Imbolc is a time of quiet celebration. It is the letdown holiday after the bright flair of Yule and the importance of Samhain and the ancestors. In my family Imbolc is a time for staying home, doing crafts, and keeping the hearth fire lit, whether it’s kept in a fireplace, on an altar with candles, or using twinkle lights.
Fire in the Heart
Imbolc is often a celebration of family love, though often pagans shy away from talking about it, not wanting to make it seem like just some expansion of Valentines Day. Imbolc is about the fire, and the hearth, and that means it’s about tending family, faithfulness, patience, and love. I was called to explore that idea in my own personal meditations and came upon the prayer to the Sacred Heart. In many of my improvised guided meditations and invocations I use the metaphor of the inner hearth fire, that fire that lives in your heart and connects us all, it’s only a tiny step to move into the idea of the Sacred Heart, seen again and again in mythology.
This isn’t my first filk of a Catholic prayer. I did the Lord’s Prayer as a prayer to the earth as well. I find there is a deep resonance in those words, because we have heard them so often. There are grooves in our culture where those words dwell. I find that basing the occasional prayer on those previous prayers feels good to me. It creates a continuity. We know that when Christianity came to Ireland there was a mingling of religions. The myths that we have came from the monks writing them down in order to preserve their own indigenous culture. There is an inescapable interplay between European mythology and Christianity. This is one of the ways that I have worked on moving back and forth between those two worlds, attempting to mend my own cloth of theology using words as my thread.
Imbolc Prayer to the Heart of Fire:
Oh, most holy heart of fire, fountaining from the sacred waters, I adore you.
You who reside within all living beings,
You who catalyze all reactions,
You who light the sky and feed the green,
And with a lively sorrow for the world, I offer this poor heart of mine to you.
You: the heart of fire, and the fire of the heart.
May my heart be bright for you.
Make me humble, patient, and persistent,
Make me open, kind, and resilient
Make me loving, fair and consistent
and wholly committed to our beloved Earth.
Grant, good fire, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions.
Give me health of body, wealth of soul, and let me always be in balance with the spirits and the land.
Within your fire I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying, Heart of Fire, aid me.
Be it so.
Imbolc Prayer as Devotional Selfcare
I recommend lighting a fire or a candle and then reciting this prayer near Imbolc or at any time you’d like to connect to the sacred flame. If you’d like a few other ideas about fire goddesses and ways to honor them near Imbolc, here’s another post I wrote on the topic. St. Brighid and St. Agnes have both come up in my researches about fire goddesses and the hearth and the heart is a powerful symbol of love, connection and passion. These symbolic systems blend together to make a powerful way to connect with the archtypes love and healing.
In these times unrest and fear, it is good to take comfort in warmth and love. Our spiritual connections come in many forms. May this prayer help you remember your own spiritual connections. Take some time to pray or meditate it can make all the difference.
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