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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Imbolc

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Shattering of Imbolc


Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you...
Every seed destroys its container
or else there would be no fruition.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

 

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
An Imbolc Message from the Ancestors

We are living in what the Goddess calls the Great Turning: an evolutionary/revolutionary transition where the future of humanity and our Earth home will be decided. The Great Turning is here, now. We’re in the midst of the muck and mess of world-shattering change.

My dreams and ritual work have been preparing me for the Great Turning for many years. As the pressures build, and the outer world gets noisier and more chaotic, I find myself digging through these magical experiences, seeking the deep vision and guidance of the Mysteries.

Imbolc has arrived — a between time when light and shadow dance together, and the darkness and death of Winter give way to the light and life of Spring  —  and a memory of a previous Imbolc ritual comes to me.  

In this ritual, the priestesses guided the participants to return to their moment of conception to reclaim the passion and purpose that drew each of them from the realm of spirit into this world of matter. My priestess task was tending the Sacred Witness, a veiled, silent observer, to keep her grounded and protected while she opened herself to the deepest roots of our magic.

The Sacred Witness found herself in a place where the spirits of the dead and the souls yet to be born gather between the worlds. In sharing this ritual experience with the Sacred Witness, the ancestors came to me and spoke through me, and this is what they said:

“We have cut the cord. It is time for you to travel on your own. You are fully grown now, and we set you free in this world. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The world needs you. We believe in you. Shine bright. Make us proud.”

After the ritual was complete, a friend took me in her arms as waves of grief flooded through me, my whole body shaking as the ancestors cried through me and with me: for the pain of their stories; for the pain that they’ve passed on generation after generation; for the desperate need of this ending; for the sweet beauty of this world that they’re leaving behind; and for their forever love for us, their children, and this world’s greatest hope.

The ancestors are personal and archetypal; they’re the ones that have gone before us, both as part of our personal family and ethnic/cultural heritage, and our collective humanity. Their lived experiences and stories are woven into the fabric of our shared human reality, and the particulars of our family mythology and everyday lives. This world we live in, right now in 2017, is constructed of their stories where fear and the worst of our human instincts overrule love and our best qualities.

These stories of our ancestors are done. They’ve served their purpose of bringing us to this evolutionary/ revolutionary moment. Our ancestors have cut the cord, and seek an end to their pain and grief. And it’s each of us, their children, the waking ones, that must do the hard, messy, transformative work of putting our ancestors to rest.

This is happening right now, all around us, in the noise and chaos unfolding on the world stage. Our ancestors’ stories are unraveling before our eyes, and we’re being called to join in this work of disassembling the stories that trap us in a reality of fear and the worst of our humanity: stories on how to live and dream; stories that tell us who and what matter in our human society; stories that have passed on patterns of wounding and coping; stories that dim our light and hide our beauty; stories that hold the secrets and lessons that will ripen us into our true selves; stories that are the ancestors’ final gifts to us.

Imagine yourself as Sacred Witness in these Great Turning times. Let yourself sink deep between the worlds, and see the tumult on the world stage as the death process of our ancestors’ stories. Some of these stories will call to you; they’ll speak to your ancestral lineage, personal life experiences, and the very passion and purpose that drew your soul to this world of matter.  

Claim these stories as your own. Let them guide your healing and action taking, and transform you into your full maturity and power. Always, choose love over fear, and your best instincts over your worst. Make this your soul work and contribution to the great task of mending our human society. Do these momentous, world-shattering things and our ancestors’ stories will have served their sacred purpose. Endings will come, rest will come, and we, their grownup children, will dream and story the world afresh.

Though this work may seem overwhelming, perhaps even impossible, remember the ancestors love you, believe in you, and know you’re the world’s greatest hope. Be big, be beautiful, be yourself. The ancestors have passed this precious world onto you, onto each of us. Let’s make them proud. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lighting the Way

My daughter and I love watching BBC / PBS shows.  Victoria is the most recent one we are watching.  As I watched how people lived in the 1800s, I considered what it would be like to only have my life lighted by candles and sunlight.  It would certainly make the dark part of the year different.

By 4:00 or so at night, flickering candlelight would be my only illumination.  This reduces my scope of environment drastically.  Right now, if it’s dark I flip a switch and illumination of my surroundings occurs.  But what if I only had dripping smelly candles to light my way?  What would it feel like to be surrounded by darkness?  Would fear well?  Would loneliness envelop? 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ann Edwards
    Ann Edwards says #
    I think what the writer is doing is imagining her own modern and urban life - candle lit. I live on a remote farm at 1,000 feet in
  • Eileen Troemel
    Eileen Troemel says #
    The rural life is never as ideal as it can be made out to be. I grew up on a farm and remember the difficulties year round. Wint

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Candlemas Carol

At first glance, Steve Ashley's Candlemas Carol might seem something of a downer.

Don't be fooled.

On Candlemas beware, old man,

the wind, gale, and the storm;

and if you think that Winter's dead,

it's barely being born.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Songs of Imbolc

Imbolc approaches on silent, padded footsteps. A time of quiet rejoicing, where here in the UK the festival and time signifies the start of Spring. Though for many in North America, the equinox is when the celebrations for Spring begin, here in the warmer climes of these isles hugged by the gulf stream we already begin to see the changing of the seasons reflected in the green and growing things, as well as the birthing of new lambs.  Just today, as I went outside to meditate, the songs of the birds had changed, and the robin and blackbird were singing their first songs of courtship, even as the blue tits chirped their appreciation of the sunlight. The slender green shoots of crocuses are beginning to appear, alongside a wash of green from the grape hyacinth shoots. Living so close to the sea, our south-facing garden is always ahead of the season it seems, and at this time of year, it's most welcome.

It's been a difficult winter for many, and the signs for the future can seem bleak. But as followers of an earth-based tradition, we know that we can look to nature for guidance, for inspiration, for sanctuary and for blessing. Our relationship with the land, sea and sky helps us through the darkest of times, with the gods and ancestors breathing their ancient breath into our bodies, inspiring us to carry on, to create change, to go with the flow. Nothing is permanent.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A lot can happen in a year!

Since the last time I posted here almost a year ago, I had mentioned I was going through a metamorphosis. I did a lot of soul-searching and reflection on it over several weeks, and I made the move. Before I do anything else, I need to extend a great deal of gratitude to everyone who's helped and supported me, especially my husband. Everyone needs a rock to lean on, and I'm very lucky to have one. Because of so many people being there for me, I've crawled my way out of the swampy water, shed my old skin and have spread my wings. Ain't they purty? Allow me to tell you all about their iridescent facets!

It was around the same time last year when I left the agency I began my real estate career four years earlier. The one I chose was a much larger one yet still a local independent - from three people (including myself) in my old office to nearly 500! It was a frightening experience for sure, but the change paid off in more ways than one. Not only did all of the landlords I regularly worked with follow me over, which I am still touched by that, but I gained quite a few new clients throughout the year! Since then, I had also earned my broker license, which I know is something that would not have happened if I stayed where I was. And, because I have that, I now have many more opportunities available to me, such as rental property management and sales. My managing broker feels I would be a natural at property management, and for the right client, I would cheerfully offer that service!

b2ap3_thumbnail_sookeh-real-estate.jpg
This was one of my doodles while I was studying. I tend to remember things not only by writing them down, but also by matching stuff to pop culture references.

Money-wise, yes, I closed the books on 2016, and I earned more money with Kale Realty than I did with my past brokerage, and I earned that only with commissions. At the other place, I was also their office manager, so a good portion of what I earned was income for administrative work. Now, the only stuff like that I do is for myself, and it's a lot more fun! One of the reasons I chose these guys is because they truly allow me to be independent - so I was able to design my own business cards, door hangers, signs, banners and holiday cards (which those, I was able to design them for my friends and family and not just for clients and prospects - I mailed hundreds!). Creating a sign for my retail storefronts - that was a huge achievement for me - the first time I officially got to use my broker license over being a leasing agent.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Kale-Sign-Me.jpg

[Putting on my Realtor hat] This vintage Logan Square corner storefront rental with commercial zoning has tin ceilings, exposed brick and a full basement! Priced right!

In 2016, I passed quite a few checkpoints and crossed off bucket list items, all thanks to that big change! One of the first things that happened was I won a set of tickets from the office to the White Sox opening game. Oh, and these weren't bleacher seats, either. We were right behind home plate, and the tickets also came with premium parking and access to the VIP area - fancy bar, restaurant with carving station and fancy bathrooms! What, you don't believe me? Well let me show you!

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It was tradition for each member of the family to hang a strip of white cloth outside the window on Imbolc Eve, so that Brigid could infuse it with healing and protective powers as she walked through the village. These would later be used to cure headaches and tooth aches (tied around the forehead or from chin to crown), and as a special touch to poultices. Craft a modernized version of this folkway with the protective properties of the Yuletide evergreen's balsam. (If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)

Materials

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