Imbolc

I hereby declare January a write off.

I also hereby declare that from now on I’m not even going to consider January a suitable time to start anything, launch anything, set myself up for anything because I am finally getting it into my thick 21st century mind/body that Spring doesn’t start till February.

And Spring is when the energy kicks back in after the long dark months of winter. Those six darkest weeks of year from the winter solstice to Imbolc – the ancient Celtic announcement of Spring – are the toughest part of the year and not the time to try and burst out of the ground and flourish. When the inevitable blast of new year cold weather hits, any wee flower attempting to grow is going to get pummelled.

IMG_0203It’s been an incremental thing but my exploration of the Celtic calendar, with its clearly delineated and defined feminine and masculine energies throughout the year, is finally beginning to make sense. My body naturally wants to follow the rhythm of the seasons and though there’s a natural impatience and desire to get the new year off to a bang after Christmas, it inevitably ends up being more of a whimper.

In the Celtic tradition, the year begins in the dark, in November with the festival of Samhain, a wild letting go of all that the previous year was and a welcoming of the dark. Dolores Whelan in her beautiful book Ever Ancient Ever Knew – Celtic Spirituality for the 21st century talks about the year being divided into two; giamos relating to darkness and winter and the feminine and samos relating to light and summer and the masculine.

During the giamos time, the non-doing mode of being and the qualities of receptivity and non-linear time are valued. Here, the slow, non-rational intuitive ways are dominant.

Now why on earth didn’t I read this six weeks ago, enjoy Christmas and let the dark days roll till now? Why didn’t I just relish the little hope of extra light in the evenings, pushing the dark back ever so slightly and hinting at change? Well, the body has a deeper knowing and mine allowed itself to get knocked sideways with a bug that flattened my energy and nobbled my productivity for the guts of January. Our whole family have been battling germs and viruses and we are all ready now for the sun to come once again and blast the bugs to kingdom come.

The first of February is St. Brigid’s day. In archetypal language, Brigid is the Maiden, the symbol of youth, rebirth and healing. She emerges from the Cailleach or Crone as a sign of fertility and raw life force. Her pre-Christian origins have her as a Goddess and some say that she has only been appropriated into the Christian tradition in an attempt to win converts.

Whatever her origins, she is a useful herald for the beginning of spring, a potent sign that a new time of creativity and energy has arrived. Now is the time to ask what creativity bud is wanting to flower, what spark of an idea is wanting to burst forth? Now is the time to build, trusting that light and warmth will return in abundance and the sun will shine again.

February’s theme is all about women rising to co-incide with the One Billion Rising Campaign and in the coming weeks I’ll be exploring some themes around the current rise in feminine energy we’re seeing lately. I’ll also have some announcements to make so to be the first to hear, sign up for my newsletter. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Strut and Bellow podcast on iTunes where you can find conversations with inspiring women who make. 

 

 

 

 

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