Ashes to Ashes
It is cross-quarter time again. Imbolc finds me wanting to juice and eat fresh veggies. I have been overindulging on comfort foods through the Winter. I also have the strong compulsion to purge and clean the house. I have cleaned my altars, made several trips to Goodwill and have eaten so many greens that my bunnies are jealous. While I purge in these ways I naturally think of things I need to let go of mentally emotionally and spiritually.
All of which makes perfect sense when you remember that this portion of the year corresponds to the balsamic phase of the moon. This is a time when we choose the seeds we plant at the Spring Equinox. We are winnowing out our obligations and choosing goals for the coming year. The theme is purification. What can be more purifying than fire?
So I took to the fire pit. I reconsecrated my outdoor medicine wheel, and built a sacred flame on a cold and blustery night. The dry leaves that cling to the trees rustle in the wind, the clouds whip across the sky giving glimpses of the moon. I set white candles at the quarters and cross quarters and lit my fire.
Into my fire went winter wood shed by the trees on my property and every herb and incense that I had in my home. Frankincense, Dragon’s Blood, Mint, Salt, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Pine, Cedar, Cinnamon, Sage, Allspice, Cumin, Citronella, Paprika, Cardamom, Fennel, Mustard, Coriander, Clove, Ginger, Orange, Apple,… this may not be a complete list but you get the picture. I basically smudged my entire neighborhood.
I was taught to feed the fire with my hopes, fears and goals and allow it to work its magic and transform them. I now hold that awareness in anticipation of the coming year. Last year was filled with a lot of loss and change. I intend to consciously take what I have learned and use it to make needed adjustments. One of the ways that I do this is by saving the ashes from this sacred fire for ceremonial use now and throughout the year.
Some of the ways you can use your ashes: black salt, anointing doors and windows, marking property lines, talismanic symbol of transformation, use in and on candles. If you were unable to set a fire on the actual day, no worries. You have until the Spring Equinox to do this. That is the beauty of the Wheel of the Year. The Quarters and Cross Quarters of the Cosmic Clock are slices of time beginning at the an astrological event until the wheel turns again.
It is never too late to make a fresh start, create the life you want and to be the best version of yourself.
Blessed Imbolc, Everyone.