I’m no expert on the Neo-pagan festivals, but over recent years I have found myself drawn to the natural seasonal cycle to which they relate. The solstices and equinoxes create four astronomical festivals and the other four find themselves pretty equal between. Which brings me to Imbolc, which traditionally is celebrated from the evening of 1st February to the evening of the 2nd. Although, astronomically speaking, it actually occurs about 3pm on 3rd February (GMT).
Imbolc1 is all about new beginnings after winter. Bulbs begin to sprout shoots, ice begins to melt and life, that has lain dormant through winter tentatively emerges. It is a metaphor that resonates more so this year with our world in the grips of the coronavirus.
- Life has been dormant beneath the ground and within bare branches.
- Life has been dormant while we endured lockdowns and loss.
Like the shoots budding on the trees and the snowdrops and bulbs thinking about breaking through the earth, there are hopes. We now have vaccines and better treatments for those who suffer are being developed.
Like a late winter storm or spring frost there may be further setbacks. Imbolc doesn’t say winter will not go without a few cries. Imbolc does say that spring is on the way. It is the herald of new life, new opportunities and new hope. That for me is a good feeling.
Imbolc blessings my friends, may you find hope in the lengthening days ahead.
1 This is only in the Northern Hemisphere. But each festival offers its positive outlook on things. Wherever you are, may you find hope for the future.
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