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BS: Imbolc / Candlemass

Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 03:43 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Feb 10 - 04:14 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 05:48 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 05:55 AM
Monique 01 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Feb 10 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Feb 10 - 07:33 AM
Gillie 01 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM
Jack Blandiver 01 Feb 10 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 01 Feb 10 - 08:03 AM
VirginiaTam 01 Feb 10 - 08:19 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 08:21 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,LTS on the sofa 01 Feb 10 - 10:15 AM
manitas_at_work 01 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 10:53 AM
manitas_at_work 01 Feb 10 - 11:07 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 01 Feb 10 - 12:25 PM
katlaughing 01 Feb 10 - 06:56 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 01 Feb 10 - 07:29 PM
Cuilionn 01 Feb 10 - 08:25 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Feb 10 - 02:18 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Feb 10 - 02:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 Feb 10 - 04:52 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 Feb 10 - 05:45 AM
Monique 02 Feb 10 - 06:29 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 02 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM
Cuilionn 02 Feb 10 - 10:06 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Feb 10 - 01:40 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 02 Feb 10 - 03:27 PM
mg 02 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM
Jack Blandiver 02 Feb 10 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 02 Feb 10 - 04:20 PM
Susan-Marie 02 Feb 10 - 05:40 PM

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Subject: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 03:43 AM

Well it's a pretty sparkley frosty morn here in the S.E. UK this Imbolc*, and my snowdrops (though they were eager enough to start peeping up before Xmas) are looking suitably seasonal! And the Moon last night looked quite something.

This is one of my favourite festival periods, due to the associations to light.

Anyone observe this festival in their own way?


* Though that traditionally is not such a promising sign: "Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over." (Wiki)


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 04:14 AM

I wonder... does the hag look like a groundhog?

In US tradition 2 February is Groundhog day. If it is sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow, then we have six more weeks of winter. Well duh! It's actually seven weeks and a bit. Winter don't technically end until vernal equinox 20 March, regardless of sun and shadow and stupid long toothed rodents. And that little tradition which started in some obscure place in Pennsylvania, some how dictates what the weather will be like for all of USA and Canada (I understand they also observe). How the hell does that work?

I like your tradition better. Give me dark and palpable romantic imagery any time. Not whimsical Disneyesque critters.



p.s. This shouldn't be in BS, should it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 05:48 AM

"This shouldn't be in BS, should it?"

Mmm, I did toy with using a Folklore prefix, as there's lots of folklore associated to these traditional fests, but I imagined an enthusiastic mod would probably just go and demote it anyway.. ;-)

One of the old folk customs associated to Candlemass is quite fun to do: you make up a 'Bride's Bed' in a wee basket, and put a corn dolly in it dressed up with pretty things, and alongside a sort of phallic stick thing! There's a charm of invocation that runs something like: "Bride's bed is made, Bride is welcome, Bride come in!" Bride is the Scottish name for St. Brigid, who is herself a Christianised version of Brighid, the Irish Goddess of poetic inspiration, healing and the hearthfire. I think it's basically inviting a kind of blessing upon the home for the incoming year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 05:55 AM

Wiki on Groundhog Day, interesting:

"Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day."


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Monique
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 06:08 AM

In France we make crêpes. The tradition says that if you flip a crêpe holding a coin (usually a Louis d'or, but who has Louis d'or at hand?) in the other hand your prosperity is assured for the oncoming year. On Mama Lisa's blog you'll find some posts she wrote about it (info, song, recipes & all)


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 06:38 AM

Thanks CS. Didn't know that bit about Imbolc and watching animal behaviour to make seasonal weather predictions.

Monique - Now that sounds a bit like Shrove Tuesday - pancake day. But that doesn't happen for a couple more weeks. Incidentally another folkloric/religious festival coincides with Shrove Tuesday. Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras - Laissez les bon temps rouler. And King Cake.

You know! There's some pretty good partying going on for one of the most dismal months.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 07:33 AM

St Bridget's Day in Ireland. First day of spring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Gillie
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 07:56 AM

Imbolc, Oimelc, Festival of Bride (pronpuced "Breed"), Festival of Bridgit, Candlemas.

At Imbolg, the spark of light born at Yule becomes a flame to warm the people. The trees start to bud and we see the first signs of spring. The word Imbolg means "in the belly", whilst Oimedlc means "ewe's milk" It is a time of birth with many ewes being pregnant and starting to give birth.

At Imbolg the Goddess casts aside the robes of the Wise One and returns as a maiden, dressed in white. The God. who was reborn at Yule, is now a young man, full of vigour, and his pursuit of the Maiden starts at this sabbat. A maiden would be seen as any women who has not yet given birth.

In some parts of the British Isles there are wells dedicated to Bride or the Christian St Bridget. Nearby to these places, there may be trees with scaps of fabric tied to its branches. This would be a wishing tree. Other offering such as plaited grasses, posies of flowers may be used.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:01 AM

Well - it's nice that the nights are getting perceptively lighter, but it was so cold on our constitutional yesterday the wind blowing in off the sea froze the butter-drips* on my beard! Maybe it's different in Ireland, but Imbolc represents the very heart of Winter, half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox, at which point I might be persuaded into thoughts of a nominal Spring.

Good full-moon on the 30th - the largest and brightest of the year, and well in with Mars too. We were driving home from Preston listening to Karen Dalton and saw it rising through the trees and we both started singing when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza-pie, that's amore..., so we quite naturally we headed for Morrisons for a huge Margaritta which we took to the in-laws and covered it in olives and pineapple before sitting down to watch the Latin grooves on BBC4.

Otherwise, I'd say all the Neo-Pagan stuff is about as Disneyesque as the rest of it; prescriptive rhetoric that doesn't bear too close an examination but nevertheless forms a similar theological comfort-blanket to the mythconceptions of the Folk Revival. Thinking of the Post-Revival in the sense of getting back to the true proletarian spirit in which the songs were originally sung, I wonder what might constitute the Post-Pagan?   

* We have a sea-front kiosk by the kite shop on the prom that does amazing hot chocolate & door-step toast; just the thing for freezing sunny days on the north coast of The Fylde with views across to the snow-white mountains of the Lake District in the late afternoon sun. What hills, what hills are those my love? Those hills that shine like gold?


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:03 AM

In some parts of the British Isles there are wells dedicated to Bride or the Christian St Bridget. Nearby to these places, there may be trees with scaps of fabric tied to its branches. This would be a wishing tree. Other offering such as plaited grasses, posies of flowers may be used.

Holy Wells are not by definition dedicated to St Bridget, some are, most are dedicated to a variety of other saints. Rag trees may accompany wells dedicated to any saint but not all trees at wells are used as rag tree. Whatever is tied to the tree represents an ill thing that is supposed to resolve once the cloth or whatever is tied to the tree decays (makes you wonder about scraps of plastic you find to some trees though).

People will be doing the rounds at Bridget's wells today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:19 AM

Ahh yes! Dressing the well. TSO put some lagging on our hot water tank last summer. Does that count? I could as a ribbon and silk flowers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:21 AM

"Whatever is tied to the tree represents an ill thing that is supposed to resolve once the cloth or whatever is tied to the tree decays (makes you wonder about scraps of plastic you find to some trees though)."

Aye, I watched that Three Men go to Ireland and they showed the most dismal looking rag tree you ever did see, covered in crisp packets and all sorts of shite! But I suppose the principle of offloading ones disease onto the tree, by dumping your litter in it, isn't really too far wrong symbolically.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:27 AM

"Otherwise, I'd say all the Neo-Pagan stuff is about as Disneyesque as the rest of it; prescriptive rhetoric that doesn't bear too close an examination but nevertheless forms a similar theological comfort-blanket to the mythconceptions of the Folk Revival."

Oops, I nearly forgot:

Merry Meet, Blessed Be and Goddess Bless everyone!

)0( FFF \|/


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: GUEST,LTS on the sofa
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:15 AM

Blessings all...

The beginning of Feb signifies the end of the Christmas celebrations. In Dorset it was traditional to leave the greenery (which of course, hadn't been put up til Christmas Eve) up until the 2nd. The Church ends Christmas with the Candle mass - which gives the day it's name. So those three shops I passed on the bus this morning that still had their decorations up, had better get busy tomorrow and take them down!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM

Were they still up for Christmas or were they up for Chinese New Year (or Eid)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 10:53 AM

"Thinking of the Post-Revival in the sense of getting back to the true proletarian spirit in which the songs were originally sung, I wonder what might constitute the Post-Pagan?"

Well for starters I guess pretty much dumping the whole 'skyclad' ritual in a cosy centrally heated living room business, and actually getting something sensibly warm on and taking a hike in the woods under the full moon instead might be an idea? Mind you I've done the token mid-summer naked run through cornfield thing, and that's fine too, but definitely no nudey skyclad stuff in february for me ta!

But I think post-paganism would be essentially spontaneous, intuitive, outdoors and theology free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 11:07 AM

"whole 'skyclad' ritual in a cosy centrally heated living room business" AKA 60 watt light bulb clad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 12:25 PM

How to make a St Bridget's Cross


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 06:56 PM

That was a neat video. It reminded me of the God's Eyes over here. BTW, unlike the video title, I have never heard them called "Evil EYE."


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 07:29 PM

Actually new year of the farmers as they begin preparations for spring planting, tool sharpening and accounting for the seed potato stocks.
For Brigid see

http://mysite.verizon.net/cbladey/brigid/thesaint.html

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Cuilionn
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 08:25 PM

For a tongue-in-cheek approach to Celtic Revival Christian/NeoPagan seasonal observances, do wander over and meet the
Beaker Folk.

Also, here's a wee Imbolc bit unearthed from the Ceilidh House compost pile:

IMBOLCTIDE

When yon Auld Grannie gyres an gimps
an unco dance on cranreuch groond
an gies her sillar curls a crimp,
Ye ken that Imbolc's comin roond.

When sillar hammers, blaw for blaw
fa habber-haird in hinmaist hone
then haud ye fast, for soon the thaw
will prize awa cauld winter's loan

Nae lang she'll lanesame bide, nor sup
Wi'oot the dochter she lo' best;
Nae grannie redds the kailyird up
But for the thocht o some comin guest!

Nae mair the lanesame anvil-drum
Will mairk the pace o Grannie's dance--
The Lass o the Lintin Wind sall come
An lowpin lambies hae their chaunce--

For Grannie Cailleach's time grows short
An wee snaw-drappies rowthie ring
For Brigid comes, blithe hope tae sport
An aifter Brigid comes-- the Spring!


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 02:18 AM

"Actually new year of the farmers as they begin preparations for spring planting, tool sharpening and accounting for the seed potato stocks."

Good point! "Spring" comes somewhat earlier for those who have to get out and make things grow! Hence the four main fire festivals being agricultural markers, rather than astronomical ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 02:41 AM

I didn't want to highjack this thread, but CS has given me permission. There are loads of February Festivals around the world:

I was too lazy to put in links.

Lantern Festival in Taiwan
Spanish Flour Festival
Carnaval in Brazil
Quebec Bonhomme Carnaval
Ice & Snow Fest in China
Naked in Japan - celebration of Lunar New Year with no clothes on
Mas-lenitsa Festival in Russia
Orange Throwing Festival the Ivrea Carnival - Italy
Viareggio Carnaval - Italy
Buenos-Aires-Tango-Festival


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 04:52 AM

St. Valentine's Day in England


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 05:45 AM

Thanks for 'The Beaker Folk' Cuillion, very silly!
Also loved that Thomas Hardy plot generator..


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Monique
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 06:29 AM

We have Valentine's day in France too (la Saint Valentin) and many Carnival festivals when Fat Tuesday is in February, some nice Limoux, les Géants du Nord, Nice and some totally wild


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 07:57 AM


At Imbolg, the spark of light born at Yule becomes a flame to warm the people. The trees start to bud and we see the first signs of spring.



SIGH. Brigid was clearly not from around here. Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing her till late April!


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Cuilionn
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 10:06 AM

Animaterra--

No kidding. We usually see our first snowdrops around April Fool's Day.

Speaking of cruel twists on festivities, we woke up yesterday morning to find one of our Scottish Highland heifers dead in the pasture-- totally mysterious, as she'd looked quite healthy the night before. Now, with the ground frozen, we have to set up a "livestock composting" area instead of burying her. So sad, so awful...and yet I'm sure that, somewhere, somehow, there's a Mudcatter who could write a funny song about it. (She said, smiling bravely.)

Off to the hardware store for some quicklime... *sigh*


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 01:40 PM

missed this one

Father Ted Festival


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 03:27 PM

Oh, Cuilion, I'm so sorry- and after seeing your proud smile as you told me about the cattle! <<< HUG >>>


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: mg
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM

Today is Saint Blase? day where they took candles and blessed your throat so you wouldn't choke on fish bones. It was a wonderful ceremony..the best the Catholic church offered I think..so practical..just a blessing and no sermon involved. I wonder if the candles have anything to do with Candlemass? Of course, they took away that nice blessing years ago and now we are free to choke on salmon bones. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 03:36 PM

Tiresome? I love it! The only Andie MacDowell film I can watch without throwing up. It's a doozy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 04:20 PM

Today is Saint Blase? day where they took candles and blessed your throat so you wouldn't choke on fish bones. It was a wonderful ceremony..the best the Catholic church offered I think..so practical..just a blessing and no sermon involved. I wonder if the candles have anything to do with Candlemass? Of course, they took away that nice blessing years ago and now we are free to choke on salmon bones.

St Bridget's and the blessing of the throats are quite separate. As far as I am aware the blessing wasn't taken away, at least most West Clare parishes have the Blessing of the Throats on offer today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Imbolc / Candlemass
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 05:40 PM

In my personal non-Disney pagan tradition Imbolc is associated with the day ewes gave birth and started giving milk. So we have a meal full of dairy products.


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