Below is the ritual I created for the Imbolc celebration last night at Laurelin. It is part one of a two-part ritual. The second piece will occur at Spring Equinox (Ostara).
What you need:
-A pouch that can be used for a seed. It can be made of anything. I made the pouches for last night out of a 5×7 canvas drawstring bag. (You’ll have to wait until Spring to learn what is inside.)
-Markers or paint.
-An area where you can be in total or near-total darkness.
Open the ritual however you normally would to denote sacred space.
For half of the year, Night rules over Day and keeps us in darkness longer than in light. Darkness holds the Power of Night. In darkness, we rest. When we sleep our bodies heal, organize and store the events of the day and restore energy in preparation for the coming day. Even those who must sleep during the day draw on the Power of Night, because closing our eyes plunges us into the darkness we need for sleep. So too, Night allows Mother Earth to rest, rejuvenate and prepare for the coming day.
Today, we are here to celebrate Imbolc, where we will recognize preparations for Spring and draw upon the Power of Night, while Night still rules over Day to help us prepare for Spring.
I will now walk everyone through a light meditation:
Take a deep breath. Exhale. Close your eyes. Take another deep breath and exhale.
Go down into the Earth beneath the snow, beneath the top soil and feel yourself surrounded by the darkness of Mother Earth. Feel the soil surrounding you. Feel the cold and the darkness. As your eyes start to acclimate in the darkness, you notice something twitch to your right. You turn to look and as you gain focus, you realize that it’s a seed. Look closer at the seed. What is its shape? What is its color? Reach out and gently touch the seed. What is its texture? Is it fuzzy? Rough? Smooth? As you’re touching this seed, it twitches again. This time, it pokes you in the finger. You jerk your hand back and look closely at the seed. There you see it … a tiny root ever so slightly reaching out of the shell. Suddenly, the soil around you reacts and begins funneling nutrients and water to that seed. That tiny root starts gulping those nutrients into its shell. Mother Earth knows exactly what that little seed needs.
As you’re watching, you’re reminded of a time long ago when you were a seed, surrounded by the darkness of your mother’s womb. You had your own root connected to your mother’s body as your forming body gulped down the nutrients you needed. Your mother’s body automatically knew what nutrients you needed to grow. Now, come back to the present.
Just as the seed you met in the ground prepares for the light of Spring, you prepared for the light outside the womb. So today, at Imbolc, we will harness the power of the darkness to prepare for the coming spring, which arrives in only six weeks.
What do you need to do to prepare for Spring? Is it a project that needs completion before Spring arrives? Do you need to prepare for your garden? Maybe, you have a car that smells like feet from being closed up all Winter that needs to be cleaned. Perhaps, you have a yearning for knowledge or need to set up an altar. Whatever it is, that is the seed you need to germinate for Spring. Take your time to decide what seed you need to germinate.
Once you have your seed, take a deep breathe. Close your eyes and exhale.
Visualize your seed in front of your. Every seed has its own shape. Maybe it looks like a dirty car, a broken house, an unread book or an unfinished altar. Whatever the case, look closely at every detail of your seed. Take your time to explore.
Now, visualize your seed getting bigger until it is large enough for you to fit inside. Now, step forward inside your seed.
All seeds need nutrients. What does your seed need? Just like the seed you met earlier needed water, warmth and nutrients, so too does your seed. Let your seed tell you what it needs in every detail. You innately know what to provide your seed. You know every step you need to take. Just like the dirty care seed, it needs time set aside, a trash bag, a vacuum, windex, and so on. Take time to hear everything from your seed. When you have all of the details, step back outside your seed.
Now, retrieve your seed pouch. Shrink your seed small enough that it will fit inside the seed pouch and place your seed inside. Close the pouch tightly, for your seed needs the power of the darkness to fully germinate.
Write or draw your plan or the nutrients that your seed needs on the outside of the pouch. You can make a checklist of all the actions that you must take or you can draw symbols, whatever has meaning to you and will remind you the actions you must take. (You can complete this piece after you close the ritual because you will need light.)
Keep your seed pouch and bring it to the Spring Equinox (Ostara) ritual.
Close your ritual space.