I’m excited about the upcoming Imbolc holiday and I’ve been preparing my home for the presence of Goddess Brighid. Many people celebrate February 2nd as Groundhog’s Day but in many parts of the pagan community it is Imbolc. Imbolc asks us to pay attention to home and hearth. We welcome the deities closely aligned with those sacred spaces so intimately tied to our lives. I particularly adore Vesta and am making way for her as well. Since I’ve been sick I’ve really become mindful of cleanliness, especially since it is suspected that I had or have stomach flu. I have been cleaning and sanitizing all morning though I have little physical energy I have plenty of psychic energy. The aromatherapeutic benefits of the types of cleansers I am using are also giving me a spiritual boost. I am doing spiritual floor washes using lemongrass essential oil, while also burning very sweet smelling red and white candles and will finish up with a juniper smudge. Then for a longer term effect, I will light pine incense. I’m not kidding. These herbs are really energizing, even when you are not feeling well! In addition to the cleaning I am also making a humble split pea and veggie soup while baking in honor of the hearth and home goddesses. I have made corn bread and am working on some pumpkin mini-loafs because they are both quick and easy and their grains honor the hearth goddesses. Some years I let the Sabbats slip away but this year I am going to try to be more diligent about celebrating each and every one of them. The Sabbats, so closely connected to the earth’s movements and her ways really speak a sensible language with which I can relate. These special days keep me focused on what is very real but what our society often ignores in its hurry and focus on what is commercially viable. Imbolc reminds us, that in the heart of winter, spring is around the corner and it also asks us to make way for changes to come. That is why I am so excited. With the frozen, tundra-like landscape outside I can relish the time within my home and especially around the hearth. Cooking, clearing, purging, and banishing what is unwanted while welcoming and planning for the moist, colorful, fragrant, verdant days of spring. This image I am posting today is of an ATC that has been traded featuring the Great Goddess. Yeah! A test with a broom straw from my beloved Appalachian besom proves my mini pumpkin loafs are finished--time to sign off for today.