Showing posts from January, 2009

The Sabbat of Imbolg


Imbolg is the Celtic name for the first Sabbat of the Wiccan faith, as well as some others who fall under the generic name of "witches". Imbolg is often known by other names, such as Candlemas, Brigid's Day, and a host of others. "Imbolg (pronounced `immol'g', with a slight un-stressed vowel between the `l' and the `g') which means `in the belly'. It is the quickening of the year, the first fetal stirrings of Spring in the womb of Mother Earth. Like all the Celtic Greater Sabbats, it is a fire festival-but here the emphasis is on light rather than heat, the strengthening spark of light beginning to pierce the gloom of Winter." (The Witches Bible Complete, hereafter abbreviated to WBC, pg.61-62)

Brigid is a classic example of a pagan deity Christianized with little attempt to hide the fact- or, as Frazer put in the Golden Bough (p.177, approx.), she is "an old heathen goddess of fertility, disguised in a threadbare…

Imbolg Recipe-- Ranch Stew

Yes, if you're wondering, the recipe is that old. It's a family favorite that's cheap and filling, besides easy. You can spice it up, but I really don't think it needs anything more than the spicy breads or Cheese Rolls. After all, some folks just can't take that much heat! If you have coven mates, this is a great Stone Soup sort of recipe. When everyone divides up the ingredients, especially the meat, soup, and beans, the feast is great for everyone and can simmer while ritual takes place.

Imbolg Crafts to Do-- Children's Activities Included

Imbolc Celebration Small Children Activities
Imbolc is the Sabbat that honors the re-union of the Goddess and the God as new, vital, and purified lovers. At Imbolc, the Goddess appears in the Maiden aspect and her consort the God appears as the virile Lord of the Forest. This is their wedding night, and the God lovingly approaches her as she lays waiting upon her Bride's Bed. It is the mid-point of the dark half of the year and their union casts a brilliant light upon the frozen land.

Brideo'gas Materials:1-peice Wooden Clothespin,
Red, Yellow, or Brown Yarn,
1 White Pipe Cleaner,
Several Scraps of White Material,
Black and Red Markers,
Gold Glitter.

Children will enjoy making these little Bride images that can be used later as an alter decoration. Take a scrap of white material, (silk, satin, cotton, etc.), and cut out a 6" circle. In the center of the circle cut a hole large enough to poke the "head" of the clothespin through. Fold the circle in half and…

Robes and Decorations

If you do not already have robes, it is suggested that you think about one white robe in a light, summer weight fabric (i.e., cotton or muslin), and one black robe in a winter weight fabric (duck, fleece, denim). No one will think badly of you if you can't do this, and must choose one or the other. Those who hope for initiations/elevations/dedications in the near future should especially consider this.

I personally go for the simple in robes. Here's the pattern I've used for years. It has everything you need, even for the HP/HPS. Robes, over-robes, cloaks, shawls, and even a belt. What more could you ask for out of one pattern? Simplicity's Costume section has plenty more if you want to go fancier. For those into sewing, you can really have a ball. Decorating your robe depends on your skills, your traditions, and your personal preferences as to what you might want for decoration on your sleeves and hems. Let us assume you…

Pagan Gardening, Part Three-- Vertical Gardening for fun, food, and privacy

This dissertation is about Vertical Gardening. Nearly all my information in this dissertation comes from "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew. This book is not the only source for square foot gardening techniques, but it is what I have that you can get right now. :)

We will be starting with vertical gardening because it is a technique not exclusive to square foot gardening and is therefore more familiar. Everyone is familiar with tomato cages and staking, if they have done any gardening at all.

We will be going beyond those simplistic techniques and into more elaborate uses of the vertical space in your garden. You will find that you begin to think in 3-D after a certain point.

There are many vegetables and flowers that benefit from vertical gardening. Tomatoes are just the most famous. Pole beans, peas, summer squash, melons, and cucumbers can be grown this way too. All benefit from being off the ground and in the air where disease and pests are less prevalent.

After we h…

Quick! On sale for Beltane

Imbolc Celebration Recipes

Imbolc Celebration Recipes

Traditional foods for the Imbolc celebration include those made with seeds (to symbolize growth), raisins (a fruit of the Sun God), pork, poultry, or lamb, with sides of potatoes, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Imbolc is the mid-point of the dark half of the year, and though stored foods are running low, it is a celebration of renewal and preparation for Spring.

Please note the copyright below. Always acknowledge the authors. It’s only fair.

Maiden Wakes Muffins
2 cups flour
2 Carrots, grated
1/2 cup raisins
1 green apple, peeled, cored, grated
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
2 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp.vanilla

Soak raisins in hot water, in a covered bowl, for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large non-metal bowl, mix flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, apple, and almonds. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Stir egg mixture in to t…

Fire Festival Bread- Cinco De Mayo Bread

Yeah, I know. It's not the fifth of May. This spicy bread is still appropriate for a fire festival like Imbolg. Don't forget to balance this bread with something creamy like a cheesecake.

Sabbat Boxes Reprised Post

Originally, this was posted just after Eostar. You're smart enough to get the idea.

Do you ever find yourself wondering where you put your Sabbat decorations? Have you even bothered with a collection to use from year to year because it's too much trouble? Stacking Sabbat boxes with drawers are the way to go! They fit neatly in a closet or storage area and keep you from going overboard.

I invested in large plastic storage boxes a while back, and each is labeled with a different Sabbat. I got the ones that stack and have clear plastic drawers. They cost less than $10 each. By using a brand the store keeps in stock at all times, you can go back every couple of months to pick up one or two until you have enough.

All my decorations, recipes and flea market finds appropriate to each Sabbat are stored there. As soon as one Sabbat is done, in the box it goes and the next Sabbat's stuff is out and ready.

I take my books and mark each recipe that is appropriate then spend a few minutes …

A Breath of Spring -- The Herb Wreath

The directions
come from "Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs", pages 130-131.
I highly recommend this book as being fairly comprehensive, not only
listing the Latin name of the plant, but in most instances, also some uses
for each.

Start your herb wreath in the spring when you have an abundance of
young plants to choose from. The wreaths become circular herb gardens
one happens to hang on the wall. During the summer, they thrive hanging
outside. When they come in for a visit, lying on a tray of stones, a
hurricane lamp in the center, they make a fragrant centerpiece.
1. Soak several handfuls of sphagnum (not milled!!!) in water
until wet throughout, about 15 minutes. Cut a strip of 1/2-inch
mesh chicken wire 12 inches wide and 30 inches long with tin
snips. Bend the long sides of the wire, so they curl up to form
a trough. Squeeze enough water out of the sphagnum, so it
won't drench the table while you work; then pack it tigh…

Pagan Gardening, Part Two (Long Post)

Welcome to Part Two of my series on Practical Pagan Gardening.

Your reward will be at the end of the growing season, in winter, when you pull that frozen/canned delicacy out of storage and taste your garden again. Hope you run for the seed catalogues again next winter with a full belly and lots of enthusiasm.

We are going to be talking about Soil Preparation, When to Plant, Getting a Jump on the Season, and Scheduling. Don't groan at me!!

Unless you have been adding compost to your garden and NEVER walking on it for the past three years, you don't have perfect soil. And if you were planting by traditional row methods, you have been walking on it.

Getting a Jump on the Season...ah...look at those grins...You want to run out right now and start digging, don't you? You can indeed get your hands dirty RIGHT NOW and be miles ahead of the neighbors in 6 to 8 weeks. Do you like that idea? Stick with me, okay?

Scheduling is something you can be doing right now too. How would you like t…

Imbolg Incense

Drying is actually easier than it sounds, if you have a gas oven. Lay the flower on parchment paper. Yes, I specified baker's parchment paper for a reason. It's embedded with silicon, so the flower won't stick to the paper. Turn the oven on very low, 200 degrees F or less. Check every 15 minutes or so. In the humidity of Florida, the flower may take as long as an hour to dry. If you don't have a gas oven and happen to live in a cold climate, put the flower in a paper bag and stick it near a furnace where warm air constantly blows on it. I've actually used painter's tape (Yeah, the blue stuff) to secure the bag opening over part of the vent here in my office. That little flower was drier than the desert in three days! Probably was dry sooner, but I forgot it. (Hey, I'm honest!) Remember, I have a link to Earth Gifts on this blog, so you can get the rest of what you need to make incense. Except the wine, of course.

Fire Festival Bread-- Cajun Spice Bread

They aren't kidding about the strong spicy taste of this bread. You've been warned. I personally use Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning, but I use about a teaspoon. Any more than that, and the family acts like they've been shot.

Make Your Own Altar Cloths Easy and Cheap

Make your own altar cloths! No talent required.

As previously mentioned many times on the old blog, altar cloth colors can change with the Sabbats, the moons, and for special events such as the Rites of Passage.

Sewing is not necessary! All you need is a roll of Stitch Witch and an iron. Fold up the edges, iron to help them stay in place, put a strip of Stitch Witch in between the two layers of cloth, iron again. Voila! Altar Cloth. If you can sew, stitch all the way around to secure the hem more thoroughly.

We’ll get fancy later in this writing with decorating your plain cloths. Stick with me, okay?


Invariably, most fabric stores have seasonal fabrics on hand well before needed. For example, Yule fabrics can be found almost immediately after Samhain. We pagans simply have to adjust and think ahead a bit. Right now, I can find all the love spell cloth I need, thanks to Valentine's Day. The Eostar cloth should appear any day now...

But, let’s start with the basics. The two colors…

Pagan Gardening, Part One

Pagan Gardening, Part one of three

This dissertation is on the purely practical aspects of pagan gardening. Please do not expect me to go much into magickal aspecting at this time.

January/February is the time of year when most of us are sick of winter and beginning to do major dreaming of a garden. The ground is still hard and cold, and the weather still too foul to really work the soil.
Our seed catalogues have arrived and many of us have long lists of all we want to grow. I will show you tonight how to properly and reasonably plan your garden so you are not overwhelmed later this year with more than you can handle.

First, look at the number of people in your household. Divide that number in half. (Round down if necessary) Example: 5 persons in the household divide down to 2. This number will be important later. Please remember it. It will determine how many square-foot sections you plant.

Secondly, think about how many hours you wish to spend gardening per week. Be reasonable! Your enth…