Well I've now performed my second Imbolc ritual. I won't mention that they were 10 years apart ;) this years was much better than the last time I did it. If I remember correctly I felt very unsure of myself and what I was doing. Yesterday it felt right and everything went smoothly and I was really calm; I'm sure I felt a little apprehensive the first time and forgot to do a few steps. However I did feel that I was slight stiff and a little too concerned with getting the steps right, well no, that isn't right. A little too focused on the steps? I'm finding it a little difficult to articulate. But anyway it felt right and I was calm... just a little stiff. I guess the sabbats (and spell casting) will feel like that until the wordings come naturally from my own heart instead from someone else's. I suppose they'll feel more natural as I start to write my own like I did with my Yule celebration.
My Imbolc ritual was the first I've performed before sunrise. I definitely felt a difference between performing in the day and night. I didn't think it would be that different; it just felt so tranquil. There was no traffic -although I perform my rituals indoors when I practise in the morning I can still hear people going about their lives). It was just beautiful and I will definitely be setting my alarm and doing it again.
It makes me question how I'm going to go about celebrating Esbats. I know not everyone celebrates them every month but I want and intend to (although I haven't yet). I've not yet researched/learnt about the Esbats. I've just bought Moon Magic by D.J Conway which was recommended to me but I'm currently reading around four/five books (I'm using 2 to structure my leaning and the other 2 for different perspectives, and one which is usually focused on the subject I'm currently studying; it's actually not as confusing as it sounds!), so I haven't got to the Esbats yet. I know that I want them to be a simple celebration and that they'll have to be performed under the moonlight. For the moment in my mind I'm thinking that I'll do something around about midnight. Something simple. I may not even cast a circle but it will be outside. That's something I'm very sure about.