Pagan Portals - Breath of Spring
How to Survive (and Enjoy) the Spring Festival
Candlemas/Imbolc is the re-awakening of the Old Lass within Old Craft belief and also coincides with the Roman Candelaria and Fornicalia - a spring corn festival celebrated in honour of Fornax, goddess of ovens, and observed by each ward of the city. All this merging of primitive origins and rites, belonging to the European pre-urban agricultural culture, meant that it also commemorated the search for Persephone by her mother and the festival of candles symbolizing the return of the Light. So it continued to be performed until the Christian era, when it was transformed into Candalmas in AD494. In pre-Christian times, Imbolc observance began the night before 1st February, and celebrants prepared for a visit from Brigid into their homes by crafting an effigy of the goddess from bundles of oats and rushes. The clothed effigy was placed in a basket overnight, and the day was celebrated by burning lamps and lighting bonfires in tribute to her. Traditions from both the pagan celebration and the Christian observance of St. Brigid's Day can be found in the modern Imbolc festivities - while celebrants sometimes make a Brigid's Cross out of reeds, as well as a Brigid corn doll or effigy.
About this Author
Mélusine Draco is an Initiate of traditional British Old Craft and originally trained in the magical arts of traditional British Old Craft with Bob and Mériém Clay-Egerton. She has been a magical and spiritual instructor for over 20 years with Arcanum and the Temple of Khem, and has had almost thirty books published. She now lives in Ireland near the Galtee Mountains.
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