Saturday, February 2, 2013

Imbolic: Prophesy and Initiation

Water Lillies. Claude Monet
“Oh Sisters let’s go down, let’s go down to the river to pray…..”

CAYA is focusing on the element of water this year.  As I write, it is snowing outside and the sky is gray.  Water in its crystalline form begins to cover my drive and garage roof in soft white.  I begin to wonder about the many facets this element plays in the cycle of my year.
Imbolic to me is the initial spring cleaning.  I like to take out the rugs and shake out the winter dust.  If it is a nice sunny day, I’ll open up the door; let the cool clean air in and wash the glass.  I then open the kitchen window.  (T the engineer doesn't like this because of the heating bill – I turn the other way and continue sweeping with my new fancy broom).  This initial spring cleaning always manages to refresh my spirit.  I can take a breath singing: "Halfway there till spring. Haa Haa Halfway there till spring..."

I spoke before that I can’t scry if my life depended on it.  But, I’m good at looking for signs and repeated patterns.  A still pool of water can be like a mirror.  I may not be able to see into the future with it, but the pool of water is able to reflect what it sees: the current truth.  It is able to reveal the events which I've created – good and bad.  It gives me an opportunity to self-reflect on these aspects that I may want to consider changing or go a different way.  In a sense, if I do this on Imbolic – I’m giving myself an initial spring cleaning. 
In the movie Oh Brother Where Are Thou (Homer’s Odyssey), the main characters' cookout becomes surrounded by men and women dressed in white who walk in a ghostly singing procession through the woods.  They are headed to the river to be baptized   Delmar (one of the main characters) is filled with the spirit and runs into the water to be immersed with the crowd.  He's baptized and proclaims to his friends that the Preacher told him all his “sins and transgressions are washed away” and he’s walking the straight and narrow from now on.  Delmar next invites his friends saying: “the water is fine.” 

Water has served as an initiation rite in many cultures.  It is used for cleansing out the old and making room for new beginnings.    It is seen as an initiation rite that marks the person at a point that their old way of doing something is now changed.  It is an entrance point for new beginnings.  A public announcement to let everyone know you're changed - like Delmar did. 
In the Celtic tradition, Imbolic was the time to bless the plow.  The plow was anointed with whiskey (fire water).  This served as a blessing for regeneration and renewal of the field.   It was an public celebration that winter was almost over and to get ready for new seeds to be plow in.  It also acted as an antiseptic by killing off or sacrificed any bacteria or viruses that could infect the fields.  And, I think it was a way my ancestors could get together ritually in order to sing, dance and drink a nice smokey flavored whiskey - and toast to the increase in hours of sunlight - initiation of a new planting season. 

This Imbolic I raise a shot on Imbolic to my ancestors, teachers and Motherfather Spirit.  I toast to water that helps me shows me needed areas of change.  I toast to water for  helping wash out and let go what isn't useful in my life.  I toast to water for marking a new beginning in my heart and mind.  I toast to my shovel that will dig up dirt for new seeds to grow.   

Reflective Meditation with a bowl of water:

Look into the water and ask -
What needs cleared out of your life?  What aspect of your life needs some spring cleaning?  What needs plowed under in order to initiate new seeds of growth?  How can water play a symbolic role?

Old Irish Blessing

May you get all your wishes but one,
So that you will always have something to strive for.

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