply burn it in your cauldron and let its message ring out into the Universe…so mote it be…
A bit of sewing hoodoo…
To help draw a lover to you, take 2 small sewing needles and place the point of one with the eye of the other (needle Ying-yang so to speak) and place on a mint or basil leaf. Roll the leaf round the needles towards you, to draw love to you. Wrap securely with red thread around the centre, tying the pair in passion. Place in a red silk bag, and fold over and over the bind the pair together in the silk sheets and tie again with red thread. Carry in your pocket and/or hang over the bed or on your altar. When you have your lover, take apart, but if you need it spiced up a little, add 3 drops Jamaican rum and a drop Ginger oil direct to the silk pouch…
The Magick Meal
If you are planning a meal for your partner on or around Valentine’s Day, or just want a romantic dinner for two, then here are a few things you might like to consider to spice up your night. Firstly, set the ambiance with aromas such as Cardamom, Sweet Orange and Ginger, which also make a great combination in an oil burner, bath or for massage or you might prefer the 60’s love of Patchouli and the floral tones of Ylang-Ylang extra!!
When it comes to food some swear by Celery soup with a sprinkling of coriander as a starter. Small amounts of spices like Cardamom, Coriander and Ginger added to food such as maybe a stir fry or omelette with shellfish, carrot, sweet potatoes, olives and celery all help add spice to the loins. Compliment it with a little egg in some rice with a touch spice. Finish off the meal with Apricot Brandy or Cognac in coffee, all known aphrodisiacs!
Perhaps you would like to offer your lover some ‘special coffee’ courtesy of Scott Cunningham: Put half cup water in a pan with a tsp shelled cardamom seeds, which have been held in your hand and to which you have visualised your ‘desire’ for the night’s ‘fun’. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whilst brewing extra strong fresh coffee. Strain the liquid and pour into 2 cups, top up with fresh coffee and share with your partner…the rest is up to you. Cardamom reminds you of life’s true abundance and helps restore desire for contentment and black coffee helps improve libido…what more is to be said!! Have a great night…
Full Moon Wed 31 Jan @ 13.30 hrs New Moon: Thur 15 Feb @ 20.52 hrs
New Moon: Fri 2 Mar @ 00.52 hrs New Moon: Sat 17 Mar @ 19.49 hrs
A bit early, but wanted to give you all plenty of notice that we will be closed week beginning 5 March for the week as we have a new shop front fitted, weather permitting. The poor windows have finally given up the ghost and need replacing, so the shop front is getting completely overhauled in time for the shop’s 22nd anniversary on the Spring Equinox. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for updates on reopening, and make sure you stock up.
If you need help finding love, we have a little birch bark available courtesy of my tree surgeon son, available from Imbolc until it runs out so you are ready for the New Moon on 15th! In the meantime, may I wish you all a wonderful Imbolc and Valentine’s day and you are now magickally good to go if the snow returns again!!
Brightest Blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch)