In some traditions, this is the fire festival that celebrates the goddess Brigid, the lambing season, milk, light, the first stirrings of Spring’s return, and the Ascent of the Goddess.
|“I fell you like a child…..”
Brigid is a fire, hearth, and forge goddess from Ireland. She is also in charge of a variety of other things, from agriculture to crafts and songs/poetry. She inspires people to be creative. Imbolc is the perfect time to integrate fire play and dairy into your spiritual and sexual practice.
A very simple way to do this is to integrate wax play into your practice. When the Catholics Christianized Imbolc, they named it Candlemas. All the candles in a person’s home would be taken to church to be blessed for the year. Before dripping wax onto your partner, bless and consecrate it with some oil or salt water.
The type of candle used for wax play is important. Most people use white paraffin candles because they have a lower melting point. Colored paraffin candles can be used, but they feel hotter and can occasionally burn. The same is true for scented candles. While they are nice to smell and use in spells, the oils that make them scented can burn when dripped upon skin. Never use beeswax or tallow candles. They burn, burn, burn, and not in a good way! The heat of the wax can be controlled by the height in which it’s dropped. The higher up the candle is from flesh, the longer the wax has to cool on the way down. The closer the wax is to the skin, the less time it has to cool down.
Candle magic can be incorporated into wax play. Spells, prayers, and Imbolc wishes can be inscribed onto the candle with the magic being released as the candle burns. The same things can also be inscribed in the wax that has been dripped onto your partner. Be very careful that you don’t end up inscribing your partner’s flesh. I would use a tooth pick instead of a metal stylus. If you decide to brave colored candles, color magic can also be added to the magical mix. However, white candles can be made to represent any other color, so if in doubt, just stick to white. The more elements used in a spell, the stronger your magic will be. Repetition of intent is the key to strong spells.
Candle hats, also called St. Lucia wreaths, are a traditional symbol of Bridget’s relation to the rising sun. Wearing one takes not only faith and courage, but also balance. Candle hats can be easily made from Styrofoam, like an Advent wreath, or it can be made from other materials. The small candles used for menorahs typically work best. Large tapers tend to tip over and land in the wearer’s hair. If the bearer of the wreath is worried about getting wax in their hair, have them wear a shower cap. As with the wax play, prayers, spells, and wishes can be inscribed on the candles. The traditional color for the candles is white.
The wearer can simply stand during the ritual, meditate or pray while wearing it, dance, or for something more elaborate, they can undergo small ordeals, like tickling, figging, clamps, ice, or light spanking. A Brigid’s Cross would be an excellent object to use for tickling.
Fire play, which is where isopropyl alcohol is swiped onto a person and lit on fire for a short period of time, is another excellent way to celebrate Imbolc, but unlike the previous suggestions, fire play should not be done by inexperienced folks. It’s dangerous and requires a little bit of training. That being said, the times that I’ve engaged in fire play, I found it extremely stimulating and fun. The adrenaline rush will leave you very dreamy.
Here is a short run down of fire play basics by Iain Turner. The printable version can be found here.
“Fire Play basic notes – LDG Fetish Fair – ©Iain Turner 2004-2008spotter. The spotter(s) must be trained and prepared to go towards any problem and fix it, rather than run. I offer a formal class for spotters.Clothes. If you’re in or near a fire scene, don’t wear fuel. All common artificial fibers are fuel – they’re made of petroleum products. They’ll easily ignite or melt into the skin. Do not wear anything with nylon, poly-anything, rubber, latex, PVC, elastic, rayon, etc. Also no fur, feathers, frayed material. Better choices: bare skin, leather, all-cotton, linen, flannel, wool, silk, kevlar, duvetyne.Hair. Hair burns easily. If it gets near fire, it will be gone. Light arm or back hair just burns off. Thicker hair, as at head, beard or crotch, can provide enough fuel to scar the skin. So shave it or cover it. An all-cotton towel or leather hood are good. Hair products are highly flammable; remember Michael Jackson. Likewise, avoid nail polish. No dangling clothes or jewelry. Caution near piercings.Environment
● Avoid a gasp that would inhale fire, fuel, smoke, or fire extinguisher products.
● It’s normal to be scared of fire. It’s OK to safeword. It’s important to tell the top if an area has gotten overworked or burned.
● “When your tits are on fire, don’t look down.” If your head is above the flames, look up, not down.
● Don’t run or shake, which add oxygen. If you’re on fire, don’t run from the spotter or top.
● Apply aloe vera for a few days afterwards, even if not burned. This should start during aftercare.
● Your skin is sensitized. Avoid backpacks and harnesses for a day or two, to avoid raising blisters.
● Stay well hydrated (drink water) before and for a few days after the scene.. Look around for all fuels and damageable items – curtains, carpets, ceiling, cats. Make sure there won’t be people or critters moving who might upset candles or fuel. Fairly dim lighting allows you to see more flame locations. Too dark adds risks, like knocking over fuel or flame. Keep excess fuel at a depot well away from the scene.Bottoms:Spotter’s Job:● You’re covering the top’s back, so the top can focus on the scene. Watch all flame. Watch all fuel, especially any the top’s not watching. Watch the environment, perimeter, and all safety issues.
● Understand the top’s equipment, fuels, locations, and plan before play starts. Know the bottom’s limits. Check how to use extinguisher. There’s no time for questions or doubt during an emergency.
● Keep yourself fuel-free. Have fire suppression tools in your hands, not just nearby. Don’t get distracted; this is a crucial, full-time job.“When in doubt, put it out.” You can always relight the fire. The difference between a great scene and a bad burn can be one second of excess flame.Spotter tools. My favorite is a very damp (not dripping) all-cotton towel, folded in half or quarters. It smothers a large area of flame quickly, and it cools. Always use both hands. I also have fire extinguishers right by me, if the fire spreads. I also have a water spray/mister.Safety words
spotter is entering the scene now. So “orange leg incoming” tells the top to stop instantly as a spotter comes in to put out the fire (probably on the top’s leg). Play may resume if everything is put in order. . Spotters or others yell “Orange” to indicate unintended fire. “Incoming” means a Accidents
● Fuel is hard on the eyes/cornea. If it splashes in the eye, hold the eye open and irrigate with saline/water for 15 minutes. See the MSDS. Get immediate medical attention. . ● If you think there may be skin damage, stop the scene. Apply cold (ice) immediately, for 5+ minutes; residual heat can continue to cook deeper. If you’re considering getting professional attention, don’t add any “burn treatment” goop to the wound, the nurse will just have to dig it out. Fuel: The basic fuel is 70% isopropyl. Other fuels add new issues: 90% isopropyl, ethanol, alcohol gels (Purell), lamp oil, jet fuel, flash cotton, flammable metals, etc. Fuels are poisonous inside the body. Most can explode if vapors accumulate. Fuels can damage clothing, toys and furniture. Fuel Management: A key to safety is controlling all the fuels. Unintended fuels – furniture, dogs, paper, leaves, must be excluded from the area. Intended fuels must be in known places, controlled quantities, and contained. Designate separate areas for fueling, play, extinguishing, and depot. Fuel build up: It’s too easy to accumulate fuel during a scene, on the bottom, top, or furniture. E.g. you apply fuel, burn most of it off, but some remains. After a while, the extra fuel is a big hazard. Sometimes you can see, feel, or smell the fuel. I wipe the area with my hand, then smell the hand. Fuel drip
Different individuals, and different parts of the body have different : Liquid fuels run, and always to places you don’t want to burn. Especially, don’t let fuel get under the bottom. Use small quantities to avoid drips and runs. tolerances for fire and heat. Genitals
My personal favorites are techniques where I, as top, have the fire on me a lot. This helps me gage the heat, and share the fun. I almost always put out the flames with my bare hand.
Typical burn times are 1 – 3 seconds, but vary greatly by fuel, body part, individual, and technique. Longer burns are possible if the flame moves around the body, never staying on one part.
|Basic fire play kit
Here are some fire-related
● Torch: A wand/torch/baton with fueled wick is passed around the body, perhaps rubbed or bounced.
● Hand torch: The same, with top’s hand serving as the torch.
● Wipe and light: Apply a streak of fuel, then light it. Put it out (hand or flogger) as it goes.
● Binaca blast / “flame thrower”: Ignite a brief aerosol blast of fuel.
● Flash cotton. Ignited on/above skin. Tricky and dangerous.
● Exotic metals. Add color and sparkle to the flame. Tricky and dangerous.
● Fire mitt. Lighting a kevlar glove on the top’s hand.
● Fire pin. Branding with a red hot needle piercing. Usually intended to be temporary.
● Fire cupping: Igniting fuel inside a cup, quickly applied to skin. Cooling produces suction.
● Candles: Candle flame is too hot for skin. Dripping warm wax is part of Wax Play.
● Fire spinning: Juggling or spinning fire poi near the bottom.
● Fire flogging: Using a lit kevlar flogger on skin. Very problematic.
● Fire breathing: Using the top’s mouth as a flame thrower. Very problematic.
I teach beginning and advanced hands-on fire, and a spotter training class, including handing lots of live fire, and drills for noticing and putting out bad fire. : Shorten burn times on thinner, or more sensitive skin, especially pink bits. Folded skin can accumulate fuel (bad). Tight spaces can concentrate heat. Don’t burn up your favorite toys. techniques you may see or learn. Each has special issues not covered here. The first four are most common. Most scenes use only 1-3 of these. edukink @ yahoo.com “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.” Successful fire players behave cautiously at all times. More at http://EduKink.org/articles/Fire_Play“ May your Imbolc be warm and creamy!
Fire play can be used in spells by drawing sigils or words onto your partner with the alcohol. As the fuel burns the sigil, which could be for banishing, attracting, or any manner of things, will work it’s magic. Sigils for self-transformation work particularly well with this, since the sigil’s energy is burned into you–like a brand without the scar. onto your partner with the alcohol. As the fuel burns the sigil, which could be for banishing, attracting, or any manner of things, will work it’s magic. Sigils for self-transformation work particularly well with this, since the sigil’s energy is burned into you–like a brand without the scar. Cupping can be used on some of the chakras and is good to use in banishing spells. The technique has been used for thousands of years as a way of drawing impurities out of the body.
Another aspect of Imbolc is milk and lactation. Oimelc, another name for the holiday, means “ewe’s milk”. Any sort of dairy beverage or dish is appropriate for Imbolc as is beer (Brigid controls brewing). A magical milk bath or milk enema would be a good way to start off your Imbolc practices. For both of these practices, focus on spiritual nourishment, since that is what milk is typically associated with.
Whipped cream is another fun Imbolc dairy food. I think the picture is pretty self explanatory. Use your imagination and enjoy cakes and ale!
May your Imbolc be warm and creamy!