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Celebrating Imbolc

“The serpent will come from the hole

on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)

though there may be three feet of snow

on the surface of the ground.”   - Carmina Gadelica

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The Brighid’ s Cross is an ancient solar symbol that celebrates the

return of the first fires of spring.

To make your Brigid’s Cross, you'll need straw, reeds, or construction

paper -- if you're using plant material like straw or reeds, you'll want to

soak it overnight so it's pliable when you go to make your Cross. Your end

result will be about the length of one piece of your material -- in other

words, a bundle of 12" reeds will yield a Brighid’ s Cross just slightly

longer than 12". 

  1.. Get a bundle of rushes or straw about 15 inches long.


  2.. Take two and cross them at the centre.


  3.. Fold one back on itself around the other one.


  4.. Take a third one and fold it around the second one, parallel to the

first. You should now have a T-shaped piece, with one arm having one strand,

another having two and the third having three.


  5.. Fold a fourth rush around the third one to form a cross again.


  6.. Fold a fifth one around the fourth, parallel to the single strand.


  7.. Continue folding rushes around the previous one until the central

square is about one and a half to two inches wide (this is optional, but the

cross gets a bit unwieldy if it's much bigger).


  8.. Finally, tie the ends of each arm tightly with wool or other natural

fiber. Tidy up the ends with a scissors.


Straw can be used instead of rushes, but sometimes it is brittle and breaks

easily when being folded. Remember too that freshly cut rushes will dry and

the cross will become loose. Just untie the ends and pull them all tightly

together again.


Another description of how to do it – 

1.  Find 9, 8-12 inch rushes, swizzle sticks or drinking straws and four

small to medium sized rubber bands. 


2.   Hold one of the rushes/straws vertically. 


3.   Fold a second straw in half horizontally over and at a right

angle over the center of the first straw with the second straw projecting

to the right.  Snug the inside of the bend right up to the first straw at  its



4.   Grasp the center overlap tightly between thumb and fore-finger. 


5.   Turn the two straws held together 90 degrees counter clockwise (left)

      (The two ends of the second straw will be projecting upwards.) 


6.   Fold the third straw in half over both parts of the second straw

horizontally from left to right and snug the inside of the fold up against the

center and the second straw. Hold tight. 


7.   Holding the center tightly!   Rotate all straws (the entire

assembly) 90 degrees counter clockwise. (left) 


8.   This time, the bottom half of the first straw will be projecting

upward. Fold a new straw in half over and across all straws projecting upward.


9.   Snug the straw tightly against the center and against the vertical



10. Holding the center tightly rotate all straws (the entire assembly) 90

degrees counter clockwise. 


11. Fold a new straw in half over all vertical straws from left to right

and snug up to center and to the right. 


12. Repeat the process of rotating all straws (the entire assembly) 90

degrees to the left and folding the new straw over until all straws have

been used. 

Remember: Hold tight to the center. 


13. When the last straw has been used snug all straws to center being 

 careful to hold tight to the last straw folded.  


14. Secure the last arm of the cross with a rubber band or if using

Rushes, platted straw or string.  Then secure each other arm. 


15. You may paint the drinking straws but be careful as wet paint will

Dissolve the thin paper covering. Place rushes on a flat surface to dry. You

may wish to seal the rushes when dry with a paint of your choice.

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