Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored on Imbolc, 2010! Sorry, but I'm not going to ask my netbook, Lil Scratch, to load a picture. I treat my Scratchy gently.
Our Druid Grove had a nippy but moving Imbolc ritual on Sunday. On the way out to the park, my daughter The Spare and I had a long conversation that got me thinking about Queen Brighid the Bright.
The conversation was about all the different animals that can kill people. For some reason we concentrated on the African plains. Spare asked: what animals could kill a person? Must hurt to be attacked by a lion. How about leopards? Do they eat people? How about a wildebeest? Chimp?
When you get right down to it, most of the animals of the African savannah could kick human butt. I said to The Spare: "You know what we have that the lions don't? Fire."
I don't know which came first -- fire or spears. All I know is that, if I had to choose one with the lions closing in, I would totally opt for fire.
Some praise and worship teams treat fire as an evil, something that humanity would be better without. The Bible does not share this view. It takes fire as a given. But look at poor old Prometheus. Tortured for eternity. Crime? Giving humanity fire.
The Celts had a different view. Fire was of course sacred to them, but it was also considered a gift from the Goddess. No quibbles here ... to the Celts, fire was a present. Not a curse. You've got wolves in the woods? Fire is handy. Cold outside? Ditto.
On this Imbolc, thank the Goddess, Queen Brighid the Bright, for your warm hearth and the bright goodness of fire. It was not She who put it to work as a weapon. From Her it is a gift.
Cook. Be warm. Bring light into the world. Never should a Goddess be bored who helps us feed and protect our children.
Eternal flaming Spirit, enfold us. Foremother of our foremothers, be with us. All will be well. All will be warm. And all that is warm will be wonderful.