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Imbolc: One Among Many

Imbolc 2013. Presented for a group of about 10 people.

Tools and Material:

Altar with a centre pillar candle and four tapers, a candle in the south quarter, a smudge stick and a holder in the east quarter, a dish of water in the west quarter, and a dish of salt in the north quarter. Also needed: an athame, a battery operated candle for reading by, a food plate with grounding cakes or muffins, a pitcher of juice and a goblet for each participant, an offering dish, and a small dish of water for the blessing.

Cleansing:

Light the centre candle on the altar. Everyone gathers at the south edge of the living room.

One person will cleanse the living room with the smudge stick:

By sacred flame
By blessed smoke
I cleanse this space

Still carrying the smudge, they will stand in the south doorway.

Another person will cleanse the living room with salt water:

By sacred salt
By blessed water
I cleanse this space

Still carrying their salt water, they will stand in the north doorway.

Participants go through the south doorway and get cleansed with smudge smoke, then re-enter through the north doorway and get cleansed with salt water.

Opening:

Group breathing meditation for grounding and to unite energies.

One person casts the circle with the athame, including the entire living room and front hallway:

The circle is cast
Blessed be

North quarter call – all bow at the waist to touch the ground:

One earth
Dirt beneath our feet
Powers of the north, be welcomed
Blessed be

East quarter call – all take a deep breath while bringing their arms up in a big circle:

One atmosphere
Air in our lungs
Powers of the east, be welcomed
Blessed be

South quarter call – all stretch straight up, on tip-toe:

One sun
Warmth in our hearts
Powers of the south, be welcomed
Blessed be

West quarter call – all spread hands out from belly out to the side:

One ocean
Water in our blood
Powers of the west, be welcomed
Blessed be

Goddess invocation – all hold their hands out to the side, palms down, heads bent:

One Earth Mother
Our Lady and our home
Be welcomed
Blessed be

God invocation – all hold their hands up, palms up, heads tilted back:

One Father Sun
Our Lord and our life
Be welcomed
Blessed be

Centre:

Introduction:

February in Vancouver can be a challenging time, physically and psychologically. It is cold, and gray, and wet. The constant bad weather, and the short days, and the darkness can make it hard to keep active. It can make us feel small and tired and insignificant. This ritual is to honour that feeling, but also remind us that we are sacred and hold the divine within us.

This will be a three-part meditation. We will start with the readings, then sit for a traditional meditation, then stand again for a drawing down of divine energy. When it comes time for the drawing down, please open your eyes if necessary to stand safely, but try to stay in a meditative state of mind. For the drawing down, I will read two statements: a “you” statement, then an “I” statement, and you will repeat the “I” statement. For example, I would say “You are beautiful”, then “I am beautiful”, and you would all repeat “I am beautiful”.

Each reads their numbered card in turn, passing the electric candle:

Who am I whose ancestors pulled themselves out of the ocean and learned to breath the air?

Who am I who can talk to someone on the other side of the world?

Who am I whose ancestors sailed away from everything they’d ever known?

Who am I living on borrowed land?

Who am I in a mortal body, weak and flawed?

Who am I in flesh made of immortal stardust?

Who am I in a city of six hundred thousand people?

Who am I in a world of more than seven billion people?

Who am I standing alone?

Who am I in a cosmos of a hundred billion galaxies?

Who am I, wondering?

All sit for the meditation:

Close your eyes. Breath deeply into your centre.

Imagine yourself surrounded by pure red light. Red above you. Red below you. Red within you. Allow the red to slowly become orange. You are surrounded by pure orange light. Orange above you. Orange below you. Orange within you. (Repeat with yellow, green, blue, purple, and white.)

Imagine that you are looking up at the night sky. See the stars. Each star is a sun like ours. An estimated 30 to the power of 23 stars – more than we can see; more than we can imagine – all around our Earth.

Imagine rising up into the sky and looking back at our sun. It is a very average star: not especially young or remarkably ancient; not incredibly large or unbearably small.

Draw back and see our solar system: some planets, some moons, some asteroids. It is a very average solar system based around a very ordinary star.

Draw back further and see our galaxy: the Milky Way. It is an ordinary spiral galaxy, in a universe of them. We’re not even at the centre of our galaxy, but off on one of the arms.

It is thought that there may be one galaxy for every star in the Milky Way, making our entire world an unthinkably tiny part of the universe.

When our ancestors prayed to a God of the Sun and a Goddess of the Earth, they prayed to their whole world. We still do; knowing that there are nearly infinite stars does not change that this star is the centre of our world. There may be other planets just like the Earth, but the Earth is our only home. There are other stars just like the Sun, but the Sun is our only life source.

Turn back to the earth and look at it from a great distance. Feel all the lives. Over 7 billion humans are currently on our planet. In this circle, we are just a few of so very many: we are not especially talented or remarkably inept; not incredibly powerful or unbearably powerless.

To a baby, the only father that matters is their father. That there is a million other dads to a million other babies matters not. To us, children of the sun, the only Father Sun that matters is ours, be He called Helios, Apollo, Ra, or by any other name.

To a baby, the only mother that matters is their mother. That there is a million other moms to a million other babies matters not. To us, children of the earth, the only Earth Mother that matters is ours, be She called Gaia, Danu, Terra, or by any other name.

When you are ready, slowly stand and form a circle.

All stand.

Blessed be your feet, on dirt and sacred earth.

Blessed be my feet, on dirt and sacred earth. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your legs, walking and dancing.

Blessed be my legs, walking and dancing. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your core, full of need and desire.

Blessed be my core, full of need and desire. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your hands, that give and take.

Blessed by my hands, that give and take. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your heart, eros and agape.

Blessed be my heart, eros and agape. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your mind, curious and creative.

Blessed be my mind, curious and creative. (Repeat.)

Blessed be your spirit, dwelling in your sacred body.

Blessed be my spirit, dwelling in my sacred body. (Repeat.)

You are divine.

I am divine. (Repeat.)

Blessed be.

Food and Drink:

Food blessing:

Through food, we take in earth and water, fire and air. By the elements, this food is blessed. By consuming it, may we be blessed.

The food is passed clockwise with “may you never hunger” as the person offers the food to the next in the circle, then the recipient says “blessed be”.

One person holds the pitcher as the other blesses it with the athame:

As the athame is to the lover, so the chalice is to the loved; and joined they are one in truth.

The pitcher is passed clockwise with “thou art God” or “thou art Goddess” as the person pours from the pitcher to fill the next person’s cup. Then the recipient says “blessed be” and puts the cup on the altar and takes the pitcher in turn. Once all cups are filled, all raise their cups in a toast: “May you never thirst.” / “Blessed be.”

Blessing:

We will go clockwise around the circle and each person says the blessing as they draw a spiral on the next person’s forehead with salt water:

May you be blessed with the knowledge of your sacred self.

Closing:

God devocation – all hold their hands up, palms up, heads tilted back:

We thank our Father Sun
Our Lord and our life
Blessed be

Goddess devocation – all hold their hands out to the side, palms down, heads bent:

We thank our Earth Mother
Our Lady and our home
Blessed be

West quarter dismissal – spread hands out from belly out to the side:

Powers of the west
One ocean and water in all blood
Stay if you will; go if you must
Blessed be

South quarter dismissal – all stretch straight up, on tip-toe:

Powers of the south
One sun and warmth in all hearts
Stay if you will; go if you must
Blessed be

East quarter dismissal – all take a deep breath while bringing their arms up in a big circle:

Powers of the east
One atmosphere and air in all lungs
Stay if you will; go if you must
Blessed be

North quarter dismissal – all bow at the waist to touch the ground:

Powers of the north
One earth and dirt under all feet
Stay if you will; go if you must
Blessed be

The circle is cut:

The Circle is open, but unbroken. Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again!

Creative Commons Licence
Imbolc: One Among Many by Melissa Hope is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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One Response to Imbolc: One Among Many

  1. This actually answered my problem, thanks!

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