The name of the holiday is Imbolc. Oh, you forgot there was a holiday coming up? We often do. I notice mostly that those of us in the colder zones of the
country tend to let this one pass right over. We are all too busy staying warm, cursing subzero, etc. This year, don't let it go by without at least a nod to the little holiday that reminds us we can indeed tough it out for just a little while longer.
Imbolc's roots are based around those very first signs that winter's hold is getting ever so slightly less tight
on the world. You would not know that here right now as the last few days have seen single digits and the nights have dipped to below the big O on the dial. Our water froze two nights ago. A problem we did not deal with even one time last winter if that tells you anything about the difference from year to year.
What can we do to give simple thanks to the constant changing of the seasons and the subtle shift in our lives even if it is mostly not noticeable? Well, if you feel like getting out there you could take a walk. Maybe after work if you are on a day shift sort of schedule because you will note that the days are just ever so slightly longer now and you'll still be able to get out there and enjoy some light. You could look for other tiny signs of the coming thaw and just acknowledge them. You could plant seeds indoors for herbs later. You'll nurture those seeds just like the sun will begin to nurture the earth soon. You could bake bread and think upon the harvests that you'll have in the coming seasons. You could light a candle, say a prayer for those
that are living in the harshness of winter's chill. You could build a fire and meditate on what you have accomplished so far this dark season. You could take that day to further work on whatever you are focusing on this season. It is still the time of inner work afterall.
There are lots of things you can do even if you are not into a full out ritual celebration. Be creative. Write some poetry - it doesn't have to be good! Feed wildlife on that walk if you take it. Make your pets something special and bless them for the coming spring. Sit down and come up with your goals for the season to come. Write them down and put them somewhere until the Spring Equinox. Bless them so that they will grow in your mind and heart and plan to read them on Ostara and begin your outer season work.
So, now you have over a week (as I am posting this on January 23rd) to think about NOT forgetting Imbolc this year! Good blessings to you and stay warm.
If you visit me here once in awhile you might notice that this site has changed. I am in the process of rebuilding, or at least redecorating, my cyber parlor.
Why? Because it was time. I will be building this bit by bit so there isn't much here now but be patient... ;)
It is the beginning and the end of the year for me and I am feeling pretty run down and also a little off kilter. I can't say I am having a crisis of faith. It isn't that profound. I have been, however, having a mild identity illness I guess you could say.
I have been feeling rather uninspired and overwhelmed by things I should not be overwhelmed by. I haven't felt much like blogging. I haven't felt at all like podcasting. So, I haven't really done either of those things. I have an entire three years worth of blogs I will try to get somehow transfered to my new "house" but I can't even promise that will be anytime soon. Sometimes life catches you. Sometimes it makes you let go.
I have accomplished many things this year. Most of them matter in the long run, some of them might and others probably don't. Time to sort them out I guess.
Today is Samhain. We are in the aftermath of a helluva storm on the east coast and although my particular area was not hit very hard, both north and south of us was. Sam's mom is staying with us, as she lost power on Monday with an expectation of it not being back on until next week. My Samhain became low-key very quickly, which is fine with me. More and more I realize that my spiritual life is so wrapped up within my mundane life. I have simple ways and practices that fly completely under the radar of the world.
Tonight my ritual was to light my jacko, pour wine and peel poms while listening to a ritual playlist, humming along in the kitchen while Sam and his mom looked at pictures in the other room. I blessed my animals, took the dog with me and made my way outside - spread pom seeds for the faeries and our gnome. Took the faery garden summer wind chime down, carried it with me to the woods and threw offerings for the deer, gave the fish bread. Came back inside, took pom seeds and wine to my pet alter, blessed them and looked upon all the animals that I have loved. Drank to them.
All this without pomp and circumstance. All very very personal.
Bells and whistles are wonderful. They just are not, nine times out of ten, me.
So, however you are celebrating. Blessed Samhain to you and happy Halloween to all. :)