Monday 1 February 2010
Today is Imbolc, one of the one of the four principal festivals of the Celtic calendar, celebrated among Gaelic peoples, other Celtic cultures, and nowadays by those of us with Wiccan beliefs. It marks the start of Spring – which I find quite amusing, as it snowed last night and right now it is seriously freezing cold outside! There’s an ancient tradition of watching the winter dens of badgers and snakes to see if the creatures venture outside – possibly related to the modern US tradition of “Groundhog Day”.
Imbolc is sacred to the Pagan goddess Brigid the Light Bringer. The early Christian church adopted the holiday as one of their own and renamed it “St Brigit’s Day”. Alexander Carmichael wrote of Brigid:
Bride with her white wand is said to breathe life into the mouth of the dead Winter and to bring him to open his eyes to the tears and the smiles, the sighs and the laughter of Spring. The venom of the cold is said to tremble for its safety on Bride’s Day, and to flee for its life on Patrick’s Day.
I wish all my readers a happy Imbolc! May your Spring be soon, and your year fruitful! Blessed Be!
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