Of all the pagan feast days, Imbolc is close to my heart. Spring is coming– and Brigid presides over the new sun, the quickening sap in the trees, the buds preparing to flower.
Brigid’s presence is felt all over this island, with many places being named after her. Brid(e) is Brigid; t is thought that her blessing was sought by brides. She is also the goddess of blackberries and swans, poets and blacksmiths– a perfect correspondence! I feel her over my shoulder as I work.
I have quoted Emily Dickinson’s poem 365 here before, but it is perfect here:
Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?
Then crouch within the door –
Red — is the Fire’s common tint –
But when the vivid Ore
Has vanquished Flame’s conditions,
It quivers from the Forge
Without a color, but the light
Of unanointed Blaze.
Least Village has its Blacksmith
Whose Anvil’s even ring
Stands symbol for the finer Forge
That soundless tugs — within –
Refining these impatient Ores
With hammer, and with Blaze
Until the Designated Light
Repudiate the Forge –
To celebrate today, I’ve experimented with making some incense from dried herbs and flowers– basil, bay, camomile flowers, cinnamon, dill, nettle and rosemary. All ground up with my mortar and pestle and burned over a charcoal disc.
Blessed Imbolc, dear reader!