Ideas to Celebrate Imbolc

*Homemade Butter*
In memory of our ancestors, and devoting your efforts to Brigit, you and your family can take turns making homemade butter. You will need; 1/2 pint whipping cream, A jar with a tight-fitting lid. Fill the jar 1/3 1/2 full of cream. Screw the lid on tightly and begin shaking the jar or rolling it back and forth on the floor or table top. The cream will begin to thicken and then small pieces of butter will begin to form. Continue shaking or rolling the jar until the butter forms a solid mass separate from the thin buttermilk. (It should take 10-15 minutes) You may add a dash of salt if youwish. The butter may be formed into different shapes using small cake molds or cookie cutters. Sample the butter on crackers or steamed vegetables Remember to keep any left-over butter refrigerated.

*Spring Search*
Take a hike with friends or family. Be on the lookout for signs of spring.Take souvenirs home, such as acorns, rocks, sticks etc. to make wands with.

*Make a Priapic Wand*
Take a stick about a foot long, and affix an acorn or pinecone to the tip with glue, wire, or twine. Use it in your Imbolc celebrations, and put it to “bed” with your corn doll.

*Corn Dolls*
Corn dolls, traditional portrayals of the Maiden, are common symbols of Imbolc. Dried stalks of wheat and grass can be found cheaply at craft stores. Tying a sheaf of wheat in three places, to represent the Triple Goddess, and wrapping it in a lace hanky can make simple corn dolls. To make a more complicated doll, bend the sheaf in half, tying it an inch or so below the bend. Make a small braid and poke it through just below the tie to serve as arms. Tie it again to mark the waist. Spread the ends of the sheaf out as a skirt, draping it over a cardboard cone if necessary to give it support.You can decorate it further as you wish, with a small straw hat, flowers orleaves, or just leave it plain.

*Spring Cleaning*
When you’ve completed your Spring-cleaning don’t toss your old clothes and such, donate them to a local shelter for example. Go through your cupboards and donate canned foods or hold a canned food drive in your community.

*Make Some Noise!!*
Wake up early in the morning, take out all the noisemakers you can: pots andpans and whistles, go outside and joyfully make noise to wake up the sleeping Mother Earth. Bang away, wake her up! Little kids love a reason to let loose. Be nice to your neighbors though!

*Planting rituals*
You could also hold a ritual blessing over the seeds you plan to use in this years garden.

*Candle Making*
Make and bless candles for the year to come. Children will enjoy helping you make candles. Wax can be purchased at your local craft store, in sheets or in blocks. Sheets are safest to use with small children, as no heat is involved. The sheets are simply rolled around long wicks. For older kids,melt the wax in a double boiler over low heat, or in a large empty can, with it’s paper wrapping removed. Dip the wicks in one at a time, let the wax to harden before you dip again. You can use orange juice cans or milk cartons as molds. Wash them, then attach a length of wick to a pencil and allow it to hang inside the mold. Pour in the wax, and when it is cool and dry, remove the pencil and peel off the cardboard. Candles can be decorated, with whatever you would like, by pressing the objects into the wax while it is still slightly warm. You could also add scented oils, in small quantities,to your candles.

*Fire*
Clean your fireplace, sweeping clear all the ashes, then bless your hearth,and light a fire. Have an outdoor bonfire ritual, as a reminder of the warmth of spring to come. This would also be a good time to burn any Yule greens that still remain.

*Bride’s Crosses*
In Ireland, people make Bride’s Crosses woven of rushes or withies and in the shape of a three or four-armed cross. Or if you don’t have these items,weave a Bride’s cross out of wheat or barley purchased from the craft store or one out of the local grasses with dried seed heads. This custom may derive from an earlier fire ceremony in which this cross would have been ignited and cast into the winter skies of February to hasten the coming spring

*Dance the Spiral Dance!*
Spiral dances are always fun. Grab hands and snake through the grass or the living room, wherever you do your ceremony. For those who cannot or do not want to do spiral dance, this is an excellent time to participate in the rhythm, by beating drums, shaking maracas and rolling rattles.

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