Imbolc: Using the Deadfall
Wood for the hearth fire.
Yesterday, my partner and I went out and cut some more firewood on my mom's property. She has a lot of downed trees! We'll be able to keep the hearth warm for many winters to come. Yesterday's haul gave us a half a cord plus some!
When I suggested this chore to him yesterday, I was not thinking about the fact that we are approaching Imbolc--at least, not consciously. It was only when we were deep in the process that I thought to myself, "Hey, wait a minute!" This was the perfect thing for me to be doing at Imbolc. It is at this time that we celebrate the return of the Light, the Sacred Flame, the forge, and this is when many of us make offerings to Brigid in a bid to forge our paths for the year.
He likes his tools, as do most men, so I let him do the cutting, and I did the hauling and stacking. This allowed me to get physically into the process, which I prefer. I left a good log in a sunny patch in our clearing for Brigid. I cut smaller branches out of the way, so he could work safely. I hauled the logs out of the woods and stacked them by the drive, so we could take the wood up to the house.
I also observed, as we were clearing out the wood, that this particular clearing, overhung with yet more trees and branches, has a few wonderful stone shelves, which will be perfect for rituals! Mom has several natural stone altars on her land.
We clear out the dead, and we leave space for sacred work. Ideally, we use the dead wood to heat the hearth and forge, which in turn fuels the work of the year ahead and brings back the light.