Imbolc

It’s coming. Not winter. Gods no. That’s been so overdone. Spring time, sillies! It’s almost time for Imbolc!

Hooray!

Hooray!

Imbolc, or Imbolg, is nowadays celebrated on February 2nd. Other names for this day are Saint Brighid’s Day and Candlemas. In the olden days it was held between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It is the Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. The word Imbolc in Irish means “in the belly”. This is because it was the time when the ewes in the flock starting lactating and lambing season started. It’s a time of fertility and a sign of the seasons changing.

Aw... da baby!

Aw… da baby!

This Sabbat is one of the four major Sabbats celebrated by Pagans. Historically it was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. It is a festival for the hearth and home, lengthening of the days and early signs of Spring. Celebrants would like candles or bonfires and feast. They would watch the weather and divine to see how far Spring would be. The fires were a sign of purification and the return of the sun’s warmth. Along with the feasts, spring cleaning, and visiting wells people would also make talismans. These came in the form of Brighid’s Cross or a Brideog (straw doll).

These are actually corn husk. Not straw.

These are actually corn husk. Not straw.

The goddess celebrated this time of year is Brighid. Brighid is a Gealic goddess of fertility, fire, midwifery, and children. It is said that on Imbolc Eve she would visit virtuous houses and bless those who reside in them. Brighid represents the lighter half of the years and brings a time of divination. It is here where people would watch for serpents and badgers to come out of hibernation. Hence, we have Groundhog Day.  She is also in Hoodoo as Mama Brighid.

There are many rituals you can do for Imbolc. It’s best to find one that suits you and your path respectively. So celebrate the coming of spring widly.

~Blessings~

Sources:

http://spiralpathdesigns.deviantart.com/art/Imbolc-Mandala-281395552 *first picture*

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ewe_and_lamb_in_Kent.jpg *second picture*

http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2009/10/autmnal-activities.html *third picture*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc

Countless books.

These are the Books that Put Me Where I am Part 2

If you would like to read the first part, please click here: https://aradialecrawe.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/these-are-the-books-that-put-me-where-i-am-part-1/

So this is the second part of my book list. These are books that have stuck with me throughout the years and I still love reading to this day. Granted, they aren’t a complete list, but a list of those that I recommend to the reader.

Night by Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel

This is one of those haunting books of a first hand experience in Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during the Holocaust. You get chills as you read his account of how he survived with his father through the nightmarish occurrences they went through.

This is Buchenwald. You can see Elie on the 2nd row, 7th from the left.

This is Buchenwald. You can see Elie on the 2nd row, 7th from the left.

It’s the first in a series that Elie has written and the second is called Day. This was a book that everyone in my high school received for a school wide reading program. Everybody participated in activities and projects in each class revolving around the book itself. It was quite sobering and amazing to learn what happened in concentration camps. I would suggest this for high school students and up as reading material. Go through the internet and find notes and classes on this book and you won’t regret it. For a synopsis and history here is the Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_(book)

The Beaded Moccasins by Lynda Durrant

The Beaded Moccasins by Lynda Durrant

This is another sobering story of a young girl named Mary Campbell. She lived with her family in Pennsylvania and on her 12th birthday is kidnapped by Delaware Indians. She must struggle through not letting the memory of her family go and accepting her place among the Native Americans. Now when I was young, this hit me hard because I tried to imagine what it would have been like for me if I were taken away like Mary. It was an emotionally hard book to read but extremely worth it. I absolutely adore this book and hope my nieces will enjoy it too.

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

Good news! It’s not a sad book! It’s actually the opposite. This was another school reading program book we received in high school. It was a good year when I read this. It’s a novel of funny short stories involving two children named Joey and Mary Alice. Every summer they visit their grandmother in Illinois and experience some of the best adventures. There are eight short stories in this book and they’ll make you laugh and cry and go back for more. This book helped me connect better with my grandfather who lived through the Great Depression ( the era in which the book was written) after a small confusing conversation with him. I tried to tell him I was reading the book and since he was hard of hearing he told my aunt that I thought the Great Depression only happened in Chicago…… Bless my grandfather, I love him so. There is a second novel called A Year Down Yonder where Mary Alice stays with her grandmother. I really recommend reading these to your children and teach them a little about the Great Depression. You’ll be surprised.

Abarat by Clive Barker

Abarat by Clive Barker

I want to thank my friend Ashlee for introducing me to this book. She always knew where to find the most interesting books that got me hooked. Abarat is about a girl named Candy Quackenbush who is whisked away to Abarat where she learns there is more to her than she knew. It’s an amazing stories with the most colorful characters you could imagine. The plot will keep you reading. You will fall in love with and realize how much you can hate certain characters. It is a three part series with the second book called Days of Magic Nights of War, and a third (which took him forever to release) called Absolute Midnight. These books are fantastic for all ages. I encourage all of you to fall in.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Are you surprised I’ve made it this far without talking about Harry? I thought I would save the best for last. These books have been with me for almost fifteen years and I have loved every second of it. They are my second love after Jesse, they were first but you know…. Jesse. I’m glad he loves them almost as much. In sixth grade my science teacher, Mrs. Wilson, sat at the front of the class and one day started reading the books to us. From the first sentence I was drawn in. She only got through the first or second book that year, but as the months went on I started reading them on my own. I even got my dad into them. She is the main reason I love Harry Potter and keep it close. I don’t give her enough credit, but she was one of those teachers that stick with you through life. I don’t think I need to explain the plot or synopsis of these books. They were a big part of my life and still are to this day.

Thank you, JK.

So now you have seen the books that played a large part in my growing up. Do you remember the stories from your childhood? Can you name any that left an imprint on you?