~ Blessed Imbolc ~



Imbolc is the first Celtic holiday of this new year. The solar fire began to grow during the winter solstice. Located halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, Imbolc means "lustration", "goat's milk" and "purification". It is the time of the year when lambs are born and when the production of goat's milk announces life in the depths of winter. The ice begins to melt, and the wildlife comes back to life, after sleeping all winter. This first great feast of the year corresponds to the awakening of nature, to a celebration of light, of fertility and is a purification. The development of plans, the maturation of ideas has been accomplished in the previous months, it is now time to purify the space in which they will be able to grow and mature. In the Christian calendar, Imbolc is replaced by Candlemas, which takes place on February 2, when it is customary to light candles in churches. Candles are dedicated to Candlemas, which will be used throughout the year for the purpose of purification. Candles are the instruments of the fire element, of the most powerful transmutation. Fire symbolizes our own illumination and inspiration, it brings light and warmth. In Scotland, the old winter woman Cailleach is reborn as a bride, spring maid, still fragile, but will be stronger each day as the sun rekindles her fire. It is she who will bring abundance where there is scarcity. Traditionally, Imbolc celebrates Brigit, the ancient fire goddess worshiped at the dawn of time around the British Isles and in Europe. At this time of year the days start to get a little longer and the spirit of community returns, Brigit brings back the sun, music, poetry, beauty, the art of healing with plants and the Arts and crafts. Imbolc invites itself into the first rays of the rising sun and illuminates the dark days of winter, anticipating the imminent arrival of spring. Brigit sucks the breath of life into winter's mouth to add it to die. The flowers related to this goddess are daffodils (like Persephone). Snow-persians, crocuses and primroses start to appear around this time of year. Traditionally, pancakes are cooked whose shape and color symbolize the solar disk. Happy Imbolc to all!

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