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IMBOLC

Get your cauldron out, my witch, it’s time for Imbolc.


Though the promise of light returning has been freshly made by our annual passing of the shortest day during December’s winter solstice, we are still left with the feeling of winter in our bones.


For many people, January and February are the dreary, dark and cold months of the year. Light-sensitive folk might even be prone to winter blues. 


But don’t let these winter vibes get the best of you love! This sweet yet simple Imbolc ritual will uplift you so you can get back on your broom in no time : )

IMBOLC SELF-LOVE RITUAL TO JUMP BACK INTO YOUR MANIFESTATION MAGIC

What you’ll need is the following:


  • a journal, pen and your heart’s desire
  • a cauldron, aka a pan to boil water in (don’t use an electric water boiler or cooker)
  • rosemary (dried or fresh)
  • your favourite heart-warming treat (I love to use dark chocolate with chilli and orange)
  • about 45min to one hour of sacred time


The Celtic festival of Imbolc is celebrated halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Starting on Feb. 1st and lasting through sundown Febr. 2nd, invoking a moment of purification of home and hearth, the coming of light and the increasing fertility found in nature.


Why rosemary?


Rosemary has a long history of being a multifaceted healing herb (read more about that here). For this ritual you’re tapping into its brain stimulating properties improving memory, its assistance in psychic protection and boosting qualities stimulating your intuition. Besides that, it inspires the love of self and others, strengthening your heart and nervous system.


This Imbolc ritual will bring you home to your heart, helping you realign your visions for the year ahead. 


Carve out some sacred self-love time in your agenda, during which you’ll be undisturbed. Ask yourself: What am I longing for? 


Meditate with the rosemary whilst focusing on your heart’s desire.


Magic means nothing without focused desire, so it’s essential to get clarity of mind before you sit with your herb. I always like to start with a grounding meditation before I move on to the ritualistic parts, and when I need some extra support, I love to use the Crystal Clarity Aura Spray.


Once you have your mind and desire clear, put cold water in the pan and let it slowly boil. In the meantime, journal on your desire and what it feels like to have that desire as if it were fulfilled in the present time. 


When the water is boiling, add your rosemary whilst chanting:


Quickening light and winter breeze

Let my desire be fulfilled with ease.

Like the light just let it flow

As first spring flowers, let it grow. 

My mind clear, gaze upon goal

Let its potential flow through, whole.

As I stir my potion, sweet

I know I’m in for quite the treat.


Let your brew steep for 10 minutes, then pour your rosemary tea into your favourite cup.


Accompanied by your brew and treats, envision yourself living your desire. Look around. What do you see and feel? Who is there with you? Where are you?


Take a few minutes to write down as many details that come to you, and from this inspiring vision, ask yourself the following:


‘What spiritually inspired actions can I take in the following six weeks to ignite this momentum?’


Write about five to eight actions down. Let them come from your vision and feeling within that vision instead of your calculating, anticipating, gorgeous brain. Then make a plan for when to execute what – remember, it’s still wintertime. Small yet consistent steps take you a very long way!


Blessed weaving!

Love,
Aïsha

YULE

Can you sense our human desire for warmth, light, companionship and safety when the days get darker? It’s a very natural thing to experience. During the winter days, we flock together, celebrate, eat, drink, reminisce and chant. Our joy brings light to these dark annual moments.


Then again, we’re often tempted to fill our days with too many social obligations.


You could’ve started your December month freshly rolling out of Thanksgiving. Here in The Netherlands, we start the last month of the year with Sinterklaas. This festivity is similar to Santa climbing through the chimney and surprising all the “good children” with presents. After which, we quickly move on to Christmas.


These days are generally spent amongst family and friends, accompanied by rituals that either focus on the birth of baby Jesus, Santa and his fairy friends, a visit by the Krampus, or non of the above. 


When I hear people refer to festival stress, I wonder how we’ve warped the Yule invitation of turning our energy inward and tending to our inner flame to something so external and, sometimes, beyond what we personally desire. 


So how can we do both? Spend these moments more balanced and with awareness while still being part of all the fun?

Yule Create your own ritual battle of the kings


The end of the year demands us to level our inner light and tend to our life force.


This will prevent us from giving all our attention and energy away, so we don’t have to suffer from festival fatigue and can actually accomplish our New Year’s resolutions. 🙂 


Here’s why …


The folkloric allegory of the Holly King and the Oak King, who personify winter and summer, depicts it perfectly. 


Both Kings are in a constant battle over the seasonal cycles, light and dark, renewal and growth.


In spring, the Oak King reigns over nature, bringing fertility, light and growth. At his peak on Midsummer, he’s overpowered by the Holly King, who in turn gains his full power by the autumn equinox and reigns over nature by Midwinter. The days are short, the ground is cold, and all potential has retracted into the Earth.


But it’s on Midwinter the Oak King is born again. Now it’s he who takes over the throne, and come spring, we witness the promise of his fortitude. At the peak of the Oak King’s reign, the perpetual battle between the Kings starts again. 

Yule Create your own ritual balance your inner light


By creating your own Yule ritual of course! The winter solstice, Yule, introduces Yuletide. Yuletide starts on the shortest day of the year and lasts until the 1st of January. During this time, the birth of the Oak King is celebrated.


Remembering that we’re just at the cusp of the promise of light returning is key. Due to the Earth’s axis, we still have to battle through some dark mornings. Even after the winter solstice, the mornings are still getting longer. It’s essential to balance the external and internal qualities of life. 


This doesn’t mean that Yuletide is celebrated in silence. By any means, Yule traditionally is a lavish, very celebratory and social festivity. 


It’s a beautiful way of celebrating transformation and the new Light Year ahead. 


Ask yourself: What do I leave behind? As if you’ve been shedding skin in the ever-prevailing darkness that entered life after the summer solstice.


But even more so, what do I want to focus upon? It is as if the promise of light returning can enlarge that energy and focal point. See how your New Year’s resolution ties into this preparatory period?

Yule Create your own ritual create your own yuletide ritual


I love to celebrate this time of awareness by burning a Yule Log.


Since I don’t have a fireplace to light my oak log, I anoint a candle that can burn for at least 288 hours (12 days) as my Yule Log substitute.


Oak is traditionally used during this festivity, representing longevity, strength, fertility, wisdom and, of course, the Oak King. So I make sure to add some oak leaves and acorns to my altar. 


This whole ritual is about creating moments of gratitude for what has already come to pass. When doing this, visualise that your feelings of gratitude emit an energy of light which you send out into the new year. 


It’s like creating a spell of attraction, drawing in all the things that make you feel even more appreciative. And who doesn’t want to experience more of the things they love? 


What you need:

  • oak log or a candle (or multiple if you want to weave this spell for 12 days)
  • fireplace or altar with representations of the Oak King
  • herbs and/or oils (e.g., lavender, basil, bergamot, sage, rosewood, myrrh, frankincense, vetiver, vanilla) 
  • feeling moments of gratitude
  • knife


Sit with your log (be it wood or wax), pen and paper, and find feeling moments of gratitude. I like to divide these in no particular order:

  • home
  • wealth
  • spirituality
  • health
  • nature
  • work
  • leisure
  • mindset
  • peak accomplishments
  • love
  • forgiveness received & given
  • opportunities seized 


Know that you can tweak or add this list however you desire.

Write down at least one memory you genuinely feel residing in the body for each area. Afterwards, find corresponding oils and/or herbs. One for each life area. Use your intuition. When in doubt, you’ll easily find information about the qualities of herbs and oils online.


Rub the oils on the wax or log whilst feeling gratitude. If you’re working with herbs only, use a bit of base oil (such as olive or almond) to anoint your candle, so the spices stick to your candle’s surface.


Don’t use cinnamon or any other inflammatory ingredients. If you insist on applying them, place them on your altar or use them with caution when burning your log. 


If you want to decorate the wax or wood with a knife, go ahead – be creative, but please take good care of your fingers 🙂


This year I am using two candles, which are needed to cover the whole Yuletide. Therefore it’s easy to prepare one candle first, and as the moment of switching candles comes close, I’ll address the second one. But feel free to decorate all your wood or wax in one go.


Wishing you a merry time and all blessings be,

Aïsha


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Be careful if you decide to keep fire or flame burning. Safety first! My candles or placed very safely and in a layer of water. If in doubt, never leave a fire unattended. Snuff your candle (instead of blowing it out).