Ice lanterns are a beautiful way to celebrate the changing of the seasons. I’ve often thought they looked like fun to make too, so this year our family gave it a bash.
I’d love to see what your families create if you decide to follow along with this gorgeous Imbolc activity.
First we need to gather a few items:
- A couple of containers- one smaller than the other so our ice can sit between them. Plastic works well. About 0.5-1cm difference is ideal
- A candle/tea light
- Some of the beautiful things nature has left for us to enjoy- leaves, berries, flowers, fruit, herbs
- Water, which will go back to nourishing the land we live on shortly after we enjoy it in this form
Arrange your decorative items inside of your large container in any pattern you wish, taking time to be thankful for each of the beauties we get to enjoy thanks to mother earth.
As you place them remember the fleetingness of their perfection, and the beauty of their imperfections.
Remember you and your plants are born of the same, and go back to the same Earth.
Be grateful that you still get to bloom.
Be grateful for any nutrition you’ve received from the Earth this year.
Be grateful that she still stands firm and is the base beneath you, when you need to be strong and when you are not.
Be thankful that she is with you with every breath and enables you to achieve everything you achieve as a key part of your existence.
Once you’ve stopped weeping about the beauty of the Earth, you should have a little water in the form of tears. Don’t worry if these join your lantern too.
Now you’re happy with your design, place the smaller container inside of the big one in such a way that it creates a cavity, but doesn’t squash your carefully collected items.
Now fill the gaps between them with water. Focus on your breath as air is exchanged for water in your candle. They are two of the key elements of our existence. Our foliage comes from the Earth, our water goes back to it, and fire brings our lantern to life. This is a celebration of all that it is to be, in the most elemental form possible.
If you have freezing conditions outside then leave it there overnight, otherwise it’s time to make a stirfry or some minestrone to clear some space in your freezer for your lantern.
When ready to use, a trickle of warm water over the outer container will reveal your lantern.
When you place your candle in the centre, remember to centre yourself and enjoy the beauty of your creation.
Imbolc is all about cleansing and being thankful for the earth awakening. As your lantern melts you may become aware that the freeze is breaking. That the Earth is becoming workable again. That you are of these elements.
As the flame flickers, remember that while your goals may falter, they can still burn bright and will centre once again.
As the candle extinguishes, let go,
Of any tension in your body,
Of mistakes and errors of last year,
Of things not done,
Of any preconceptions of this year, become present, live it.