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Welcome to Mrs Darley's Blog

This blogspot has been created especially for those who wish to share their ideas and thoughts about the natural world as the year turns and the ancient Pagan festivals that were once celebrated by our ancestors.

Poetry, prose craft work, ancient cure craft and general thoughts and feelings on how the change in the weather and seasons makes you feel are all encouraged and welcomed.

Mrs Darley was my once next door neighbour when I lived amongst the wilds of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall back in the early 1990's. Her charismatic ways and unending wisdom lead me on a journey of self discovery as I spiralled ever further into her magical world.

She has since become the central character in the 'Mrs Darley' series of books.

Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers

Mrs Darley's Moon Mysteries

Mrs Darley's Pagan Elements

Mrs Darley's Pagan Healing Wisdom

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A visit from the Goddess

In Ireland as late at the mid 18th century, Imbolc, or Bridget's night would have been of the utmost importance. The belief was that the saint would only visit the most moral of houses and bless all those within as they lay sleeping. It was vital therefore that suitable preparations were made before retiring.

An off centre cross made from rushes and known as St Bridget's cross was hung above the door as a sign of welcome, small cakes were baked as an offering and the last task would be to make up St Bridget's bed. The women of the house would take a box or a drawer and decorate it with ribbons before placing in the 'Bride doll', usually fashioned from cloth or sheaves, which was symbolic of the Goddess. Alongside the doll, was placed a phallic symbol such as a wand or stick of hazel, ash or birch, in the hope that the male and female energies would unite to bring fertilityand abundance to the home during the year. The ashes of the fire were then smoothed over, a candle lit and the woman of the household would call 3 times from the door, 'Bride is come. Bride is wecome.'

The next morning would tell whether the household had been blessed by a visit from St Bridget. If there was a footprint in the ashes on the hearth, or the mark of a phallic wand the house holders could rest assured that they had been blessed. If however, the ashes remained smooth the inhabitants knew they must have done something to offend their saint and would bury a cockerel at a place where the 3 roads met in order to appease Her.

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