This holiday honors the Goddess Brigid, a patron Deity of healing, Smithworking, medicine, and the arts. Her contemporary forms most often manifest as the Catholic St. Brigid, the Neo-Pagan Brid and the Loa Maman Brigitte. She is honored and thanked for the first milk of the New Year and the coming of the spring. Imbolc falls on February 2nd, the day when Americans traditionally use divination in the form of a groundhog to discover how much longer winter will last. At ancient Imbolc feasts as well, signs of early spring were sought and people would try to guess how many days of cold would pass before they could enjoy the warmth of spring again. Cows and ewes begin to give milk, some early flowers and plants begin to push up out of the earth, and the days are much longer than at Yule. Imbolc symbolizes hope and growth, potential, and good health. The Goddess becomes the Bride, who marries the God and prepares for the spring when she will become pregnant once more. It is also known as a festival of light, as it celebrates the lengthening of days and return of the warm months.
We will be holding a healing and forging ritual. First, you will have the chance to be cleansed and to draw in healing energy for any ailments you may have, whether they be physical or emotional, from the sacred well of Brigid. You can use this healing energy to help you to rid your life of any bad habits you may have as well. Next, you may choose to "forge" new energy, health, and good habits through Brigid's healing fires. Our work will bring peace within our own lives and our communities by focusing on how we can make ourselves healthy and well so that we may be more able to help those around us.
This ritual will be lead by Wendi McDermott, a Votary of Brigid beginning her second year of training. Wendi grew up within the Craft, as her step-grandmother was a practicing Wiccan and helped to instill a love of nature and the Goddess in her at an early age. Wendi went to the University of Florida to study Anthropology and Religion, focusing on ritual sacrifice and mysticism. She moved to Jersey City in 2007, and joined the Novices of the Old Ways in late 2008. In 2011 she returned after a year in Florida where she married her True Love Sean, who is also a member of the Novices. Wendi considers herself a "Mystical Kitchen Witch" and has an incredible sense of style.
In addition, we will be holding a drive for your used/old cell phones to donate to Alternatives for Battered Women, a founding member of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Their mission is to provide FREE emergency use cell phones for battered women's shelters in New York State. These phones are used for emergencies only and provide a sense of freedom and security. For more information, please visit http://www.abwrochester.org/DonatingCellPhones.html
What to bring!
-Food or drink to share (Good foods for Imbolc include dairy products, apples or cakes. Imbolc drinks include Guinness beer, red wine, rum, whiskey, milk or apple juice or cider)
-Suggested $10 donation to pay for the space and to contribute to a charity yet to be named.(N one will be turned away for lack of funds! Don't let empty wallets make you sit at home!)
- Your own cutlery, dish and cup! We do not use disposable flatware or plates and cups in the interest of cutting down on garbage.