Updated: Feb 2
Traditionally celebrated on February 2nd, Imbolc's astrological date is the halfway point between the Winter Solstice just gone by and the Vernal Equinox just ahead, when the sun reaches 9º Aquarius. That falls on February 4th this year.
We are right in the middle of our journey toward spring! We are passing through the deepest part of winter here where I live, in the northeastern U.S. But the worst is behind us. Okay, we have a huge snowstorm brewing this week, but still...we've crossed the fulcrum point and the momentum is now pushing toward spring.
This holiday, Sacred to the Celtic Goddess of the Forge, Brigid, always coincides with my creative fires blazing higher. Each year, it seems, February finds me working on a dozen passion projects, jumping from one to another as my heart and bank account decree.
This year is no different.
Everything in me feels things are changing for the better for the world as a whole. I feel intuitively we are approaching the proverbial light at the end of this long, long tunnel we've all gone through in 2020 and 2021. I really believe 2022 is the year of the recovery. This is a year we will celebrate!
I feel all of us match this Imbolc energy. We're passing the balance point, and the teeter is tottering toward spring, toward healing, toward improvement, toward the next evolution of humanity, the new and improved normal that all this has been pushing us toward.
Are powerful at Imbolc. The whole Groundhog predicting spring bit goes way back to ancient times, when mystics and wise ones used the behavior of wildlife to predict the weather ahead.
I start watching for signs of spring from Imbolc on, and I see them and interpret them just like my ancestors did. Don't we all notice the ratio of black to orange on wooly bear caterpillars in the fall? Don't we all mark the date we see our first robin in the spring? I know I'm not the only one.
The first sign of spring for me, where I live, will be the enthusiastic, if non-melodic, cries of a redwing blackbird in a treetop. I know which specific treetop, that's how closely I watch nature around here. My first blackbird of the year is always in the same tree.
Imbolc rituals involve candles. Lots of candles, lots of red and gold. It's a fire festival. Brigid was depicted as wearing a crown of lit candles. Rituals that include the firing up of the creative forge within, connecting with our muses and empowering the flow of inspiration from them, offerings of thanks, requests for new growth, and divinations of the future are all powerful focuses of the energy at this time.
Magic designed to supercharge one's creativity is favored now, as are those who work with fire, welders, cooks, smiths and so on.
Legends say this is the time when the Goddess leaves the Underworld where she spent the winter. The earliest flowers of spring are evidence that the Goddess once again walks the earth, which blossoms in her footsteps.
Magical (and mundane) spring cleaning is done now. The old stale energy must be replaced with the fresh energy of the new year. We empower and enchant our freshly cleaned homes, opening doors and windows to welcome the fiery goddesses of creation and new growth.
We waft sage and rosemary smoke through our homes, cleansing them spiritually after we've shined them up physically. We waft it over ourselves, too, and do other rites of self-purification. And we burn candles scented with cinnamon and spice, fiery scents.
For me it's about clearing the old and welcoming the new. More than welcoming it. Basking in it.
The time for introspection, for mulling on the year gone by and processing its experiences, has passed. This is the end of all that. It's time now to begin the new. Time to start that new project, plant that new seed, take that first step forward. It's time for action. It's time to begin stepping into the lives we want to live this year. Time to become the new and improved versions of ourselves.