Imbolc Crafts

Cros Bríde of lavender and needled felted sheep on my seasonal altar.  Photo and pieces by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

I was feeling very inspired today, both by a project I had been meaning to try and discussion of Brighid crosses on a FB group for local Pagans.

A needle felted sheep.  Photo and piece by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

When I started to brainstorm how to decorate my seasonal altar, a needle felted sheep immediately came to mind.  Felting has become a little hobby of mine.  I don’t do it as often as I sew or crochet/knit, but I do enjoy playing with my wool roving.  I love how very free-form the art can be.  This seemed like a fun project to take on.  I don’t think it’s too bad for my first.  It fits well on an Imbolc altar because of Brighid’s association with sheep and household crafts.

Lavender Brighid Cross.  Piece and photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

I’ve been thinking about what to use for Brighid crosses this year.  In Muin Mound, we always used wheat.  Well, I don’t know any wheat farmers.  I’ve thought about gathering old grass from the hedge, but then I recalled the lavender I have.  Having been dried, it was too brittle to use without a good soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes.  Then it was very pliable and made my work station smell divine!  It felt meditative to make it.  My skill at making the crosses isn’t as good as others, but this is the best one I’ve made yet!  I’m still not 100% sure what to do with the Druid Study Group.  Soaking dried grasses or herbs seems a very messy process in a place we don’t own.  Pipe cleaners were suggested, but now I’m leaning towards raffia as it’s more natural.  We shall see!

May the inspiration of Brighid herself flow into you as you prepare for her feast day!

11 thoughts on “Imbolc Crafts

  1. I must confess that Imbolc is the Festival that resonates the least with me. Perhaps because I have no pregnant sheep that might begin lactating around the beginning of February? I usually wait to have the whole “First Signs of Spring” thing as soon as the first crocuses show up, usually about a week later. That said, I’m having fits of adorable over the little felt sheep. Too cute!

    1. I totally understand. Before I embraced the cultural aspect of it through Druidism, Imbolc felt really out of place. In my Wiccan years, and living in Upstate NY all my life, I’ve always associated early February with *deep* winter. Some of our hardest weather comes at that time. Contrasted with Ireland in February, which I visited during that time a couple years ago, you can really see spring! Lush green grass, flowers… The difference is amazing.

      Since growing close with Brighid, I’ve fully embraced Imbolc as her feast day and found other, more local natural occurrences to link to it. Some trees appear to form buds around then, for example. I also associate it very strongly with the warmth necessary to survive our bitter winters. Brighid’s fiery powers come into clear focus for me then!

      However, I can also understand waiting until you see more tangible signs of spring. Without a modern calendar, I imagine that’s what our ancestors were doing anyway!

  2. That little sheep is adorable! I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making Brigid’s crosses. I like how you used lavender for yours–that seems like an awesome idea~

    1. Thank you! If you have trouble finding a good tutorial, let me know and I’ll share some I’ve found. They’re actually quite easy once you figure it out. 🙂

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