by Claire du Nord
Imbolc – Watching for Signs
Welcome back, Broom Closet Witches! I hope you all had a wonderful Yule and are once again ready to turn the Wheel! Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition, with the seventh article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” series. As Winter turns to Spring, we watch for signs from Nature that it is time to celebrate the next Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year – Imbolc!
In our last article, a tray of holiday cookies led to the topic of researching one’s ancestry for the purposes of creating an ancestral altar and choosing a pantheon along ancestral lines. My own research into my family origins presented me with a bit of a conundrum. With so many varied homelands, how was I to choose which ancestry to focus on in my Witchcraft practice? And was it necessary to make a choice? Could I incorporate more than one, (or all of them), and “make it work”?
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for my questions to be answered. One day after a shower, I had set my white towel on the laundry hamper in the bathroom. As I was brushing my hair, a strand of hair fell onto the towel, (which in and of itself wouldn’t have been so unusual), but much to my surprise, when I chanced to look down at the towel, I saw that the hair had fallen onto the towel in the shape of a Triquetra!
I was so amazed that I had to take a picture of it! At that moment, I understood it to mean that I should focus on my Celtic ancestry for inspiration in my practice, which subsequently set in motion a brainstorm about what might be included in such a practice. Should I learn the languages of my Celtic ancestors? Should I learn to cook the foods my ancestors would have eaten? And on and on it went.
After my shower, I went to the kitchen to prepare something to eat. I can’t remember what it was that I was going to prepare, but it is my habit to use a rubber band to seal any bag of food that doesn’t have a built-in closure. I took the bag of “whatever it was” out of the fridge and untied the rubber band, letting the rubber band fall onto the counter in the process. To my complete surprise and amazement, like the strand of my hair, the rubber band also landed in a Triquetra shape!
“What in the world? Another one ?!”
That really was just way too much for one day! For the second time, I got out my camera and took a picture. By then, I was a bit “shaken up”, to say the least! I couldn’t understand how that could have happened twice in a row! Apparently, I needed more convincing and double confirmation to be completely convinced of the meaning of the “sign” . . . It was then that I zoomed in on the symbol itself – what it stood for. And another brainstorm began.
In retrospect, I suppose it was exactly what I needed to ensure that I will always remember to “look again” – at myself and at my Witchcraft practice – to always do a “double take”, even when I might be sure I have understood something. One thing is for sure – I will never forget this experience! As a matter of fact, to ensure that I never do, I found a silver pendant necklace online that has two Triquetras – a smaller one nestled inside a larger one – to remind me of the day that the two Triquetras appeared and to remind me that there can always be another perspective, another meaning – meanings within meanings – something that might not be entirely clear at first, even though it seems that all possibilities for understanding have been considered.
Thinking of them also reminds me that, for me, the takeaway lesson from Imbolc is to always be on the lookout for subtle, (and not so subtle), signs on the path of the Witch, as they can show up anywhere and everywhere. And as with Imbolc and the first signs of Spring, the signs could “pop up” in the most unlikely places – like flowers through the snow!
I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –
Merry meet, Merry part, and Merry meet again!
Claire du Nord