Hello my treasured friends,
The first two weeks of February are packed with ancient significance. There’s the Chinese New Year—five thousand years of tradition--this year on February 8th. So let us welcome in the year of the Red Monkey. Also, in the US most people think of February 2nd as Ground Hog day, the portent of how many more weeks of winter are in store. For those living in the Northeast and Midwest, there will be many prayers said to this little rodent to give them a sign of hope amidst all those snowstorms.
Another association we have in February is the day we celebrate romantic love, originally known as Sweetest Day. Long before we had something called Valentine’s Day, people celebrated "sweetest day" as a day for lovers to express their heartfelt wishes towards their beloved. This tradition is rooted in a very important fact of nature. It has always been a time when the birds choose their mates in preparation for spring chicks.
February 2nd is also one of the cross quarter days of the great Celtic Wheel of the Year. It is an ancient Celtic festival that was celebrated for millennia known as Imbolc, which means "in the belly." The signs of pregnant ewes meant lambs would be born in the spring. In the northern latitudes, people began to feel hope for new life even with a harsh winter still going strong. The ancient festival of Imbolc has a Celtic goddess associated with it known as Brigid (pronounced Bride or Breed). Before she was called St. Brigit, she was the Great Goddess of all the British Isles and known as a powerful triple goddess (maiden, mother, crone) who carries the Fire. At Imbolc Brigid is the spring maiden. The overarching meaning for Imbolc is hope for a new spark of life. In the early Christian tradition, it was renamed Candlemas since the churches were ablaze with lights.
In Shamanism, the fundamental tool of creation, whether for health and well-being, material abundance or loving relationships, is imagination. Whenever I think of the many times I heard the words, "it's just your imagination" I am saddened to think of how many of us shut it down. Imagination is the space of possibility and we now know that it is how we create what we desire, "every engagement can become a transformative moment and as we are transformed so we transform the world." (Armand Bytton)
For ourselves, as we feel the daylight begin to return to balance the dark; we may sense a glimmer of an idea, a new path, desire or project. Allow yourself to play with this creatively, perhaps by making a dream board or decorating an altar that expresses your desire. You may choose to honor this time with dancing, singing, and creating art. Tune in and feel the energy begin to stir. Imagine blowing on an ember and seeing it spark into flame. As you activate the image, it can lead you towards initiating plans to manifest your path or project in the following months. Even as you may cuddle up by a fireplace in the evening, let this image unfold as you watch the flames dance.
Happy Imbolc my friends.
Love and Blessings, Linda