Quality Herbals for Holistic Living

Imbolc/Candlemas Rituals

Simple Imbolc/Candlemas Ritual

Imbolc is a festival of lights to herald the coming of spring. A popular Imbolc activity is to prepare seed for spring planting. Lay out the altar with your regular altar tools and add these extras: a bowl of earth with a seed of some sort, as many white tapers on the altar as is safe, and seasonal decorations, such as evergreens, sun wheels, or a cup of melted snow. The altar cloth shall blue, and the altar candles shall be green and white.Cast the sacred circle, and invoke the God and the Goddess. Then bring the seed and dish of earth or planting pot to the front of the altar. Hold the seed in your hand, knowing that it is the beginnings of life. Bless it in this manner:

In my hands I hold the seed of beginnings,
of life, wisdom, and of coming spring.
I ask the God and the Goddess to place a blessing on it
so that it may prosper in the coming season.

Think of something you want. It could be a request of the God and the Goddess, or something you want from yourself. Concentrate on this as you hold the seed.

With this seed I plant a request,
and hope that with careful nurturing and daily care,
my goals may come to fruition in time.

Having said this, place the seed in the soil and cover it. What is to be done with it after this is up to you. Since the action is, for the most part, symbolic, you may choose to throw it away(a waste of a perfectly good seed, if you ask me) but many find it useful to grow the seed and keep the plant around as a reminder.Hold the simple feast, and then you may do any magic or seasonal activities that you had planned for this evening. One Imbolc tradition is to weave corn dollies. Banish the sacred circle.

References:

http://www.tryskelion.com/imbolc.htm


Imbolc/Candlemas Ritual
By Michael Hall

On your altar should be placed a circle of 13 stones and, within the circle of stones, a circle of 13 candles. Within the circle of candles should be spread some maize – i.e. corn meal – and in that a waxen female candle to symbolize the Goddess on your altar. On the eastern side of the altar should be placed a small sheaf of grain with a candle inserted inside it.

You should dress in your usual ceremonial garb for Magickal rites or skyclad, as you prefer.

Retire to bathe in salt-water (use sea salt) before the ritual. As you do so picture the water cleansing the soul and spirit, just as it cleanses the body. When you have dressed, anoint yourself with a holy oil. When you have prepared yourself, sit in a dim quiet place and light a candle – ONE THAT IS NOT BEING USED IN THE RITES – and meditate on how at this time of year the Goddess in her fiery aspect AS LIGHT was welcomed back into the Temples and the Homes of the land.

Take this candle and walk slowly to your altar. Place it in the circle of the 13 candles. Then light the two altar candles, which are separate from the circle of lights also, and the incense. (Incense should be stick or powdered incense on charcoal in a swinging burner.) Then light all the quarter candles in the 4 directions, starting in the east and going clockwise. Cast your circle in the usual manner, but Invoke the Goddess with the following:

“Sacred womb, giver of the secrets of Life,
Mother of all that exists in the Universe,
I ask your guardianship of this gathering
and your assistance in my work.
I am gathered in celebration of your gifts and my work is most holy.
SO MOTE IT BE”

and Invoke the God in the following manner:

“Fire of the sky, guardian of all that exists in the Universe,
I ask your guardianship of this gathering
and your assistance in my work.
I am gathered in celebration of your gifts and my work is most holy.
SO MOTE IT BE”

(continue with the circle casting if it is not already finished) Light the 13 candles and then the Goddess candle in the center and say:

“Warm and quickening Light
awaken and bring forth beauty
for thou art my pleasure and my bounty
LORD and LADY
OSiRIS AND ISIS”

(or you may substitute whatever names your circle uses for the God and the Goddess – or those you personally prefer)

Reflect a moment on the coming of the light and offer up the incense. say:

“O ancient Ones
Timeless Goddess and Sacred King
who art the heralds of springtime and it’s bounties
be with me now in celebration
Hail to Osiris and Isis
Harvest giver and blessed Lady
Let this be a time and a place sacred to your power and your beauty
SO MOTE IT BE”

Light the candle in the sheaf of grain and hold it up with the loaf of bread in the other hand and say: (or the cakes – whatever you or your tradition uses for the cakes and wine/juice ceremony)

“My Lord and Lady,
as the seed becomes the grain,
so the grain becomes the bread,
Mark the everlasting value of our seasons and their changes.”

Break a piece of the bread or cakes off and burn it as an offering in the central candle. Then say:

“In the deepest Icy Winter the seed of the Earth lies deep within the womb of the Great Mother. The Spring brings the heat of the Father and with their joining comes new life. The completion of the cycle brings food to the children of the world. As I taste the food I shall know the wisdom of the cycles and be blessed with the food of wisdom throughout my life”

Consecrate cakes and wine/juice in the usual manner and partake of them, but first raise your chalice or drinking horn and say:

“Hail to thee ISIS
Hail to thee Osiris
For thou art blessed”

After this commune in meditation with the Lord and lady for a while, then close the circle in your usual manner.

References:
http://www.witchway.net/ritual/imbsol.html

distributed by PAN – the Psychic Awareness Network – 1703-362-1139


Detailed Imbolc/Candlemas Ritual By Akasha

Tools:

In addition to your magick tools, you will need:

  • A White Altar Cloth
  • Light Green Taper Goddess Candle
  • Light Yellow Taper God Candle
  • 13 White 4″ Stick Candles
  • Brideo’ga*
  • Small Woven Basket with White Flowers
  • Pentacle Candle Wheel
  • Handful of Acorns
  • Cauldron
  • Snow/Crushed Ice
  • Small White Pillar Candle
  • Potpourri Holder
  • Tea Lite
  • Basil, Bay, Heather Flowers, Cinnamon and Vanilla Potpourri Blend
  • Long Wooden Stick Matches

Preparation:

Sweep area, moving in deosil direction. Outline your circle with white cord Angelica leaves. Place Pentacle Candle Wheel in the center of altar. Place the lt. green taper Goddess candle to the top left of altar and the lt. yellow taper God candle to the top right of altar. Put the white flowers in the basket as bedding for the Bride’s Bed, then place the Brideo’ga atop the flowers. Place the basket in front of the Goddess candle, to the left of the Pentacle Candle Wheel. Place the acorns in front of the God candle, to the right of the Pentacle Wheel. Place the tea lite in the bottom of potpourri holder, and put holder at front center of the alter. Place white pillar candle in the middle of the cauldron, fill cauldron about 1″-2″ with snow or crushed ice, and position on floor in front of altar. Put the container with potpourri where it can be reached easily. Place the rest of your tools and props according to personal preference. Bathe or shower for purification. Ground and center. When ready, put on some soothing music associated with this Sabbat and your ritual.

Cast circle by holding out your right hand and tracing over the cord or leaves in a clockwise direction. As you trace over the outline envision flames of pure white rising up along the perimeter. When the beginning and the end join the circle is complete. Step up to the cauldron and light the white pillar candle, saying:

“Amidst the darkness the Lady is stirring,
Gently awakening from frozen dreams,
All the world has awaited this moment The return of the Maiden,
And Her promise of oncoming Spring.”

Call Quarters. As this is a time to honor Mother Earth as she wakes from her winter’s recovery of giving rebirth to the Sun King at Yule, start with North, the element Earth. Pick up the container of potpourri, step up to the altar and pour some into the holder, saying:

“Powers of Earth, the Maiden awakens!
Come join the circle and share in the light.”

Put the container back where it was. Light the white candle at the North point of the Pentacle Candle Wheel. Continue, by waving your hand over the potpourri as if to create a breeze on which to carry the scent, saying:

“Powers of Air, the Maiden awakens!
Come join the circle and share in the light.”

Light the white candle at the East point of the Pentacle Candle Wheel. Light the tea candle in the bottom of the potpourri holder, saying:

“Powers of Fire, the Maiden awakens!
Come join the circle and share in the light.”

Light the white candle at the South point of the Pentacle Candle Wheel. Pour some water into the holder with the potpourri, saying:

“Powers of Water, the Maiden awakens!
Come join the circle and share in the light.”

Light the white candle at the West point of the Pentacle Candle Wheel. Remove the white candle from the top point of the Pentacle. Since Akasha is the omnipresent, it need not be invoked. Light the candle and invoke the Goddess and the God by lighting the lt. green Goddess candle and the lt. yellow God candle with the white candle. Place the white candle back in the top point of the Pentacle Candle Wheel, saying:

“Be with me now, oh Ancients, eternal,
Hear now my prayers, hopes and dreams.

The Goddess has wakened, once more as the Maiden
By loving caresses from the strengthened Sun King.”

Light the inner cross points of the Pentacle Candle Wheel, starting with the cross point to the right of the North point. Light all 5 cross points in succession, saying:

“The Earth now grows warmer, as the Wheel again turns
And as each passing day adds strength, To the Sun King’s rays
The Maiden, of his gift of life, now silently does yearn.”

Take a couple of the acorns from in front of the God candle and place them in the Bride’s Bed with the Brideo’ga. Light the three aspects of the Goddess candles. All aspects are white because She is the Triple Goddess appearing as the Maiden, pure, and renewed. Step back from the altar and contemplate the light that is brought about by the re-union of the God and the Goddess saying:

“Behold the God and Goddess,
Lord of the Forest and his Bride,
Once again the Earth is blessed
With life anew inside.
Seeds shall soon begin to sprout
And creatures shall young bear
For this is the Promise, the Cycle of Life
That is born of the love They share.”

Now is the time for meditation and any spellworkings. Spellworkings associated with Imbolc include those for fertility, defining and focusing on goals for the future, organization, health, and protection. Next, celebrate with Cakes and Ale (Poppyseed Cakes* and Spiced Tea*) Ceremony, saving some for the wee Folkes, outside. Thank the God and Goddess for Their presence snuff their candles. Thank and release the Quarters, saying:

“Though you leave this circle, tonight,
Water, Fire, Air, and Earth
Your symbols shall linger on a while
Blessing my home and hearth.
The herbs that scent this room tonight,
Were chosen with loving care,
To bless me, my family and my friends,
And my sisters and brothers everywhere.”

Snuff each of the white candles at the directional points of the Pentacle Candle Wheel, starting with the candle at the top point first, then the West point and working in a widdershins direction. Snuff the inner cross point candles also in a widdershins direction. Finally snuff the three aspects of the Goddess candles. Step back from the altar and face the cauldron with the white pillar candle still burning brightly saying:

“I honor Thee, Maiden, most blessed Bride
As your candle burns through this night
And thank you for the renewed life you offer us all
As you emerge from the dark to the light.”

Release the circle. Clean up, place the cauldron from the floor onto the middle of the alter. Let the candle burn out by itself. Place the potpourri in a spot where its scent and blessings fill the house. You are done.