Jan 18, 2010

Forcing Ideas

"Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday's dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow."

- Nelda Hartmann, January Morn

For those of us who are able to get our hands on fresh prunings, forcing branches can be very rewarding and bring beauty to your home long before the trees blossom in the Spring. For some forcing tips, check out Martha's ideas here.

With Imbolc coming up, I'm going to have to find another idea for a ritual. Last year I burned my Yule greens in a fire pit at a local Provincial park on a lake. It was cold and snowy, but I was warm by the fire, and it was so great to be able to observe this Sabbat outside.

Because I was moving, I didn't buy any greens this year for Yule (aside from a wreath which has made it's way to the flower garden to protect my perennials from frost.) So...on to planning a new ritual...

What do you do to mark this Sabbat?


Lyon said...

You know, I'm not entirely certain how I'm going to mark the holiday this year. I've done various things in the past, most involving lots of candles and warmth. lol Last year I went to a Dianic workshop and we made our own candles and Brighid's crosses and Brighid Oils. It was pretty awesome, but this year is going to be much more quiet, probably meditating at the shrine, probably focusing on some pre-spring cleaning, maybe writing poetry.

Lavender Moon said...

It will be my very first Imbolc! I don't have any yule greens but I did find several old dollies made from corn husks in my stash of decorations. I'm going to make a bed for one and put her on the dining table. I've also found one friend who would like to celebrate with me so we will think up some ideas together!

Jeanne said...

I, too, burn the Greens of Yule. I add to the fire, the Lavender branches that have been hanging in various spots throughout the house. And then will cut fresh.
I love to watch the flames and meditate on the new beginnings just around the corner.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

I am eager to try the forced branches... the quicker I can get as sign of spring even if its inside I am ready... This year... quietness i think is in order... planting of my seeds (indoors of course), a mean prepared as I love to cook (any excuse will do), and some candle magick

Ryan Sutton said...

Hmmm, last year I briefly spent some time with a couple others, we had a dinner, I worked on my cross stitch of Brighid, wrote a poem... I missed out on a lot of it, but I got to observe enough. This year... probably similar, sans the company. I AM noticing my tiny indoor bamboo is growing still, so that's promising =)

Tori said...

Lovely poem!

I have no clue how I'm going to celebrate. I'll be in classes that day.... maybe I can teach my classmates about the holiday?

mxtodis123 said...

After a small ritual to welcome Brighid, I usually go out to my backyard and pour milk into the Earth, thanking and nurturing her for her bounty. In the evening, I light candles throughout the house...much to hubby's dismay.

Anonymous said...

my bfff and I go to a chalet in the mountains (for 3 years in a row) and spend 3 days performing ritual, dancing, laughing, doing beauty treatments, eating, and just enjoying the time to just "be" without being mom, wife or anything else. Our rituals have included snow, planting wishes in dirt and lighting birthday candles on them, initiation....the list goes on. It's something I look forward to every year.

VintageSage said...

The only thing I know how to force are bulbs. :) Hmmm..is it too late for that? I haven't even though of Imbolc. Partially because all my stuff are still in boxes. Whaaaa!!! The only room left I haven't finished is my "magickal" room and I need to do that...SOON! Hope you had a great weekend!


Lyon said...

Hey Rue! I checked your profile and didn't see any other way to get a hold of ya. I have an idea for something I hope to be kinda cool and was wondering if you wanted to take part. Could you perhaps if interested drop me an e-mail at lyonmerc(at)gmail(dot)com so we can chat? =)

ONe PiNK FiSH said...

As you know, I am in the learning process and have small kids, but I think we are going to plant seeds and begin to grown them in a sunny window. I am thinking we will bless the seeds and make a wish on them before planting.

I think I might also make beeswax candles with the boys. I found the idea on Magic Onion. It is so simple and yet perfect to remind us of the warm, sunny days just around the corner.

I have a mild fear of fire due to the apartments I lived in during my college days catching on fire, so I will not be buring a candle in all of my rooms... But I think I will have the boys make these the day before and we will burn them on the fireplace until bedtime.

After that, I think we might go drizzle part of the wax into the garden area we have in the backyard as a symbol of the coming sun.

Just a thought. I tend to change my mind alot.

Jessica Cangiano said...

As the seasons change hands, slipping from one into another, sometimes gracefully, sometimes violently (think a last minute freak snow storm at the end of April!), I take time to reflect on what I've loved and cherished about the past three months, what the season means to me each year, and what I hope to accomplish or see happen the next time it rolls around.

Wishing you great peace now and always, dear soul!
♥ Jessica

Toni said...

Happen to just stumble on your blog. Nice to know that there are people out there like me. I will be a regular reader. Thank you so much

Bridgett said...

I'm still debating what to do for Imbolc. It's my first, and with Brighid being my patron Goddess, I want to do something special.

As usual though, I feel a bit lost. I suspect my sabbat will involve candles, meditation, and perhaps making some Imbolc appropriate foods.