Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Imbolc, the festival of lights

My friends today we celebrate Imbolc, the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere! Also known as "The Festival of Lights", fire, initiation and purification are an important aspect of this festival. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the sun over the coming months.This is a time to call in the light, think about which seeds to plant, and the welcome of new ideas. A time when the earth and many of her creatures experience quickening - the knowing that we stir with new life!

This day in some traditions is known as the Festival of Bridgit . Bridgit is the Celtic goddess of poetry and healing. As both a goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames and healing. If you are interested in this fascinating Celtic Goddess look here.

"Imbolc is a word believed to be derived from the Old Irish i mbolg which translates as 'In the belly' , referring to the pregnancy of Ewes - an event which coincided with the onset of spring. Initially celebrated on February 1st, the festival of Brigit represented the point in the Celtic year that divided winter in half; where the crone aspect of the cold months recedes heralding the return of the young spring maiden. The festival of Imbolc celebrates the increasing strength of the new God, still within his child form, and a return of the maiden aspect of the Goddess in the form of Brigit." by Lisabeth Cheever-Gessaman, Imbolc : The Festival of Brigit

Last year I began my Imbolc tradition by dedicating time to rummaging through all of my seeds, blessing them and then starting my garden plans. Tonight I plan to make a fire and bless my seeds and I encourage you to start your own imbolc ritual to celebrate.

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