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Imboc - the high wiccan holiday

Because we must both build a new world and fight the evil of these times I want to share what I believe and hope that there will be something in it to add to the post-revolution world. Because today and tommorrow is the wiccan/druid/shamanic high holiday of Imbolc I want to share my way.
Imboc - the high wiccan holiday
Imboc - the high wiccan holiday
Because I am a wiccan pagan and because I believe the Earth is sacred and to respected I share this high holy day with the Portland Indymedia community.

There was a time when every human community on Earth practiced a form of Shamanism. We honored the Earth as our mother. We honored those who knew about the healing plants, the nutritive foods, the planting and harvesting and the celebration. Even while planting and harvesting we treated the earth with respect and did not over work the earth or over harvest. We put something back for each resource that we took from the earth. We honored the Earth through ritual and celebration. These were not times of drunkedness and violence. They were ritualized events to remind us and teach us to honor the earth and all the species including the human species.

With that intro I wish to share with thehigh wiccan holidayl of Imbolc. Also known as the festival of Bridget from the Celtic lands or candlemas.

Imbolc, (pronounced "IM-bulk" or "EM-bowlk"), also called Oimealg, ("IM-mol'g), by the Druids

IMBOLC: The earliest whisperings of Springtide are heard now as the Goddess nurtures Her Young Son. As a time of the year associated with beginning growth, Imbolc is an initiatory period for many. Here we plant the "seeds" of our hopes and dreams for the coming summer months.

The concept of Spring Cleaning came from this Sabbat. Traditionally the greens of Yule that are left in place for our protection during the deepest Winter months are now removed and burned in a sacred fire. The home is physically cleaned from top to bottom. But what about our Soul Stuff?

I use this period between Yule and Imbolg to do the Soul searching and meditation called for in this season during The Winter Rites held on Yule. I put my financial life in order, my physical home in order and my relationships in order. I take inventory of my relationships with others. Are there people Išve hurt during this last cycle from Imbolc or - Imbolg or Oimelc? If so, I return to these people and apologize and seek forgiveness. They either give their forgiveness or not depending on their nature. I either leave with or without that which I sought. No matter if I received forgiveness or not I take that next most important step and forgive myself... refusing to carry the baggage of this relationship into the Spring Rites, which are but a few weeks away. Free now of these burdens, we gather in my home with brooms in hand and begin to turn whiddershins from room to room carrying with us incense, fire, water & salt, purifying each room we through of all negative energy. Chanting:

Thus we banish Winter... Thus we welcome Spring!

The Greens of Yule are then brought outdoors and burned as we continue to chant. I have found this a refreshing way to enter the up-coming Spring Rites and this imbolg activity & Ritual has kept my life from getting bog down by not carrying with me from year to year all that baggage we get from just day to day human relations.

Bridid - The Goddess of Ireland - Februray 1 is the day of Bridid

the power of a once-great ancestral deity, Brigid, whose name means "The Exalted One," queen and mother goddess of many European tribes. She is also known as Brigid, Bridget, Brighid, Brighde, Brig or Bride and some scholars consider her name originated with the Vedic Sanskrit word brihati, an epithet of the divine.

The 10thcentury Cormac's Glossary describes her as the daughter of the Daghda, the "Great God" of the Tuatha de Danaan. He calls her a "woman of wisdom... a goddess whom poets adored, because her protection was very great and very famous." Since the discipline of poetry, filidhect, was interwoven with seership, Brigid was seen as the great inspiration behind divination and prophecy, the source of oracles.

She is said to have had two sisters: Brigid the Physician and Brigid the Smith, but it is generally thought that all three were aspects of the one goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. Elsewhere she is described as the patron of other vital crafts of early Celtic society: dying, weaving and brewing. A goddess of regeneration and abundance, she was greatly beloved as a provider of plenty who brought forth the bounties of the natural world for the good of the people. She is closely connected with livestock and domesticated animals. She had two oxen called Fea and Feimhean who gave their names to a plain in Co. Carlow and one in Tipperary. She was also the guardian of Torc Triath, king of the wild boar, who gave his name to Treithirne, a plain in West Tipperary. These three totem animals used to raise a warning cry if Ireland was in danger.

Some Irish rivers bear her name, as do places as far apart as Breconshire in Wales, Brechin in Scotland and Bregenz in Austria, which was once the capital of the Brigantii tribe. This tribe was under the tutelage of the goddess Brigantia, who is thought to be another aspect of Brigid. The most powerful political unit of Celtic-speaking Britain, the Brigantii mostly held sway in Northern England, where place-names and rock-carvings still echo the presence of their mother-goddess.

Places on the internet to learn about paganism and shamanism


oh, jeez, wiccans are as bad as UFO buffs 31.Jan.2003 12:20


go drink your own pee or something

a word of support.. 31.Jan.2003 14:43


Disregard the ignoramous, anu probably didn't even read the entire article.

I did though.
It was a nice summation of Imbolc. The activism scene needs a soul to survive. A spirituality that regards the earth as sacred is right on target with the goals of saving the enviroment from those who would continue to despoil it to the destruction of us all.

Bright Blessings from a fellow Witch,

avu is right 31.Jan.2003 15:01


you guys are dumb jerks.

why dont you drop the wiccan thing and become a political buff. -Those guys are NEVER crazy.

Tinfoil, you are being a naughty troll 31.Jan.2003 16:45


Why can't you leave the Wiccans alone? What have they done to encourage your particular brand of annoying tripe? Sorry Hectate, this guy's agitated because the UFO crowd got under his skin and so now he's been impersonating posters (like myself) and generally making an ass of himself.

Your spring ritual Imbolc sounds like a very affirming process. I am always glad to hear about people taking back taking back ritual in their lives. Check out a good book by Acharya S called The Christ Conspiracy for a learned (she's a professor at the world's most prestigious school on Ancient Greece) acount of the "forgoton" Pagan roots and parallels in the Old and New Testiment of the Holy Bible...or the 'Helios Bible' as in the Sun Book.

resized pic for feature 31.Jan.2003 18:46

pdx indy graphics drone #6082

resized pic for feature
resized pic for feature

Oh! should I fly from the world! 31.Jan.2003 18:56

reposted by a poetry fan

(A British Romantic poet)

Oh! should I fly from the world,
Snowy gem of the earth,
Thou, whom unknown,
Old Scotia's jocund Highland Reel
The quill that now traces,
Joy a fixt state, a tenure,
By the first sigh that o'er thy lip did hover,
Hither, Love, thy wild wing bend
And must I, ghastly guest,
Nymph of the mountain, blithsome maid,
Return, ye fairy dreams of promis'd joy,
Fairer than Alpine sunless snows
What form celestial greets my sight,
Gay soul of every picquante charm
Go, mind-created phantom, go,
Child of a sun-beam, airy minion
As Love's delightful mother prest

oh, jeez, christians are as bad as UFO buffs. 31.Jan.2003 18:58


Just thought I'd show how silly it sounded. We can do a lot of these. "Oh jeez (insert religious, political, or other group here) are as bad as UFO buffs.

We consider the earth sacred. The majority of the country, if they believe anything is sacred, belive that only man can be considered sacred. No, anu probably didn't read the whole thing. We can't speculate what anu is, but we do know that we aren't alone. Even among religions.

I like this one, to put it into perspective, because the beliefs are similar:

"Oh jeez, Native Americans who practice traditional beliefs are as bad as UFO buffs."

It is saying exactly the same thing.

Anyway, enough responding to that, I noticed that a lot of people didn't sleep last night. Tonight might be even worse. It's a new moon, and imbolc is traditionally a time of great change. There is flooding, talk of war, and all kinds of human craziness. We should definitely work with other pagans with what is going on around us. It is getting scary, and a little help from the Gods might just pull us through, a little help from each other will certainly help too.

it's good to hear 31.Jan.2003 19:41

Willem willem@urbantribeschool.com


Thanks for sharing your spiritual practice and beliefs here -- it's good to hear that we've got a community of people who feel there is more to caring for the earth, alongside politics and legislation. There is a heart at the center, or there is no center.


heal yourself. don't be scared and lazy 31.Jan.2003 22:17


some self-affirming space taken to evaluate our personal lives .

to clean-up all the cobwebs -physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually- organize it in a way that is meaningful to ourselves and decide how we can best free up our (limited?) energy for positive usages.

i think that we can all agree on. it is good to periodically stand back and assess where we are and where we wanna be and how to be there. cleaning house makes the space easier to use. both literally and metaphorically.

i agree with any body who is the grateful to our only producer of life the great and powerful ever abundant and plentiful earth mama- may she live forever. she is the one who gives to us all things on which we rely. take care of her just a simple happy bit of work and joy every day and she will return it onto you tenfold. we never have to toil and slaughter.

i honor the strong powerful producers out there who learn and teach about the medicine and foods- one and the same- the earth supplies to these people- even in barren city landscapes. maybe especially there. we have much to learn to heal eachother my siblings. and much work. none of it is to hard but we must be persistent and there are frequently delays and we get tired - but

rest assured the earth takes care of her own. much love

HIPPIE SHIT 01.Feb.2003 03:01

Smelly White Hippie

This Wiccan feature is predictably picked by the New Agers and other assorted White Hippy-Dippies on the Portland Indymedia Collective.

Why the hell it is that there is so much pseudo-spiritualist mumbo jumbo and Religious Charlatans in the Pacific Northwest?

You people are worse than Berkeley, California.

I can guarantee you this ridiculous story would have never made the Features page at New York City Indymedia or even San Francisco Indymedia, among others.

And for you Portand Indymedia collective members, just because something religion or spiritualist group is "alternative" does not make automatically it Politically Correct.

You people are just a New Age version of the Religious freaks in the Bush Administration and Religious Right.

if you are good you can be god 01.Feb.2003 05:34


cause goodness is goddessness

so i wonder who the skeptic thanks for his food and water and air and heat. a big store, the clerk behind the counter, the multinational corporation who screws us for the equivalent of loose change to poor saps like you and me.

they do not produce any of these essential resouces. they merely steal them from the rest of us, package them, ship them, merchandise, employ, threaten, bribe, punish.

but we out number them and they would die without us to feed them and scrub their toilets. they are hepless when it comes to real world work of it.

sure does make me wonder why it would offend people to be grateful to the planet- the earth- for feeding us, providing us with shelters. cleaning our water. provididng our medicines. even those pharms in your medicine cabinet are likely plant derivatives or at least man-made synthetic copies of active plant compounds.

the plants are designed for use by us for food- and medicine- one and the same.

this is no opinion. all of these good things come directly from aliving earth. your white god doesnt come down in a tractor pulled by miniature reindeer and a big sack full of food . all of that gods tricks in his bag run on batteries. the earth is essential. how do you propose to do wihout?

i think the sticky point is the difference between god and good. god implies an omniscient, distant, controlling absent- father- figure. on the other hand, good implies that it is something inside all of us and we are responsible for what happens.
we can know the truth by looking for it inside of us and observing all the natural living things trying to live and grow the way they should.- by instinct and ancient patterns. our science is arrogant. we only begin to understand and attempt to replicate and regulate. we are not in control. its kinda like trying to look at a vast dark room with a candle.

if only men could be so wise as to find the faint trails left from old times.

take back your power, reclaim your work to guarentee that the earth will keep providing. compost, grow, watch, speak up! cut out the middle men. and dont give me no slack about jobs! that's stolen work and peoples life force that should be used for good not evil. do not be scared.

the gods of commerce do not love you like your motherplanet

The Circle Round 01.Feb.2003 23:05

not a new age hippie

To those whose vitriolic condemnations of Imbolc (and, I would assume, any other pagan spiritual tradition)- Have you considered whether or not your patriarchy has added to your hatred of female-centered spirituality? Perhaps it is your misogyny that made you take the time to lash out at a woman expressing her connection to the traditonal beliefs that existed in Europe before the Inquisition of Christianity. The criticism of New Age spirituality is vaild for us activists because it is, fundamentally a sel-centered path. But the ancient Celtic (and other goddess worshipping) traditions provide us with alternatives to our destructive spiral of avarice, greed, and wanton individualism... the web of life, our interconnectedness and our obligation to exist in a sustainable way are as revolutionary as the next idea... Thank you, sister witch, for reminding us of the imprtnace of this day.

ravenna 07.Mar.2005 07:54

gualolote clascoutx@hotmail.com

...check out the san appolinari mosaic, mary is seated with christ in her lap,
2 archangels on either side, the number two belongs to hecate/ehecatl and is
the second day of the nauatl tzolkin, her son quetzalcoatl, is on the day now,
and in front of mary are the 3 kings, that would be god/formerly goddess hecate´s function as tabiti of all animals and living things in her guise
as breath, of princes/piltzintecuhtli, behind them are 22 virgin martyres crowns in hand, enter the mayan or nauatl tzolkin 22 days and one lands exactly on
quetzalcoatl´s birthday, 9 ehecatl in the trecena of ocelotl, animal of the birthing goddess, tlazolteotl, lately of the birthing cave of france, the
chauvet pont d´arc where calendric numbers of 420 drawings, that would be the
human counting rebus, 20, basis of what we once thought of as the meso-american calendar, and, 72 ocelome/felines, the number of times the 260 day
birthing calendar goes into a 52 yr period having 4 suits and the origen of cards as well as being the first touch of what became the ecat/tholic church,
ocelotl from oceliuh/celia/celtic(Nauatl/the gene pool language of the northern riverine). hot stuff, let´s see how you handle it.

wicca 07.Mar.2005 08:08

root of clascoutx@hotmail.com

...wicca(OE), from the gene pool language of the northern riverine)russ/asia
altai)at the moment posing as uto-aztec, uica(Nauatl)=to wick/vicar/viking,
from the preposition, uic(N)/wick, then, (N)ike)mythology, the back and forth/
wicking goddess. the word means to rule, carry, transport, as in, the wickyup of the north american indians. or, uecaitta(N)/ueca(far) itta(see),
not too farsi/farcy i hope. none of the words for witch are perjorative,
they are power/poa(N) words.

Feb 1st is Imboc...but my group is doing it on the 2nd 01.Feb.2006 22:57

Mary MaryJWoodworth@aol.com

I plan to print your lovely text and bring it to my group we are starting up a new Unitarian cuups group.

as an activity we are dressing a bride doll and puting her in a basket to represent the brides bed.

We love doing things to celebrate the Goddess its a wonderful way to make our religion three dementional

blessed be