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Author Topic: questions about imbolc/ wheel of the year alternatives  (Read 20051 times)
sparrow125
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« Topic Start: January 08, 2010, 04:03:18 pm »

I've been thinking about the upcoming holiday of Imbolc. I'm not really centered on goddesses or gods in general, and I have no relationship with Brigid, so I don't think I'd celebrate Imbolc in that sense. However, I do celebrate the equinoxes, solstices, etc. Is Imbolc one of the cross quarters? Also, if there's anyone out there who's in the same boat, how do you celebrate Imbolc (and what do you call it)? I'd feel like an idiot using an idea for a ceremony or whatever that was symbolic of Brigid in some way when I don't even worship her. Tongue What is the "message" of Imbolc to you (as in, why do you celebrate it)? What are some good ways to celebrate it?

Also, I know that certainly not everyone uses the wheel of the year, but many people seem to celebrate holidays at the same times. So what calendar do you use? I mean, do you consider Samhain to be the new year, etc.

Thanks! I know this is a little scatterbrained, as usual Tongue , but i appreciate the replies!
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Darkhawk
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« Reply #1: January 08, 2010, 04:38:30 pm »

Is Imbolc one of the cross quarters?

Yes.  Thus it is a Celtic fire festival and a Wiccish festival.  (Wiccan/Wiccan-derived other.)

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Also, I know that certainly not everyone uses the wheel of the year, but many people seem to celebrate holidays at the same times. So what calendar do you use? I mean, do you consider Samhain to be the new year, etc.

Samhain is also a cross-quarter, and thus a Celtic fire festival and Wiccish.


My liturgical new year falls in the summer; it originally coincided roughly with the rising of the Nile, and dates from the heliacal rising of Sirius.  (Precession has unlinked these now.)  Samhain is from the Department Of Other People's Holidays, like Imbolc.
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« Reply #2: January 08, 2010, 06:04:34 pm »

What is the "message" of Imbolc to you (as in, why do you celebrate it)? What are some good ways to celebrate it?

I'm not a Brigid adherent, but I do love some of the symbolism.  Namely candles.  I try to schedule my annual candle making on or around Imbolc.  It's a little like a second Yule for me.  In our dark, Pacific Northwest winters, we need regular reminders that the sun will indeed be back...eventually.  Wink

Brina
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« Reply #3: January 08, 2010, 06:35:07 pm »

I'm not a Brigid adherent, but I do love some of the symbolism.  Namely candles.  I try to schedule my annual candle making on or around Imbolc.  It's a little like a second Yule for me.  In our dark, Pacific Northwest winters, we need regular reminders that the sun will indeed be back...eventually.  Wink

Brina

I'm from the Pacific Northwest too, so I totally understand that sentiment. Cheesy Do you use the wheel of the year, then? If you don't celebrate imbolc then what do you call it?
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« Reply #4: January 08, 2010, 06:41:23 pm »

Yes.  Thus it is a Celtic fire festival and a Wiccish festival.  (Wiccan/Wiccan-derived other.)

Samhain is also a cross-quarter, and thus a Celtic fire festival and Wiccish.


So do you not celebrate anything in February, or do you celebrate the day with a different name?


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« Reply #5: January 08, 2010, 07:07:49 pm »

So do you not celebrate anything in February, or do you celebrate the day with a different name?

It's not my calendar at all, so no, I don't celebrate "the day".

My birthday is the third, though.
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« Reply #6: January 08, 2010, 07:14:44 pm »

I'm from the Pacific Northwest too, so I totally understand that sentiment. Cheesy Do you use the wheel of the year, then? If you don't celebrate imbolc then what do you call it?

I do a kind of modified Wheel.  I'm mostly interested in the Solstices and the opposites represented by Beltane/Samhain.  But I'm not a Wiccan of any stripe, so my reinterpretations are very, very liberal.

Brina
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« Reply #7: January 10, 2010, 11:39:09 am »

Hi Sparrow,

I don't think you necessarily have to have a relationship with Brighid to celebrate Imbolc. Personally I have never worked with her, but I love this time of year because it signifies for me the returning of the light and the end of winter drawing close. I like to fill my home with flowers, light candles and look forward to the coming spring. I see it as a time to start putting into action any plans you have made for the coming months, as we are now in the active phase of the year again.

Incidentally, I have never celebrated Samhain as my new year, and I suppose that if there was a festival I considered as a kind of new year, it would probably Imbolc. It just never felt right to celebrate a new beginning at the start of winter...but that's just my personal feeling.

By the way, you mentioned that your spirituality is generally not centred around gods/goddesses, but if you do feel like honouring a deity, why not choose another maiden goddess, if there is one you feel a closer connection with? Or just honouring the Maiden aspect of the triple goddess, as this is the time she comes into being again.

Hope you have a wonderful Imbolc, however you decide to celebrate.

Love and Blessings

xxx
 
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« Reply #8: January 11, 2010, 05:42:21 am »

Hi Sparrow,

I don't think you necessarily have to have a relationship with Brighid to celebrate Imbolc. Personally I have never worked with her, but I love this time of year because it signifies for me the returning of the light and the end of winter drawing close.

I agree with Jess. Imbolc can be seen as the celebration of the first glimpses of Spring, Winter coming slowly to an end, the first flowers are coming out. IMHO not all Sabbats are necessarily linked to Gods or Wicca but to celebrate different times of the year like the first Harvest, the beginning of Winter, the glory of summer and sun.
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« Reply #9: January 11, 2010, 05:49:15 am »

I agree with Jess. Imbolc can be seen as the celebration of the first glimpses of Spring, Winter coming slowly to an end, the first flowers are coming out. IMHO not all Sabbats are necessarily linked to Gods or Wicca but to celebrate different times of the year like the first Harvest, the beginning of Winter, the glory of summer and sun.

For Witches, it symbolises the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, the start of new life, and  new beginnings. You can dedicate it to Brigid, or to any of the other Spring Deities, or even just to Nature and the Earth if you so choose.
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« Reply #10: January 11, 2010, 10:46:22 am »

For Witches, it symbolises the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, the start of new life, and  new beginnings. You can dedicate it to Brigid, or to any of the other Spring Deities, or even just to Nature and the Earth if you so choose.

"For Witches Wiccans, neo-Wiccans, and some other flavors of neopagans, it symbolises the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, the start of new life, and  new beginnings. You can dedicate it to Brigid, or to any of the other Spring Deities, or even just to Nature and the Earth if you so choose."

I fixed that for you.  Wink

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« Reply #11: January 11, 2010, 11:23:56 am »

"For Witches Wiccans, neo-Wiccans, and some other flavors of neopagans, it symbolises the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, the start of new life, and  new beginnings. You can dedicate it to Brigid, or to any of the other Spring Deities, or even just to Nature and the Earth if you so choose."

I fixed that for you.  Wink

Brina

Brina, thanks for that but I did mean to write Witches.
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« Reply #12: January 11, 2010, 11:46:34 am »

"For Witches Wiccans, neo-Wiccans, and some other flavors of neopagans, it symbolises the end of winter and the beginning of Spring, the start of new life, and  new beginnings. You can dedicate it to Brigid, or to any of the other Spring Deities, or even just to Nature and the Earth if you so choose."

I fixed that for you.  Wink

I think this is again a thing where the difference between lowercase-w-witch and uppercase-w-Witch is important.  As I understand it, Sharon's not claiming that all people who practice witchcraft hold that viewpoint; she's making a statement about a specific religious perspective which happens to have a name very similar to the word that means "people who practice witchcraft".
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« Reply #13: January 11, 2010, 11:52:58 am »

I think this is again a thing where the difference between lowercase-w-witch and uppercase-w-Witch is important.  As I understand it, Sharon's not claiming that all people who practice witchcraft hold that viewpoint; she's making a statement about a specific religious perspective which happens to have a name very similar to the word that means "people who practice witchcraft".

Thanks Star! Yes, I do mean that Witches have this perspective, not witches in general. Sorry if I keep failing to mention that that is what I mean.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #14: January 11, 2010, 12:12:21 pm »

I think this is again a thing where the difference between lowercase-w-witch and uppercase-w-Witch is important.  As I understand it, Sharon's not claiming that all people who practice witchcraft hold that viewpoint; she's making a statement about a specific religious perspective which happens to have a name very similar to the word that means "people who practice witchcraft".

And I maintain that it's still a Wiccan (or neo-Wiccan) perspective that informs Upper Case Witches of the sort Sharon describes.  I understand the distinction between witches and Witches, but specificity when making claims like this is always a good idea.  Especially given that not all religious Witches follow the Wheel or anything like it.

Brina
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