The Quickening Wheel: Imbolc
Article ID: 15612
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Robin Fennelly [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 2nd. 2014
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The Wheel turns and continuing its cycle of Waxing Light all of life silently waits to feel the potency of sun drenched soil and quickened seeds. Traditionally, the season of Imbolc is honored as the time of nourishment from milk-swollen teats and udders of the farm animals that have recently given birth. This flow of life giving milk ensures the growth of the newly born animals that will continue the cycle of food, wool, and more for the farmers and their families.
Imbolc also stands as mid-point in the cycle of Goddess as Mother of the Light at Yule and her transition into the Maiden of Spring who calls forth the life that lays beneath and offers promise of Beltaneís fires and Summerís blaze. Hope abounds! Hope in what can be seen in the young animals and hope in what will arise from the earth signaling the time of planting and sowing soon at hand. This is the time of quickening and enlivening the hidden seeds of transition and preparation of what will wither and die and what will germinate and become viable product.
We think back to the dark night of the Winter Solstice that not so long ago held us in its embrace of anticipation of longer days and Springís return. We have used the time since to turn within and deepen our connection to the places that receive only the warmth and light of what we fuel as our inner hearth fire. We have allowed that inner light to reveal to us that which should continue to be tended in the months ahead so that it could be drawn up to the surface of our physical experience; feeling the strength of full sunís light shining down upon it. Some were the seeds of what needed further quickening and some became the kindling that was required to keep the fires stoked. And, as we continue to move through our daily activities we feel the increasing light urging us to move, to plan, to organize, to prepare and to look for the signs of new life bursting forth.
In tune with the outward cycle of growing light, we feel that same stirring of inner flame within and the growing desire to act, to do and to reach upwards drawing the sunís energy and light into us. We have reaffirmed our connection to this waxing solar cycle and have begun the process of awakening the mind, heart and spirit.
This inner light we have nurtured and tenderly cared for continues to grow and we welcome the fires of Imbolc as the sustenance of what the burgeoning of these longer days holds as potential. The Goddess takes her place as new mother, fiercely protective of the light she has brought into being. With each moment spent in quiet reflection, we take in the flowing milk of her celestial light just as the newborn baby gently rests at Motherís breast. With each act of ritual devotion, we look upwards lovingly into the eyes of the Great Mother who brought us into being and see the reflection of our own brilliance of potential reflected lovingly back. With each breath of sunís growing light that we inhale into the center of our own needfire, we feel the beating of the Fatherís strengthening heart supporting and sustaining us in our endeavors.
And through the quickening of the fires of this light, the Mother begins the process of transformation and renewal as her energy shifts into the form of the Maiden who will call to light what is planted in the fertile soils at Spring. We, too act as guardian and nurture the growing flame within as mother and anticipate with the fervency of the Maiden the maturing of what has been created and the hope of what will spring anew.
Soon, we will find ourselves held in the space of balance at the time of the Vernal Equinox. This will be the necessary pause of fine-tuning and maintaining what fertile ground we have cultivated in the quickening of the inner light. I share with you a candle working to be done at Imbolc and sustained in practice as needed until the turning of the Wheel to the Vernal Equinox. The intent is one of clearing house to make way for what can grow productively to serve many turnings of the Wheel.
Imbolc Candle Magick:
Find a space in which you will not be disturbed and ground and center yourself making ready for the experience of quickening. You will need two unlit candles. One should be a small votive tealight of the darkest color you can find and glass holder. The other should be a tall white pillar. On a table or other flat and secure surface, place the small dark candle directly in front of the White Pillar. Create Sacred Space in whatever manner you are accustomed and come to sit in front of the two candles.
Sit quietly breathing fully and deeply and allowing your breath to establish its own rhythm. Expand your senses and make note of what you hear, feel, see and smell in the room in which you are sitting. Acknowledge each in turn and then gently release these impressions to the back of your mind, now readied and prepared for the work at hand.
Turn your focus back to the two candles in front of you. Offer the intent of fully and deeply engaging the whole of your being into these two candles and gently breathe this focused energy into both candles. As you continue to breathe, envision a line of energetic connection between the central core of yourself and running directly through the small votive and continuing back into the White Pillar. It may present as a visual strand, a sound, or an abstract feeling. Sense this in whatever way it presents itself. When you have established a strong and palpable connection, light the small votive. Pause for a moment, bolstering your connection to this candle. Breathe into this image as it expands and strengthens. Then light the white pillar behind it. Again, give momentary pause deepening the connection to the two candles. Allow your breath to complete the stream of energy and the expansion and strengthening of both; each connected to the other and both radiating back to you.
Shift the center of your focus back to the dark votive. Envision this flame as expanding and growing. Place your consciousness into seeing this flame now drawn into your central core. Acknowledge this dark light as those aspects of yourself that await the brilliance of light and hold the potential of viability or serving as the fueling for your inner fires. Breathe deeply into this imagery and engage as much sensorial experience as possible.
Now shift your awareness and focus towards the white pillar behind. See it now expanding and becoming clearer and stronger in its light. See this larger flame also drawn into your central core. This is the space of your Inner Sunís energy. The internal furnace that creates, destroys and fuels your will and desires. This candle of flame burns brightly and strongly and holds the power of transformation and quickening within its sensuous flames. Breathe deeply into this imagery and engage as much sensorial experience as possible.
Your inner core of power now holds both the dark flame and the pillar of light. One in front of the other just as was crafted in physical space. Envision the image of yourself standing in front of the dark flames. Draw in a deep breath of intent and step through the dark flames, bringing with you what holds the intent of productive use from them. You pass through these flames and find yourself now standing within those of the white pillar. These are the flames of your own inner light. Stand in the radiance of this energy and the gentle heat of quickening and enlivening. Open yourself to the strength and deep knowledge of your own fiery potential. And, to the power of right intent growing in this acknowledgement. Remain in the glow of this experience for as long as you feel is needed.
When you are completed step back through the flames of quickening seeing the diminishing of the darkened flames. See the image of yourself now transformed and glowing as the spark of inner light. There is nothing but brilliance of light, flame and the heat of true will. Breathe into this image, and as you exhale draw your consciousness back into your physical being sitting in front of the two candles on the table.
Soften your gaze and envision the dark flames merging and being subsumed by those of the white pillar. See each being held within the other, distinct yet one in the same in their intent and product. Sit for a moment taking in this image and make note of your thoughts and feelings about the experience you just had. When you are ready, use a snuffer and extinguish the dark candle. As you do so, allow the energy of connection to draw back into the candle. Do the same with the white pillar and place it where it can be accessed for later use.
Keep your white pillar and light it any time you feel the need for an enlivening between now and the Vernal Equinox. As you relight the candle each time, bring to mind the feelings of power that you experienced and allow the light of illumination to rise within you.
May the Fires of Imbolc light the way towards stepping into the Light of your true nature!
Read my article: The Gift of Yule: An Illuminated Wheel in the WitchVox Holiday section to follow the theme of this yearís Sabbat writings. And, please enjoy the accompanying poem Quickening in the WitchVox poetry section.
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