Purification and Fire
August 1-2 Here in the Southern Hemisphere.
Traditionally Imbolc is the time the goddess is cleansed and purified. Milk flows for the lambs and baby God. The quickening of the Earth. Goddess preparing for her return to Maiden. The Earth prepares for the fertility of Spring. Life starts new at this time of cleansing.
Modern day Pagans may choose to honour this sabbat with ritual, creating a Brigit’s or solar cross or corn doilies.
Some other ways you may like to honour include;
- Light a fire
- Prepare a feast to share
- Clearing out the old to allow the new to enter
- Burn Yule greens to send winter on it’s way
- Leave buttered bread overnight indoors for the fairies on the eve of the Sabbat
- Cleanse your Alter
- Cleanse your home with sage, rosemary and sandalwood
- Write your troubles and anxieties on scraps of paper and burn away in your Imbolc Fire
- Light candles of white, yellow, red and light green
Ostara or the Spring Equinox will be celebrated on the 23rd of September in the Southern Hemisphere this year.
The earth is starting to awaken and is reborn as the fathers mighty rays warm the land.
I have put together a list of simple, economic rituals for marking the sabbat for those of us not involved with a coven.
- Revamp your altar. Add plants, flowers, white candles. Add items that celebrate spring!
- Create a sacred space in your garden or a sunny spot on your verandah. Plant new seedlings, install wind chimes or create an outdoor altar.
- Honour the mother earth by visiting the beach, a rain forest or an outdoor area that you feel drawn to. Plant your bare feet on the ground and reconnect with her magnificent energy.
- Perform a ‘Spring Clean’. De-clutter, wipe down all bench tops, walls and doors with a mixture of water, peppermint essential oil and vinegar. Open all doors and windows then perform an energy cleanse using sage or noise such as a bell, clapping or a crystal singing bowl. Walk through each room closing it up as you finish. Start at the rear of your home and work towards the front to sweep any negative energy out the front door. You can perform an incantation as you travel through each room to cleanse and bless.
- Meditate, use the energy of the equinox to recharge and reconnect.
- Host a meal for those you are closest to. Incorporate food and drinks of Ostara such as seeds, leafy greens, spring vegetables, eggs and chocolate. If you eat meat you could utilse young meat such as chicken or lamb, just make sure to show gratitude for their sacrifice. Anything fresh young and vibrant is suitable. Eat outside, take advantage of the warmer days and evenings. Listen to the birds and insects.
- Give an offering of honey or cake to the fae in your garden.
Image Credit: Fred Fields
Litha otherwise known as the Summer Solstice or Mid Summer, is the longest day of the year. While there are still plenty of long hot summer days to come, from this point on the days will commence to get shorter until we reach the opposite aspect of the wheel, Yule. The celebration for Litha in the Southern Hemisphere starts on the 21st of December.
The tale of Litha is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King, ruler of the time between summer and winter and the Holly King, ruler of time between winter and summer, battle for power. They battle at each solstice where they take over the power from the other.
Litha is a time of warmth, brightness, fertility and potency. Crops are reaching maturity and will soon be ready for harvest. Herbs and medicinal plants should be gathered and dried ready for the winter months.
Litha is a time to celebrate your own inner brightness and power. The midsummer is an ideal time for love magick and handfasting. A time for family and friends. Celebrate outdoors with bonfires, swimming, music & barbecues. I like to witness the sun rise or sunset as a solitary celebration.