Friday, February 02, 2007

Lovely Imbolc day

Ok, the temps are cold and getting colder, we expect snow every day for the foreseeable future, I still have the virus sapping my energy but I had a wonderfully pleasant morning.
-Oscar picked up my new microphone/headset on his way to work, so I will be able to begin recording for librivox.org tomorrow. Its one of the recording devices recommended by librivox, so it SHOULD work.
-Oscar has been with Comcast long enough that they had him pick a present from a catalog in thanks.. the new crockpot was delivered this morning.
-I had a lovely protein-rich meal of tilapia with a touch of butter, seasoned with dill, lemon and pepper.. yummm
-We had a mini concert of Brian Hefferan's ukulele music as Oscar prepared for work.. Lovely cheerful stuff.

The sun is shining, a few minutes at a time, but even such a small glimmer is a lovely way to celebrate Imbolc.
Imbolc is a Celtic term for a celebration midway between Winter Soltice and the Vernal Equinox; commonly one of the 8 Pagan quarters of the year. As with most Pagan concepts, you may get a slightly different association of meanings depending on which Pagan you talk to. For me, its associated with the first hint of spring, the stirrings of creativity, and the blessing of seeds. I often think on this day of what I want to 'grow' in my life this year, and what 'seeds' need to be chosen for this to come to fruition.
Another name some Pagans use for today is Candlemas. That term comes from Catholicism, established as the day upon which Mary was purified following the birth of Jesus (40 days after Christmas), and the day on which Roman Catholic Priests blessed candles for use in parish homes throughout the year.
I prefer Imbolc, as it seems to flow better with my feelings this time of year:
Below text quoted from wikipedia's reference on Imbolc:

Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish Calendar, celebrated either at the beginning of February or at the first local signs of Spring. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St. Brigid's Day. In Scotland the festival is also known as Latha Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Lá Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gwyl Ffraed.

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to Groundhog Day.

Thig an nathair as an toll
La donn Bride,
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an t-sneachd
Air leachd an lair.

"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."

Fire and purification are an important aspect of this festival. Brigid (also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brigit, Brìd) is the Goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.

(image from freefoto.com)

2 comments:

momtroll said...

Thank you for the information on Imbolc. I have celebrated Groundhog's Day with little ones for 30 years. Now I have more depth to that day. It is good to look forward to special days during the winter to get through the season.

Red Sock Mama said...

How appropriate that you should teach us about a special day just when I felt I had enough winter to last forever and a day. Now, knowing that we've reached the halfway point between Solstice and Equinox, it's doable!

Now...what do I want to grow this year?????

Peace,
Jan in PA