31 January 2011

Kate Braun : The Feast of Candlemas

Celebrating the feast of Candlemas. Image from The Cottage Wytch.

Strengthening of Lord Sun:
The feast of Candlemas

By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / January 31, 2010
“You light up my life...”
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 is the feast of Candlemas. Also called Imbolc and Briget’s Day, it is a fire festival that encourages Lord Sun’s continuing strengthening. Wednesday is Odin’s Day: Odin, the highest-ranking Nordic deity who also personifies many sun qualities.

Choose from the colors white, yellow, red, pink, light green, light blue, and brown to adorn yourself and your festal area; incorporate candle wheels, sun wheels, corn dollies, and especially candles into your decorations.

Serve your guests seeds, dairy foods, spicy foods, breads, and meat. A menu including lamb curry; brown rice; and sauteed vegetables seasoned with onions, garlic, and chili peppers and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds would nicely invoke the fiery qualities of Lord Sun as well as tickle the taste buds.

A dessert of yogurt cheesecake in your favorite flavor would be an appropriate conclusion to the dinner. Including dairy foods in your menu reinforces the new life emerging on Mother Earth, as Imbolc means “in the belly” and February is when ewes bring forth their lambs and suckle them.

There is much activity associated with Candlemas that incorporates aspects of “Spring Cleaning," not the least of which is to clean all windows, mirrors, and other shiny surfaces. This cleaning and polishing helps to reflect the light of not only Lord Sun but also of the many candles you should light during the course of your celebration. The more candles lit, the greater the energy transmitted to Lord Sun and the stronger his energy will be in the first half of the year. Or so it is stated in Candlemas Lore.

Putting out and reigniting your hearth fire is symbolic of Lord Sun’s returning strength, as is shining a flashlight into every closet, cabinet, corner, and drawer. The more light brought into these areas, frequently forgotten in ritual work, the greater the positive Sun-influence will be able to interact with the home. This is the point of the celebrating done this day: to generate energy that promotes clarity, growth, strengthening, forward motion.

But do not cut or pick plants on this day; to do so would be to cut short the energy going into their growth.

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

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