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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Imbolc
The Return of Spring and the Snows‘ Thaw

It’s Imbolc today, the traditional Celtic celebration associated with the warming of the climate and the onset of lambing season as well as the Celtic fire goddess Brigit. Seen by ancient Celts as the start of spring it occupies the midway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and is commonly associated with Groundhog Day, which traditionally takes place the day after.

For our annual megapost in celebration of Imbolc, we’ve gathered all of our content for Imbolc this year at PaganSquare as well as some links of interest from other sites. We wish you a merry Imbolc and hope the remaining days before the Equinox are warm for you and your families!

-Aryós Héngwis

EDIT: New posts made since yesterday evening have now been added to the list.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Early on Brigid's morn

Shall the Serpent come from the hole,

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Answering the Call

As the spring wakes us from our winter sleep, beneath the urge to wash away the lingering dregs of the previous year, I stronger call to give pulls me sideways.

I cannot shake the experience of the week past, when driving home from a friend's house at sunset, I encountered a detour two blocks from the turn I needed to make.  A firetruck blocked three lanes on a major road, and as I followed the other detoured vehicles I glimpsed the accident.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The 2nd of February is of course, the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which means 'in the belly' referring to the pregnant ewes giving birth at this time. One of its other names, Oimelc meaning 'ewes milk', also referring to the birth of the lambs, and the return of milk to the household. Sacred to the goddess Brighid, who became St Brigit with the coming of Christianity this time is known as   Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau in Wales, and more generally the Christian festival of Candlemass.  

Brighid may well have given her name to Britannia the sovereign goddess of Britain, but she is best known as a goddess of the hearth and home, as well as milking, midwifery, healing, smithcraft and poetry. Brighid is a fiery goddess, connected to the rising Kundalini in the earth at this time, bringing the spring. She is said in Scottish folklore to have to defeat the Cailleach or goddess of winter each year to bring life back to the land. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Bridey's Spring

Well, here it is, right on cue: Bridey's Spring. What cowans call the “January thaw.”

Winter started off gently—the lakes didn't ice over until well after Yule—but we did endure a foul run of sub-zero highs in mid-January, just to remind us who's boss.

Then, just as we prepare to light the untamed torches of Imbolc (or what novelist Richard Grant calls “the mannerly votives of Candlemas”), it might as well be spring. The air is moist and fragrant, and oh that delicious music of dripping water.

Like Indian Summer, Bridey's Spring has its own painful beauty, that fleeting Yukio Mishima poignancy of the necessarily ephemeral.

Winter will be back soon enough. There's plenty more ice and snow in store.

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What is an intention candle?

An intention candle is similar to a vision board in that you use collage as a way to visually communicate and affirm your ideas. It is different than a vision board in thatJanuary 2016 109 it is not specifically intended to manifest your vision, but instead to offer your purest intentions. Imbolc is a perfect time of year to create one, as we continue to incubate ideas in the deepness of winter, while beginning to prepare for the growth and change of spring.

An intention candle sets forth your intentions. How do you want to experience yourself? What do you want to offer to others? What do you want to share? How do you wish to move in the world? What do you want to celebrate? What do you want to share about yourself?

Each lighting of the candle throughout the year serves as a reaffirmation of your intentions. I use mine to focus and to create sacred space. Lighting it is my signal to myself that I am going to do focused, sacred, centered work.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Cracking Through the Ice

Several days ago, I had a lovely, lovely moment. Sitting in the arch of a big, picture window, I felt the rays of the sun as more than just a heatless hint of things to come. There was, for the first time, a weight to the rays’ touch and I felt the distinctive crack of the cold ice within - that first inkling that the thaw is on its way. Unsurprisingly, the next day brought plummeting temperatures along with re-found gloves and snow brushes for the car. But the tide had turned. Imbolc had reached out its delicate fingers to tickle 2016 for the first time and there is no pulling back from that.

 

As far as weather goes, it hasn’t been a bad winter. We’ve certainly had worse. The snow shovels, for the most part, have bided their time leaning up against the house and the dogs are sorely disappointed that they have not had the opportunity to carve racing tunnels in the snow with their chases. On other fronts, however, this winter has been the worst yet. We have said goodbye to far too many folks – both personally and globally. So many that, in truth, when the news was announced that Glenn Frey had died last week, my husband, a down-to-earth, practical, self-declared atheist, stopped in his tracks, raised his arms to the Heavens and declared “Enough already!”.  The all too frequent heart-stopping announcements were taking their toll. It may not have been too bad outside, but our insides were feeling quite numb.

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