My grove celebrated Imbolc on January 30th. We honored Bride as patron. Manannán mac Lir was the gatekeeper. I am feeling increasingly more comfortable around the people in my grove and, for this reason, feel more spiritually connected than I did during the first few High Days I attended with them. I brought my own praise offerings and spoke my praise out loud as I did last time. Even though I waffle over whether or not I believe the Powers can hear our thoughts, speaking out loud results in a more powerful experience for me. A particular highlight of this ritual were the tea candles we were allowed to take home with us. One of the grove members brought a candle that had been blessed at a shrine to Bride/St. Brigid in Kildare, Ireland and used it to light the tea candles. I could definitely feel Bride’s presence during the rite. The omens drawn to know whether or not the Gods, and Bride specifically, accepted our offerings were positive. The omen drawn asking for Bride’s word of wisdom to us was the rune, Elhaz, which I took to be more of a blessing than imparted wisdom, though it could be either.