Flashback Thursday: Earth Tones Winter 2016

Heather Articles, General

While the wheel has turned away from Imbolc and is headed towards Beltane, some of the activities listed below are quality activities that are applicable for April and early May, too!

Please enjoy a submission from the Church of the Earth quarterly newsletter Earth Tones, Winter 2016!

Imbolc Activities
DS

Imbolc is a time to prepare for new beginnings: out with the old, in with the new! It is a great time to sew the seeds of the coming year, both physically and spiritually. Here are some activities you might enjoy incorporating into your own Imbolc observations at home.

1. Spring Cleaning: Okay, so “enjoy” might not be on the list of adjectives to describe this activity for some of us. But it is a great time of year to refresh our living spaces! Later in the year when it gets warmer, I usually throw open the windows and start enthusiastically de-dusting and vacuuming, only to turn around and find a thick layer of “yellow snow” has attacked all my recently cleaned surfaces. That stuff gets everywhere! So this year, try to wash, vacuum, mop, scrub, de-dust, and declutter now. You might also consider getting rid of any negative energy that is lying around. You can sweep, smudge, and salt water wash it away. Try one of these:

Sweep, sweep, sweep the ground,

All negativity shall be bound;

I banish all that is profane—

Only positive shall remain!

(from universalpagantemple.tumblr.com)
Negative energy may not stay—

I release it and send it on its way!

Negative energy, I banish thee,

And as my word, so mote it be!

(from cronecronicles.blogspot.com)
Cleanse this space, remove the past.

I’ve found my happiness at long last.

Fill this space with joy and love:

Send your blessings from above.

(from momsawitch.blogspot.com)
While you are at it, you may want to add moisture and lovely smells to your home. Try putting a pot of water on simmer with some lemon, vanilla, and rosemary in it. Or how about cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove? Maybe vanilla, clove, and orange? What would smell good to you?

 

2. Garden Seeds: Whether you are plowing dozens of rows or you just keep a few pots of herbs by your kitchen window, this is the perfect time to start planning your garden. Once you have chosen and acquired your seed packets, here is a blessing that you might wish to use on them:
Blessed sprouts and tiny seeds,

Your bounty will sustain my needs.

Full and strong you now shall grow,

‘Neath sun and moon—it shall be so.

(from spellboundspirit.tumblr.com)
Jason, our Garden Guru, says if you want to grow hardy spring veggies from seed, now is the time to start sprouting them indoors. He suggests broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, collards, onions, and leeks.

 

3. Wish Garden: You can find the niftiest ideas on Pinterest. This one came from http://www.livingcrafts.com/blog/general/celebrating-candlemas. The idea is to take a small piece of paper and write what you want to “grow” in yourself on it. You will need a paper, a pen, a pot, some soil, some seeds or bulbs, a candle, and a match.

We each dig a little hole in the pot, fold up our wishes and plant them deep within the hole, then cover the wish with a spring bulb or some seeds, and some more earth. Then we plant our candle on top and light it, representing the returning sun warming the earth so the seeds can came forth and flourish… The wish garden sits in the middle of the table, alight, and we leave the candles burning in the planter, until they burn down completely.[NOTE: Although as always when working with open flames, do what’s right for you and practice good fire safety! —Dodde] Then the planter stays in the kitchen where we can watch and wait and as our little plants start to sprout, coming into full growth 4-6 weeks later for Spring Equinox. A warm welcome to spring and its renewal!”
4. Bird Seed: As I am typing this, I am sitting by my kitchen window overlooking my bird feeding station. Now, I have admittedly gone a bit overboard with my birdies (and, yes, squirrels. But I find them amusing, so I don’t mind feeding them. They go NUTS for raw peanuts in the shell—and, of course, the pun was intended!) Today is Day Three of Snowmaggedon, and I have put sunflower seeds and peanuts out on top of the ice and snow. I have so many varieties of birds coming to dine: cardinals, titmice, blue birds, robins, wrens, doves, chickadees, and some I don’t even recognize. It’s awesome! And it is easy! So hang a feeder out if you have one, or put a dish of seed on the ground. The birds will thank you for it.

 

5. Tarot Spread: This three-card spread is specifically for Imbolc and comes to us via practicaltarotreadings.com.

This is a spread that you can do to help you reflect as you prepare for the coming spring season.

  1. Purify: what you need to wash away, let go of, or make right.
  2. Prepare: what you can focus on and re-establish (or strengthen) in your life that will serve you in months ahead.
  3. Shine: how you can gently shine in your everyday life in a way that will be of service or inspiration to others.”

I hope you try some of the suggestions here as you celebrate this season, and I wish you all a wonderful Imbolc!