I love the sense of movement through the year as the earth turns and, in the Northern hemisphere, we begin to see the first signs of green returning. The trees are in bud and snowdrops are shouldering their way out of the ground.
Tomorrow, 2nd February, is Imbolc, one of the “cross-quarter” days in the Pagan and Celtic calendars, meaning it is midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
At this time it is said the Crone turns away and the triple Goddess shows us the face of the Maiden.
The day is also a celebration of Bride (pronounced Breed) or St Brigid, understood either as the Celtic Goddess of Smithcraft, or the Christian saint.
Christians celebrate the day as Candlemas, commemorating the ritual presentation of the baby Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. It is so-called because it is the day upon which candles are blessed for the year.
Tomorrow is a festival of light, symbolised by the colour white, and the lighting of candles, and quiet ceremonies at hidden sacred wells.
And now I have a feast of Imbolc treasures for you to explore:
Jan Richardson tells us of Brigid of Kildare, the saint
Judith Shaw at Feminism and Religion talks of Brigid in her Goddess aspect
Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts gives us a free mini-retreat in which she asks what is stirring in your belly at this time of change and growth.
How do you celebrate the changes of the year?
Photo credit: Richard Seely