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Imbolc /LightsSoft Flame

Here are Jan's thoughts:
Those of you who are familiar with my beliefs as discussed on the forums and so on will already be aware that I am not a Celtic pagan.  However, interestingly, the primary festivals of my tradition mostly align very similarly with the Celtic Wheel.  I have elected to speak here about the things that I directly associate with each festival from my own standpoint, just to give you a little contrast and variation, but also – and perhaps more importantly – to emphasise how differing traditions all over the world tend to share some common attributions.  For me this is how it should be. What rests at the centre of faith is a many-facetted crystal – each of those facets connected to a slightly different path.  What is important here is to recognise that, no matter what path you personally choose to follow, they all lead home in the end.  They just do it from different angles.

Imbolc is known as Lights in my tradition – fairly obvious connections there then eh?  It awakens us from the Sleep which begins with the Winter Solstice, and lasts for almost two Moon cycles. During this period we remain as dormant as possible – though of course we all need to continue our day jobs. 

Lights  occurs as a fixed ceremony on the 2nd February.  The festival is dedicated to Isis, though on occasion Nephthyss may be invoked as a reaction to how the Sleep has gone – if we have experienced interference or other turbulence during Sleep we will call Nephthyss for her ability to awaken the dead under her protection.  But most usually it is to Isis we turn. 

We have an impressive collection of candleholders which tend to get expanded each year, and all of these are spread across an altar and lit, stage by stage until the room is ablaze with light. All our candles are white.  And I suspect we are going to be in need of an altar extension in the none too distant future.  [More...]

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