Fire and Ice; a recurring theme in many songs, in literature, even ballets and fashion shoots. Why is it so dramatic to imagine these two seemingly opposing natural forces next to one another? Is it the drama of the blazing hot fire on the verge of destroying the ice and melting it to oblivion? Is it the deeper, underlying mythology of the fires of hell and the icy white purity of heaven? Whatever you imagine, it is true. the polarity of the two images is inherently inlaid with drama. It’s the tale as old as time if you will; shadow and light, yin and yang, male and female, creation and destruction…
THATS where we meet today, in this mythology of creation and destruction. If you read my work, you know that I almost always blog on New Moon and Full Moon and usually offer some mythological or mystical ritual to tie in to what is hapening in the universe on an astrological level. These are the ties that we as humans have shared for thousands of years. It’s how we tell our story. Even as the Religion Of Man changes, the rituals stay the same at heart. This suggests a deeper mystical meaning to what these rituals mean at a SOUL level. But I will elaborate more on that in the future. Let us get on with the workings of today!
The Full Moon today is in Leo, the strong and proud lion. When the moon is in Leo, we are full of energy and optimism. That “spring cleaning” type of energy that inspires us to start new projects in our lives, make vision boards, make vacation plans, clean out the clutter from the closets both literally and symbolically. You may notice an urge to roll down the windows, drive faster and bring fresh sunshine and air into your lungs as if you were taking a big universe-sized blow dryer and blowing off the dust and cold of the dark and winter. The Natives named this moon The Snow Moon because historically, February was often the coldest moth of the year and saw the most in the way of winter weather, yet there lies within us this sunny warm longing…a fire behind that wintery ice. This brings me to the Sabbat of Imbolc.
Imbolc is an ancient Pagan holiday marking the first burgonings of Spring. Celebrated on February 2-3, it happens to coincide perfectly with this month’s Full Moon. Imbolc is the festival of light, of flame, of fertility and seeds. It honors the goddess as the returning warmth of the sun in the form of The Maiden, young and full of fertile life. Imbolc is celebrated with torches, candles, flames, grains; the FIRE to the ICE of the SNOW MOON. How beautiful! Imagine our ancestors, gathered together to celebrate a Spring Rite under a Full Snow Moon, a circle of torches to light the way, the first spring calves nursing in the pasture, seeds brought to the gathering to be blessed by the tribe. On that note, let’s proceed to our monthly ritual, how can we embrace this Full Snow Moon and the traditions of the Sabbat of Imbolc in a mystical way?
Things you will need:
Candles (whatever you have on hand is fine, I prefer the long burning glass jar candles)
Seeds for herbs or spring vegetables (to plant)
Lavender essential oil or dried lavender buds
Purified Salt (sea salt or Himilayan)
A white cloth, or if you have it on hand…SNOW!
Clear you alter space and set up your sacred time and space in the way you prefer (or see my blog “setting up your sacred space”). This ritual is best done outside under the light of the Full Moon if weather permits. If you have snow, build a little snow bank/alter and set out your candles. The glow of the flame agaist the snow will be beautiful. If you are somewhere with no snow (like me!) simply lay out a white sheet or table cloth and imagine a blanket of snow beneath you. Remember it is all about symbolism.
Sprinkle the area around your working with the salt. As you do this, imagine that you are creating a circle of pure white light. Everything you do within this circle will be sacred and full of light.
Sprinkle the lavender (oil or dried) around the alter space. As you do this, say a prayer of intention for cleansing. Think of this a “Spring cleaning for your psyche”. This is the time to release anything that is mentally or emotionally cluttering you. Let it go.
Light the candles. The candles represent the suns growing strength with the oncoming Spring. As you light the candles, call into yourself elements of strength and power and light. With each candle, set an intention to burn through a past karma and set forward into what is next! Full Moons are always about releasing, so see this as “burning the marshes” to prepare for the new crop of spring.
With the candles lit, take your seeds in your hands and sit comfortably in front of the white of the snow, under the Full Moon Light, and feel the warmth of the candle glow on your face. As you hold the seeds infuse them with your love, then imagine The Maiden, the goddess of all things alive and growing. Imagine her taking the seeds and scattering them all over the universe. Just as she scatters your seeds, she is also scattering the seeds of so many others. As the light and warmth of Spring continues over the next few months, as the wildflowers and vegetable vines and herbs grow wild all over the world, know that The Maiden of Imbolc, under the light of that cold February moon, heard our calls to spread love. And So It Is.
*model Brandy Alexandrea photographed by David Nguyen