For Christmas this year, my dear friend Tara gave me a copy of the We’Moon Calendar. It is a treasure trove of astrology and mythology, prayers and incantations, seasons and cycles, poetry, art and…so much more! Its daily calendar includes astrological notations and seasonal celebrations, like the solstices and eclipses.
Today, for example, is the seasonal celebration of Imbolc—marking the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It may not feel like it outside today, but we are half way to spring. Imbolc is a time to rejoice in the return of light and the possibilities of the new season, said to be heralded by the goddess Brighid.
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Mighty Brighid, keeper of the flame, blazing in the darkness of winter. O goddess, we honor you, bringer of light, healer, exalted one. Bless us now, hearth mother, that we may be as fruitful as the soil itself, and our lives abundant and fertile. Bride of the Earth, sister of the faeries, daughter of the Tuatha de Danaan, keeper of the eternal flame. In autumn, the nights began to lengthen, and the days grew shorter, as the Earth went to sleep. Now, Brighid stokes her fire, burning flames in the hearth, bringing light back to us once more. Winter is brief, but life is forever. Brighid makes it so.
— Attributed to Patti Wigington
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For Imbolc, traditional activities include lighting candles to represent the returning light of the sun, wandering in the winter woods to look for signs of spring, hanging pieces of white fabric to garner Brighid’s blessings, or placing a broom at the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming in the new.
What I appreciate most about these celebrations—these rituals of acknowledgement—is that they note a time for us to pause. Like all great Sabbaths, they ask that we stop our busy ways, reflect for a moment, honor that which is greater and be grateful in its presence.
I am especially fond of Brighid’s connection to this celebration. A patron goddess of poetry and creativity, her presence is most welcome during this long Northeast winter. As cabin fever sets in, so too do the gremlins of Unfocus, Unmotivated, and Angst—none of which are conducive to poetry and creativity!
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“Great Brigit, I know that you hear me the moment that I think of you. I ask for your presence and assistance. Please lend me your courage and power that I may rise to the level of my highest capabilities. Please warm my heart and mind with your brightness, and burn away any thoughts, feelings, or behaviours that stand in the way of my Divine potential. Help me to have the courage to be my very best, and to lose all fear of being powerful.”
— Doreen Virtue, Archangels and Ascended Masters
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Today, may you find peace in knowing that this wicked weather will pass, welcome in new light and possibilities, and consider how you can sow and nurture your divine potential in the fertile season ahead! Joyful Imbolc!
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Above: Blessings of Brighid at Imbolc, ©2011, Jen Payne.
• Click here to purchase a copy of Archangels and Ascended Masters by Doreen Virtue.