Happy St Bridgid's day and welcome February !
Bridgid of Kildare in Ireland is such an interesting character and has much debate about whether the Bridgid celebrated as a saint is the same as the Celtic goddess of the same name. Either way she is attributed to performing many miracles and is associated with many trades and particularly celebrated as an emblem for women.Brigid was said to visit people's home and that she would give blessing to those who made a bed for Brigid and left food and drink out for her. Some would leave clothing outside for her to bless. She would also bless the barns and the livestock too. Perhaps you could try making a Brigid's cross there are lots of 'how to' instructions on the net. Traditionally they were made of rushes woven into a square or equilateral cross, although three-armed crosses have been made. The crosses would be hung over doors, windows and stables to welcome Brigid and give protection to the barns and cottages fire and lightning. The crosses would be left until next Imbolc when they would be replaced and the old ones would be burnt. I make Rowan crosses in Autumn for this same purpose.
This lovely 1920's poster shows her as a symbol of early spring and of being nurturing and kind.
Imbolc- the gaelic festival of first milk - the word possibly deriving from oimelc, meaning "ewe's milk" is associated with Bridgid and Candlemass (february 2nd).
In my neck of the woods I passed the 'lowfields' and saw the first lambs of the year huddling to their mothers as a hail storm unkindly bore down on them and I marvelled at the seasonality of it all. The old drovers ways which have become our lanes are full of snowdrops making a lacy edge to muddy verges and somehow lift the spirits as we realise winter may not be over but spring is on its way.
To mark Imbolc and bring celebration to this early marker of the years journey we will be having a bonfire tomorrow if the weather holds or at the weekend. We will throw into the flames anything that we need to be rid of (writing on a bit of paper and throwing into the fire is very therapeutic!) and looking into the fire and dreaming of the things we hope will happen over the coming year. It's too early to plant the seeds but its the right time to prepare.
Things to do at Imbolc- time are spring-clean both literally and spiritually and get all the unwanted clutter out of your life. Lighting candles and flooding the home in light reminds us that light and warmth are returning. candle divination is particularly popular at this time of the year when staring into the flame can tell/show you all sorts of things from your true love to the path you should follow. Fire is a cleansing tool and having a flame, whatever size, can be used to pass things over that you feel need to be purified. (be careful though please!)
Wishing happy days ahead for us all and welcoming the promise of springtime x