Imbolc – Seeds Are Stirring

At the beginning of February, we celebrate a strange and wonderful holiday known as Groundhog Day. We are told that if the prophetic groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, sees his shadow on this day and runs quickly back into his burrow, winter will last at least 6 more weeks.

The idea of waiting and watching for the first inkling of spring is not new. The ancient Celts celebrated Imbolc in early February long before Groundhog Day existed. Celtic stories tell us that the Cailleach—the divine hag Goddess who rules over winter and death—gathers firewood for the rest of the winter on Imbolc. If the Goddess Cailleach wishes to make the winter last a lot longer, she will make sure that the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. But, if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over.

The Cailleach was worshipped by the Celts as the sacred Earth Mother in her bare winter form. And she is not just a dark and evil hag who arbitrarily decides how long winter will be. The Cailleach is also the Bone Mother who collects the bones of the animals that die in the winter. The Bone Mother is said to sing or pray or sleep over the bones all winter long. She does this out of love, so that the animals will cross over and can return as new life in the spring.

There is a magic to Imbolc and the early days of February. It is there, running just beneath the surface. Can you feel it?

Mama Earth holds the seeds of spring safe for us all winter. As the cold wind blows and the snow piles up, she holds them safe in her soil.

The wheel of the year is slowly turning towards spring and new growth. And beneath the surface of Mama Earth, the seeds are beginning to quietly stir. Spring is stirring in the ground beneath our feet.

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Imbolc is traditionally celebrated at the halfway point between winter solstice and  spring equinox.  In 2020, this halfway point falls on February 4.

Light a candle or two tonight, and offer up a simple prayer of gratitude in honor of Mama Earth and the return of spring.

Virgo Full Moon

Life may seem a bit wild and surreal right now. But the full Moon is with Virgo, the earth priestess. Virgo reminds us that honoring earth through ritual can bring us back down to ground.

Connect with this beautiful planet through a simple prayer, song, chant, offering, meditation or movement now. Find anchor in the storm.

#ReconnectwithMamaEarth

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Photo by Ruthie Martin on Unsplash

The Equinox has Arrived

Today marks the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere and spring equinox in the south. The equinox marks a time of transition as we move from one season to the next.

This morning our Sun rose directly in the east and tonight it will set due west.  Day and night approach equal length at the equinox as well. This is a time of natural balance.

Take a moment to pause and honor Mother Earth and Father Sky for their sacred dance of light and dark, autumn and spring, yin and yang.  Light a candle in the dark and express your gratitude for the abundance of our sacred planet. Bless the energy of life that pulses both without and within you.

“…Wherever we find ourselves on the spectrum, it is the time of balancing the dark and the light. In the Northern hemisphere, as the days get shorter and the outer light recedes, we move inward to kindle our inner light. In the Southern Hemisphere, as the days grow longer, we we move our way back into the world and bring out our inner light to share with the world.

Everything in nature is constantly giving and receiving. This balance is essential, and it is part of the expressive energies of yin and yang that we are re-balancing as a collective…”

Excerpt from Mysticmamma

Celebrate Harvest

The Corn Harvest by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Now is the time of first harvest in the Northern Hemisphere. Traditionally, our ancestors held festivals at this time of year to celebrate the bounty that Mother Earth and Father Sun create.

Take a few moments to pause and take stock of everything you have accomplished and “harvested” in your life this year. Offer thanks to our Earth and Sun for the life they offer us all.

Celt Mara Freeman shares insights about harvest time below:

It’s high summer – time to celebrate the old Celtic festival known as Lughnasadh in Ireland and Lammas in Britain – the traditional time of pilgrimage in the northern Celtic lands where for centuries people have rejoiced in the endless light-filled days by climbing sacred hills, drinking at holy wells, or voyaging to green islands set like jewels in a sunlit sea.

As we pause in our labours, celebrate the warm weather and enjoy the fruits of our daily work, we have an opportunity to take stock of what the seasons so far have yielded: to reflect upon our hopes and dreams that were sown in the dawn of the year, came to life in the springtime, and are now maybe ready to bear fruit. On the spiritual level, we can ask ourselves what wisdom we have garnered so far this year: What will be the harvest of our souls?

For as the wheel turns, the life-giving triumph of the harvest must give way to death, reminding us that nothing stands still, and that on the human level, for whatever is gained in our lives, there must be an equal giving-away, a sacrifice, so that cosmic balance and order can be maintained. 

~Mara Freeman, Chalice Centre

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And The Shamanic Astrology Mystery School shares details about the astronomical and astrological significance of early August:

Lughnassadh  (pronounced Loo-nuh-suh) refers to harvest and victory and is usually celebrated on August 1 or 2 but the actual zodiacal cross-quarter is August 7 when the Sun reaches 15 Leo.

In 2018 on August 7 the Sun is within a couple of degrees of Retrograde Mercury at 17 Leo adding to this unusual Cross-Quarter Time.

The August Cross-Quarter marks the half-way point between the June Solstice and the September Equinox – an in-between time for gaining insight and/or inspiration. Said another way this is excellent time for divination, meditation, journeying and connecting with other forms of guidance.

~Cayelin Castell, Shamanic AstrologyMystery School

Happy Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
Our Sun is at its furthest north position in the sky
and that means long luscious days filled with light. Enjoy!

Pause and take a few moments to honor the Sun, bringer of light and life.

#solstice

Celebrate Life

Today is Beltane in the northern hemisphere.  Celebrate the dance of Life!

All around us, yin and yang, male and female dance and merge to create the new life that is springing forth all around us.

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#NaturalMagic

Spring!

 

Yahoo!
The equinox today signals the start of spring in the northern hemisphere!

Please join us in celebrating this seasonal turning toward life and new growth. Pause and express your gratitude to Mother Nature for the return of spring.

#HappySpring
#NewGrowth

Imbolc 2018

Blessed Imbolc has arrived!

Imbolc actually means “in the belly”.  It refers to an ancient Celtic celebration that was held in the early days of February. This is the time in the northern hemisphere when ewe bellies are fattening with the new life growing within. We are halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox. The wheel of the year has officially turned toward spring!

For more information, please check out Nancy’s 2017 article on Imbolc:

Turning Towards Spring