My heart is your hearth.– A prayer offered to Brighid during my morning devotional
I began preparing for Imbolc long before the first snow. I knew Winter would be a season of great creative work for me, and I decided that the way I would make it through that work successfully was to consider all of it one big offering to Brighid. I would lift the work up in her honor, and remember her fire as I made my way through the ups and downs of the creative process.
My music would be my offering at Imbolc.
On the evening of February 2nd, I attended an Imbolc ritual at the Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church in Golden, Colorado, performed in traditional ADF style by Tony and Jorja from the Golden Branch Silver Horn Grove. The ritual itself was simple, but very pleasant. The environment was beautiful, and while this wasn’t an “official” ADF gathering (the UU’s are open to people of all traditions, including Pagans), I was glad that the rite was in a format I was familiar with.
There were two altars. On the larger of the two sat a statue of Brighid, in triple-goddess form, surrounded by yellow candles, in front of which was a large bowl for liquid offerings and a plate for dry offerings. The smaller altar was a place where attendants could leave items to be blessed, like their jewelry or tools. I brough several items, including two writing tools, a few musical tools, a wall plaque of Brighid and a Brighid’s cross I wear around my neck.
We were led through a basic mediation, which was designed to bring to our awareness the first moment of realization that Spring is on its way. The second was the Two Powers meditation, and this was the first time that I’d ever been led through it by someone else. If I could have changed anything about the meditation, I would have chosen to spend more time in the moment where the Two Powers meet. That is, to me, where the true magic comes from.
Once Manannan Mac Lir was called and the Gates opened, offerings were made to the Kindred. Then, we were invited to make our offering to Brighid. Interestingly, I found myself a little nervous at this point. I’d brought a small vial of oil to give as a public offering, but I knew that my true offering was something I couldn’t place in a bowl or on a dish. I hadn’t figured out how I would express what I’d done in this public setting.
So, I approached the altar and poured the oil into the ritual bowl. I closed my eyes and lifted up my heart to Brighid, as I have done every morning since I began my creative project. Then, I walked back to my chair, hoping that this public expression would be sufficient; that my private work would be pleasing to Her, and that She would understand all of what I had done in honor of Her. I completed my creative project by Imbolc, and offered it to Her and to the world during my trip to Los Angeles, just as I said I would do.
Imbolc is a High Day where we acknowledge and honor Brighid, yes. But, I think it is also an opportunity to acknowledge and honor all of the qualities which She represents in us. By being creative, by forging transformation in our personal or professional life, by deepening our sense of belonging in the world, we honor Brighid. We embody Her in our lives.
That may be the most meaningful offering we can make.