|Crows and their smaller cousins under the birdfeeder|
Imbolc is a holiday full of contradictions. It celebrates the first stirrings of spring growth deep beneath the surface of the earth at a time when for many of us, winter is still in full force. And it celebrates the returning of the light when the dark still holds us firmly in its grip. But that is the point, really. Imbolc reminds us to look forward with hope, to look for the small signs that spring really is coming, slowly but surely, just as the light grows a tiny bit every day.
If you go outside at night, you will notice that the sky seems different. The day dawns a few moments earlier and the sun sets a few moments later. There may be snow on the ground in many places, but deep below us, the earth IS stirring.
For us, it is still the time of the darkness; time to plan, and set plans in motion, but not yet act on them. In short, it is time our to dream. Imbolc is the perfect day on which to create a dream pillow to hold those dreams safe as we take slow, careful steps to reach our goals.
If you want, you can start by casting a ritual circle. Or if you don’t feel like being that formal, simply find a comfortable spot, settle in with your materials close at hand, and focus on your dreams and goals for the year.
You will need: Either a piece of cloth or two pieces that can be sewn together to make a square about 2 inches on each side (the size can vary) or if you really don’t like to sew, you can use a drawstring bag. But the act of sewing is a good way to help focus the energy you put into the pillow. Bright colors are good, if they remind you of spring. A needle and thread (if you are doing this where the light will be dim, it is a good idea to thread the needle ahead of time). Small slips of paper and a pen. Something to stuff the pillow with. Optional—herbs that remind you of spring and/or help with dreaming, such as lavender. A white or yellow candle. You can start with the pillow already closed on three sides, so you only have to sew the last side shut after you’ve stuffed it.
Light the candle and greet the gods in whichever way suits you. Take a few moments to think about what your dreams and goals are for the year, then write them down on the slips of paper. All your actions should be slow and thoughtful—don’t rush through this. Stuff the pillow with whatever else you are putting inside, then add the pieces of paper. You may want to say each goal out loud as you place it inside. Then tie a knot in the end of your thread, to cement your intentions. As you sew the last side of the pillow closed (or pull the string closed on your bag), you may want to say “to mote it be” as you place each stitch. Remember that the stronger your focus is, the more powerful the spell. When you have completed your pillow, you can say the following (from my book, Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, Llewellyn).
Dreams Come True Spell
I wish upon the stars above
And on the moonlight’s gleam
I ask the gods to send their love
And help fulfill my dream
Hard I’ve worked to get to here
This magic time and space
I know my dreams are drawing near
At Fate’s own measured pace
Bring to blossom dreaming’s fruit
I ask from heart and soul
As flowers spring from planted root
Let me achieve my goal
If you want, you can sit for a while, envisioning your dreams coming true. Then thank the gods (open your circle if you have done a formal ritual) and tuck your pillow someplace safe, like your altar or inside your bed pillow.
|Magic the Cat living up to her name as she inspects our altar set-up for the ritual.|