First High Day Recap: Imbolc

Home shrine with Imbolc offerings. Photo by me.

Home shrine with Imbolc offerings. Photo by me.

For Imbolc, I did a ritual at my home shrine. I set up an ADF “triple Hallows” of fire, well and tree (a rather sad-looking ficus that needs re-potting…I hope to replace with a hardy Chinese elm soon), and added extra candles for light and for my main “working” part of the rite.

I adapted a script from the Solitary Druid Fellowship, which was an ADF “extension” group and so used ADF-style rites. Although the Fellowship is no longer running, the Druid Network have archived all their seasonal rites on their website. I tweaked the script to feel more natural and personal for me, and added a candle working as the central feature of the ritual to welcome the new light of Spring.

The patron deity for the rite was Brigantia, the British/Gaulish form of Brigid, the Celtic goddess of the hearth and well, usually associated with Imbolc. For offerings, I gave bread and milk as well as oats for the Earth Mother and beer to toast the Three Kindreds.

The omen came from the Druid Animal Oracle app on my phone (technopaganism FTW), and while I’m not one to put much stock in oracles, the results were very positive.

While it did feel a bit odd doing formal ritual and making offerings, I also enjoyed it. The ADF format is easier to work with than the “traditional” circle-casting and calling the four directions/four elements that I have experienced with OBOD. No getting confused as to which way is which or tripping over my own feet for one thing!

Addressing deities felt weird at first, but I am relieved that ADF does not tell you what to believe, or how to conceptualise what the gods are. For me as an agnostic, I tend to see them as anthropomorphic and mythic representations of natural forces, so I simply honoured the “idea” of Brigantia as the bringer of Spring and as the flame on my hearth.

It snowed almost immediately after I was done with the ritual, as well, which felt oddly appropriate!

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