Happy Imbolc

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Winter Prayer, by Danielle Barlow

We have spent the weekend playing in the (abundant) snow, eating lots of milk products, spending quality time together and dreaming of the spring. The groundhog saw his shadow, giving us 6 more weeks of snow. Despite being over winter, I think I need that time before the sun comes and we are thrust back out into the world. I feel like I need more time to knit, drink tea and cuddle up in slippers and fleece. So, happy Saint Bride’s day, happy Imbolc, happy groundhog day. We had a lovely one <3

Big Tuesday Post

Another freezing winter’s day. Yesterday was especially tough. Made it that much harder to get out of bed and return to work when the wind chill is around -34C (about -33F).  Add to that some more dead parent nightmares. Yeah, it was a fun morning. Despite my post the other day, my whole day had this downness to it. I discovered around lunch time that my iphone has a massive crack on the back from it falling out of my purse over the weekend. My new iphone. Sigh. Then, on the way home from workmy new purse had its strap break. Literally as I was walking off the bus into the freezing cold night.

So, I went home, sat in front of the television, and refused to do anything. I didn’t cook. I didn’t clean. I didn’t do anything more than lay my ass down with an afghan, two cats and the dog. The husband forced me to eat something when he got home from karate (which he cooked because I refused otherwise. Yes, really mature, I know. I know my limits, and I know that in the mood I was in, I was likely to hurt myself if I tried to make anything more complicated than open-and-microwave)

On the plus side, I had a great weekend. Friday night, the hubby and I went to my mother’s home/estate to work on things there. Afterwards, as a treat, we went to see The Rite. I have a strange love for demon related movies (Constantine, Devil’s Advocate, you get the idea) and really enjoyed it. I love Anthony Hopkins, and really enjoyed him in another creepy role.

Saturday involved first going out with our friends S&K to see The Green Hornet (which was better than I was expecting. It was lots of fun) followed by some hardcore knitting to finish up a project that I’ve been super excited about. My Super Sekrit Knitting Project? It was a gift a friend of mine who had a baby shower this weekend. Pat and I are good friends with her and her husband and often give each other gag gifts at birthdays and the like. For the baby, I wanted to do something that was functional, handmade and hilariously awesome.  So,  I made this:

Cole the unwilling Viking

Pattern: Bella Knitting’s Viking Boy Hat

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

And, as you can see, I also made some matching booties. I altered a pretty straight forward pattern to match the hat details. I’m really happy with how it all turned out, and have since had a few requests for more from a few of my other friends. Woo!

Pattern:  Textured Cuff Bootees by Zoë Mellor (from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

Yay for actual crafting content! Sunday was the shower, and the gifts were very well received. :D

Unfortunately, the weekend also held some really sad news. The father of one of our friends passed away on Friday night. He had been fighting cancer for a while, and had a very similar experience as Pat’s Dad (healthy guy, suddenly afflicted with a very aggressive cancer). This Imbolc I’ll be lighting a candle in his honour and for his family. It’s so hard when close friends are going through such a difficult time.  I may, if we can afford it and if I have the time, make them a meal or a snack. It’s not much, but I know when I lost my parents, not having to prepare a meal was a god send.

Speaking of Imbolc, the lovely Laura Marjorie Miller shared another one of her great posts. Definitely check it out. My plans are pretty basic, actually. I’ll probably have a cleansing bath, maybe do a reading. I’m debating doing some kind of fertility thing…any recommendations?  I’ve heard that it’s traditional to open all the doors and windows to welcome Bridget in. Are we supposed to do that tonight, or tomorrow? I may also make a list of things that I’d like to have gone from my life and then feed the list to a fire.

We have plans with friends to visit my favourite Irish pub in town, Patty’s. It happens to be the very same Pub that Charles de Lint, his wife, MaryAnn and their band play at occasionally. Afterwards, we’ll be visiting L & S as an after-funeral gathering. It’s going to be a busy today.

Anyway, to wrap up this post, here’s my Tuesday Day Book entry:

Outside my window… is the impending storm.  It’s not supposed to be as bad here in Ottawa as other places (I hear apocalypse is being thrown around as a descriptor in the states for the storm. Really? It’s going to be bad, but not that bad people.)

I am thinking…about my upcoming trip to New Orleans! I haven’t talked about this here yet, because it was still being planned. One of my closest friends in the world is this lovely gentleman by the name of Isaac.

Isaac and I, about 7 years ago. Neither of us look much like this anymore.

He is currently in a fantastic job that earns him an obscene number of aeroplan points. He has invited me on a 5 day trip to New Orleans with him! We’ve been talking about traveling there together for as long as we’ve been friends (going on 12 years now). It’s going to be EPIC. We’re leaving in March and will be there for about 5 nights. SO EXCITED.

I am thankful for… my husband. I know, I say that a lot, but he puts up with a whole bucket of crazy for me. He’s super sweet and very good at helping me through crap times.

From the kitchen… I’m super happy with how my first attempt at home made Beef Stroganoff went.  I’ve been eating it happily for days now.

I am wearing… Plaid pants with a dark blue top. I have my wedding flats on too. Woo

I am creating… Hopefully tonight, the Guiness Gingerbread. YUM. I love you, Nigella.

I am going… to be running around like mad tomorrow.

I am reading… First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher.  Last in the series, I think.

I am hoping… to have enough money for both of my trips in the coming months. New Orleans in March, Calgary in May. Busy busy

I am hearing… A lot of crazy people freaking out over the weather.

Around the house… I’m hoping to keep the house clean for longer than a day. yeah. Right.

One of my favorite things… Planning and plotting for trips! I have a list of things we should do/see/eat while in NO. :D

A few plans for the rest of the week: Wednesday holds Imbolc, a pub trip and comforting friends. Friday is work on the estate, with Sunday holding the return of Family Dinners with Jan and co.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


Imbolc

I hope everyone had a really great Imbolc. My weekend was extremely busy and extremely productive for me.

Friday and Saturday involved much cleaning. I wanted to have the house ready for it’s cleansing, so I started on the main floor, went upstairs and then to the dreaded basement. I cleaned. I dusted. I washed. I vacuumed. I deodorized. I did all the dishes and all the laundry. I cleaned both bathrooms. The place was shining. Once clean. I got myself ready for the ritual.

Firstly, I cleansed myself, having a nice hot shower, asking Brigid to cleanse me with her healing waters. Then, I dressed myself intuitively. I ended up wearing a lovely off-white skirt and a flow-y off-white shirt with lace and sequin embellishments. I wore silver and amber jewelry and put my hair back in a braid. I also wore my bright blue coin belt.

Now, I am definitely more of an intuitive green witch type when it comes to ceremonies. It’s generally on the fly with whatever feels right. I like elaborate ceremonies enough, but I prefer to do what feels right with what I have. So, I set up my alter on my kitchen counter. I put down the candles we made at a previous rit to signify the directions, and then salt at the north for earth, incense at the east for air, a red candle at the south for fire and blessed water at the west. To start things off, I cast a protective circle around myself and the pets. I then did a smudging of the entire house, deosil, starting on the main floor, working upstairs, an then working down through the basement, returning to my starting place in the kitchen. I asked all spells, spirits and negativity not in harmony with me and my family to depart. I introduced myself to the spirits of the land, including the good neighbours. I praised the house. Afterwards, I did the same deosil tour of the house, but cleansing with the elements. Again, demanding all energies not in harmony with me and my family to leave. I then did a third tour, and sealed all of the doorways, windows and mirrors of the house with blessed water.

I then did a blessing of the hearth and heart of the home in Brigid’s name. To wrap things up, I offered the spirits of the land some tobacco in welcome, to announce myself as a friendly neighbour, respectful of their place. I then made it an offering with some more sage.

I then left some tea and cookies out for Brigid and took rest. It was an exhausting day, but I could immediately feel the difference in the house. I was planning on doing a job/money spell, as well as my totem meditation, but it just didn’t feel right. It was a dark moon on a Saturday, so I wanted to wait until the correspondences were better aligned with my intention.

Sunday afternoon, I felt a strong sense of peace and comfort in the house. I snuggled myself up in a blanket on the couch and let my worries just float away. I think I’ve realized this weekend that Brigid and I get along famously. I think she is going to stay a good friend for me, and a part of the ladies that I turn to for strength and inspiration.

I hope everyone had a great Imbolc and that the light shines bright for you in its return.

Happy Imbolc

Happy Imbolc everyone.

I hope that this is truly a return to the light. The last while has been very dark and hard for me. I could really use a reprieve.

I have a bunch of stuff planned to celebrate the day. To begin, I’m cleaning and finally cleansing the house. I also plan on blessing the heart of the home, my creative space and say “Heya!” to the good neighbours.

Next on the plan, I want to do a cleansing for myself and Pat. We have been going through a lot of bad luck the last while, so I want to make sure that we are clear of any possible hexes, ill-will and so forth.

I then want to do a “I promise to work really hard if you help me find a better job!” spell for both of us

Next up, a blessing for creativity, creation and inspiration in honour of Brigid.

Finally, I want to do my totem guided meditation.

It’s going to be a very productive day :) After all of my running around this afternoon, I spent the snow day cleaning. I just have to finish up laundry, the dishes, the craftroom and then vacuum before I do the cleansing. I think I’ll also do the litters, just to be nice to Pat.

I have so much stress going on right now, I really hope it calms down after this. I have stomach pains, I’ve been clenching and grinding so hard at night I have migrains and I broke a tooth last night. I haven’t been eating well, if at all, and my whole body hurts. It’s not a good scene. I want to do all I can to fix this, but I think I need some divine help too. On a side note, I’ve started morning pages again. So far I’ve only had bad luck increase since I started. Maybe it’s a sign. I don’t know.

I feel like I’m entombed by the snow, forced into a time of solitude and contemplation. I’ve come to a few decisions and I have a new understanding of certain things. My situation is very much of my own doing. I now need to take control and fix it.

I think I’m going to go have a sleepy time tea with some honey to calm my mind and my stomach before bed. I need to be at the top of my game tomorrow.