“If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.” Credit to my friend Jack, original author unknown.
I don’t know about that gopher critter, but here on the midatlantic seaboard, it was clouds and rain, so I for one am banking on a quick coming spring.
Today is Candlemas for the Catholics, and traditional first light, or Imbolc or Brigid’s Day for folk cultures in different places. It is when the light of the new harvest year breaks the first germinated seeds free. Brigid is my patron Goddess, lore of the Celts, and also a saint. I honor celebrations of the soulful aspects of tending the inner heart, home and hearth-fire light in her name, as well as veneration for my first true religion, poetry, and the Sacred Imagination.
Lunar Imbolc is a celebration that also connects the holiday to planting tides. It occurs during the new moon when the sun is in the constellation of aquarius. This year, lunar Imbolc occurs overnight, Valentine’s Day into the next day.
It is a cross-quarter celebration on the Medicine Wheel, highlighting the Northeast corner, a quickening period for ideas when the vision for new upcoming life is perceived but not seen, as winter and its dormancy wraps round the dreamer. When the dark space cooks the light within.
It is an initiation time in the women’s work, aligned with tasks of discernment in the house of the dark mother as well as oracle, prophecy and visioning.
Tend your dreams.
We are in this medicine until the next new moon.
Between the worlds of what was last year, and what will come.
Oh Imbolc–and that part we so struggle against–sacred in between.
One of my favorite parts about walking an earth path is just doing my life and getting to be surprised by the magic. I’m not talking about right now concentration on minding mind to lose yourself to the moment being. I’m talking about the last week has been messy house and piles of dishes and falling asleep in front of the tv. Just total flop mode. I took off from producing anything creatively for the whole month of January. It was my intent to track along with winter’s fallow season.
So this week I started getting inspired to like, color, journal, create. I aimed for Wednesday to hit the drawing board professionally. Wednesday came and felt like sludge. No go.
Instead, I could barely tumble from bed fast enough this morning, with the creative stirring and vision tiptoeing across my spirit, so soft and easy, so sweet and free as I woke.
The seeds break free, the light is cast.
As for me, I’m going dancin 🙂
Lunar Imbolc comes early this year, overnight!
It is the New Moon in Aquarius, and is a tide you began to feel when the moon entered her last quarter or wane towards the dark moon, which happened Tuesday.
This is the first seed or sap rising moon, when the subtle momentum of life force starts to stir you awake with true vision for your year!
I’ll say that again–now that the holidays whir is behind us, this is the moon tide that brings VISION for the year to come!!!
For fun, if you journal or record anywhere, look back in August at the full moon–these are cross quarters so these two moons have a relationship continuum.
Prepare, though. This moon cycle will feel a little slow, so rest A Lot! It is mercury retrograde, too. Starts this week.
Making it best to lean in to winter, use her to your advantage! Slow down and just use the cosmic line-up to witness. Witness within, witness your thoughts, beliefs, stories that need transforming. This is the tide! Merc Retros are soul reviews, and with the early Imbolc tide this year, this retro gives us a great chance to clean up whatever still needs attention from basically Halloween onward~
Happy Lunar Imbolc. Stay WILD.
In every place I’ve ever lived I’ve made habit of going out walking. The funniest walk habit that just pops to mind is in Easton and wild crafting out of people’s manicured or otherwise front lawns. I got sick I guess from chemicals once. Here in Laguna Canyon if I go out walking that can mean all through out the nooks and crannies of Hobbit Lane or it can mean an artfest or it can mean an entire little village next to the sea or it can mean to the sea, and even up to the heart of town where my laundry gets done and coffee is roasted. All this on foot.
It also can mean in to the canyon and its million different wild paths…which is where the instinct led me today. First, all thanks under this sacred tide for the fact that the life I wanted to lead, led by my own tides, has come to be. Last year’s intention of commitment and Nature and Hearth and Poet-heart gnosis magic.
I was so into my street bc really, crevices of fairy ribbons and green. All over the place. Like I got home and later before I sat to write this but after the hike about which I write, a little black cat even w the lime green eyes came and stared in my screen. I have seen her once before and that was when she crossed my path last night 🙂
But what I came here to write about is the Imbolc Tide and how that found me, or led me? to the canyon today. Meaning to me that since the moon got into her last quarter wane you can feel the Imbolc archetype in it–in the wild outside. Sap Rise. Nature of things.
It said, like almost with words if words were capable of feeling in your body, which I guess yea they are–how some words like names or places give you a feeling. The words like fresh air on my skin were the canyon, how would it be to be in the canyon today? And also at once I could see-feel the brown and rain-green against the vibrating blue.
So out I went through Hobbitt Lane and then next was wild crafting in the canyon, mostly just checking in with the tender primacy of the new shoots, gathering their smells and basic habitats–growing companions etcetera. And so off I went on one unmarked path, one of the first you hit on the trail at the bottom of my street, and before I knew it i was led to the clearing green, where I have been before bc here it looks out on the sea. But this time there was a labrythn there! And much as it could’ve been there when last I was here, I certainly didn’t see.
And I threw off my bag and ran to the labyrinth and gave out my intention sure as it’s been for this year all along. And round I walked and it was so immediate, how essential, and real. How I knew I was embodying the Imbolc tide, bc this is the Way w Earth Wisdom. To let her imbibe, to not just meditative tend but to be out and fee her. I don’t know who put this sacred spiral off the beaten path. But all thanks bc that was amazing.
I reached the center and constructed my own little offering. I knew with clarity what it said by the center, and what I had melted with in response by the time I reached the end. This is good medicine, a good posturing on the year: highest harmony and love. I talked for a long time then to a dear wise sister friend. Only very few would be allowed into Nature magic like that. It made me remember Spence, the surfer I met on the beach at sunset last year closer to traditional Imbolc. I took him hiking in to the canyon at dusk and showed him to open his sight and we were super dropped in and came eye to eye with coyote in the twilight.
And so, this is lunar Imbolc tide, from tonight until the New Moon of Monday night in to Tuesday. She will move you if merely say yes to the most minor wild whisperings in your soul. Traditional Imbolc is Feb 1, this is Christian’s Brigid’s Day or the Feast of this Goddess/Saint. Goddess of first light, instinct, vision of pre-dawn insight, first seed. Poeticly charged and inspired. My patroness. This magic will therefor last until the full moon of Feb 3.
SO RAD to be out there and let the harmony of earth-wild tide move me. I tended my inner tides in the labyrinth and saw very clearly some of the precious gold seeds ready to grow with the season of the sun. I made offerings about the land and took some newest shoots of black sage. It’s exciting, I have a graduation coming up and then…so much room for fun 🙂
All love, happy tides! Begin within, then go on and get out there!
And oh, to tend the quiet of winter , to tend the fire in my heart that so dim reminds me now: I’ve not gone out. To tend as well my precious hearth, my sacred home, as within so without, to ask, to sit in, what makes this space feel safe?
This week of mid-winter, this tide of momentum moves me into the axis turn of tonight. The quickening I have felt, have lived, the stirring, the forward momentum that of course this week, stopped then. Stillpoint within. Held me in the stillness amid me, the darkness. Lost in the dark, what is there to see?
What of my want weighs me, this weight the very thing that will tilt me now, will push me on? Come spring!
I love what I love, I own what I want. It hurts bad. I didn’t realize how much there was I didn’t want to see.
Ohhhhh bitchy mid-winter, oh dark Madonna, mean Magdalene Mama, oh sacred death face how I hate you, how I avoid you, how you own me when I do~
How I learn to love what I don’t….to love even that I don’t love, I learn dark mama to love you too
Awake all week, sleepless with quivers, with flat numbness I feel all the way to my teeth. Nightmares, demon dogs in tribal markings, stillpoint stopping point wicked week of dreams.
Forgive me for denying you, parts I have pushed away
Hear me all I long for and seek to honor, serve, and bring forth
Dark stars and what circles and escapes right out of and above my head
Forgive me, me Forgive me me I am still learning to love
Vision week of dark stirring moon. May I remember more than any other intent meant to grow: the wisdom of the earth, her good medicine…how it is the only true remedy for whatever ails me within. So to Feed This Lake, Out of Which All Will Grow
How much more me I am, more wild, when I have slowed down because I have made myself be outside, gotten out of me. I love what I love I am bliss and with lightness and tender heart roots of low dimmed light so soft, I nurture what this week I have seen
~In love with blessings to all~
Today is the full moon.
Full moons are significant because they symbolize a center-point in a growth cycle.
Growth cycles are circles, never-ending or beginning, a continuum of todays informed by yesterday. This feels good to me because one way of looking at this means that wherever you are in your understanding of your life and the larger tides is right where you are meant to be.
In other words we don’t need to wait until everything lines up to do soul work. We can start right here, right now. It’s starting that counts. Everything that happened behind us is a part of our make-up. It is sitting just under the surface, all that material. We can use it to better know and therefor work with ourselves. All we have to do is begin.
Envision a circle. Now on that circle move backwards by Half, one whole arc behind you. That was the last new moon. Whatever is going on in your inner-life during the new moon shows itself in your outer life on the full.
When you hear people say I’m frustrated, must be the full moon–this is actually true. What it means is that some part of you and how you relate to your own inner life isn’t being brought to the light, is resisting the natural tide of nature. This is a very normal, very human thing to do. We are programmed to believe we don’t live in connection with Nature.
That could not be further from the truth.
Sun and Moon Symbols
One of the symbols of the moon is private awareness, in other words the inner-life we keep quiet to ourselves. The sun is the outer life, the personality, who we are to the outside world in ‘the light of day’. It covers as well what we grow and build and take part in, how and what and who we use to identify ourselves.
Full moons reflect the sun. It is a lovely combo of both inner and outer. So full moon is the reflection of the power we draw from the private, inside part of us to feed who we are and what we are making real in our public life.
The new moon two weeks ago is known as lunar Imbolc.
Imbolc, which is the Celtic name, is known in other traditions as Candlemas, purification of the Virgin Mary, Bean-throwing, Brigid’s moon, Chinese New Year, or Sap-rising, to name a mere few. It is the time of first light in the season of dark or winter, when the fire of creation or fertility is resparked.
This is significant because in every society based on a winter-hempishpere, there is a marking of the new moon of February. New moon time is when the sky is the darkest. Because the new moon is a dark moon, and representative of what is dark or private inside of us, the new moon of February is often a very challenging time. As the old saying goes, it is always darkest before the dawn...Well Winter, the season of dark or inner, private-reflection, is at its fullest on lunar Imbolc. It is in fact that tension that strikes the first spark of spring. When that first spark, that light, that stirring of sap waking up in the trees or bear yawning from deep in his cave, first snaps to life it also marks a time of waking up to what is darkest or most private within us. It is often this moon that privately reflects our biggest fears, shortcomings, challenges, or areas we are ashamed of or afraid to see.
Meaning tomorrow’s moon will bring further real-life insight on those very issues. Because what was private under a dark moon is now brought to light under the full. Whether out in the open–at work, home, financially, in relationships, or from an inner-place of awareness.
Taking quiet time for inner, private reflection can help us work more knowingly with these issues moving from inside to out.
Tune in tomorrow for more on how this is also effected by Mercury Retrograde.