Although I am a Neo-Hellenic Pagan, I still perform this rite every Imbolc because it holds a special place in my heart. It was featured at the first public Pagan event I ever attended, one hosted by Celtic Druids. It is just so meaningful and I really do love it. For me it isn’t so much about Brigid as the concept “we all have our cross to bear”. Here is your opportunity to put down that cross if you’re tired of it and prepare to pick up a new one instead.
It can be adapted for a family or a coven or another group or performed solo.
Note- This can be adapted this rite using the bristles from a broom. Remove the old bristles, re-bristle, proceed.
You will need-
The materials to make a new solar cross (aka Brigid’s cross)
Last year’s cross
Create a new solar cross or have everyone participating create their own.
Sit with your family in a circle near the hearth, or bonfire or whatever you’re burning things in. Take your old solar cross down from its place and say, “Another year has passed beneath this roof and before this hearth and many things have come to pass… (Go on to talk about all the great things that have happened in the past year)”
All Say- “For these blessings, we are truly thankful.”
Then continue- “But not all that has happened has been good, we have had our hardships as well, (Go on to expound on your hardships and difficulties.)
All Say- “From these things we have learned and now we move on.”
Then pass the old cross around to everyone in the circle so that they may tell about those things they are ready to leave behind from the past year, or simply sit silently and pour their thoughts into the cross. When everyone has had a turn, take the cross and throw it into the fire and watch it burn.
Take the new cross and present it to the group saying, “As we release the past, we make way for the future.” Pass this new cross around among the circle, this time pouring into it positive energy and hope for the coming year. People should talk about their plans- “This summer, I’m getting married.” “I will graduate from college in May. After that I will be looking for a job.” “I am expecting a baby” Etc. After each person’s turn, the group should say something like, “Our bonds of love give strength to this endeavor.” Or “Evohe!” or “So mote it be” or whatever it is you say.
When everyone has had a turn, place the cross in its designated place in your home while saying an appropriate chant or singing a song.