A Wiccan’s Hearth is a Magical Place….
Although Imbolc is a month away, it is traditional to begin to connect with the energy of the next Sabbat when the Wheel has done a turn. And if you love Imbolc as much as I do, now is the perfect time to begin to prepare for the patterns of change that Imbolc brings to our hearts, our hearths, and our homes. There will be much to do to prepare the hearth, which is the heart of the home, for the glorious celebration of Imbolc! But first things first….
Make Lists of What We Will Clean, Re-purpose, and Purge!
A big part of the energy of Imbolc is cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of that which we don’t need anymore. When it gets a little warmer, closer to February, we might be able to embark on some true “Spring Cleaning,” but for right now, we can decide what big and little jobs we will do when the weather turns warmer. Will we clean that nasty oven, sweep the chimney, clean out the closets of old clothing we no longer use, or organize our old candle stubs to recombine into new candles for rituals and daily use? Will we make rag rugs of our old dish towels? Or perhaps we might prepare strips of cloth for quilting! So many things to consider. Remember, this too is magic, my friends. It’s the magic of prosperity to use and re-use, to find wealth and magical materials among the mundane and seemingly useless stuff of life!
Spell Craft for Imbolc…Make Black Salt for Warding, Protection, and Cloaking!
Your cauldron might have gotten a workout at Samhain and Yule, what with burning the Nine Sacred Woods and all! Perhaps you sent your wishes to the Gods by burning them on parchment or you scryed in fire at Yule…Well, now would be the time to clean out that sooty old thing and make it shiny and new again! And what better way to create a new magical material than by cleaning out your sacred tool. Here’s what you will need:
- Your dirty cauldron
- A pestle, an old broom handle, or even a palm-sized rock
- A goodly amount of kosher sea salt
- Elbow grease
Take a nice, big handful of your sea salt and toss it into your cauldron. It might be a nice idea to wear old clothes when you do this, because you’re going to get sooty! Take your pestle, broom handle, or stone and work the salt around the inside of the cauldron repeatedly, cleaning the sides and bottom. Don’t forget the underside of the lid! As you work, you will notice the salt becoming grey and then black with the soot, while the inside of the cauldron will look noticeably cleaner. When the salt is good and dark and the cauldron is clean, put the black salt into an earthenware container with a cork or a dark glass bottle. Label with the date. It is traditional to use this salt for one year and then, if there is any left, either replace with newly made black salt or combine it with your newly made salt. You may consecrate it if you wish, though salt is always “clean” energetically by nature, so you don’t need to worry about making it “meet.” Adding a little “oomph” is never a bad thing, however, so if you want to consecrate it for general use, knock yourself out.
Uses for Black Salt:
- Toss a tiny bit into floor washes or floor powders for protection
- Use a small amount in room corners to keep out unwanted energies and people
- Use in all potions for protection, warding, and “hiding” things and people, but do not consume
- Make a line of this salt in front of the doors to your home or office to protect from theft and break-ins
Make a General Blessing and Protection Floor Wash
Because we’re getting ready for Spring cleaning, now is a great time to make a floor wash for your kitchen, bathrooms, and landings! This is an all-purpose floor wash for cleaning, blessing, and protection.
Take 1 cup each of:
Dried Rose Petals
Broken Cinnamon sticks
Tie up in cheesecloth or a couple of coffee filters with twine (so they will steep in the water)
Add these to 1 quart of water and boil for 20 minutes on the stove
Remove herb sachets
Add a pinch of your black salt
Add a cup of common Ammonia
Add the juice of one lemon
Bless with your own homemade holy water or prepackaged holy water, a few drops
Bottle and use to clean your floors and even your counter tops in kitchen and bath (follow manufacturer’s instructions for special materials like marble and granite. If it’s unsafe to use this wash on certain materials, it’s your job to know that)!
Connect with the Hearth by Making Bread!
Many of us who celebrate Imbolc bake our own homemade bread to connect with and honor our hearths. If you don’t know how to make simple bread, now would be the time to learn! Here’s a link to a simple recipe for round bread loaves.
Here are some herbs that go great in homemade bread!
As the Wheel turns from Yule to Imbolc, there’s so much to do to connect with the cycle of the Sabbats! Remember, it’s not “work” if it’s sacred magic for your household and your life!