Brigantia (Imbolc, Olmeic)
The festival of early spring is celebrated from sunset on 31 January to sunset on 2 February and embraces the Christian festival of Candlemas. (It is described briefly in Chapter 2 of "Candle Power Using Candlelight for Ritual, Magic and Self-Discovery" by Cassandra Eason.)
Its energies last until the eve of the spring equinox. This is a time for rituals concerning the first flowering of love or friendship, the rebirth of trust after a setback and optimism after the long winter, in earlier times, the first ewe’s milk was available to the community, and at the beginning of February snowdrops arc pushing through the frozen soil. It is no coincidence that St Valentine’s Day is marked in the modern calendar on 14 February, which was also the day, according to the legend chronicled by Chaucer, on which birds chose a mate. The same day was also the Roman Lupercalia, which was primarily a festival of youth. Lupercus was the Roman version of the nature deity Pan, who himself evolved from the horned god of animals and the hunt.
The most potent candle spells for love, friendship and trust will be performed on the actual festival, hut they are also effective during the six weeks of the Brigantia period. In addition, such spells can be used at any time of year using symbols of Brigantia when you need to focus on this area of your life.
First-flowering rituals are gentle and good if you have been hurt or lack confidence; by the second spring around Easter, you will be filled with new optimism and any new relationships should be developing slowly and steadily.
White, cream and pink or any pale shade are the colours associated with innocence and gentleness.
A Brigantia spell for new love and trust
If you do not carry out this ritual during the three-day Brigantia period, try to perform it on the crescent moon or during the early waxing phase. It can lighten any dark winter or early spring morning.
Make a circle of eight alternate small pink and white candles, positioned in the wheel of the year formation
Find the north-east position, either by using a compass or by making an approximate assessment Beginning here, light incense outside the candle circle, then in turn at the south-east, the southwest and the north-west positions.
The incenses of Brigantia include basil, benzoin, cedar and myrrh.
Next take a dish of milk or cream and two sprigs of any budding tree or evergreen: myrtle or ivy are symbols of faithful love, or you can use two snowdrops, crocuses or violets — all Brigantia flowers and symbols of budding love and trust. Light your candles, starting with the candle of the north-east, saying:
Winter is in decline. I hold the first shoots of hope in my hand.
Pick up in turn the two symbols of new growth and circle each nine times around your candle, saying for each:
Sun of early spring grow stronger; that you may melt the lingering ice and warm my heart.
Place the dish of milk or cream in the centre of the candle circle and light the second candle at the due east position, saying:
Sun of early spring increase the light, until equal day vies with night an
Dip each of the greenery sprigs or early flowers into the milk or cream in turn, rubbing three drops on each stem and saying:
Milk flow after the dearth of winter; feed my heart and soul that it may grow once more whole and ready for love.
Bind the two flowers or the greenery together with pink ribbon, knotted six times — the number of Venus and love. Place them in front of the dish of milk or cream within the candle circle, saying:
In trust I move closer; in friendship I seek to bind myself to (name). Heal, mend and grow together
Now light the other candles in turn, seeing light and the sun coming back into your life. Let them burn out naturally and when they have, set your flowers or greenery in a vase of water. Replace them when they begin to wilt, until you can feel the spell beginning to take effect.
This “Wicca How-To,” Plus much more, can be found in:
Use the ancient power of candles to carry out rituals, cheer festivities, celebrate rites of passage, and much more. Begin the candle enchantment by matching the color to the work you want to do; link candles to astrology; recall past lives; perform healing ceremonies; and overcome fears. Perfume the air with scented candles--each aroma has a special significance. Inscribe a candle with your deepest wishes. Captivating photographs and instructions for rituals will guide you on this timeless path.