Blog Posts,  Myth and Folklore,  Polytheism

Imbolg in a New Home

Imbolg was a little different for me this year. Since we moved to a whole new state in the middle of December, things haven’t really been set up the way I want because they can’t be. We still have so much work to do to this house – honestly, more work than it might be worth because of the housing market when we bought the house. The house needs structural work, a beam just split in the basement and hit a pipe the other day, and what feels like so many other things have just gone wrong that it’s been hard for me to catch my breath.

A book titled Brigid by Courtney Weber lays on a black table next to five chime candles - three green ones, a yellow one, and a green one.

I know Imbolg was a few days ago, but I’m finally getting time to write about my ritual and experience. I’ve needed to take this time to meditate on it and really process what happened and what it means for the future. This year, since I was low on brain space, I decided to do the Imbolc Rite for One from Courtney Weber’s book Brigid. I gathered my things at my newly set-up altar space. I followed the ritual and I had such an interesting experience with An Cailleach. It really threw me for a loop a bit.

I have never interacted with Her before, even as someone who works with Brigid. An Cailleach has been intriguing, for sure, but never someone I felt the need to connect with. I think what really did it was Courtney Weber’s words to call An Cailleach to the ritual.

Queen of Ice, Queen of Stone,
Hear me from your frozen throne.
Be here. Be here. Be here now!

Chanting this over and over again as I called to An Cailleach with my candles lit sent me into a meditative trance pretty quickly. I was met with An Cailleach in front of a hut in the snow with the sea in the background. She has an old face, full of wrinkles made deeper when she smiles. Her eyes are ice, frozen and cold and seeing right through me. She ushered me to her hut, and as I walked closer, the door opened. Walking inside, it was warm and cozy.

Now, I have ADHD and my house is never quiet. During this ritual, my fiance was downstairs doing his thing, my child was at school, and my dog was standing at the base of the stairs barking because she couldn’t get to me upstairs. I was struggling to focus and stay in the moment with An Cailleach so much so that there were several times in this experience that she snapped at me, right in front of me, and said “Focus!”. I managed to stay in this moment (with her help) and finish the ritual.

There was a wall in her home covered with jars. Each jar was sealed and wrapped in a chain, containing a different colored mist. Each mist was a different density – some soft and flowy, others heavy and full. Each jar meant something different and An Cailleach took the time to hand me different jars and explain their meanings. Then, I was instructed to break them. One by one, An Cailleach asked me to throw each jar on the ground and let the mist rise into the air. When I was finished breaking things, I opened my arms and was instructed to breathe deeply and let the mist back in.

Each colored mist was part of me, part of my life that needed healing or attention. The messages I received from An Cailleach and Brigid during this ritual are personal, so I’m not going to recount them here. I can say, though, that this ritual was an experience I hadn’t had in a very long time. I’m grateful for An Cailleach and Brigid and the messages they had to impart to me that day.

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