Imbolc- Time to make a wish

Happy Imbolc 2022

In recent years it may have been hard to feel we can really make a new start when everything has felt so uncertain. In fact, just today I saw an article where 2022 was captioned '2020: The Trilogy'. It made me laugh but it's easy to feel that weariness and that nothing can change. As if to conspire with these thoughts 'Groundhog Day 2022' popped up on my calendar for 2nd February.

Living by The Wheel of the Year and noticing small changes in nature is what, for me, helps with these feelings, especially in winter when days are dark and nights are long. If you look closely you can see that there are changes afoot in nature and these give us hope of better days to come. Imbolc- or Imbolg- literally means 'in the belly'. It is expectant, like the first stages of pregnancy. Maybe it's not yet fully visible. Out in the garden on Sunday, I did indeed start to notice a change in the air. There was a small white primrose hiding under the remains of last year's plants and as I cleared the space I could see the new bulbs, pushing up through the Earth. The first bulbs to show their flowers will most likely be the gentle snowdrops, reminding us that spring is just around the corner. Finding awe and wonder in nature and its power to regenerate it what I think keep us truly alive.

This is the time to make a wish- or perhaps a dedication. Traditionally this was also the time to spring clean the house and have a good clear out, symbolically letting go of the past that keeps us stuck, making room for new beginnings. This willingness to see the world differently and meet it with optimism seems so important today. Maybe you'll soon notice snowdrops finding their way out of the Earth or the new lambs in the fields and feel this too.

I love this time of year. It's the time when the Goddess in the form of Brigid, The Bride, is traditionally honoured. She's the goddess of fertility who brings us the promise of hope and all good things to come. When you see those snowdrops and young lambs skipping around it's easy to see why. She's also the goddess of the hearth, warmth, fire and sun. I read an article once about an old house in Ireland where they found more than one hundred small homemade crosses honouring Brigid, consistently through the generations. It made me smile.

When thinking about the Wheel of the Year, many people look to the Solstice but for me Imbolc is perhaps my favourite of all. Brigid brings renewal, healing, poetry and creativity (traditionally smithcraft). The Celtic people did not want to let go of her and so her worship was integrated into the early Christian church as St Bridget. She later becoming the patron saint of midwives and newborn babies. What gives us more hope than that?

Promise of renewal Of hidden potential Of earth awakening And life-force stirring Here is hope. Welcome The growth of returning light Witness Life's insatiable appetite for rebirth. Time to let go of past Look to future Make space for new beginnings Inwards and outwards In numerous ways. Spring clean the home Clearing the mind and heart Allow inspiration Begin a new cycle.

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