The Village Witch
Imbolc, with the Littles
As you may have gathered from my recent post, I rather love the upcoming holy day and the Divine whom it honors. I want to share with you some of the fun Brigid things we did as my daughter was growing up. Some of it is old lore made fresh, some of it is new. I don't know the difference any more--it is all so deeply ingrained in my knowings around this coming of Spring. I shan't give you sources for what I do, except that I do them and have done them for many years.
Imbolc is a wonderful time for children and there are many ways for the Littles to be involved. On the night before Imbolc begins (which we celebrate as a three-day festival), Brigid travels the wide World, accompanied by a Cow. She brings blessings to children and to pregnant women and She has many places to visit. Those good children who love Bridey know that before bedtime they need to do three important things.
First, they must set out a little bed for Her to rest upon. We always made one from a shoe box. We'd roll up some soft batting and tuck a cloth napkin around it. A lace handkerchief made a pretty pillow and a thick cotton washcloth looked much like the cotton blankets we had on our own beds.
The bed was left on the floor, near the heater. If we had had a fireplace, we could have left it on the hearth. One year, my daughter left a chocolate on Brigid's pillow--ever the savvy hostess.
The next thing was to leave a bowl of oats out for the Cow. Plain oats, dry, in a small wooden bowl were what we thought she'd like. Sometimes a baby carrot was left on top.
Thirdly, a warm rich bottled Guinness was left, usually near the bed. Even a Divine needs a little nourishment as She travels about, blessing the World.
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