The second half of Winter has begun. Imbolc on Feb 1st is the turning point, the magical moment where the Goddess drops her Grandmother Crone aspect and becomes again the Maiden, symbolising the potent energy growing in the land as Nature prepares to spring back into life from her dormant period..
Winter is the Earth season. It is when we are asked by nature to slow down, to turn within, to reflect and to recharge. During the Winter we probably need to take some time off from other people, from duties and work, and allow our own inner processes some time to move. If we don’t do this willingly, colds and flu come along to push us into this state of inner focus. Then Imbolc arrives and gives us a magical moment to stick our heads out of our caves, connect with other people and review our intentions for the coming year.
IMBOLC is the festival that attunes us to the coming spring – it is the time of promise, potential and transformation of what no longer serves us. It is the moment to poke our noses out from our winter slumber and allow the powers of our imagination and intuition to bubble up, revealing to us new visions of what we can manifest in our lives and for the world.
At winter solstice we lit candles to assure ourselves that, although currently at the darkest point of the annual cycle, the light would return. Now at Imbolc it is time to look inside to see what that light is bringing to us and burn more candles to illuminate the way out of darkness, to prepare ourselves inwardly for the changes coming our way, for the more outward focus of Spring and Summer.
Imbolc is about emerging from the inner realms, invoking our vitality, potency and creativity. It is about reclaiming what has been forgotten and calling upon the life force to make us strong, to empower us and our visions for the year ahead.
Perhaps we have old outdated beliefs, habits, fears that will not serve us during this time of planetary transformation and growth. At Imbolc these can be ritually released, burnt away in the candle flames, or in a ritual fire. This is a time to cleanse, purify and renew. Visiting wells and springs can help this process enormously, for this is the festival of the Maiden Goddess, often known as Brigit (ancient Celtic deity associated with intuition, inspiration, divination; the preserver of tradition through poetry and song), to whom they are sacred. This is time to share the visions rising from our subconscious in music and verse, to bring out the tarot cards and other forms of divination, and allow the rising feminine energy to lead us, allowing the forceful rational mind to take a back seat so that our intuition and imagination can blossom, as the trees and spring bulbs are starting to do.
Here we can see why it was worthwhile to surrender to winter, to accept the dark journey of the past weeks, for we are already at the time of promise, when spring comes into sight and we can emerge with new energy, new ideas, new strengths from our inner time. The deeper we can go into our ‘darkness’, our ‘stuff’ during winter, the higher we will fly when the warm seasons return. Having accepted winter there is now much to gain from looking forward to spring.
This is a time of initiation and healing – to go within to meditate and bring out our inspirations, go outside and feel the emerging life force, commune with the nature spirits, feel the spark of promise in the air.
Taking time to retreat and give attention to the inner self, listening, feeling and if necessary healing what we find there, we can offer all we find into the earth, to the goddess, following the course of nature’s flow. All our darkness, depression, fears and hurts we can offer to her, she wants them, she devours them: clearing our energy field for us as we prepare ourselves to receive the rising fire spirit of the Maiden, Brigit, at Imbolc, Festival of Awakening.
Sickness is often the way that nature gets us to stop and take some winter down time as modern life tends to demand that we continue to operate at full capacity despite the season.
But in 2021 life is not running as it normally does – the mass of the population are being forced by a virus, by Mother Nature, to take a long winter retreat from the usual pace of life.
Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius, which many people will blame for all kinds of mishaps, and if we believe the hype we might expect to have a hard time understanding each other right through to February 21st . But retrogrades are more interesting affairs than that. Mercury is quite happy in Aquarius and is forcing us to reflect on how far our beliefs and attitudes to life have evolved in recent years, to ask – do those beliefs serve us?
The spread of fear, paranoia, conspiratorial visions during the Covid-19 pandemic is like nothing before, and it is driving some to the edge of breakdown. But whether we go over the edge or not the lesson to be ultimately grasped here is that our thoughts and beliefs don’t ever fully, accurately, describe reality – but they do create our experience of it. This is why it matters what we think, and why meditation is such a vital tool to help us build mental muscle. To be free of stress is actually to have the strength of mind to choose one thought over another.
Mercury retrograde is taking us into the expanded mind space, the broadened perspectives that Aquarius offers and helps us to find new points of acceptance and understanding about our lives, to open up to a better understanding of how our mental energies feed into the spirit and trigger feelings in our emotional bodies, which ultimately manifest in physical form.
Imbolc is the stepping stone, it’s when we see what we have achieved on our winter inner journey and take a look at the long road ahead of us.
Imbolc is also a time of stillness, when winter still grips the land and nature is dormant, waiting to burst into life when the temperature rises. If we step outside the relentless pace of civllisation for a while, or even just for a moment, and be like nature – in stillness, in potential, full of promise waiting to burst into flowers – we come into alignment with the natural flow of life, recharge our souls and invoke well-being. We awaken the light of Brigit within, ready to grow through the seasons ahead.
This is time to dream of our potential. There has been a change of frequency since the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn at the 2020 winter solstice, the energies of the fifth dimension are open and present, though we may not be tuning into them. When life starts to open up, offering opportunities and ecstasies, new and inspired, we are touching the fifth dimension. The links between spirit and matter are becoming stronger, clearer, brighter – and we are getting ready, as a species, to manifest the true transformatory vibration of supernatural love on planet Earth.
Humanity’s obsessions with religion, money, politics, conflicts are all illusions keeping us asleep to the miracle of Creation. We are in fact the manifestation of Infinitely Compassionate Universal Love Consciousness – a reality that takes a little getting used to sometimes. Tuning into the sacred cycles of life reminds us who we are.
If we are working on ourselves, embracing the soul within and the unity of life, the planet’s seasonal turning points become moments to relax and breathe, get perspective and reaffirm our place in the whole. For people resistant to the reality and flow of Spirit in their lives, who insist on clinging to the materialist paradigm of separation, lack and fear, life on earth will not get easier. We exist in a magical universe where the beliefs in our minds attract experiences that confirm those beliefs.
To really break free of the cycle of collective and individual suffering and confusion we need to make a simple magical act – affirm our unity with all creation, then continue to affirm it at every seasonal festival, every dark moon and full moon, and indeed, every moment we are awake and aware, until it is a natural state of being within us. It’s not that all issues and challenges will then fade away, but their power over us will wane as we become conscious co-creators with the powers of the universe open and flowing within us.
These human bodies are miracles of creation. Within these frail forms exists the infinite strength and light of the divine source, compacted into bodies and here to have fun, to know love, to make mistakes, burn, dive and rise again – until we are one day transfigured by life’s thrills and spills and know ourselves as divine souls on an eternal quest. In the game of life, there is everything to play for.
Our lives intertwine, the divine dance of Creation happens through our individual and collective experiences. We can let go of the fear and fall back into the soft downy feathers of the swan spirit, Brigit’s totem, coming to us at Imbolc, insisting gently but firmly that we bring more gentleness into the world, more compassion, and more hope.
Happy Imbolc to Everyone Everywhere.
May all Beings know Peace, Love and Happiness.