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Author Topic: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014  (Read 4477 times)

Finn

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TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« on: November 17, 2013, 04:16:34 pm »
Hi Cill-mates,

Guess what? It's time to start thinking about our annual Imbolc Exchange! (Actually, we're a bit ahead of the game this year. Woo hoo! :D:)

For those of you who are new to the cill, we do an annual voluntary gift exchange in celebration of Imbolc. Here's how it works: Everyone who is interested in participating PMs me (specific instructions below). I do a (mostly) random draw to assign each participant a recipient. (Mostly random because I adjust for people who opt out of international shipping. Again, specifics below.) Then, participants make a Brighid's cross and/or a brat and send it to their recipient in time for Imbolc. That's it.

We've been doing this for several years, and while Aster has coordinated most, if not all, of those exchanges, I'm taking the reins this year to give her a little break. If this post looks familiar, it's because it's nearly an exact copy of Aster's excellent notice used last year. (What can I say: if it works, use it. :p)

I assume most Cill members are familiar with Brighid's cross. If not, here are a couple of links showing the variety of shapes and designs they are made in, a traditional method for making them, and another method. Traditionally, Brighid's crosses are made of rushes, but exchange participants have used all sorts of materials, including corn husks, pipe cleaners, wire, paper, and fabric.

Brats might be a little less well known. Here's what Aster posted about them last year:

Quote
A brat symbolizes Brighid's mantle and is basically any piece of clothing or fabric that is left outside over night on Imbolc Eve (the night of January 31-February1) for Brighid to bless as She visits each family. To be completely clear, this tradition is attested with regard to *Saint* Brigid, not the Goddess Brighid. Which should make sense to anyone who has done any reading on ancient Celtic religion and/or Brighid -- since there is so little extant evidence about the Goddess Brighid or how the Celts worshiped Her or other deities.

However, many of us -- myself included -- have chosen to use information about Saint Brigid to inform our practices honoring the Goddess Brighid. The way I feel about it is that the saint was likely a means to an end; a way for the Irish laypeople (as opposed to priests or monks or nuns) to retain an important and beloved goddess as they moved toward Christianity. That idea can be easily challenged, of course, and there are probably just as many people who think the goddess died with paganism in Ireland and the saint is a completely independent entity.

I've read about different ways to carry out the tradition of leaving a brat out for blessing. There are numerous regional variations on the theme. For example, people who lived on the coast would often leave out the coats worn by the men involved in seafaring. In other places, the brat was simply a handkerchief or just a piece of cloth, pieces of which would be cut or torn off and used throughout the year to foster healing (especially for headaches), ease the pain of childbirth, protect the cattle, etc. In some areas, the brat had to be a specific color or had to be put in a particular place (a bush or just outside the door, f'ex) or had to be brought inside before sunrise, etc. (Sean ODuinn's book, The Rites of Brigid: Goddess and Saint, is the best source I've found for Irish Imbolc traditions.)

When I have received a brat, it has usually been knitted or crocheted. I have two that are squares -- like the squares my grandmother crocheted and then put together to make a blanket. I also have one that is a knot, which uses two colors of yarn.

Since I don't knit or crochet, I've had to rely on other materials. And I've also adopted a pretty loose definition of "brat." For the purpose of the exchange, I've sent strips from the very first brat I put out, many years ago. For my family's personal use, I've put all sorts of things outside to be blessed: scarves, bandanas, hats, pieces of fabric, ribbons, even jewelry. Other people might take a more traditional view of the practice, though, and feel that I'm going too far astray.


Here's your instructions:

If you want to participate, please PM me as soon as possible -- BY END-OF-DAY DECEMBER 8 -- that's two weeks from now. Please give me your "real" name and your snail-mail address. Also, note whether you are OK with sending a package to someone in a different country. (That can be important, since the postage on international packages can be significantly higher than on domestic packages.)

In addition to the PM, please post in this thread to let me know you've PMed. That gives me a way to check that I've actually got everyone. After I receive your PM, I will acknowledge it via reply PM.

I know that sounds overly complex, but we've learned from experience that this system will head off problems down the road. Additionally, since I'm not staff or a donor, my PM inbox gets fulls very quickly, and I may not even realize that I didn't receive something because my inbox was full. Having everyone post in here will help me make sure I keep on top of my inbox.

By the end of Sunday, December 8, I will PM you with your recipient's name and address. Please plan to send your package in time for your recipient to receive it on or before January 31. That way, if you send a brat, the recipient can put it out for blessing. Ideally, you should aim to get your package in the mail at least one week before January 31 -- in this case, I'd suggest aiming for January 21. This should still give you plenty of time to craft your gifts.


Finally, please remember that this exchange is NOT about spending a lot of money. It's about celebrating together with our Cill-mates and sharing Imbolc with each other. Nobody should feel that they have to spend much money on this project. We strongly encourage using found materials for your cross and/or brat, if possible, and inexpensive materials, if you need to purchase something.

That should be everything, but if you have questions, please post here and ask. I can't wait to get crafting with everyone! This is one of my favorite traditions here in the cill, and I hope to see a lot of PMs. :)

--Finn
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rocquelaire

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TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 05:26:00 pm »
Quote from: Finn;129647
Hi Cill-mates,

Guess what? It's time to start thinking about our annual Imbolc Exchange! (Actually, we're a bit ahead of the game this year. Woo hoo! :D:)


--Finn

I'm in! Just sent you a PM
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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 07:47:26 pm »
Quote from: Finn;129647
In addition to the PM, please post in this thread to let me know you've PMed. That gives me a way to check that I've actually got everyone. After I receive your PM, I will acknowledge it via reply PM.

 
Sent you a PM!
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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 08:03:14 pm »
Quote from: Finn;129647
Hi Cill-mates,

Guess what? It's time to start thinking about our annual Imbolc Exchange! (Actually, we're a bit ahead of the game this year. Woo hoo! :D:)

 
Sending you a PM now!
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Aster Breo

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TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 02:30:44 am »
Quote from: Juni;129660
Sending you a PM now!

Quoting Juni so I don't have to trim the long OP, but this is to Finn.

Sending a PM now.

Thanks for coordinating this year!

~ Aster
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Sarah

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 12:54:00 pm »
Quote from: Juni;129660
Sending you a PM now!

 
Sent a PM
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Finn

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 11:36:51 am »
Quote from: Finn;129647


 
*thread bump*

Just a friendly reminder that if you want to participate in the exchange this year, you should PM me and leave a note here in the thread as per the info in the first post. :)  So far we have a pretty small pool, so I hope to see some more submissions over the holiday weekend!
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Kelly

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 11:23:27 pm »
Quote from: Finn;130622
*thread bump*

Just a friendly reminder that if you want to participate in the exchange this year, you should PM me and leave a note here in the thread as per the info in the first post. :)  So far we have a pretty small pool, so I hope to see some more submissions over the holiday weekend!

 
pm  sending.
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Aiwelin

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 12:06:39 pm »
Quote from: Finn;129647
Hi Cill-mates

 
PM'ed!  Thank you for organizing this :D
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Finn

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 12:04:56 am »
Quote from: Finn;130622
*thread bump*

 
Another reminder that if you want to participate in the exchange this year, you should PM me and leave a note here in the thread as per the info in the first post. :)  It's still a pretty small pool so I hope one or two more folks will join us!
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Finn

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2013, 12:08:56 am »
Quote from: Finn;131310


 
Last call, kids!

I'll actually be doing the drawing and pming tomorrow because I am fried and still have to cook myself dinner, so if anyone changes their mind, they have time. (Maybe I should just shave off the golden fried deliciousness off me and eat that... :p)
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Breeze

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 12:35:24 am »
Quote from: Finn;131856
Last call, kids!

I'll actually be doing the drawing and pming tomorrow because I am fried and still have to cook myself dinner, so if anyone changes their mind, they have time. (Maybe I should just shave off the golden fried deliciousness off me and eat that... :p)


I'm in.  I've PM'ed you.  I waffled on it because for a while there, there was a significant chance of not having an address for much longer but thankfully things have worked out.

Finn

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Re: TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2013, 01:05:58 am »
Quote from: Finn;131856
Last call, kids!

I'll actually be doing the drawing and pming tomorrow

 
And I've just PM'd everyone their recipients! Take a look and let me know (PM me) if you absolutely need to make changes based on:

1) absolutely positively needing to keep shipping domestic and you've received an international recipient, or
2) having had the same recipient last year

Because it's a pretty small pool of people, the chances of the second may be high. If you had the same person last year*, let me know and we'll change it.

*I don't really have a problem with repeats of recipients from previous years, and there may not be much we can do about it anyway, since a lot the same people tend to participate in the exchange every year. Chances are, if we're still around by then, you'll have given away a brat or cross to everyone in the Cill eventually! :p

Anyway, now you know what to do: get crafting! :D:
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rocquelaire

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TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2013, 03:23:37 am »
Quote from: Finn;132000
Chances are, if we're still around by then, you'll have given away a brat or cross to everyone in the Cill eventually! :p


I'm not even close yet, this being my third (already?) Imbolc exchange but I love the idea of getting the stage where I've sent something to everyone in the Cill :D
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Aster Breo

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TC Cill Imbolc Exchange 2014
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2013, 10:12:16 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;132007
I'm not even close yet, this being my third (already?) Imbolc exchange but I love the idea of getting the stage where I've sent something to everyone in the Cill :D

Me too!  I think that would be really cool, actually.
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