This celebration marks the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
It is a time for celebrating the coming Spring, for preparing homes and (where possible), garden beds and fields.
Imbolc or Imbolg means “the belly”. This is the belly of Winter to be certain but it is also the belly of fertility, as animals begin to mate and some to birth.
Weather witching also arrives with Imbolc. Remember our friend the Groundhog? It is said that if he pokes his head out on the 2nd of February and sees his shadow, 6 more weeks of foul Winter weather are to come, while if the sky is grey, and his shadow is in hiding, then these last 6 weeks of Winter will be mild.
A similar story of weather divination lies with the Winter Hag, the Callieach, who goes to gather her firewood at Imbolc and if the day is fine and fair, she finds herself able to gather lots of wood which suggests the remainder of Winter will be fierce, while if the day is dark and dreary and only a bit of wood is found, the Spring will emerge sooner.
It is likely you also have heard that Imbolc is the goddess Brigid’s day. She is a goddess of fire and water, of forge and healing, of creativity and poetry. This day was a day to celebrate and honor her and ask for her blessings.
If you want to read a bit more about Imbolc and get some ideas for celebrating you can cheek out my blog from Imbolc 2020
And if you would like to meet Brigid at her sacred well, you can listen to a meditation on the Witch Next Door podcast here
Speaking of the Witch Next Door…
This weeks episode takes us to Iceland, where we discover the way witchcraft appears there both historically and in present day.
Happy Imbolc Wise Ones!
If I’m honest, mine are not great.
When I wake up in the morning, (usually at 4am), I often beat my alarm and I never hit snooze. If I try to sleep in (or lie there for a bit), I get fidgety and am soon asked by my husband to get up (he is very good at sleeping in) as apparently my fidgeting keeps him from his rest.
Even when I have a staycation I struggle to rest when I can see all the projects needing to be
In fact in order to truly rest I often have to get away. Whether it is camping, or visiting an out of town friend or even vacationing, rest comes easier when I am away from the reminders of my responsibilities.
The thing is, rest is critical. We must have space and time to dream, to vision, to make magic. The muse needs some room to dance and your guides and allies often need some quiet to get their message through.
So sometimes rest has to be forced, and sometimes rest arrives in a different form.
This weekend I have rested a bit, but I have also played. I have taken time for a silly outdoor adventure scavenger hunt of sorts, I spent time wandering about my yard and pruning (this is always soothing to me for some reason), I watched some fun TV (Lockwood and Co. anyone?) and I took time to read a book while my car was washed and detailed (it was real dirty!).
And you know what?
I feel rested. My brain got a moment to stop with the hyper focus, task oriented fire it is so often churning out, and I had some lovely moments of creative ideas, of complete and total presence, and of relaxation.
Sometimes rest is the simple act of changing the scenery and doing something different.
How are you calling rest in Wise One? As Imbolc nears and the halfway point of Winter is nigh, are your bones getting the recharge they need?
If not, how might you do one thing just a little different to bring yourself some down time?
Magic needs space to grow.
Give yourself some.
This coming Friday-Sun, Feb 3-5th, join me for a three day mini retreat. You will receive an email each day, inviting you to do some simple tasks and rituals with the intention of tending to your Sacred Self.
I will be going live each day to offer support and some additional goodness to your experience.
There is nothing for you to do to sign up. You’ll get to participate simply for being on the email list.
Let’s take some time to Love Ourselves!
I am offering an outdoor Summer Retreat here in Sonoma County California. This is an in person experience where we will gather at a local campground under the Oaks and Bay trees, create ritual, work with our intuition, connect with this sacred land and each other and make all kinds of magic!
Sunday June 15th- Tuesday June 27th.
You can read all the details here.
Diving Deeper Membership Circle is Open!
The membership circle is open for registration.
Together we work with the energies of the lunar cycle and the seasons through twice monthly lunar ceremonies and wheel of the year rituals.
There are also seasonal astrology and plant classes.
You receive access to a massive archive of classes, workshops meditations and some rituals.
You can opt in for inspirational text messages (in USA only at this time)
Receive deep discounts on conferences, workshops and retreats (the next conference is in April!)
And get a calendar each month that offers suggestions for exploring the archives and joining live ceremonies.
Hope to see you in the Circle!
We are ever changing beings.
Sometimes intentionally, sometimes circumstantially, yet always there is a metamorphosis occurring.
This might be a physical change, it might be emotional or spiritual, yet somewhere within us a shift happens.
Even when we feel stuck.
Yes, that’s right, even when we feel stuck in our patterns, or situation, there is subtle (and sometimes not so subtly we are in the process of fluctuation.
This weekend as one of the current cohorts of the Priestess Path stepped across the threshold of their initiation ceremony, I was struck by the changes within each woman.
As we reflected on the past 13 moons, we honored and acknowledged that there was a transformation that had occurred inside every person in that circle.
And it was beautiful!
Change can be a scary thing.
Committing to a path, a healing, a practice, can feel uncomfortable, it can bring up doubt and inner criticism.
Yet the truth is we are all changing all the time, and we open ourselves to this with intention, that transformation can enter into our lives and ourselves more profoundly than we ever imagined.
In this colder and darker time of year we might find ourselves feeling a little stagnant or still. This is actually a wonderful time to reflect, to remember.
Speaking of tending ourselves...
If you are having the Winter blues I have a little gift to help perk you up.
February 3-5th I will be sending you a Mini Self Care Retreat. These are simple magical practices to help you nourish and support yourself. Included will be a link to a Zoom call each day.
I’ll be going to live to add a little more to your 3 day refuel.
You may have done this email series with me before.
Even if this is the case, I hope you will take the time to follow along as we tend to our Sacred Selves.
Sonoma County has been getting hammered by storms, and to be honest, as grateful as I am for the rain, I am admittedly out of practice about living in it. So after three weeks of grey days and very little sun, I was starting to feel a bit blue.
As the temps dropped and the skies cleared and the sun rose yesterday I was thankful and energized by the soft Winter warmth and glow. Just enough, so that as the skies grey up once more today I actually find, I’m not blue at all.
How are you wintering where you are Wise One?
This colder time of year invites us deeper within. It reminds us that there is value in the quiet and the dark. The spaces where we dream and imagine are sacred. The listening we do to our inner realms is the foundation for all the actions we take.
This is the groundwork in preparation for lengthening days and the quickening of earth.
What is germinating in you?
How can you tend this?
This is a really lovely time of year to begin a meditation practice. (If you already have one this is a fabulous time for deepening into it).
Meditation is one of the most central tools in my own spiritual (and wellness) practice.
This intentional focus and/or quieting, invites inner expansion, rest, and clarity.
If you already practice meditation, you might try lengthening your current practice by a few minutes, or trying a new method of mediation to stretch your edges.
If you are new to meditation, you might try setting a timer for 3 minutes, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Breath in and out through your nose at your own pace and just notice the experience if this.
If you are like me and need a little extra palace to focus, you can count your breaths in groups of 10- Inhale 1, Exhale 1, Inhale 2, exhale 1, Inhale 3, exhale 1…when you reach Inhale 10 exhale 1, take one big clearing uncounted breath and then begin again with “2”, Inhale 1, Exhale 2, Inhale 2, exhale 2, Inhale 3, exhale 2…and so on until your timer runs out.
You can also download the app Insight Timer, which is free and offers many meditations/visualizations for you to explore.
Looking for a little more? You might play with visualizing different items using all your imaginal senses. A lemon for example. Set a timer for a couple of minutes and let yourself visualize the texture, color, smell and taste of a lemon. Explore it fully.
I am also sharing a little video meditation I made a year or so ago about calling your energy back to yourself. You can watch it here
Exercising our vision, allows us so much more access to the imaginal and visioning realms and as such enhances our magical practices.
New Episode of the Witch Next Door Podcast!This week Veronica and I chatted about a couple of the many sects/traditions of Wicca. If you are curious about origins and paths like we are take a listen in.
You can find it here.
How do you clear your energy and calm the chatter of your mind?
Grounding and clearing are the foundation of every magical practice I create.
Letting go of the noise in my squirrel brain and reconnecting to the earth allows me to both hone my own energetic focus and open to the energies around me with intention.
This is why I put these practices at the forefront of the Priestess Path. When we prepare ourselves for our spiritual practices in this way we can go deeper, channel more and stay present throughout.
(When practiced regularly, side effects include a more prominent state of calm and focus in our day to day)
This Wednesday I want to offer you a sneak peek into the first lesson of the Priestess Path.
If you have been curious about what you can expect in this journey you can join me Wednesday at 10 am for a taste of what this path has to offer.
In this 30 min class we will briefly explore a couple ways to clear and ground and the importance behind this as well as do a grounding exercise. And of course there will be time for a little Q and A.
Join live tomorrow, Wednesday at 10 am PT https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88296826641
At the bend in the road where we veer off 2022 and into 2023
Endings and Beginnings are pooling in my world at present and it is strange to be submerged in several at once.
Just before the new year began my Circle of almost 19 years disbanded. There was no arguing or discord, just a slow descent into fragments and shifts of life paths that led us to decide this incarnation of the group was complete.
I had felt it coming for a long time. New work demands, pandemic life and a shrinking of our membership had all taken a toll.
I thought I was ready. I actually felt rather relieved.
Yet as we sat in our Circle on Zoom and I heard each woman calling in directions I was transported across time, to every circle we had ever cast together, to every ritual we performed, to the births and deaths, weddings and divorces, graduations and career changes. This was my community.
As each woman spoke about her gratitude for this space we had created, my grief unexpectedly made an appearance. It was not grief about the ending of what we were in that moment, but that grief of losing all that had come before. All those times when our Circle was healthy and thriving, all the times we supported each other and made space for each other and created magic and healing together.
It was a bitter sweet ending, and although our last ritual was not in person, I felt like we did it really well. With cords cut and computers turned off, I could feel these sisters of mine out there across the miles and feel the way that although the cords of our circle had been severed, each of them left a tattoo on my soul.
This Circle brought much inspiration into the creation of Wise Woman Witchery’s classes and offerings, as well as informed the creation and structure of the Priestess Path.
As the year ended I said good bye to Circle and as it begins, I am holding initiation for one of the current cohorts of the Priestess Path. 2 endings of Circles. Both intentional, both done with love.
And also on this tide of the new year, a new cohort of the Priestess path is born. 1 beginning, a new circle of Priestesses.
Endings are so much a part of this life, just as beginnings are. When we take the time to celebrate both, we are living more in tune with the world around us. Nature cycles and circles all of the time. Recognizing these in nature, in our lives and in our inner realms (body mind and spirit), allows us to connect more deeply with the energies that surround us and work with them. After all that is what is at the heart of Witchery, working with both your consciousness and the energy of the world around you.
If you are feeling ready for a new beginning I invite you to join me in the Priestess Path. \
We will be starting our journey together on January 14th.
This path consists of 12 lessons of written curriculum including exercises and rituals for you to explore (almost 200 pages worth!)
Twice a month meetings usually held on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at 9 am PT where we explore the curriculum through experiential exercises and hold a ritual based on the current lesson
A Private off Facebook platform for connection between meetings
Plus membership toi the Diving Deeper Circle where you will have access to monthly new and full moon rituals
Wheel of the year celebrations
A massive library of classes and workshops
Seasonal astrology and plant classes
The last few years I have ditched new year’s resolutions and instead have chosen a word for guidance, anchoring and support for the coming year.
This year’s word?
If I’m honest I dance with this energy and then flirt and then ignore it completely. Cycling in and out of my relationship with nourishment.
In times of busyness or overwhelm or even just exhaustion, nourishment takes a backseat to convenience. And convenience is not always in my best interest.
So this year I’m working with this word to help guide my decisions.
Will this food nourish me?
Will this class I’m taking or offering nourish me?
It’s a different lens to be certain.
Nourishment can come from relationships, careers, naps, walks, kitchen dance parties and even spiritual practices.
In 2023 I’m tending to myself in a new way. Through the lens of nourishing body, mind and soul.
Will I do it perfectly?
In fact it’s likely I’ll still make some choices out of alignment with nourishment. I am, after all human.
Yet intention matters. And having a word helps me focus my intention.
What’s your word Wise One?
How are you nourishing yourself in this shiny new year?
What new things are you ready to explore, what old practices are ready to be dusted off and revisited?
Do you want to make more magic?
Anchor yourself to the cycles of the seasons and moon?
The Priestess Path offers all this and more!
Through our year together you will be asked to carve out time for yourself twice a month for our meetings. (One might say this is time to nourish yourself) These sessions are meant to support your spiritual practice, to nurture your Priestess Self and to offer you a touchstone in the flow of your life. A placeholder for your practice.
You will learn the basics of circle casting, working with the elements, be invited to explore your inner realms and discover a myriad of magical tools to deepen your work.
In addition you will also be added to the Diving Deeper Membership Circle, where we gather for monthly new and full moon ceremonies, celebrate the Wheel of the Year together and more!
Our time together culminates in an initiation ceremony where you cross the threshold and step fully into your power as the Priestess you are!
If you desire a deeper and consistent connection to your magical practices, have been wanting to grow your spiritual work and would like to be a part of a community while you do all this, then this path is for you!
Registration is open
We begin January 14th!
(You can check out the schedule for the first 7 modules here )
Emily Morrison MA, MFT