The Cleansing Waters and Sacred Flame Imbolc Ritual
Imbolc is traditionally celebrated on February 1st through sundown on February 2nd . This Sabbat marks the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Imbolc is a promise of what is to come. It is the herald of springtime and the assurance that warmer days are ahead. Imbolc commemorates the changing of the form of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden and is the celebration of the first signs of spring. This is a Sabbat of purification after the shut-in life of winter. Because of the energy surrounding this day, it is full of potential and the perfect time for planting seeds of intention.
We honor the Bright Goddess Brigid on this day, the Healer, the one that tends the Sacred Wells and the Keeper of the Sacred Flame. Brigid is the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry, and blacksmithing. This fire goddess begins her winter’s sleep in the fall and awakens around this
time each year. With the warmth of her sacred flame, she helps to ensure that Mother Earth is also waking up. Her warmth and light also help us to nurture the seeds of intentions that we are planting.
This ritual is designed to help us first cleanse away what is no longer serving us and help us to focus on our own inner flames. It includes a healing and cleansing bath and then time to sit with the sacred flame.
· Altar or sacred space
· Several white candles
· One red candle
· Snowmelt (if possible) or spring water
· Oat milk
· Herbs of choice for healing and purification (my choices are angelica, basil, cinnamon and drops of vanilla) for bath and candles
· Oil of choice for dressing white candles
· Dress the white candles with oil and herbs. This is done by applying the oil to the candles and then rolling them in the chosen herbs.
· Set up the white candles in the bathroom.
· Have oat milk, snowmelt (or spring water) and bath herbs ready in the bathroom.
· Have the red candle ready NEAR the altar or area you are working in.
· The healing and purification bath comes first.
· Begin to draw a warm bath.
· Light the white candles in the room.
· Think healing thoughts and intentions of purification as the oat milk, snowmelt/spring water, and herbs are placed into the bath water.
· Disrobe and get into the bath once it’s ready. Stay in until it feels right to get out but no less than 9 minutes.
. Let anything that no longer serves you be washed away in the waters.
. Bring your focus to your inner flame.
· Keep your mind focused on healing, purification, new beginnings and your own inner flame throughout your time in the bath.
· Empty the tub, dry off, and dress. Move to the ritual space taking the still lit white candles with you. *Be careful when transferring lit flames to another space.
. Set up the lit white candles around your ritual space.
· Ground and center yourself.
. Cast a circle.
· Invoke Brigid:
“Blessed Goddess of Burning Light
Healer and keeper of the sacred flame
I ask you to come to me now
Join me for this ritual.
Hail! Bright Goddess Brigid”
· Place the red candle in the center of the altar/ working space now and ask Brigid to bless it.
. Then say “Goddess Brigid, I have soaked within the healing waters, amongst the flames of purification. I ask of you now to help light any darkness that remains. Your sacred flame lies within us all, within my heart.”
· Light the red candle.
. Place your hands on either side of the red candle, close enough to feel its warmth but being careful that you do not get burned.
· Say “I keep vigil to the sacred flame within my heart.” Close your eyes and see this light within you, your own light and that of the Goddess.
· Now anytime you feel down, depressed, “in the dark”, light a red candle and intone, “I keep vigil to the sacred flame within my heart.”
· Thank Brigid and bid farewell
· Open the circle
. Make sure all flames are extinguished by snuffing (do not blow out).