Thursday, January 28, 2016

Brigit's Song


Here is a song I wrote for Brigit many years ago.
It is being sung by Siany, Elder High Priestess of DragonOak, 
my lovely hive in Wales.

Doesn't Siany have a gorgeous voice?
Those Welshies can sing!

Brigit's Song Link

Thank you, David Haigh, for making the video.

Below are the words. 
For years, I didn't feel comfortable sharing it. 
But Siany has convinced me others need to sing it, 
so here it is.

Please feel free to use this song in your own group 
or training materials, as long as you give me, 
Rowan of Oakmist, credit.

Brigit's Song
by Rowan of Oakmist

Brigit, give blessing
as we are dressing
these, thy candles, 
thy sacred light.
Brigit, so tenderly,
please remember me, 
in the deepest, darkest night.
Keep fire burning,
Year's Wheel turning.
Safety, to this home, I pray.
Brigit, oh Golden
Goddess of Olden,
Hear my prayer today.

Brigit, give blessing
as we are dressing 
these thy wells
thy sacred streams.
Brigit, so tenderly,
please remember me,
as to thee,
I honor bring.
Keep fire burning,
Year's Wheel turning.
Safety to this home, I pray.
Brigit, thou Golden
Goddess of Olden,
Hear my prayer today.

Brigit, thou Healer!
Goddess! Revealer!
Touch me with thy hand of pwer!
Brigit, so tenderly
please remember me
in my deepest, darkest hour.
Thy light surround me!
Thy love astound me!
Bless me Mother,
this I pray.
Brigit, thou Golden
Goddess of Olden,
Hear my prayer today!



Magical Desert Plants

CACTUS

What's the first thing you think of when you see a cactus?
Don't touch it!
Right?

So what a great plant to use for protection. 

Put cactus plants under your windows and around your doors for protection.
Use the needles in witch bottles or protective mojos.
For me, cactus can represent the fire element. They are forceful and unwielding.
Varieties of cactus have different associations:


Prickly pear and edible, and are very hard to kill. These spines would be good in spells you want to remain active for a good length of time.


Cholla: Cholla pods are are statically charged, and if you happen to be near them- they will jump up and stick to you. You can use them to draw things or to repel things.

Barrel Cactus: These are short, fat, round, and hold water. If you can manage to find one of the seed-filled pods that fall off the top, the seeds can be used in spells for growth, potential, abundance, and prosperity.

CREOSOTE

Its Latin name is larrea tridentata. It’s also known as chaparral, greasewood and hediondilla, which in Spanish means “stinky one.” When you crush the leaves of this plant, it reminds you of a fire you've just put out. Creosote are are strong plants, and can live years without water. Creosote has medicinal uses. The Tohono O’odham have long relied on creosote to heal wounds and in purification ceremonies. It can be made into a salve and used to represent the element air or water, as it carries the unique scent of the desert after a rain.

The Creosote bush serves many medicinal purposes: cure of fever, influenza, colds, upset stomach, gas gout, arthritis, sinusitis, anemia, and fungus infections. Creosote also has antimicrobial properties. It is beneficial in the treatment of allergies, autoimmunity diseases, and Premenstrual Syndrome. Creosote serves as an analgesic, antidiarrheal , diuretic, and emetic. When used as a tea, the leaves and small twigs must be gathered, washed, and dried in the sun. The useable parts must then be ground into a powder and stored in a glass container because of the oils produced. Creosote can be used on the skin as a tincture or salve, and can be taken internally as a tea or capsule. Although there are such a variety of medicinal purposes the Creosote serves, use of this plant is controversial to some. According to research chemical constituents in Creosote bush may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, but other studies have shown exactly the opposite. Another reason for the controversial use of Creosote bush is because of its potential toxic effect on the liver. You should do quite a bit of research on this plant before using it as a medicine.


MESQUITE.

Acacia (Mesquite) trees have very long and sharp needles. These needles are very useful in witch bottles and/or curses. 
Planetary Association: Saturn and/or Earth

Healing. Used for protection, dreams, love, purification This wood is used for nurturing and providing. Excellent for protection spells. 
Use in healing incenses and mixtures. The powers of all healing incenses are greatly increased when mesquite is added. Use to fuel ritual fires or burn as an incense for cleansing & purification. Use an infusion of mesquite in the bath for purification. Black Mesquite Wand - Smooth, sturdy wood so named for its unique black on dark brown grain. It is associated with abundance, the feast and healing. Wands of this wood help with strengthening the homestead.

Below is an article by Cheryl Joseph with a lot of great information on Mesquite:

The Magic of Mesquite 
by Cheryl Joseph

The Tree of Life: The mesquite is a tree or bush that grows in desert regions throughout the world, areas not suitable for most agriculture. On 25% of our planet species of mesquite can be found growing without any assistance from fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation or capitalization. This is not surprising since the mesquite tree's root system can grow more than 100 feet down in search of water, making it a hardy survivor in harsh climates. Like many members of the legume family, mesquite restores nitrogen to the soil.

Mesquite forms fruit of bean-like pods in the fall that have long been a nutritious food source to humans, wildlife & livestock. Mesquite pods do not open when ripe. The pods of all 3 common species of mesquite - Honey Mesquite, Screwbean Mesquite & Velvet Mesquite - are edible, although the Screwbean is less flavorful than the more widespread Honey Mesquite. A favorite of bees and other insects, mesquite flowers produce a fragrant honey.

The mesquite is known as the tree of life because of its many uses - the Native Americans of the desert regions in Arizona & California utilized all parts of the tree. Its bark was used for basketry, pottery, fabrics, rope & medicine. The trunk & branches were used in the manufacture of bows, arrows, mortars & furniture; because it burns slowly and smokeless, mesquite is a good firewood. Thorns were used for tattooing and to make sewing needles. Leaves were used for making tea, as an eyewash and for head & stomach aches. The gum was used as a sweet gum, glue for mending pottery, face paint, pottery paint & hair dye.

But it was the mesquite pod, with its nutritious, bittersweet pulp, that provided the greatest benefit to the desert peoples. Pods were collected in the fall, when they were yellowish-brown in color and still hanging from the tree. They were dried in the sun, then stored in large baskets for future use. Beans (both pods & seeds) were ground into a coarse meal, then by adding water, were transformed into a cake without cooking. Some cultures removed the seeds from the pods & ground them into a flour called pinole, from which a bread was baked.

Mesquite as Food: Mesquite meal has a sweet nutty flavor. This fragrant flour can be used in baking or as a seasoning on food & in drinks.
When used in baking, it is used in combination with other flours - the ratio is generally 1 part of mesquite flour for 2 to 3 of cup grain or rice flour. Since the mesquite is sweet, you might want to decrease the sugar in the recipe. Try mesquite in your pancakes, muffins, cakes, corn bread or cookies.
As a spice, mesquite meal is great for flavoring steaks, chicken, pork & fish. Sprinkle mesquite on meats & vegetables before grilling; add it your breading for meat & fish. It can be added to vegetable stir-fries, scrambled eggs, biscuits, breads, soups, even ice cream.

For anyone that drinks a morning smoothie or uses a meal replacement drink, try adding one tablespoon of mesquite meal. Hunger won't return for 4 to 6 hours. Or use mesquite to make a cool summer drink or tea!

Summer Mesquite Drink: Add 2 Tbsp finely ground mesquite flour to 1 cup cold water. Stir & let sit for a couple of minutes, then strain, add honey to taste & serve.

Mesquite Tea: Place 1 lb. of mesquite pods in 1 gallon of water. Boil pods, at a rolling boil, for 30 minutes. Remove pods & strain. Cool broth & serve over ice.

 Mesquite meal is low in both carbohydrates and fat, low-glycemic, high in dietary fiber, and naturally sweet. The amount of nutrition supplied by mesquite meal is astounding - it is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, protein & lysine.

According to medical studies, mesquite "is extremely effective in controlling blood sugar levels" in diabetics. The natural sweetness in the pods comes from fructose, which the body can process without insulin. In addition, soluble fibers, such as galactomannin gum, in the seeds and pods slow absorption of nutrients, which results in a flattened blood sugar curve. The gel-forming fiber allows foods to be slowly digested and absorbed over a 4-to-6 hour period, rather than a 1-or-2 hour period (which produces a rapid rise in blood sugar).

Mesquite as Medicine: The medicinal properties of mesquite have long been utilized by many native tribes throughout the southwest United States and northern Mexico. It is most commonly used to treat eye conditions, open wounds and dermatological ailments. Acting as an antacid it can also treat digestive problems. It is used as an antibiotic and has soothing, astringent, and antiseptic properties.

The roots, bark & leaves are cold and dry. They are antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, antiseptic & antispasmodic. A powder or tea can be made from any of the above materials for athlete's foot & general fungal infections. This disinfecting wash or powder can be used for mild infections, stings, bites, sores & scrapes.

Leaves & pods can be made into an eye wash for inflammations of all kinds including pink eye. Diarrhea, dysentery, stomach ulcers, dyspepsia & most gastrointestinal inflammations are soothed by the leaves, roots & bark. Poulticed, the leaves were used topically for headaches or even for red ant stings! The young shoots, ground & toasted, were used to dissolve kidney stones.

The white inner bark is used as an intestinal antispasmodic. The bark is also helpful in stopping excessive menstrual bleeding & reducing fevers.

The mesquite gum or resin is the most used element of the mesquite. It is used as an eyewash to treat infection and irritation. It has several dermatological uses, including treatment for sores, wounds, burns, chapped & raw skin, and sunburn. It is used as a restorative after bouts of dysentery, diarrhea, stomach/intestinal distress, and food poisoning. It is used as a soother for stomach/intestinal pain, ulcers, colitis and hemorrhoids. Mesquite gum is also used as a treatment for lice, cough, sore throat, mouth sores, laryngitis, fever reduction, painful teeth & gums.
(Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2213205)


DESERT IRONWOOD

Gender Association: Feminine 
Planetary Association: Venus, Mercury, Moon 
Elemental Association: Spirit, Water, Some Earth Magical properties: 

Desert Ironwood is not the hardest wood in the world, but it is the hardest wood that does not contain a large amount of gum or resin content, meaning that it is bone dry. And as the name implies, it is extremely hard and heavy, maybe the third hardest wood on the planet. This makes it the most stable wood in the world, never cracking or warping and very resistant to climactic change. The energy of this wood is simply amazing. The image that comes to mind is that of an elderly tribal wise woman. She is never afraid, because she knows that life is a cycle ending in death. The mysteries and wonders of life are at her fingertips, because she is experienced enough to know a great deal, and wise enough to accept that which cannot be known. This wood has a very dark, feminine energy. It brings a feeling of protection, steadfast knowledge that the darkness is no more threatening than the light. It brings the ability to explore the mysteries of life unafraid and to gain the knowledge there-in. Only then can one truly know all of the beauty of life. This wood will enhance artistic expression, bringing a fresh look to life. It will change one's mode of thinking, and allow one to accept life changes gracefully and with a calm wisdom.
(from The Magical Properties of Wood by Goldentree Wands)


PALM
Gender Association: Masculine 
Planetary Association: Jupiter, Sun 
Elemental Association: Water 
Magical properties: The most remarkable thing about this wood is that its primary property is that of magic. The wood is naturally aligned with magic, and enhances magical energy. Obviously this is a good choice as a material for sacred objects. This wood is strongly aligned to water energy. It rejects all fire-related energies, and it would also not be useful for healing. It brings about positive changes, creates opportunities, and opens spiritual pathways. Good words to associate with this wood are: feeling, changing, growing, love, and art. This wood is excellent for gaining power and knowledge from nature (which is what magic is).
(from The Magical Properties of Wood by Goldentree Wands)

PALO VERDE

Palo Verde– I consider Palo Verde to be the Sakura of the desert world. These plants have a very bright and short-lived flowering season in the early spring. If you can collect up any of the flowers that are shed during this season, you could utilize them in magix for enjoying things while they last, accepting transience of a situation, or perhaps utilizing notions of frail beauty. Additionally, this tree is almost always green, so you could collect branches or leaves to attract some “green” into your life, or to represent resilience and steadfastness. Also, sometimes the leaves form on long, thin flexible … branches? leaves? I don’t know what to call them. But these pieces can be used in knot magix as well.

Shrubs and Bushes:

Brittlebush: This bush can be used in the same way you use sage Sage. You can dry and use the leaves in a cleansing incense or leave twigs around the house.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

THE KYBALION

O, let not the flame die out, 
Cherished age after age in its dark caverns, 
in its temples cherished. 
Fed by pure ministers of love - 
let not the flame die out. 
              ~ EDWARD CARPENTER


“When the ears of the student are ready to hear, 
then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.” 
                                       - The Kybalion

During the first Year and a Day, the Oakmist student is trained in all the basics of the Craft. General information is given on many topics, most of which could be found in variations of material published under scores of titles, in what we consider to be a logical order.  It’s basically “What Every Baby Witch Should Know.” The lessons are given along with time-tested exercises, with the expectation that the student will use every resource available to expand their understanding of lesson. In that first year and a day, they are introduced to Hermetics and Alchemy in the form of a Tarot course.

The Year and a Day is traditional. It has many reasons, magical and mundane. It is the time it usually takes for us to get to know the student. Who are they? What are their motives? What are their true colors?  Are they loyal? Are they serious students or are they dabblers? Can we trust them? Do they have the necessary patience and endurance required by a person who truly wishes to advance?

If not, they are released to go their own way, 
in peace, 
armed with a better toolbox for life.

If so, they are elevated and brought into the inner Circle.  Once accepted, each student is expected to write their Second Year course of study based on their own interests. This could be any number of subjects.

Once the student completes their Second Year (and a "year" could turn into many years in reality), the student is again elevated. Their next course of study is in learning to lead their own group, as the primary goal for an Oakmist student is to hive and form their own coven.

One of the texts that is required reading during the First Year is the Kybalion. This little text is a study of Hermetic Philosophy. It is easy to read and will give the student “a Master-Key with which s/he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals s/he has already entered.”

The authors of the Kybalion say 
“If you are a true student, 
you will be able to work out 
and apply these Principles – 
if not, then you must develop yourself into one, 
for otherwise the Hermetic Teachings 
will be as 
“words, words, words” to you.”

I know this statement to be true, because when I was first introduced to Hermetics and Alchemy, I tossed it aside as “words, words, words.”  It would be more than 10 years before I had advanced far enough to gain at least a glimmer of understanding.

Here is an excerpt from The Kybalion:

The Seven Hermetic Principles:

The Principle of Mentalism:
“THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is Mental”

The Principle of Correspondence:
“As above, so below; as below, so above.”

The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”

The Principle of Polarity
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”

The Principle of Rhythm
“Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”

The Principle of Cause and Effect
“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”

The Principle of Gender
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes”


Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Stang


Each Oakmist Coven has a Coven Stang.
It is used indoors as well as outdoors 
whenever possible.

A Stang is cut in the same manner as the Wand, from a live tree, after much contemplation, conversation, and gaining permission from the Tree. Precise instructions are given to Oakmist students during their first Year and a Day of study. 

Each Oakmist Initiate preparing to hive should make a Coven Stang, which is then passed down when the High Priestess retires.

The Stang may be cut of Ash or Oak. 
The forks of the Coven Stang should stand taller than the head of the PST when it is planted. A personal stang may be shorter.

A new Coven Stang should be shod by the men of the group. Shodding the Stang means placing an iron nail in the bottom of the foot so as to ground the energy. This should be done in a Men’s Mystery Circle with an appropriate ritual during which the Stang should be washed, dressed with oil, and blessed by the Men before using it the first time. 

The Stang should be undecorated and cleaned by the men or the Summoner before putting it away after each use. It should be kept in a special place of honor and treated with respect, even when it is not being used, never shoved in a closet or thrown on the floor.

And though the men have shod and dressed the Stang, it is always to be kept by the High Priestess of the Coven. When she retires, it is to be passed down to the next HPS.

A new candle should always be placed between the horns to represent the Sun’s light.  The candle should be beeswax, which is sacred to the Goddess.  If beeswax is difficult to obtain, the same candle may be used throughout the year. Better yet, make enough short or beeswax tea-light candles at Bride, enough to last the entire year.

A mask representing the coven totem animal may or may not be attached to the Stang beneath the horns. This may be permanent or removable.

When working outdoors, the women should place the stones which build the Circle and Sphere, when possible.  As with the Maypole, the women should dig and decorate the hole for the Stang. The men plant the Stang and secure it. An appropriate song may be sung for this ritual.

The Stang is “planted” in the center of the Circle of Stones with similar words as those used in Rite of Cup and Blade. The Circle represents the Cauldron, the Cup, the Goddess, the Yoni. It also represents the Solar Wheel, and is divided by placing a stone at each of 8 directions.  No other altar is needed when the Stang is used. The Rite of Cup and Blade are not necessary because the planted Stang represents the same thing, but it may be done if the HPS wishes.


The Stang has many meanings, 
some of which I will mention here.
For the Oakmist Tradition, 
the Stang represents the World Tree.
Its boughs are in the heavens 
and its roots are deep in the earth. 
It connects us with the ONE.

It also represents the Family Tree,
the DNA in the blood by which each witch is related.

The Stang can represent the cutting blade, 
the God, the erect phallus.  
Planted, it is the ONE, 
the completeness of God/dess; 
it represents the Sacred Marriage.

The Stang is a phallic symbol at one end (pole) 
and a Yoni at the other (forks). 

The forks can represent the horns of the God, 
the horns of the Moon,
or the rays of the Sun. 

When used indoors, 
a base can be made for the Stang from concrete. 
Wrap the base of the Stang in plastic wrap. 
Place it into a small bucket, then pour cement or plaster of paris around it. 
Once it hardens, remove the Stang, 
and you have a stand.
The Stang can also be planted in a container 
of wet sand, if necessary.

Depending on the time of year, or the particular Ritual, the Stang can take on different meanings. 

  The Stang is ALWAYS decorated 
with crossed arrows. 
These represent life and death, 
light and dark, 
the Goddess as Divine Huntress, 
she who takes life as easily as she gives it
as well as the Hunter God. 


However, the seasonal decorations are suggestions only. Use items that are appropriate for your corner of the world.

At Cuidle/Yule - The Stang is placed to the North where it represents the Midnight Sun. It is decorated with pine and fir, holly, and mistletoe.  A short candle is put in the forks of the Stang. The forks represent the thighs of the Mother, with the candle representing the newborn Sun. After the candle burns out, the Stang represents the Old God, and the forks are his horns. Mulled cider and spiced cake or fruitcake is placed at the foot.

At Bride - The Stang is placed to the Northeast where it represents the Goddess holding the Young God in her uplifted arms. It is decorated with a Bride's Cross made of wheat and is entwined with Ivy. Daffodils and Snowdrops can be placed at the foot, along with honey mead and Welsh Cakes. 

At Earrach - The Stang is placed to the East where it represents the Morning Sun. A basket of dyed eggs may be placed at the foot. Dogwood and honeysuckle are appropriate decorations. Cakes and wine are up to the group.

At Beltaine, the Stang is placed to the Southeast where it represents the erect phallus of the Young God. It can be decorated with ribbons, hoops and roses. A wreath of 4 sacred woods is sometimes used. Chocolate and strawberries are placed at the foot.

At Samradh, the Stang is placed to the South where it represents the Noonday Sun. A solar wheel or golden streamers may be attached.  Sunflowers mixed with fennel are used to decorate. A nice light white and fruity wine and Welsh Cakes are placed at the foot.

At Lugh, the Stang is placed to the South West. Hollyhocks, deep red and orange flowers, and oak leaves are used to decorate.   A rich wine and a loaf of home baked bread is placed at the foot.

At Foghar, the Stang is placed to the West where it represents the Evening Sun. The God is growing older and beginning his journey to the Underworld. Ferns and garlands of local grains are used to decorate the stang along with Poppies or any autumn flowers. Fruits of the harvest are placed at the foot, along with blackberry or elderberry wine and a dark cake or cookie.

At Samhain, the Stang is placed to the Northwest and is behind or next to the Ancestor Altar.  A small cauldron is placed nearby in which to burn messages for the dead. Cauldrons with sand are set up to receive the remembrance candles (see Samhain Rite).  The God has grown old. Cypress boughs, yew, skull and crossed arrows are used to decorate. Dead leaves, apples and a dark rich wine are placed at the foot.


For Esbats, the Stang stands to the North, with no garland and a filled cup or Cauldron at the foot. 

The Stang represents DNA, and reminds us of our connection with our ancestors. It reminds us of the union of God and Goddess, the Sacred Marriage, the Right and Left Hand Paths, the Middle Pillar, the Tau Cross of Sacrifice, the Supernal Triangle, the Trinity of Mother, Father, and Child, the Horns of the Moon, the Waxing, Full, and Waning Moon, and so many other things.


In a letter to Bill Gray, Robert Cochrane describes the Stang as follows: 

The Horse.
The supreme implement.
It represents the Middle pillar of Yggdrasil.
Its roots are Malkuth
It is phallic
It represents Hermes
It divides into aspects as it rises
It is Love because it represents the union of male and female
It is Beauty, the Child of Wisdom
It is Death, the final transformation
It is enlightenment






To understand the significance of the Stang, 
it is necessary to study and meditate upon it.
As with most things magical, the answers are within.

Blessed Be,
Rowan


BRIDE'S ALTAR

It's almost February, 
and time to set up our Bride altar!

Setting up your altar for Bride
can be a ritual all in itself.
Do some meditating on this lovely Goddess
before you begin.
Then begin your search for items
that will make an appropriate altar.

Remember to use objects and colors 
that remind us of Spring, 
of the returning Sun, of the LIGHT!

Set your Bride Altar up in the Eastern Quarter
whenever possible.
It's even better if it is in front of a window
where you can light a candle
and greet the rising sun each morning.

Your altar cloth can be white, yellow, or gold. 
Make one yourself or buy one on Etsy!
by Frogs Bird House
by Rain Sews
A simple yellow cloth works fine

Candles can be yellow or white. 
Oakmist folks usually use beeswax because of the warmth it lends to the room:


However, beeswax is not mandatory. 
Here is a lovely example of an altar 
using white candles


Flowers can be any early Spring flower;
 snowdrops and daffodils are traditional:

Snowdrops
Daffodils

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle is a wonderful addition to the altar 
to herald Spring!

Jasime
Jasmine is good in the CUP as a tea 
as well as being a fragrant addition to the altar.

Cinquefoil
 A pinch of cinquefoil is good in the incense
as well as being beautiful on the altar.

Dogwood blossoms
Dogwood is wonderful on the altar,
and the dried bark is a good addition
to your Bride incense.
Acorns represent the newborn GOD
and promise growth.

Images can include statues of Brigit



You could also use Lion/Lamb images. 
These can often be found in Christian stores.
The Lion, of course, represents the SUN,
and is a symbol for Lugh.
The lamb represents the season of lambing 
and lamb's milk
associated with Brigit.
Choosing such an image with double meaning
is a great choice 
if you have family, friends, or neighbors
who may be offended or frightened 
by an otherwise pagan altar.


Appropriate stones might be 
white, clear quartz, or yellow.
Citrine, buttery amber, or sparkly amber 
are perfect choices for your Brigit Altar.




Pale blue stones are also appropriate.
Celestite is a good stone for this time of year.


Bride is also a fire and smith goddess,
so don't be afraid to add RED to the altar 
if it pleases you.

Photo from carrifaro.com
Lastly, you might want to add a blessing.
You can find many online to print out.
Here are a few I liked:





 Here are examples of some Imbolc
and Bride altars I found online:

www.greyladyshearth.com
I love the use of cards on greyladyshearth's altar, 
of the simplicity of it, of the live plants.

earthdna.wordpress.com
The red pillar candles on this altar 
give it just the right amount of color.

www.litchenwood.com
Litchenwood's altar 
is yellow and blue and white.


www.craftychickscuppacoffee.com
Craftychick has put seeds and crystals on her altar.


www.paganspace.net
This altar is set up for ritual.
Simple, yet elegant.

Altar by oh_fiddlestix
I love the three tiers of this altar.
To me, they represent Triple Bride.
The use of white and green is also stunning.

If you do a search on Google 
for Imbolc Altar 
or Brighid/Bride/Brigit Altar, 
you will find hundreds of lovely examples.
You are only bound by your own imagination.

Are you in the desert?
Make your Bride's cross 
from sun-bleached bones or sticks.

Are you near the sea?
Look for golden colored glass 
or white seashells.
Make your cross from seaweed!

In the end 
your altar can be as simple or as intricate as you like.
The point is that you are taking the time 
and making the effort
to honor the Goddess and to help with
the Turning of the Wheel.
And that, in itself, is all that is needed.

Go outside now.
Find what you need
and build your altar.
Have fun!

Blessed Bride!
Rowan of Oakmist