As a pre-ritual workshop this Imbolc, Northern Rivers Protogrove made Brighid crosses and, also, mini Brighid mantles. In Ireland, it’s traditional to put out a bit of cloth (the brat or Brighid’s mantle), on Imbolc eve for it is believed that Brighid is visiting. She imbues her blessings upon the cloth and thus it becomes a healing tool. I thought it would be fun to make some “mini mantles” as a pre-ritual craft along with the crosses. Furthermore, although we didn’t have any children besides Bee at this celebration, I came up with the activity specifically with kids in mind.
fabric (we used a poly-cotton blend because that’s what I had, but pure cotton or linen would work well too)
fabric markers (preferably of a non-toxic nature for the kiddos involved)*
scissors or a rotary cutter
cutting board (optional)
a square ruler (optional)
I decided that white fabric would be best since people would be drawing on them with a variety of colors. Ahead of time, I ironed the fabric so that it would be flat and ready for cutting. Then I dug out my handy quilting tools. I used a 1×5″ omnigrid ruler to make perfect little squares, but you needn’t be a perfectionist or create such small pieces. I thought the size would be nice for little hands, but the completely adult group was just as happy with them!
Everyone shared fabric markers and drew whatever they felt was appropriate for Brighid, Imbolc, their spiritual path, and healing in general. There were many flames and representations of water. Several people tried their hand at triquetras too. The workshop went well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Best of all, it’s an activity young and old can engage in with minimal mess!
* Prior to putting outside, treat the fabric according to the directions of your fabric markers. Most suggest ironing and washing to set. When I put my mantles out, I tie them to tough plants who give me permission, or under a rock.