The Practical Pagan’s Imbolc Ritual
From The Practical Pagan’s WebPage
("A no-nonsense resource for the sensible Wiccan")
Imbolc marks the first whisper of spring. The snow (hopefully) is receding, the seeds begin to stir, and we feel the presence of the Goddess and God in our bodies, as we begin to open up to the light, and stir from our own hibernation. It is a good time to be reminded that we all have a share in the Divine. Goddess and God move within us, as surely as they begin to transform the world outside.
- Candles for the quarters, Goddess and God.
- Tapers, one each for all attending, any color associated with the God, but preferably all the same.
Casting the Circle
"Guardians (spirits, etc…) of the East Wind of enlightenment, and inspiration Lend your powers to our circle this night, That our minds may open to new ideas."
"Guardians of the South Fire of passion and transformation Lend your powers to our circle this night that our love may sustain the land."
"Guardians of the West Water of life and purification Lend your powers to our circle this night that our hearts may be strong and whole."
"Guardians of the North Earth from the beginning of time Lend your powers to our circle this night that we may take our place in the endless chain of life."
"Goddess of rebirth You again bring forth the God and the promise of spring Be with us this night as we celebrate the young God and the growing light. God of love, and protection You again lead the ever-changing dance of life Be with us this night as we celebrate the rising of the Mother and the fertility of the Earth."
"We stand between worlds where Earth and Sky Night and Day Life and death are one. The circle is cast the ritual begun. The Goddess and God stand together once more May we feel their presence in our hearts and minds as easily as we see them in the wider world."
Covener lights taper from God candle on the altar, and proceeds around the circle deosil, lighting each member’s candle and directing the following blessing to each in turn:
"You are Goddess
You are God
You are the blanket of winter
and the first breath of spring
Be with us, within us
Bless, and be blessed."
When finished, returns to her or his place in the circle, now a circle of light. Says:
"The light grows strong once more in the land under the snow, the pulse of life quickens feel the Earth beneath you, the heartbeat of the waking Mother may we share in the great cycle of rebirth and blossom with new life and creativity."
"So mote it be!"
Here, all gathered should be free to join in an open discussion. (Communication is always good, and besides, this will give the ritual a timely quality, and keep it from being the same each time it is performed.) Share your plans for the spring. Discuss projects with the group, if desired. The idea is that there is new life rising within you, too. Have fun deciding what you’re going to do with it. Be leisurely here, celebrate the company of those close to you. When you’re done, the next bit can be used to close. The form is a simple call and response. Assign lines according to your own preference.
"Night gives way before the growing God."
"We feel the power alive in the world."
"The Goddess walks the Earth again."
"And sings us awake with wind and rain."
"The promise of life is newly made."
"Our winter’s debt to darkness paid. Blessed be!"
The Simple Feast
The food and drink are raised in turn, then blessed using the following, and passed around the circle, either beginning or ending with the acting priest/ess, according to group tradition.
"Goddess of abundance bless these gifts as you bless us all Help us to see the Divine in all we share God of the harvest bless these gifts as you bless us all help us to see the Divine in all we share!"
Feast, sing, dance, play music, whatever feels appropriate. Sometimes simple conversation is enough, since you are already with a special group of people. Remember, though, that you are in sacred space.
Opening the Circle
"Goddess of the brightening day we thank you for your presence in our circle, and ask you to be near us, while we are apart; let your warmth revive us Your love support us and your passion inspire us all."
"God of the growing and wild things we thank you for your presence in our circle, and ask you to be near us, while we are apart; let your warmth revive us your love support us and your passion inspire us all."
Whoever likes can begin in the east. The other directions can then be passed about the circle.
"Guardians (spirits, etc…) of the East, South, West, and North Thank you for your presence and strength both here, tonight, and in our daily lives may we live in peace, with you and each other, always."
It’s nice to begin this anywhere, then pass it, line by line, around the circle:
"The circle is open,
but yet unbroken
May the love of the Goddess
be ever in your heart
Merry meet, and merry part
and merry meet again."
From the author: "Ritual practice is a very individual and creative process. Even if you enjoy these rites, find a way to make them your own. Change, adapt, do whatever makes them relevant to your own life circumstances. They will only become more powerful.
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