While the general myth is that there’s the most snow in midwinter, in fact the months around Imbolc are often the snowiest of the year for those of us fortunate enough to get the white stuff. This is a ritual written for Imbolc in my neck of the woods, when we often see the last of the heavy snows, but is well suited for any late winter-early spring snowfall.
On a day when there is measurable snow, gather a bowlful before it melts and keep the resulting liquid it in a dark place in a ceramic or glass dish or bottle. At Imbolc, or on your designated ritual night, pour the water into a scrying bowl. This can be almost any plain bowl — you don’t want any decorations to distract you — and a dark bowl works better than a light one. I used an old, dark wooden bowl.
In addition to the bowl of water, bring with you to the ritual a fresh candle, incense, matches, and salt; water or wine to drink.
Prepare for scrying as you would for any other ritual, casting a circle if that is your normal practice. When you have grounded and centered and feel calm, light the candle and place it where the flame shines in the water in the bowl. Light the incense; let the smoke trail over the surface of the water, imagining as you do the stiff breezes that blow off the ocean at dusk. Take a handful of salt and cast it into the water, imagining the ebb and flow of sea and sand on the ocean beaches, always the endless struggle between earth and sea. In your mind hold these three elements at once — Wind, Stone, and Sea.
Now concentrate on the image of the flame reflected in the water. Let your gaze unfocus until the flame is blurry. Dip your fingertips in the water, and pinch the candle flame out. Dip the index finger of your dominant hand in the water, and draw a spiral on your forehead, spiraling in and in and in and ending directly in the middle of your forehead. Feel the water open the eye of the spirit, and know you can look into the now dark water and see the visions there.
Begin the scrying with these words:
Here the snow of winter past
Here the spring that’s come at last
Here the things that went before
Here the things things I have in store.
First, scry for answers to things you wish to know more about from the past few months. You will sense it when the visions stop coming; touch the surface of the water to disrupt the patterns. Rest, take a drink of water or wine, and write down what you have seen. Look again on the water at your own reflection, be present in the here and now. Take stock of yourself; find things to praise and enjoy in the face reflected in the water. Take another drink, and touch the surface of the water again. When the water stills, look to see what the bowl holds for you as visions of things to come. When you sense the flow of images or knowledge from the future slow and cease, touch the water to end the scrying.
Re-light the candle, and write down what you have seen.
Pour the water in the bowl at the base of a tree or over a large stone, and feel the magic dissipate. Release the circle if you have cast one.
[Amathaon, Imbolc 2019]