” LYNDA ARCHARD
Published in Prediction Magazine - February 1999
Every year it's the same ritual, scrubbing, cleaning,
ridding our homes of the rubbish we have accidentally, stored for too long. Why
do we do it? Tradition!
the pagan festival of light celebrated on February 2nd, centred on the rite of
fertility and purification within the home.
Called Lupercalia by the Romans who knew this time of year as Februarius mensis, the month of ritual purification.
celebrate Lupercalia the priests of Pan rampaged through the streets in their
goatskin thongs before tearing them off and using them to whip married or
betrothed women on the hands to promote fertility. Childbearing was essential
for the future generations of strong, healthy children to help work the land. If
the land were not fertile, the crops would not be of good enough quality to feed
the community in the coming year.
Northern Europe people would use the Fire festival of Imbolc to burn the burdens
of the past year, making way for new life. The Yule bough or wreath was kept
until February 2nd when it would be burned with anything else no longer needed
and herbs scattered on the fires served the dual purpose of also helping rid
livestock of pests.
we tend to leave our Spring-cleaning until later in the year in March, April or
even May. Like or loathe it, the
fact remains that we all succumb to a massive home-cleansing ritual sooner or
later. But what about ourselves?
bodies are also temples in which we live. The body is home to the mind and soul.
Perhaps inner cleansing is taken more seriously in modem times as far as
medicine and science are concerned but the fun and revelry of the pagan Spring
festival cheered people up after the long dark winter.
festival included laughter, dancing, food and wine.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and wines, when available, cleansed bodies of
toxins and impurities in the same way as they do now; perhaps more so as most of
it was eaten raw.
Wiccan teaching states that 'we are all born with the tools of the Craft' and,
traditionally, all working tools are cleansed and purified before rituals are
performed. The same principle applies to the body and some Spiritualist mediums,
like ritual magicians, claim they cannot function at their best after a heavy
meal so will make appropriate preparations before their work: stifling the mind
or meditating and eating only after their work is completed.
religious traditions fast at specific times of the year, cleansing the body in a
similar way. The cleansing period,
whenever it may be, reminds us that we need self-control and balance in order
for our bodies to perform at their best.
become sharper too. Odin received information on the usage of runes while
hanging from Yggdrasil, the world tree. Jesus
was also said to have talked with God while fasting in the wilderness. Such extreme measures are not necessary for most of us
however; doctors consider it more important to correct balance of exercise and
Spiritual cleansing of mind and spirit is implemented
by actions and thoughts and Imbolc/Candlemass is a good time to start doing what
needs to be done, such as tying up loose ends neglected through the Winter.
First, though, it is necessary to get rid of outdated situations through
cleansing before planting the seeds of new projects and seeing your dreams
spring to life.
Mind cleansing; Make lists of things you have started that are not yet complete.
Include all the loose ends you can think of such as unresolved arguments,
ignored bills, and groups of which you are no longer an active member. Go
through them, one at a time, doing the best you can to write letters, make phone
calls, pay outstanding dues, cancel unwanted ties, etc.
Body cleansing; Starvation and deprivation will simply make you unhappy so that you
munch on comfort foods. Keep an esoteric diary of everything you do, eat,
colours you wear, etc and note how you respond to certain people or situations
(you could perhaps include the weather and Moon phases too). After a month, you
should begin to see some connections; taking appropriate action is much easier
when you really know yourself.
drinking lots of water, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, and add herbs to
your food. Cut back on chocolate,
fat and salt; count calories and study the ingredients in what you eat. Observe your body's actions and reactions, exercise a little
more by walking to the shops or wherever when you would normally bus the three
stops. Soon you'll feel fitter and become more agile simply through observing
and understanding what is going on inside you.
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© Lynda Archard