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Imbolc: The first stirrings of the coming Spring!

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Wheel of the Year

Imbolc: The first stirrings of the coming Spring!

February 2

I mbolc (im-bulk), meaning "in the belly", is also known as Oiemelc or "ewes milk" and celebrates the first lactation of the ewes, siginifying the beginning of the lambing season and considered by ancient agrarian cultures as the first sign of the coming spring. This is the time of the year when our days are becoming visibly longer as the Sun spends more and more time in the sky, and the first faint touches of Spring's greenery begin to show. It is a time of beginnings, a time when the first fields are plowed and prepared for the planting.

In many cultures this is also traditionally a time when signs are sought to fortell the next season's bounty. Most popular among these in Western culture is waiting to see if a snake or a groundhog,(both animals which hybernate during cold winters,) would leave their winter den, thereby predicting the length of the remaining Winter. Today we light a candle in every room in the house to chase away the darkness of winter anticipating the warmth of Spring. We cleanse and decorate our altars with the seasons first growth.

This day is Sacred, particularly to the Goddess Bride (Brid, Brigid, Brighid, Brigit, depending on your tradition), the Goddess of Smithcraft, Poetry, Magick, Fire and Light. In some traditions a dolly representing the Goddess is made from the seasons first greenery and carried by the family's youngest maiden from house to house to receive the blessings of the community. That evening, a basket is prepared called the Bride's bed. The dolly is placed in the basket and a white wand is placed in her hand. The basket is then set on the previously smoothed ashes of the hearth until morning. The next day if the ashes are disturbed the Goddess has blessed the house with prosperity for the coming warmer months. If the ashes are not disturbed, it was taken to mean that the Goddess was offended, and an offering must be buried in the ground where two streams meet.

The Wheel turns, and the Sun is gaining strength, as the young God keeps pace. The Goddess renews herself at the Well of Eternal Life, casting aside all memory of the Darkness of Winter, and is once again the Young Maiden. She is again wild and free, cavorting and playing through the budding growth of creation with the God, both of them full of the energy and potential of Life.

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Upcoming Events at Tree of Life

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Sunday February 1

Public Imbolc Ritual and Celebration

Join us in honoring Brigid and doing a cleansing of the old and bringing in new hopes and dreams.
Participants should be ready to raise energy through chanting.

Deryl is a local Witch initiated into the Anderson Feri Tradition. She has been actively practicing in and around San Diego since 1999. She has written and centered many public and private rituals including Beltane in the Park and Witches Night Out. Most of these rites include singing and participation by attendees. Deryl is also active in the East County Pagans group.

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Friday February 6

Shamanic Goddess Circle

Beauty Revealed - Amaterasu!

Somewhere deep inside of you the sun glows bright, ready to burn through the fog bank of feeling unwanted or unattractive, and zap the cloudy thoughts of separation and solitude.

Through her own mythology the Sun Goddess Amaterasu helps you come out of hiding and shine!

Remember how it felt to be a fairy/princess/golden child.

Reconnect to the timeless sense of self-love.

Reveal your true beauty to your worst critic - yourself!

Your world simply runs better when you feel beautiful. We aren’t talking just about physical appearances here but down-to-the-core-admiration of who you are and what you reflect to the world. Amaterasu will remind you how to feel gorgeous and magnificent again!

About the Shamanic Goddess Circle

Reawaken the Divine Feminine within you and reclaim your natural, wildish nature. Did you forget you were a Goddess in order to survive through the chaos of this world? Sink your roots into the ground and feel into the life-giving energy available to us all as women. Every month is different – just like we are. Join in this open Circle and journey down the powerful rivers of feminine intuition and healing magic. You’ll learn and experience shamanic techniques for personal growth and healing and discover your own personal Goddess self.

Who is Mara Clear Spring Cook?

Mara is a Shamanic Practitioner, Teacher and Reiki Master. She leads Shamanic Circles: Goddess, Drumming and Soul Song (with Jessica Neagle). Along with group work she sees private clients for soul retrieval, shamanic healing, energy healing, space clearing and blessing, guided journey and more ? both in person and distance. Mara teaches people how to follow the path of the shaman in First Step Shamanic Training and intermediate and advanced Shamanic courses. She also teaches and installs the Nine Rites of the Munay-Ki as taught by Dr. Villoldo and the Four Winds Society.

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Friday February 20

Plant Folk for the Kitchen Witch

Rosemary and mint are more than easy to find spices to add to your cooking. They have medicinal properties, energetic qualities and magickal uses beyond making a delicious dish. In fact, nearly every common herb in your spice cupboard or grown in your window sill, or found in the neighborhood is an herbal remedy. In Plant Folk for the Kitchen Witch, you will learn how to use these herbs in personal body care products, healing recipes and wonderfully magickal concoctions. We will learn how to honor the lovely plant folk for their gifts, to identify their uses and you’ll be leaving with remedies, recipes and inspiration for the delightful ways you can use them at home.

Plant Folk for the kitchen witch talks about the lore of plants that are common and accessible in most households or grown in many gardens and windowsills. The uses and recipes (medicinal and magickal), will pull from traditional Western Herbalism and intuitive herbalism. In addition to the more tangible uses of the herbs, the class will include traditional spiritual methods for blessing plants, stories about Plant Folk, a meditation to meet a plant spirit, and working with the moon for harvesting.

The theme of the course is intended to foster a deeper connection between your every day Kitchen Witch and the Nature that is around her. Even if you live in a busy neighborhood, you will be able to stroll around the block to find a plant to use in your medicine and magick. The idea that medicine is just outside in your garden can help support students who want to reach for the remedies that our great grandmothers always knew, and are not yet forgotten. Understanding that plants are part of a larger ecosystem of love and support around us, and with gentle guidance on how to connect with them can fundamentally alter your life in a profoundly wonderful way. Come to Plant Folk for the Kitchen Witch and find Nature in a whole new way.

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Friday February 27

Healing with Flowers

Chamomile, Rose, Calendula, Lavender...
Your favorite flowers may be excellent remedies both physically and emotionally. Learn the spiritual and medicinal properties of these beautiful plants. They are easy to use, great for your health, and pleasant to experience. Learn the true meaning of Flower Power.

Martine Melillo teaches herbal studies at School of Healing Arts, aids women as a birth doula, and works as an herbalist at In Harmony Herbs and Spices.

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