I don’t know if it is the fact that I am older or the fact that I am really working on grounding and becoming more connected to the Earth, but I FEEL the changes and intuit the meanings behind the holidays that are celebrated in the Pagan community.
For example, this year I allowed myself to somewhat hibernate during the winter. I didn’t have the same expectations for myself to always be doing and creating and moving forward. I took the time to just rest (mostly, if
an entrepreneur anyone with 3 kids and a dog can really rest).
It helped, too – at least it seemed to! I actually enjoyed going out with my boys in the cold. I dragged them around on their sleds and had a blast with them, watching them WHOOSH down the little hill at the edge of our village.
And I don’t know if it was my plans for a trip to Florida that made this winter somewhat tolerable for me. I have some sunshine to look forward to – warm days and beaches. That might have helped to buoy my mood.
Either way, I’ve felt a stirring in the last few days – a sense that I wanted to start DOing again. That I was done with BEing and with the rest. It was like I was ready to wake up after my winter slumber.
Then I read about Imbolc, which is today! Imbolc is a Gaelic/Celtic holiday dedicated to the Goddess Brigid and the return of the Sun. It’s midpoint in the Winter, which means that warm weather is on its way. (Read more about it here: Imbolc) It’s when the seeds start feeling a little bit like rousing from their slumber deep in the Earth. When the plants and trees start to get buds, when the tulips and schneeglocken start to blossom.
Basically put, Imbolc is “It is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and make way for Spring.” Gods and Goddesses know that I am ready for that!
As my practice and connection to the Earth is growing now, I am going to celebrate this holiday in a traditional way. I’ll get a red candle, a white candle, and an orange candle. I’ll adorn my altar in the appropriate colors (red, white, orange), and also put some white flowers out. I’ll use cinnamon and frankincense (rosemary and myrrh are also mentioned in the article and can be used), and I will get some freshly fallen snow to use in my ritual. I’ll give thanks for feeling good over this winter. I’ll give thanks for the freshly fallen snow, for the opportunity to rest and enjoy the winter with my children. I’ll ask for blessings of fertility and abundance in the coming year. I’ll thank the Gods and Goddesses for all that has been and all that will be. And I will deepen my bond with the energy of the Earth, the seasons, the Wheel of the Year.
Do you celebrate Imbolc? Feel free to share any rituals or even blog posts that you have written or read about the subject in the comments below!