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Imbolc /Lights (cont)Snowdrops

Traditional flowers here are snowdrops, set in swan vases (the bird is sacred to Isis) and sometimes, if they come through early enough, violet crocuses.  Meditation is often very fruitful on this day, introducing many images for dawning and rising light of one sort and another.

We also plant seeds on this day, and ask for blessings for their well-being and strength.  This usually necessitates me giving the airing cupboard a good turn-out, and getting rid of accumulated rubbish from the last year, so I have room for seed trays.  Mostly we tend to plant herbs here, since I have no heated greenhouse and they will usually thrive reasonably well on a window-sill until they are strong enough to be potted on and hardened off.   Oddly enough this is the only way I ever manage to grow parsley from seed, no matter how many other methods I try.  The same is true of coriander – and the basil and chervil tend to take off like rockets.  Later sowings rarely match them in pace of growth or abundance.

For me, this is an exciting celebration.  It welcomes the goddess into my life for the first time in the year, and I have an opportunity to affirm my dedication to Her.   I am writing this piece in the middle of January, and when I wander around in my (very chilly) garden right now, I can see the first shoots of spring bulbs, tiny little buds beginning to form.  The magnolia is throwing forth promises of abundant pinkish white cup-shaped blossoms very soon, and the weeds are picking up their devilish sprouting.   So far this has been a mild winter (I hope I didn’t just speak too soon there) and there have only been a couple of real frosts.  I can feel the land beginning to change its pulses of energy, as the Goddess lifts slowly out of her slumber; inside me eagerness and anticipation begin to build in expectation of our awakening and reunion.

This time of the year is the “quickening” – the moment where dormancy gives way to the very first stirrings of life.  It is a time to let go of what has hurt or harmed us, what freezes our souls, what brings us to inertia.  Instead now all is hope and belief in the future.  Life prepares, again, to explode into bright flashes of beauty: we are renewed and reinvigorated.   [More]

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