The following blog post is a short excerpt from my book:
The Spiritual Feminist
The Goddess celebrates renewed fertility, fertility of body, mind, and spirit. Seeds are sown now for future harvests; the bricks and mortar of new paths and new adventures are laid. The Goddess is reborn as her younger self, the Maiden, and it is her strength and power and sinewy young muscle that we imbue ourselves with, so as to have the strength and endurance to fulfill our life journey.
This is also a festival of the Celtic goddess, Bride, so beloved by the people of the old world that the Roman Church couldn’t eradicate her. Instead, they made her a saint, Saint Brigit. In Celtic lore, the Old Woman of Winter (the Cailleach) was reborn as Bride, the Young Maiden of Spring. It’s this image that is most nostaligic in my mind, from the halls of Catholic Parochial School, the beautiful shining faces of the female saints, innocently biding their time among the patriarchal rhetoric, waiting for The Great Awakening…St. Brigit most prominent among them (the nuns adored her).
The celebration of Imbolc is also a celebration of light, a celebration of the sun, in the fact that a successful new growing season depends upon it. The light and warmth of the sun is celebrated in the flames of candles and bonfires.
This milestone passes all but unnoticed at our house, in all truth. I touch on it with a public comment and picture at social sites, or among my pagan internet friends; but here, it’s like a soft shadow passing over the house, sometimes lit with the glow of a blue candle on the kitchen table that hardly anyone else notices, since I’m always burning candles it seems. But I notice, and I remember, and I think…The time of The Great Awakening has come.
Herbs: basil, bay, celandine, benzoic
Altar Flowers/Herbs: angelica, myrrh, flowers that are yellow/white/or blue
Feast Foods: bread, cakes, dairy products, seeds
Animals: burrowing animals, ewes, deer, goats, lambs
Incense: jasmine, myrrh, neroli
Rituals/Spells: candle magick, initiation, hearth/home blessings, fertility magick, healing magick, cleansing rituals
1 lb. pre-cooked ham, 1″ cubed or shredded
1 heaping tsp. flour
1 firm white cabbage
1/2 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 cup cream
grated nutmeg (optional)
Cut cabbage in half, then cut the halves once again. Drop them into a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, drain. Slice them up. Melt a little butter or margarine in a sauce pan and add the shredded cabbage. Stir it up good. Add salt, pepper, and a dash of grated nutmeg. Next add the cream and a heaping teaspoon of flour, still stirring, and let it come to a boil. Add the cubed or shredded ham, and lower the heat. Cover the sauce pan and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6-8 servings.
Interestingly enough, and just as a sidenote, Nutmeg is the most popular herb used to induce fidelity in a romantic partner. Think about this, when used with magickal intention, if you’re making this dish for your husband, boyfriend, fiance, etc. (“This is a perfect example of a little innocent kitchen witchery in the making.”, she says with a wicked grin.)
2 1/4 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Drop by Tablespoon onto baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Serve warm with butter.