Almost Imbolc Event January 28th 2017

An absolutely fantastic day was had by everyone on Saturday January 28th, the Museum’s first ever “Almost Imbolc” event.

The day started with around twenty people (including the Museum’s own Joyce and Hannah) taking part in two different loosely Imbolc themed craft workshops.  One was led by Gillian Nott, who taught everyone how to make Bride’s crosses (I believe everyone went away with at least two of different designs).  The second was led by Tracey Norman who showed people how to use a spinning wheel, taught people the basics of knitting while Mark Norman told the workshop attendees snippets of wool related folklore.  There were also some Museum objects involving wool for people to have a closer look at.

Thanks to the Friends of the Museum organisation for these photos of Gillian’s workshop.

After that, the Museum was open for a couple of hours and then there was a talk by Cheryl Straffon on Bridgit: Goddess of Imbolc.  The Museum team were delighted to have Cheryl speak here as we find her works beautiful, scholarly and inspiring (particularly the Earth Goddess which is a personal favourite).  

http://www.meynmamvro.co.uk/index.htm

Her talk was a great mix of history, folklore, custom and spirituality and was littered with her own experiences of sacred places associated with Bridgit.  At the end of her talk she had everyone singing to Bridgit and also lighting a candle from one brought from Kildare (home of Bridgit’s sacred fire).  Everyone sat quietly in contemplation of the coming spring, listened to Lana’s music and enjoyed the warm glow of their candle (which they could then take home with them).

Brigid’s Fire

Thanks to Alex Langstone for the photo below.  In this photo you can also see the new folding chairs purchased for the Museum by our Friends organisation – thanks so much everyone, they were a great help and will get lots of use in future!

There was then a brief pause while which gave people a chance to buy a drink, visit the port-a-loos (!) and appreciate the superb work of Gillian Nott who created two pieces just for this event (and which now have a permanent home in the Museum).

The first: a bed of Bride.  Everyone was encouraged to bring along a little offering for Bride and here they are laid out in front of her.  The offerings and Bed will be on display in our upstairs gallery when we re-open on April 1st and it is so nice to think that we will have a permanent reminder of this evening.

 

The other piece Gillian created was a Bride’s Girdle which hung around the door so people received a traditional Imbolc/Candlemas blessing as they arrived.  One of the best things to come out of this night is that the Bride’s Girdle is going to be used in Boscastle at the Goddess Temple on Tuesday February 7th.  It is so great to be able to share these objects with people who appreciate and use them.

Above: Gillan Nott with the girdle.

Above: an old image of a Bride’s girdle which helped to inspire Gillian.

Above: the local Friends of the Museum who are borrowing the girdle for their ritual.  Thanks to the Friends of the Museum for this photograph.

After that, the main event – Inkubus Sukkubus, who have been visiting the Museum for thirty years and describe it as their “spiritual home”.  They performed a fantastic acoustic set and donated all the money raised to the Museum which was so generous of them.  Here are some photos but they don’t really do the atmosphere of the evening justice (although you can listen to one of the performances which was recorded at the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxYYaXuPGhc)

The following photos were taken by a Friend of the Museum.

Above: two Friends of the Museum photographed with Inkubus Sukkubus.

All in all, a wonderful event, enjoyed by all with so much positivity and good will towards the Museum.  We couldn’t have done it without the kind co-operation of Inkubus Sukkubus, Cheryl Straffon, Tracey and Mark Norman, Gillian Nott and the National Trust (who loaned us their office for the workshop and their cafe and staff for the evening event).