As I begin our family’s preparations for Ostara at the end of this week, it occurs to me that I didn’t get around to recording our Imbolc activities and I thought it was about time I did.
My husband and I are Pagan and we are bringing our children up with an appreciation of those beliefs, although we’re not asking them to follow our path. Bean, at 9, is currently quite firm that he shares those beliefs and it’s important to him that we mark the important times of year as a family. We’re not into formal ritual (or even formal belief) and we tend to go with the flow, but here’s what we did at Imbolc (pronounced Im-0lk).
First, we retrieved our wish jar from the cupboard. Last Imbolc, we all wrote down a wish and popped it in the jar, which the children decorated. It sat, undisturbed, for a year, until Imbolc came around again. We each pulled out our wishes and re-read them. Those that wanted to, shared them with the family. It was nice to see that they had all happened, or that significant progress had been made towards them. Then we put all of the wishes in a bowl and set them on fire.
Next, we filled a crocus planter with soil and made five holes in the soil. We wrote out new wishes on coloured paper, rolled them up and popped each one in a hole of its own. We planted a crocus bulb on top of each one. Then we added five tealights and let them burn out. Imbolc is a fire festival, after all!
After that we had clay play. We each made an image of the goddess, in our own interpretation. Bean was not confident of his ability to make something resembling a woman and opted instead to make a candle, which I thought was a brilliant idea! Stonelaughter’s was more inspired by Venus of Willendorf 🙂
We had planned to make some Brigid’s crosses, but the children had had enough really by then, so instead I crocheted myself an Imbolc Goddess doll to watch over us instead.
The beauty of home education is that it allows us to celebrate our important times together as a family, no matter what day they fall on, in a way that wasn’t possible when school had to be factored in.