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Archive for January, 2016

Imbolc is fast approaching and I find myself without an organized idea of what I want to do. I do, however, feel like I have a slightly deeper understanding of what this sabbat means to me. Yesterday I had the realization that it was still light out at 5:30 in the evening. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you live in a place with deep, powerful winters, the psychological boost of seeing light at 5:30 in the evening is immeasurable.

This realization led me to another: this is what Imbolc is all about. In the past, Imbolc has been sort of a confusing holiday for me, especially because in February in Michigan, we are still usually deep in the throes of winter. If you pay attention to the world around you, however, you see that this is also the time that the days are finally noticeably longer and we can see and feel that we’re just starting to come out of the dark sleep of winter.

This is what Imbolc is for me. It’s a gentle awakening from the hibernation of winter. We open our eyes and stretch sleepily as we blink into the gradually increasing light. The deep, inward dreams of winter begin to fade as we start to look outward again, ready to begin anew.

What are we ‘beginning?’ Well, anything, really. Perhaps we’ve learned something during our introspective winter and with the return of the light, we can begin the work that goes along with that learning. Maybe we simply find ourselves with a stirring of energy that we can now start to stoke and work into a blazing fire of activity. Whatever it is for you, now is the time to reflect on it and begin to, well, begin.

This can also be a good time for a bit of ‘spring cleaning.’ Even though it may still be cold where you are, consider opening your windows just a crack (if you’re sure they won’t freeze open, that is) for 15 minutes or so just to let some fresh air sweep through. While you do that, do some general spring cleaning activities or even simply decluttering. Add to this a house cleansing and already you can feel the energies in your house change. Vitality will stir, ready to be stoked by you.

I’m looking forward to Imbolc and just the act of writing this post has given me ideas for what I’d like to do. I think I will turn on all the lights in my house as well as light a few candles to symbolize and welcome the returning light. I’ll spend some time meditating on the deep of winter and visualize the gradual return of the light as I feel the spark inside me stir. I, personally, don’t see this as a ‘return’ of the Goddess, but more as a changing. She is always with us, regardless of season, She simply changes form. From an introspective Goddess, guiding us through the dark and teaching us about ourselves, She now gradually guides us towards becoming more active, towards using the knowledge and energy we’ve stored up during the winter. She guides us to starting anew. I think I’ll also start some seeds for my garden. Just the thought of doing that makes me smile.

What are your favorite ways of celebrating Imbolc? What does Imbolc mean to you?

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I found both of these info graphics on the internet and thought I would share them with you. They’re a handy little reference for dates. I’m in the Northern hemisphere and I have February 2nd for Imbolc, though. Looks like it’s probably correct for Lammas in the Southern hemisphere.

 

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