Today marks the pagan festival of Imbolc, The snow has mostly cleared and the first shoots of new growth is breaking through the ground, the sun shines down through frosty branches and we gather in the woods to celebrate the end of winter. The Goddess Bridgid/Bride/Brighit is a blacksmith, a midwife, a healer and poet and a young, maiden Goddess of light and laughter and joy. Today we honour Her as the Calleach of winter returns to her cave and the new Goddess springs forth to bring light as Bridgid, Candles are lit, incense burns and we cleanse ourselves, our temples, our working tools, brushing away the staleness of dark nights and making room for fresh, bright new things in our lives. This is done on a spiritual and physical level – aura cleansing and hoovering, smudging the house and getting out the dusters, the mops and cleaning out the cupboards. A real spring clean of mind, body and soul helps us feel fresh and ready to move on and plan for the year ahead.
Imbolc is not a time to reflect on what we are giving up or getting rid of, rather it is a time to set plans into motion, to take action, to move forwards in our lives. What do you want to achieve this year? More importantly, what action can you take right now to move toward your goals? Imbolc reminds me always that despite the hard winter, there is new life waiting… I have had some hard times over the last year but a good deal of happiness too – what do I want to achieve to make this year even better? What actions can I take now, today, to make sure that it happens?
Imbolc is a re-awakening of life after a dormant period – we are re-born as is the earth. In being re-born we are reminded that every single day is a new day, a new dawn. How do I want that day to look?
Today I am setting up my Labyrinth in sherwood forest with tiny dolls I made to represent Bridgid and I will light incense and invite others to join with me, to walk the labyrinth with these themes in mind. There is a fierce wind blowing and I know that many people are unfortunately fair-weather pagans so I don’t expect a huge turn-out but even if I am there alone, I will be joined by the elements. The sun will shine on me, blessing my desires with the passion of fire, the earth beneath my feet will give solidity and a place to stand as I move onward, the water in the air or rain will lend itself to balanced emotions on the path and the wind in my hair will blow with creativity and clear communication – the essence of spirit will surround me, the spirit of the woodlands, the spirit of the springtime and the spirit of the Goddess of the bright new dawn.
Brightest blessings for Imbolc.