Imbolc and the Returning Light

posted in: Cloaks, Imbolc, Wheel of the Year | 0
Brighid shown with full belly and flame, representing new energy at Imbolc
Bridget shown with full belly and flame, representing new energy at Imbolc. Here she is represented as Maiden, with all the accompanying energy that comes with youth. Yes please! I could do with some of that to combat those Janurary blues!

Imbolc falls on February 2nd, 2016

Last year, I gave you lots of lovely information about the goddess Bridget, and how to get your fire back after those January blues! So much has changed for me since then.

Last year, I decided that I would make a beautiful Imbolc cloak in honour of Bridget, and while it is nearly finished, it isn’t quite there. Rather than being hard on myself, I have decided to be kind to myself and remember that Imbolc is a season, as well as a special day on the calendar.

Imbolc marks that time when we feel a glimmer of new energy – a spark – the first stirrings of our movement from stillness to action. Tiny, tentative shoots are emerging; snowdrops herald Spring and mirror the green and white of Bridget’s cloak.

It is easy to feel frustrated at this quiet time of year. We are looking to the year ahead, but sometimes things just don’t move quickly enough, and January can seem endless! One way to relieve this is to bring old projects (like the Imbolc cloak) to completion, thus clearing the way for the new.

Below are some other useful ideas to connect with Bridget and the energy of Imbolc:

Connecting with Bridget

  1. Sweep your ritual place – whether that is the area around your altar, a corner of your garden, or a temple room – symbolically with your broom.
  2. Good old Spring cleaning! Let go of old energy by de-cluttering on the physical plane.
  3. Sweep your home, pushing all the stuck, stagnant energy out through the back door, then open the front door to let the new energies in.

Candlemas

Imbolc is also known as Candlemas. This year I am drawn to putting lots of candles on my altar. Every year at Imbolc, I put a lit candle in every window of the house to invoke Bridget of the flame, and every year I add something new to my Bride doll.

What will you do to honour this time of returning light?

Bright blessings,
Suzi x

Introducing the Imbolc Cloak!

posted in: Cloaks, Imbolc, Pagan, Wheel of the Year | 0

Imbolc Cloak with LiningBridget is one of my favourite Goddesses; she has helped me many times in my life with her healing and inspiration, and I wanted to make a cloak that would honour her.

This cloak has been a year in the making. I bought the fabric immediately when I saw it, just over a year ago. I just loved the pale green colour, how the fabric felt so divine and had a very slight sheen, and that it was a silk/linen mix, which means it drapes beautifully.

The Imbolc cloak – one year in the making!

I really wanted to make the cloak last year, in the energies of Imbolc and its promise of new beginings, but I was just too busy with other sewing projects. So although I cut out the fabric then, only now has it all been sewn together.

White fur around the hood was a must-have – to represent the snow that can still be on the ground at this time of year. The addition of the trim of pale green, earthy colours and silver sequins just seemed to finish it off nicely. To me they represent new shoots, bare earth and frost.

Finishing touches…

The Imbolc cloak is not completely finished yet. I still want to add some appliquéd snowdrops around the lower hem and maybe some swans’ wings (Bridget’s totem) on the back, but once again, I am too busy with orders so I will have to wait patiently.


In a way, I like the idea of this cloak being a blank canvas as we come into its season. I plan to journey with Bridget at Imbolc (this coming Tuesday, 2nd February) and ask her what images she would like to be sewn into her very special cloak. I will then set about finishing this project after I have blessed the space, lit my candle and incense and asked Bridget to be with me whilst I sew.

Bright blessings,
Suzi xx
29th Jan 2016

How to have wisdom at Samhain

posted in: Cloaks | 0

Samhain is the Celtic New Year, the end of summer.

Samhain at Chalice Well
Samhain at Chalice Well

Samhain is the time of death; of all that has grown in the past year now withering and dying, composting back to the earth in order to be transformed into a rebirth in the spring.

As pagans we think about death, and those we have known who have died this year and in years gone by, and we honour their memory.  We also think about what is stripping away and leaving us in our own lives and work on releasing all that no longer serves us; trusting in the process of death and renewal.

Death is a dirty word

In our western society with our busy, outward focused lives we often don’t want to think about or acknowledge death. It’s a dirty word, as we try so hard to focus on the business of life and living it to the full. Of course we need death; for it is part of life, but we are not good at coming to terms with it, or even helping others deal with it. In our hectic modern lives we are often not given the time to fully grieve; a long process of adjustment and are expected to get back into the game of life again too quickly for our souls to properly adjust.

Cerridwen by Wendy Andrew
Cerridwen by Wendy Andrew

 

Honour Yourself as well as Your Ancestors

This Samhain honour yourself as well as honouring your ancestors.   Acknowledge all the losses and transitions that have taken place in your life to date. Give yourself a little time to let go, either in meditation or by having a fire if you can. It’s no co-incdence that Bonfire night is so close to Samhain. The ancient peoples would burn all the things that they no longer needed at this time. We know that fire is meditative and I’m sure they would have put their thoughts and intentions into the flames as they watched it burn as well.

Cloak crafted for a 6 foot 6 inch Druid
Sage green Druid cloak in pure wool with a bottle green fleecy lining

Your Cloak as Magical Equipment.

If you are working outdoors throughout the wheel of the year, think about investing in a warm, winter wool cloak that will last you many, many years to come. You will never regret buying it. It will become part of your magical equipment; being practical as well as building power and enchantment as you wear it throughout each of the seasonal wheel celebrations.

Samhain Blessings xx

 

 

 

 

Avalon Summer Magic

posted in: Cloaks | 0
Lammas Glastonbury Tor
Lammas Glastonbury Tor
Lammas Blessings to you and blessings of the late summer sun and the ripening grain! John Barleycorn is dead.How does the myth of John Barleycorn relate to our own lives? What may we have to sacrifice in order to make room for the abundance coming our way? Is there anything you need to let go of in order for the new to enter your life? We have reaped a growing business here at Avalon Cloaks, which is wonderful; but it has come at the expense of trying to have regular hours and having time for ourselves!  Sometimes a gain comes at the expense of something else.  Unfortunately we can’t have it all, although modern media would try and tell us otherwise.  Look to find the balance and work with the natural rhythms of life itself. 

Ditch the Guilt!  

Take time this summer to have fun, relax and ENJOY yourself!  In these time-pressured times we can feel guilty just relaxing. The Goddess, as Mother wants to nurture us; it won’t be Summer for long, so enjoy it while it lasts! Animals and children don’t feel guilty about taking it easy so why should we?  Remember the guilt never goes away, we just learn to deal with it in better ways! 

The Artemis Gathering 

We had such fun and received such a good response at The Artemis Gathering last year, that the Avalon Cloaks stall will be making a return at the weekend of 14th – 16th August.  We can’t wait to see everyone again, please pop by and say hello! 

This month’s cloaks:

We have had some very special orders this month; which have given us a wonderful chance to show off our appliqué skills.  First of all, a cloak in a rich terracotta velvet with a triple horse celtic knot work design on the back.  This image is based on a Pictish horse engraving found in Iverurie, Scotland. The customer said he ‘liked it very much indeed’.
Secondly, a cloak for an Anniversay gift in sumptuous purple 100% cotton velvet with the Eye of Horus symbol appliquéd on the back. I’ve always loved this symbol so it was great to find out more about its meaning and that it is a symbol of protection, royal power and good health.  Remember we can make you something individual, especially for you.  Just email or call us with your ideas.  In the meantime please take a look at our Gallery Page on our website:

http://avaloncloaks.co.uk/gallery/miscellaneous-photos/

  Also find Avalon Cloaks on  

  

Have a great August and remember: 

‘ Life is to be enjoyed, not endured!’ 
Lots of love and many bright blessings from Avalon Cloaks xx

 

 

Beltane Blesssings

posted in: Cloaks | 0
Beltane Altar
Beltane Altar

Wonderful Beltane is the Celtic start of summer. It is a time when the earth is fertile and full and the Goddess shows off her blousy, seductive blossom, inviting us to open ourselves to our sensuality within; especially after a long winter. We see everything blooming and greening around us, with the promise of the bounty yet to come.

We had such an amazing time at the Beltane celebrations here in Glastonbury. Indeed, it seems that the old ways are returning once more as a huge gathering took place at the Market Cross in the town, followed by a procession and the erection of the maypole and much merriment at the bottom of the Tor. Come and join us next year; we are planning a huge community picnic and you are all very welcome.

Green Man Applique
Green Man Applique

 

The earth’s energy is on the increase – and there is the promise of more to come!

Beltane has been celebrated for thousands of years as the time of fertility and abundance; we can see evidence of this all around us in the loud bird chatter, the blossoming of flowers and the greening of the trees, of nesting birds and animals choosing mates. Indeed, if Beltane or May Day as it’s more commonly known, used to fall on a Sunday, then a lot of the churches would have been quite empty as courting and established couples would go out ‘ a maying’ in the woods. Maypole dancing comes from a far more ancient custom: the maypole represents the God, it being a phallic symbol. Today we ask for the God’s blessing of his continued fertility and power in our lives.

Beltane Altar

Dress your altar in reds, pinks and greens to symbolise vitality, passion and love. Decorate it with spring blossoms, hearts and rose quartz.