While I strongly assert that we as Pagans be well versed in our rich and diverse heritage, I am also fairly progressive as Pagans go. It's important to know what our ancestors did and why, but as contemporary Pagans, we're not so agriculturally invested in our practices.
So I prefer to focus on what we can do nowadays to acknowledge not only our heritage and the ever turning Wheel which we should seek to attune ourselves with, but also the rhythms and cycles of our own lives and spiritual practices.
Our tradition acknowledges Imbolc as the season of Procreation and Pregnancy before the Birth of spring. It has been a long held tradition of Imbolc to dress a doll of Brigid and lay it to bed, along with a phallic representation of her consort. I found this great bed for about $30 bucks on ebay a few years ago and did the wood burning work myself. There's a triquetra on the headboard to represent the Triple Goddess aspect of Brigid and our Coven crest at the foot.
A Corn Dolly is made every year at Lammas and kept on a kitchen altar space until the following Lammas. But Imbolc is a special day for her, she's taken into a ritual space, blessed and clothed in a handmade dress for the special occasion. She is adorned with a painstakingly small hand beaded necklace and a second beaded stole.
During the Imbolc ritual she travels from person to person in the circle, each participant takes a moment to consider her impending pregnancy. Like any other expecting mother she must be mindful of what she takes in, everything taken by the mother is passed the coming child. The participant holds a small strip of clothe, taken from the same fabric as Brigid's dress. The clothe is imbued with the wishes and desires for the coming spring, and tied to her beaded stole before she is passed to the next person.
Some of use were silent when she accepted our offerings, and some of us were not so shy. We thanked her for taking on the heavy burden of our desires, and laid her to bed. There was a whispered prayer as her consort was laid beside her. There was a silent moment of appreciation before they were draped and given their privacy.
Fetal stirring in the womb
Spill mothers’ milk to flowers bloom
Light the fire and sweep the broom
The cleansing time is coming soon
Alms for Biddy one and all
Time has come to stretch and thaw
Cross the rush and braid the straw
Salt the flames and dress the doll
Candles crown the maidens brow
Lay the bed and bless the plough
The feast of wives has come to now
So save the bones from the sow
Hail to Mary of the Gail
To maiden lamb we now wassail
Barren crone and dragon’s tail
We leave behind upon on the dale
Volvitur In Rota!