31 January 2010

Kate Braun : Candlemas Seasonal Message

Candlemas. Image from Judeness's Weblog.

We focus on Mother Earth

By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / January 31, 2010

“Keep on the Sunny Side, always on the Sunny Side, Keep on the Sunny Side of Life...”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010, is Candlemas, also called Imbolc, Feast of Lights, and Brigit’s Day. February 2 is also Groundhog Day, when we are accustomed to search for assurances that Lord Sun is continuing to grow in strength and power, with promise of a fertile earth and survival assured for another year. Lady Moon is in her third quarter in Virgo, a quiet and passive participant in this season’s festivities.

The seasonal focus is on Mother Earth awakening, is about rebirth and fresh starts; many of the activities associated with Candlemas promote that message. Polishing all the shiny surfaces (mirrors, windows, tile, porcelains, and metal), sweeping out dust bunnies, and doing some general “spring cleaning” makes it easier to reflect the lights you display, which, in turn, strengthens Lord Sun’s emerging energies.

Tuesday is Tyr’s day. Tyr was a mighty warrior, a fierce fighter, and some systems associate him with Mars. Mars is retrograde at this time, not going direct until March 10. Do not be surprised if differences of opinion escalate into more energetic exchanges, but do what works best for you to ensure a calm and peaceful environment for your celebration. This could be as simple as using a smudge stick that includes lavender before your guests arrive.

Dress your altar, your table, and yourself in white, pink, and yellow. White for maiden, pink for matron, yellow for crone; the triple goddess is honored. White is also for milk, pink for the skin of new-born lambs, and yellow for the emerging Lord Sun who will nourish not only the lambs but also the Earth. All pastel colors may be used in this celebration, but they should accent, not replace, white, pink, and yellow.

One activity you and your guests may plan is to go through the entire house, starting at sunset, at the front door and moving clockwise as you open every door, window and drawer and shine a flashlight into the closets, bins, hampers, drawers, under beds and chairs. This symbolically welcomes Lord Sun into every nook and cranny and promises growth and prosperity for the emerging year.

As you begin your celebratory meal, be sure to drink a toast to Brigit, patron saint of Candlemas. She is also patroness of poets, artists, blacksmiths, and midwives, and is honored by shepherds and cattle herders. She is a fire goddess and a sun goddess. Feed your guests spicy foods (they add to Lord Sun’s fire) and milky foods (for the milk filling the udders of ewes) as well as seeds, meat or poultry, herb teas and wine. If you like, make a Brigit’s Wheel to use as part of your decoration.

Another activity you may enjoy is to hang a silk scarf in an open window; the breeze moving through the scarf charges it with positive energy. The scarf may then be used in rituals and spell-work throughout the year. If you have been gifted with more silk scarves than you need, consider performing this ritual using your “extras” and then give them as party favors to your guests, being sure to explain the action and intention associated with this gift.

[Kate Braun's website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at kate_braun2000@yahoo.com.]

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