Imbolc and the 30 Days of Hymns project

A candle, lit, in a lantern is in the background. In the foreground, matches are arranged to make the shape of a house.
I associate candles in lanterns especially with Brighid and Imbolc.

Happy Imbolc, or Lughnasdh/Lammas if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere! I finished up Imbolc Advent last night before I went to sleep (so, 10:30am), and tonight I’ve got a few Imbolc projects I want to tackle. 1, writing on this blog and my Brighid blog-shrine. 2, cleaning the kitchen. (It’s yikes!ariffic.) 3, changing the hearth altar over from winter to spring, and leaving some things there for Brighid to bless tonight. I can’t leave things outside this year, because of where I live, so I am doing it at the hearth instead. (The hearth being our gas fireplace that we never turn on so I can actually keep stuff on top of it.)

I’ve felt really reenergized in my practice this past month, and it’s thanks in part to Erin Lund Johnson’s Imbolc Advent posts over at Her Eternal Flame. They’ve helped me renew my connection and create meaningful practice. Also, during Imbolc Advent I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo, and I’m thinking that Imbolc Season is a great time to try to implement parts of KonMari into my life. It needs to be adapted for my life, but I still think it’ll work.

Spring is traditionally associated with cleaning; we call it “spring cleaning”, after all. It’s a time to open our doors after the long cold winter and shake out the dust, metaphorically (or literally) speaking. As the land outside wakes up after its slumber and renews itself, it makes sense to turn to a sleeping house and help it wake up by cleaning it up and out.

This is especially pertinent for me this year as we are still reeling from the renovations that started in our basement suite the week before our wedding, when we came home after Thanksgiving to find our house partially flooded. (Did I mention 2015 was a bucket of stress?) We were very lucky our belongings survived, but our house was in shambles from renos until December. I then spent a few weeks out of town taking care of family issues, and didn’t get back until the day before Christmas.

So the house is, needless to say, still in shambles. I am working very slowly on putting things to rights and reorganizing, and I have made some progress, but it is depressing as hell. I want this place to be clean and neat and organized and welcoming. I want to be able to have friends over at some point. I want to not feel depressed every time I look at things.

And this is why I’m going to try to implement KonMari, at least partially. I have to make adaptations because of things like mental illness, physical disability, and our current living situation, but I still think that even doing it partially will help a lot.

So Imbolc season promises to be busy for me, with cleaning and Brighidine activities and my current project, which had me writing a hymn in honor of Brighid today.

I mentioned on this blog at some point (can’t remember the exact place I did, or I’d link to it) that I wanted to try to do a 30 days of hymns project, inspired by Merri-Todd’s 31 hymns for Antinous over at Antinous for Everybody. I wanted to do 30 days of hymns, with prompts for each day, and I wanted to share the prompts so if anyone else wanted to do it, they could.

I then went silent on it because I was developing the (first) prompts list. I finished that a while ago and decided I wanted to start doing this project this month — February, starting on Imbolc Eve, the 1st. It’s a leap year, so the last day will be March 1st. Unlike other “30 days” challenges or similar, I’m not letting myself do this one as I feel like it. I’m committing to doing 30 days straight, because this is an act of devotion, and a test of my resilience — can I write 30 poems in a row? We shall see.

This set of hymns is for the Sacred Triad — Brighid, the Morrigan, and Manannan. I have 10 prompts for each god. My plan is to cycle through them, in that order — today is the 1st so I wrote a hymn for Brighid. Tomorrow one for the Morrigan, and on the 3rd one for Manannan. Etc, so on and so forth. I plan on making other sets of prompts for other gods in my life, but I wanted to start here, with the main 3.

I will be posting the hymns, but not here at Everyday Magic. They’ll be going up on my blog shrines: Milk, Honey, and Fire; Reclaiming Sovereignty; Loved by the Rain, Embraced by the Mist. They’ll go either into a category or tag called 30 Hymns in 30 Days, and I don’t promise to post them the day I write them. (It might be the next day.) The main reason for my organizing it this way is I have plans for other posts here this month and I don’t want to inundate you with posts. Also, I’ve been trying to find more ways to use my blog shrines, and this seemed a good idea.

However, if you don’t want to follow more blogs but want to keep abreast of this project, I will be posting a weekly wrap-up of posted hymns here at Everyday Magic.

Also, I’m calling this 30 Hymns in 30 Days, but hymns might not be the most accurate term. I’m writing poetry in honor of the gods and I’m trying to follow a sort of hymn-ish pattern with them, but not following a set formula. (Not that I’ve been able to find a set formula for writing hymns, so maybe that’s a moot point.)

Now, onto the prompts.

These prompts are intended to be used by whoever feels the need. Heck, if you like some of them but think others should be different, please feel free to edit the list for your own project. (Just, you know, credit me for the prompts I did write, if you’re going to post it publicly.)

Also, some of them might seem silly. This does not indicate a lack of reverence on my part, nor that I’m not taking this seriously. I am. But the fact is, serious and solemn are not equatable. One can be perfectly serious — and reverent! — while being silly. A lot of people don’t understand that, which is basically the main reason I’m solitary.

Anyway. I’m a little silly, the gods are a little silly, so a few of the prompts are a little silly. And who knows? Maybe some hymns will be a little silly.

30 Days of Hymns: The Sacred Triad

Brighid
  1.  birth
  2.  queer lady love
  3.  protection
  4.  prophecy
  5.  fibre arts
  6.  BEEZ
  7.  forging
  8.  keeping the fire alive
  9.  domesticity
  10.  quiet magic
the Morrigan
  1. soil
  2. blood
  3. fairy
  4. sex
  5. revolution
  6. cutting away what does not belong no matter the pain
  7. boundaries
  8. taking your fucking cows back
  9. sovereignty
  10. genderfluidity
Manannan
  1.  apples
  2.  land of the dead
  3.  travel/passage
  4.  family
  5.  laughter
  6.  cranes
  7.  oceans
  8.  storms
  9.  keeping your promises
  10.  feasting

So, there you have it. Imbolc and hymns. I’ll be posting the prompts on a page somewhere on this blog, and as mentioned, doing weekly wrap-ups.

I hope your Imbolc or Lughnasadh is beautiful, bright, and full of blessings.

Be well,

~Morag

3 Comments


  1. “Taking your fucking cows back” is the best possible Morrigan prompt. Just sayin’.

    Reply

  2. Oh, and also, one of the leaders of the local ADF group always says “We may not always be solemn, but we always take our religion seriously.”

    (This usually in response to talking about how silly Yule tends to get. But that’s what happens when you dedicate Yule to the nature spirits–including the sidhe.)
    Celestine Day recently posted…LeadershipMy Profile

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