This year marked our 14th Imbolc rite using essentially the same script as the first year we did it. It’s an interesting thing, running the same rite over and over, and we’ve been able to improve many of the technical points over time as we’ve had new members come in, offer new ideas, and build a process that works more efficiently through time.
One of the things we updated for this year has to do with the poem we speak as our main offering. In the past, we’ve set people in pairs: readers and candle-lighters. This year, we had people go up and read for the candle lighter who was going prior to them. We also instituted a lazy susan beneath the well so the process of moving around the ring of candles was easier, and this worked out really, really well.
The whole process ran far more smoothly and actually more beautifully than it has in the past. This particular working has suffered from some general logistical challenges in years past, and initially, it sounds like this might be our model going forward to improve that.
Also new this year, we decided to live cast the ritual, which we’ve done for Samhain and Yule before. This changed a lot about how we decided to have the ritual flow, and created some new challenges. It continues to be exciting to learn how to navigate the waters around live casting.
Our omens were interesting for this rite. Our seer saw Huath, Muin, and Saile: Hawthorn, Vine, and Willow. Summarized briefly, they are foreknowledge that arms us; inspiration that forms; and intuition that guides.
It’s worth noting that the first omen is actually Beith, the birch (new beginnings). We’ll be discussing what the misidentification means at our next liturgy meeting, but for now, “the seer sees what the seer sees,” and the lessons are no less pertinent.
If you’re interested, you can watch the full ritual, including the pre-ritual briefing, on our Facebook page, as it was recorded live. We’ll update with a trimmed-down YouTube video later.
Thanks to everyone who joined us, in person or virtually!
Blessings of Brigando upon you & yours,
~Rev. Michael J Dangler