Imbolc - in the belly. This is a reference to the birthing of the lambs. I wonder how many people have actually seen a lamb birthed. It may be hard in today's urban culture for the majority of us to understand the life style of the farmer or the herdsman. There are other associations with this day that we can focus on - Brigit's Day, Groundhog Day, and it is referenced as a "Cross Quarter" day, half way between Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. With the association of Brigit, we also see the importance of Fire as well, her symbol, and the burning of the winter fields in preparation for the spring plantings. The symbol is cleaning. It is also a celebration of the home.
While this day harkens back to the lifestyles of the farmers, we can also look to this day as one of modern rites and rituals. As spring approaches we can look at this as a day to start the process of clearing away the winter debris in our homes and sacred spaces, and make way for the spring renewal. Clean the home, remove the stale air and musty carpets and rededicate our sacred spaces within our homes. Renew our wards that protect our homes and clear out our offices and freshen up and invoke protection and strength. This ritual is a symbolic cleaning, a place to start in renewing our home in time for the spring rebirth at Ostara. You also want to consider renewing your relationship with your Deities.
Please remember, if you are allergic to any of the soaps, detergents, oils or herbs mentioned below, you can and should make the appropriate substitutions for your needs. Any table of correspondences will give you the appropriate substitutions.
Spring is just around the corner. Winter has kept us indoors and it can be stuffy, cluttered with all our winter projects both finished and unfinished, and I bet the dust has collected everywhere. It is time to get things into shape, freshen up the house and office. It is time to clear and rededicate our sacred spaces.
This is a weekend ritual, or a ritual to spread over the week, and end on Imbolc evening. However, there is some preparation, so I suggest you read through this completely so you are aware of what you need to do to prepare for the final ritual.
For preparation, you will need:
a pine cleaner of your choice
If smudging irritates your nose or lungs, as it does with some people, a mixture of herbs scattered about and then vacuumed up is recommended. There are many combinations that you can find on the Internet, and depending on what you may have in your herb closet, you can put together a really powerful combination for use in your house. I like a cleansing, protecting and calming mixture intended to bring a positive atmosphere to the home:
sea salt or kosher salt
If you are cleaning your office smudging is not recommended as it will probably set off your building alarms. I recommend a cleansing mixture that will also bring success and draw money. Every business can use some success.
sea salt or kosher salt
These are to be scattered on the carpet during the ritual. Make sure everything is ground up small to get picked up in the vacuum. All these herbs can be purchased at your grocery store, health food store or in your local superstore, except the dragon's blood which can be found at most esoteric stores.
The river rocks will become powerful talisman. After the usual cleansing of the stones, either by laying them on salt or sitting in clear water overnight, it's time to make the protection stones. Chalk small pentacles on the stones. I suggested you get the larger black river stones to enable you to draw the pentacles with the chalk. The chalk will disappear in time, but the intent of the protection is there. Make sure you place very clear intent into the stones as you chalk them up. These are to protect yourself, your home, your property. Make that clear as you work. Make as many as you feel comfortable with placing around your home, in your office, or on your property. The stones are to be energized by the sun. Place the stones in the sun for a day, preferably on a Saturday, a good day for protection magic.
Start the preparation in the home by removing all the window coverings and washing them, or cleaning them. Use a lavender oil or lavender fabric softener in the washer rinse cycle. Also clear off all the bedding and wash those as well. Again use the lavender fabric softener or oil in the rinse cycle. Anything that can be washed should be and all should be treated with the lavender.
For the counters, sinks,tub, tile floors and toilet use pine cleaner. Give them all a washing down. Depending on the size of your house or apartment, this can be time consuming. So take your time, plan this out, and don't overdo it. Be thorough.
Once you have cleaned home, you will be laying your protection during the ritual. I would suggest considering placing the stones at the four corners of your house, by windows and doors and on the four corners of your property.
Once the preparation work is done, it is time to work your ritual. Imbolc brings in Brigit the healer and Goddess of hearth and home to the event. Your home, your family and your life can use as much healing as possible. We will invoke Brigit as the Goddess at this ritual, but feel free to use Hestia if you so choose or any God/Goddess of the home is good. I also suggest Lugh, the Sun God, but Apollo is good as well.
We are not setting up a circle. You working should not be contained to a circle; you want this working to cover all your home and property. Setting a circle contains energy, you want to spread it. You will also be moving about the entire home and property, so you are not looking to restrict yourself. Circles are not always necessary, and here is a good reason why.
Invoke the elements to your ritual, earth, air, fire and water. Each of the invocations should contain a statement of protection and harmony, such as invoking fire for cleaning out the cobwebs of discord or air blowing protection throughout the house, or water to clean and bring emotional harmony or earth to ground the house and bring peace. These are suggestions; you can work out your own wording.
Invite Deity, and ask that they join your ritual bringing healing, protection and a warm and loving atmosphere to your home. Again, a suggestion and I leave it up to you to word the invocations.
At this point you will smudge or distribute your mix, place your stones and chalk your windows and doors. Intent is to clear your home of negativity and residual energies that are not your own and protection of your home and property from unwanted intrusion or energy. You have already cleaned your home, which should smell great now, but I would take that spray bottle with some water and lavender oil and spray around the house, focusing on the intent to have a calm and peaceful home that will be inviting to friends and family.
Ask Brigit for good health for your family and to watch over your home in the coming year. Ask Lugh to brighten your home with positive energy and warmth. If you have a garden you use during the year, you may want to ask him to bless that garden as well. I have one of those concrete stepping stones I made with a sun pattern on it, and it sits in my garden as a reminder that the Sun is an important element to growth and well being. It is something to consider adding to your own garden, but not necessary. Intent is all that matters.
Once you have finished all the protecting and setting of stones, sit in the place where you started your ritual. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and feel the difference. Does the house feel as comfortable and warm as you want it to feel? Does it smell fresh and sweet to you? Does it feel like your home? If the ritual is a success, it should fell like second nature to you. It should feel peaceful, calming and secure.
Close your ritual by thanking Brigit and Lugh (or your own choice of Deities) for their presence and for their assistance. Dismiss the Elements by thanking them for their energy in this ritual, and then settle down and have some tea and something sweet to eat.
If you smudged, be sure to open the windows to let the smoke out after the ritual. I would vacuum up the cleansing mixture the following day, and get rid of the bag from the vacuum if that is what you did.
But there should be a very noticeable change in the feeling of the house. If not, I would recommend repeating this ritual again on a Saturday to reinforce it. And I would redo the cleaning during the week, just to make sure. Wash everything down again, just to reinforce it.
But if you worked your magic well, as I know you can, you should only need to do this once. And for the rest of the year, your home should be inviting, calm and a place where everyone is comfortable.
Note that should there be an issue, should you have a disturbance during the year that makes you feel uncomfortable in your home, you can repeat this ritual and bring back the energy that you have instilled in your home today.
For your office, I would recommend wiping down your desk area with a lavender wash, and putting the stones in place on a Friday. Or on Imbolc if you happen to be in the office. The salt mixture strewn on the floor can be done anytime, I recommend the day before the cleaning crew comes in. Wipe your keyboard off as well, and your mouse. Those things get really grimy. No one will notice anything different other than you are clearing up your desk, cubical or your office.
Invite the Elements to your space at work and ask your Gods/Goddess' to protect and provide calm and peace in this environment. If you work in a group space you can do a small circle around your space. I find that by spreading my energies to my coworkers and their spaces it tends to calm everyone down, and bring about a workspace more conducive to everyone working together better. To protect your office, do put a pentacle on your door and window with your power finger, rather than chalk. It works just the same and does not cause anyone to feel uncomfortable. Place one of your energized river rocks by your office door, cubicle entrance or under your desk. You can also keep one in the draw of your desk if you feel that it may make some folks uncomfortable. But remember, all that is really needed is intent, and if a rock is not appropriate, all you need do is put a pentacle on your desk with your power finger.
This ends the ritual, and I do hope it does for you what it has always done for me. This is a more elaborate ritual than many of the ones I have provided, but it is something that can be done year after year and does provide you with a starting point for some essential spell workings. Your home is your castle, treat it as such and it will always be a place you look forward to being in and returning to each day.