Imbolc Guided Meditation Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
On the eve of Imbolc, light a candle in a private corner of your home. Bring your face close and let its flame dance its teasing warmth across your skin. Track your breath, slow, slow in and slow, slow out, relaxing ever deeper into the physical movements of your body with breath.
Imagine your inner light and heat becoming stronger with every breath, just as the sun is becoming stronger with every day. Let this inner heat thaw the frozen-over places inside of you that hold your stagnation and resistance to change and new growth.
When you feel present and centered in your body, focus on the candle’s golden light; use its shimmering energies to shift your awareness to the place between the worlds where Brigid’s sacred flame burns brilliant and strong. Put your hands on your belly and sense the heat of Her fire infusing the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are stirring at this turning time, calling you to new growth and possibilities. Let these potent forces draw you to Her doorstep.
Now close your eyes and imagine yourself at the threshold of Brigid’s realm. There is a thick door in front of you, with a smooth-worn handle and a key poised within its lock. Place one hand on the handle and the other on the key. Take a few breaths to anchor once more in your center and to bring your complete attention to this moment.
Make your next movements deliberate and conscious, a shifting from the winter-like stagnation of what you know into the spring-filled possibilities of what can be. Then turn the key, step through the door and find yourself fully present in Brigid’s sacred realm.
Imagine Brigid welcoming you with open arms. Take in the details of Her radiant beauty and the powerful energies of Her holy well and sacred flame. Orient yourself within Her realm and its potent magic that can make your life anew.
Brigid leads you to Her scrying bowl, filled with the waters of Her holy well and lit by Her sacred flame. Merge with the flickering dance of flames across the flat, still surface of the water. Open your inner landscape to these heady powers, knowing that they can reveal the hidden knowledge within you and share healing visions of where your journey of soul will lead you next.
As Brigid’s holy waters divulge these secrets and visions, enter deeply into the stories woven into the seeds of your beauty and wounding. Information and insights can come to you in many ways: through visual imagery, a voice that speaks to you, or body sensations and energies. Fully engage whatever shows up, in whatever form. Take your time, ask questions, dive deep.
Decipher how these seeds manifest in your everyday life and the wide world around you, and how they inform your journey of soul. Seek out the parts of your Deep Self and life story that are calling for healing and reclaiming. Gather what insights you can on how to best tend these seeds and follow their lead in your emerging pathwork of new beginnings.
Widen your heart to your shadow-side, accepting that everything you are and everything you have experienced, the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, have brought you to this moment and serve as the raw materials of your greater becoming. Then turn your awareness back to Brigid’s scrying bowl. Ask it to reveal anything else you need to know at this time, including your imperfections, limitations and resistance that are the shadow reflections of your hunger for new beginnings.
These too are essential pieces of your journey of soul. When your scrying magic feels complete, step back from its potent energies and turn to face Brigid. You have a choice to make before you leave Her presence; you must decide, given all that you have been shown this Imbolc eve, whether you are ready to tend these stirring seeds within you, with your shadow-side as partner and ally.
Speak your vow to Brigid; name the pathwork and new beginnings that you are ready to commit to in the coming Spring season. Feel the power of your vow amplified by the magic of Brigid’s forge, where the old is made anew. And sense the greater powers and mysteries, beyond the walls of Brigid’s realm, that heed your vow and align themselves in service of your greater becoming.
For a few more minutes, gaze into Brigid’s eyes; drink in the details of Her exquisite features and fill yourself up with the love that permeates every ounce of Her being. Then bring your time with Brigid to a close. Listen to Her final words of guidance and wisdom. Share your gratitude and love, and bid Her farewell. Then use your breath to bring yourself back into your physical body and waking reality.
Open your eyes and take in the dance of shadow and candlelight in the room. Feel this mirror dance inside of you, and in the world around you. There is no light without shadow, good without bad, nor joy without pain. In the coming months, as you nurture and grow the new beginnings you have committed yourself to this Imbolc eve, remember this essential, inescapable truth: you are woven of all these things, and of mysteries unknown still sleeping in the shadow realm, waiting for their quickening moment to return to the light.
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats
Artist: Sulamith Wulfing
Imbolc Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
At Imbolc, profound change is stirring on your journey of soul. As the seasons turn from Winter into Spring, the returning powers of light and life activate your longing for new beginnings, and coax you to leave behind the stasis of what you know to seek out new possibilities.
The Earth is waking at Imbolc, casting off Her winter cloak of cold and darkness, and prodding the natural realm to stir from its long rest at the first signs of Spring. Nothing seems certain at this time of year. Nature can be in the throes of snow and frigid temperatures, or it can offer up warm, sunny days that entice brave snowdrops to rise from the still-frozen soil. No matter how hard Winter tries to hang on, the days get steadily longer and warmer, and Nature opens itself once more to the life-giving powers of the strengthening sun.
Groundhog Day is the secular custom that coincides with Imbolc. The groundhog is a weather diviner; according to tradition, if the groundhog emerges from its hole and see its shadow then Winter will be digging in for another six weeks. If it doesn’t see its shadow, Spring is near at hand. Regardless of the groundhog’s predictions, Imbolc is a time when we turn our mind and intentions toward the seeds we would like to plant in the Spring, both in our gardens and in our life.
At Imbolc, you turn your mind to the seeds that hold the next pieces of your pathwork, sourced from the beauty and wounding of your Deep Self and life story. As you draw these seeds into the light of your conscious awareness and engagement, you will also encounter the shadow-side of the wounded, denied parts of your life and our world.
To journey on the Path of She is to accept and work with your whole/holy nature and life story, both the light and shadow, and beauty and wounding. You cannot truly change yourself or your outer world without showing up to the naked, raw truth of who you are and what you’ve experienced.
You need not be alone in this momentous task. Brigid is a mighty Goddess, with powers of healing and inspiration, who comes to us through Celtic mythology. Some tales of Brigid tell how She came to the Earth when all was blackness and chaos, and placed Her mantle around the planet, transforming it into a place of beauty. Brigid has endured through the turning times of humanity, both as Goddess and as Saint, and Imbolc is Her festival day.
These wondrous things Brigid will grant us, but we must seek Her out in Her realm between the worlds, and consciously choose to embrace Her healing ways. And we must make a vow, a soul commitment, to tend the seeds of our beauty and wounding, and to follow where they lead us on our journey of soul. She can offer us healing, wisdom and support, but only we can do the hard work of transforming our life and mending our world.
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Photo Credit: Aleksandar Kyng on Unsplash
Winter is like a long, slow in-breath, with the living world drawing deeper and deeper inward to death and dormancy as the days get darker and colder. The Winter Solstice is the still, held breath of the longest night, a moment when it can feel as if the cold, dark of Winter will last forever, and then the balance shifts back to the returning dawn light of a new solar year.
Nature gifts us with a profound stillness and silence. The outward signs of life are stripped down to bare bones. Plants and creatures surrender to death and dormancy, retreating into the dark belly of the Earth. There’s no despair in Nature, nor any resisting, hiding or running from the inevitable and inescapable. Life comes to an end. Everything must return to its origins.
Yet this death-state of Winter is an illusion, a time of rest, rejuvenation and gestation that gives forth the light of a new dawn on the Winter Solstice, and the returning life of Spring. Death and darkness aren’t absolute endings, but more beginnings where something fresh and beautiful is reborn into the world.
To turn your mind to your inner darkness can be a scary proposition. If you’re like most everyone else, your shadow-side that holds your personal wounding resides within the hidden folds of your inner darkness. When you turn your awareness to the deep, dark places of your innermost landscape, you’re going to meet your wounded self, and the lost parts of your life story that hold your losses, pain and sorrows.
Rather than running from these parts of yourself, remember Nature’s Winter rebirth magic: new life emerges from the dark, death-like places in the belly of the Earth. What you find in the belly of your inner darkness are the makings of powerful rebirth magic.
You don’t need to make this journey alone. The Dark Goddess is your teacher in these life-transforming mysteries of darkness, death and rebirth. The Winter is Her season and Her mysteries are most potent on Winter Solstice eve. The ancient Sumerian myth of the Goddess Inanna’s descent to the Underworld realm of Her sister, the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal, can guide your journey of soul as you descend into your inner darkness in search of the rebirth magic that is emerging for you at this time.
Though She is a perilous taskmaster, the Dark Goddess’s promise is to help you travel Her Underworld realm of the sacred dark, both inside you and in the greater mysteries of this world, and to help you grow into your full power and potential. Like Nature, She shows you that the ways of death, darkness and descent are inevitable, inescapable, and essential for the rebirth magic that can grant you new life and new beginnings.
Your Winter Journey, through integrated writings, activities and a guided meditation, helps you explore and embrace these powerful teachings, and make them your own as you embark on your own rebirth magic from the darkness into the light of a new you.
Out of darkness and death, light and life are reborn. So too the light of your beauty is reborn from the depths of your wounding. Let these life-changing truths inspire and guide your Winter Journey.
Winter Journey – Your Rebirth Magic: Braving Your Inner Darkness
Turn Inwards ~ Discover Your Rebirth Magic ~ Make Your Life Anew
Let the Dark Goddess and Nature guide you in this season of darkness, death and rebirth magic.
Your Winter Journey includes: two pdf ebooks the Winter Journey Guidebook and Winter Journey Journal, and the Winter Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio).
The turning of the calendar year closely follows the beginning of a new solar cycle at the Winter Solstice. Traditionally this is a time to make New Year’s resolutions.
On the Path of She, we work with yes magic. Yes is the most powerful magical word in our vocabulary. It is the word that the Universe pays closest attention to. Say ‘yes’ and doors of possibilities open. Say ‘yes’ from the depth of soul, and we can transform our life.
Yes magic aligns the dynamo powers of desire (what we want) and will (our ability to make things happen) through a specific, consciously chosen intention. When we make a New Year’s resolution, we’re focusing our will by setting our intention for the coming calendar year. This is a perfect opportunity to use yes magic in service of our journey of soul.
In setting your New Year’s resolution, spend some time turning inward to your own sacred darkness. Tap into your desire for deep, spiritual healing and transformation and see what is stirring within you at this time. What healing and personal changes are up for you right now? What are your fears and hopes for the coming year? What seeds of change emerge from the darkness to the light of your conscious awareness and engagement? What new direction do these things suggest for your spiritual pathwork?
In the coming weeks, follow through on your resolutions, backing your yes words with yes actions. In addition, continue to explore the seeds of change emerging for you. Pay attention to how they reveal themselves in the insights, dreams, issues, challenges and opportunities that come your way. Expect to be surprised, to dig into places that you would rather avoid, and to be led by mysteries that you don’t fully understand.
Even though the new solar year has begun, darkness still holds sway in the natural realm. You too are still travelling the dark ways of the sacred feminine, beyond the edge of your known world into the wondrous new beginnings that await you.
Excerpt The Path of She Book of Sabbats. Available in paperback and e-book. Check out the Path Store.
Artist: Catherine Hyde
Winter Solstice excerpt The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
On the longest night of the year, in the thick of the mysteries of the sacred dark, turn your mind to the Great Below and the fearsome voice of Ereshkigal:
“I am the still, held breath of the dark that precedes the dawn.
I am the hands of the Earth that cup the seeds of new life.
I am the dark powers that pulse within the fleshy matter of your body.
I am the death that promises rebirth, and the kiss that awakens you from your death slumber.
I am the keeper of the lost parts of your soul, and of secrets that can set you free.”
Inanna turned Her mind to the Great Below and Her Goddess sister Ereshkigal. She surrendered everything, even Her life, to the Underworld mysteries of death and rebirth. And through these mysteries, Inanna was transformed into Her full Goddess presence and power.
As terrifying as this journey may seem, know that its rewards are immeasurable. On this darkest of nights, the seeds of brilliant new beginnings, within and without, are stirring from their death sleep, ready to return from the darkness to the light.
Ereshkigal does not rise from Her throne as you enter Her inner sanctum. She is dressed in a red velvet sheath that molds itself to Her voluptuous, curvy form, with a silver circlet as a crown and silver snake bangles on Her ankles and wrists. A smoky heat and feral power rises from Her amber skin and strong, bare limbs, marking Her as a dangerous, commanding being that could easily reduce you to ashes. With an imperial scrutiny, She pierces through your outer veneer into the core of your being. There is no hiding in Ereshkigal’s realm.
Hold your own under Ereshkigal’s probing, black-eyed stare, and stay in your center and power. As formidable as She appears, Ereshkigal’s intention is to help you, not to harm you, though She will ask much of you in service of your greater becoming.
“I know why you are here,” Ereshkigal says, “You have dared to stand before my throne in the Great Below because you seek the miracle of my rebirth magic in your own life and journey of soul, where new beginnings emerge from death and darkness. But be warned, there is a price to be paid for so potent a magic. As the new dawn is born from the darkest night, so too the beautiful new beginnings you desire emerge from the depth of your wounding.
“Long has been the dark night of soul of your human species. Long have you done great harm to each other, and to the good green Earth. Long have you run from the pain and sorrow of this grievous wound. Whatever personal wounding you carry is a reflection of this greater harm.
Ereshkigal leaves Her throne and circles around you. Her movements are sinuous and creature-like, and Her nostrils flare as She sniffs the air, seeming to take your measure from the scent-signature emanating from your form.
“However you have learned to deny and hide from your wounding will not serve you in your pathwork with me,” Ereshkigal whispers in your ear, “I strip you of these things so you can see the truth that is your life and your world, though you travel my ways by your own freewill, and I never ask more than what you are able to bear.”
She presses Her hands, firm and hot, into the front and the back of your mid-torso. Your mind and body become still, silent, empty. Whatever you think you know, think you are, think you want, vanish. There is only the pulsing, fleshy darkness of your inner landscape and the pulsing, potent darkness of Ereshkigal outside and inside of you.
As Ereshkigal withdraws Her hands, something passes through your skin. She uncurls Her fingers and two shining seeds rest within Her open palms.
“These are the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are waking within you,” She says, “Within their compressed interior are the makings of a bright new beginning — a magic that can heal your soul, brewed from the illuminating meeting of your beauty and wounding. You cannot reclaim one without the other.”
Ereshkigal turns your hands palm upwards and places the warm, pulsing seeds within their cupped interior.
“These seeds come with challenge and choice,” She says, “You can take them inside of you and then change will come. Or you can cast them back into the dark. But to no avail, because change will still come. What is waking in you will not let you rest until you have taken the next step closer to the soul-based life you are meant to live, and the new dawn waiting to be born from your inner darkness into the sunlit world.”
The darkness around you begins to lighten as the longest night gives way to the new dawn. Ereshkigal and Her realm grow fainter and fainter until they disappear altogether. Yet the power of Her presence and words remain, beckoning to you from the shining seeds.
One more time, be brave. Raise your hands to your lips and swallow the magic of these seeds whole. Take them inside of you and feel the stirrings of a new dawn within your gestating interior. Though you cannot know where these seeds will lead you in the months to come, you have dared the Great Below and claimed its powerful rebirth magic as your own. You have taken the next step into the soulful life that is yours to live and in the weaving of a new-made world.
Give yourself a gift of soul this Yule season. The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes your deep into the Winter Solstice mysteries of death, rebirth and personal transformation. Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.
Artwork by Julie Dillon