Many many years ago I bought a little paperback booklet called The British Medicine Wheel – a map to wholeness, written by Susan Garlick.
This little book is jammed packed with information of the 8 festivals, (the Celtic Medicine Wheel) history and more. It has been my companion for more years than I can remember.
It is this I often dip in and out of when working with the Wheel of the Year.
Did you know Imbolc has a few variations in name? It is also known as Candlemas and Imbole to name a couple and is the first fire festival of the year.
Here we once more we witness the turning of the wheel, as we move from the depths of winter into the first signs spring, the days slowly, slowly drawing out, snowdrops bravely waving their tiny heads above frozen or sodden soil.
My garden is gradually returning to life, the daffy dillies are bravely poking their heads above the cold and wet winter soil, some of the shrubs and fruit trees are forming tiny buds, the promise of the crop to come, as we switch from time of the Crone (Kerridwen the goddess who oversees the winter months from Yule), to welcoming the maiden Brigid back with the returning of the sun, as she begins to don her cloak of greenery at Imbolc.
Imbolc actually means ‘ewe’s milk’ and comes as the first lambs and calves are born, so life is returning once more to the land.
It never ceases to amaze me how such beauty can come from such darkness, yet it makes sense if you stop to think about it.
We are born from the darkness of our mothers wombs, and life is returning all around us from the darkness of Mother Earth’s womb too. Imbolc brings with it the promise of new life in so many aspects of our world.
It is also a time of inspiration, aspiration, intention setting and joy. The heavy drudge of winter is unhurriedly (I wish it would hurry!) fading away, and I personally look forward to the longer lighter days.
Take some time to celebrate Imbolc, lay your plans, hopes dreams and inspirations for the future.
Some years ago when my some was still at school, we all write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year. We took some time to think about what we wanted to achieve and to create, making space for thoughts to form, to feel what was right for each of us, and once we were done, we took them out across the fields as the light was fading and buried them in ground under the roots of an old oak tree.
What will you do for you this Imbolc?
I will continue my journey of walking the wheel of the year and the labyrinth with the anticipation of the insights to be gained once more.
Wishing you a peaceful and inspirational Imbolc
With love and blessings