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OPC Presents a A Druid Imbolc
Gathering is at 5:30 PM
Ritual Promptly @ 6:00 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church
1901 EAST ROBINSON STREET, ORLANDO
in the Courtyard
Join us for a beautiful Druid rite honoring Imbolc, hosted by Lankelly!
Imbolc (pronounced IMM-olk; the "b" is not pronounced) is a Fire Festival sacred to women and dedicated to Brigit (Brid), or in some Druid circles to Ana, the mother of all goddesses. Imbolc is the point in the cycle of seasons when new life is just beginning. Halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, Imbolc is usually celebrated on either February 1 or 2. Imbolc means "in the belly."
Brid is the Goddess of poetry, the patron of metalsmiths, and the Goddess of healing. She is often depicted as a midwife. She is the daughter of the God Dagda and the Goddess Boann, and Brid?s special animal is a white cow with red ears. Her flower is the dandelion.
Imbolc was traditionally celebrated when the first sign of milk was observed in the ewes and the newborn lambs were ready to suckle. Sheep were very important animals to the ancient Celts, providing food, milk, and clothing. The occasion of the birth of lambs was a cause for rejoicing and a sign of rebirth in the dead world of winter. Imbolc also marked the beginning of the agricultural year, since at this time the ground may have been soft enough to plow. Ritual cleansing in preparation for the new year of work was part of the Druids? celebration of Imbolc, with people bathing their heads, hands, and feet with water. Images of Brid were formed from straw by the men of the village and carried from house to house by young girls. The households would honor Brid with gifts of food on their doorstep, and the gifts were then used for a communal feast.
In Druid tradition, Imbolc is a goddess-centered ritual of light and water, utilizing many candles, fires, and bowls of water; it is a time of purification and renewal. Each year, on the Eve of Imbolc, the Cailleach (the hag goddess) drinks of the Well of Youth and is magically transformed into the young Goddess Brid. By this action, the never-ending cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth continues.