Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Brigid/Imbolc/Candlemas/Groundhog Day!

The maiden comes to bring us light,
The winter dies and all is bright,
The frozen ground shall disappear,
All shall sprout for Spring is near.

We are  still in the grip of winter yet we stand on the threshold of spring. The deepest darkness is past! 

I like to imagine Brigid the Bright stepping from Tír Tairngire , the Land of Promise, to light the darkness and set our thoughts and resolve towards spring.  In her hand is the white birch wand that brings the light of spring to the dark of winter. She invites us to stand with her on the threshold of what is and what is to be--between "now" and "know."  Are you and I ready to join her? 

Brigid is( among her many roles) patroness of the hearth, poets, smiths, craftspeople and healers. With an Irish chimney-sweep husband whose very job is  tending hearths (plus we heat our home by wood stoves so we really do gather round the hearth on cold nights!), a daughter who is both a blacksmith and sculptor (we have a forge complete with anvil in out garage), and multiple musicians and visual artists among our ranks, Brigid is our natural patroness. Of course,  Brigid informs and inspires  my artistic collaborations with my daughter Ellen and it's  no surprise that I named our publishing business Brigid's Hearth Press.

Falling on February second, the  cross-quarter and greater feast of Brigid/Imbolc is better know as Groundhog Day to most people. In fact, the  Puxatony Phil tradition of  weather divination is the part of the holiday that survives in secular society. Brigid was a significant turn of the Wheel for my Celtic ancestors. Usually translated as "in the belly," or "ewe's milk," for first lactation of pregnant ewes, Brigid is a time of first stirrings. 

The sun sets a little later each day, and spring bulbs begin to stir and reach for light; some brave, or foolish, green spears have already pierced the cold earth in my front garden.  

We too begin to stir out of winter's darkness and introspection  and carefully plan and foster new goals even as we plan spring gardens yet to be. 

It is our job to manifest our dreams as well our gardens in the months to come.

May we all find the gifts of firm resolve and true purpose as we foster our spiritual and mundane goals in this time of  first stirrings.