February 1 or 2 — Imbolc
Also known as: Oimelc, Candlemas, St Brigit’s Day.

As with all Old Tradition observances, this holiday is usually celebrated beginning at sundown on February 1 and continuing through the day of February 2. Imbolc means in the belly of the Mother because that is where seeds are beginning to stir as it is Spring.

I share this poem from john O’Donahue written for St. Brigit’s Day


by John O’Donohue
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you are ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety,
And the grey promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled.
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desires.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Reflection:  Interesting how American culture recognizes February 2 a Groundhog Day.  A day when a groundhog is taken out of  it’s den to determine if it sees it’s shadow and is therefore scared and startled back into it’s den for six more weeks.  Consider the relationship between an animal emerging and feeling welcomed by the coming spring or frightened by the emergence, and this poem….waiting until you are ready to emerge…then delight when your courage is kindled and out you stepped onto new ground.  I love the magic of old traditions, captured in poetry and the viewed next to newer tradition.  The names and specifics sometimes change, but all seem to come from the Source.
Courage for emergence!
≈ Lori

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