It’s that magical thin-time of the year again, so here’s some refreshed Imbolc-Candlemas inspiration to take you into this deeply creative, deeply Yin-Feminine time of the year.
Imbolc-Candlemas is celebrated during the first few days of February, and the exact-point occurs when the Sun is at 15 degrees of Aquarius — February 3rd this year (check your own time zone for any variations).
This is followed by the New Moon in mid-Aquarius on Monday, February 4th (check your zones for day/time in your area).
So it’s a nice few days to find some Muse time, gather back your dispersed energy, return to center, and restore your sense of what values and intentions are most important to you to embody, express, and act upon.
Imbolc-Candlemas also initiates what the late mythic astrologer Steve Nelson called the Candlemas Hora … a holy time. He said:
“This Mid-Aquarius “power gate” begins the Candlemas Hora, a 15-day period from Feb 3 to 18 when the nature of the New Year becomes illuminated and the vital energies of Nature stir to life.”
The Spirit, Wisdom & Origin of Imbolc – Candlemas
Imbolc, Candlemas, and/or Fèill Bhrìghde (sometimes spelled Là Fhèill Brìghde) were some of the names given to this time of year by the Gaelic-Celtic ancestors, as they marked the seed of the coming Spring (and return of the Light in the midst of Winter). The Christianized culture later called this festival Candlemas.
Other Nature-wise and Earth-connected cultures and traditions celebrated and honored the turning of the Seasonal wheel by other names.
For some of our ancestors, that reminder of coming Spring (and fading Winter) was a pretty big deal, in a region where it got plenty cold, and a time when there wasn’t the ease of electricity, central heating, a gas stove and electric fridge, or a chock-full grocery store.
It was no small thing to make it through the Winter, particularly in those frigid Northern climates, so the coming Spring on the near horizon was something to honor and celebrate.
Yet it’s truly relevant in our high-tech times, too, where ‘modern conveniences’ and a ‘sense of urgency’ abound, but people are more depressed, anxious, and isolated than ever (despite being constantly ‘plugged in’), and a genuine sense of meaning and purpose are deeply yearned for and sought.
Bhrìghde’s time & Our Time, Too
This was Bhrìghde’s time, too, both the Goddess and the Celtic-Christian Saint (Brigit, Brighid, Bridget, Bhríde, etc. – see below about name-spelling) of those who celebrated Imbolc, by whatever name they might have called it.
I feel a special affinity for this time of year, since I was born at Imbolc-Candlemas, with Sirius and Orion visible in the Winter night sky.
So it’s my ‘Solar Return’ and personal solar new year! It doesn’t have to be your birth day for you to receive and align with the magic of this thin-time and season though.
To stir soul and ancestral spirit of Imbolc-Candlemas…
Visit Bhrìghde and her “habit of the wildest bounty,” and the story of my own challenge of kindling my own ancestral connection to Bhrìghde, honoring that particular Family Tree branch of Gael-Celtic ancestors, for whom Bhrìghde was the patron saint and who remembered the ancestral sense of sacredness of this time.
For additional clues and insights on your role for these times, have a look at the current featured offerings or send me an email (info ‘at’ sophias-children ‘dot’ com).
Big Love, Big Heart, Big Spark!
* There are various spellings for Bhrìghde – this one from the Scottish Gaelic and pronounced Breed-jhuh. Other common spellings include Brighid, Bridget, Brigid, Brigit, Brihati, and so on.
Featured Image Credit: The thermal springs at Aqua Sulis, in Bath, England. Photo by your Sophia’s Children creatrix, Jamie Walters (that’d be me!). Link here if you use it, please.
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Lots of love,
February 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm
Are you working on your birthday?🧐
February 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm
No worries. Planted the Imbolc post a day earlier. I pretty much stepped away from the internet and laptop for 2/2 and 2/3, and will again this afternoon after a wee catch-up. 🙂 xoxo
February 2, 2019 at 6:34 pm
So how did this beautiful, soul-inspiring ritual of Imbolg get twisted into Ground Hog Day i.e. Punxsutawney Phil? (Probably need to research etymology of that rodent name…). The crudeness of the comparison makes me wanna cry…I’m sure it has something to do with the masculine’s ongoing shanghaiing of the feminine. And what kind of occult meaning is behind seeing its shadow…or not?
February 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm
Hey there, Steve (thank you for your email message, too; I’m just catching up, so a reply is incubating! 🙂
I recall reading/hearing/learning that the Groundhog’s Day tradition was a kind of hybrid tradition (at least has its roots in several different traditions and cultures) — Native American, European (and perhaps ‘British Isles’ too) settlers, and then I recall some ancient root into the Persephone story (or at least the ancient story also shared by the Greeks as Persephone’s journey).
Here’s one short online summary of one person’s thought as to the mixed cultural origin of Groundhog’s Day:
That said, the modern-day phenomenon of Punxsutawney Phil seems rooted in the Native American (and maybe the Germanic etc roots of earlier settlers) to create a festival of sorts and some commercial benefit for some, perhaps. Here’s one perspective on that — I’m not sure whether there is truth to this or not, but it seems kind of polluted (groundhog hunting club, etc.):
The shadow in some cultures might mean literally … a longer Winter. Mythically (though it seems related to the seasons and the turning of our beautiful Earth) it’s that link to Persephone-esque stories about the Underworld (or Winter) journeys etc.
It’d be interesting to see for whom the hedgehog (aka groundhog) was a totem and perhaps sacred at some point. The Native story may give one clue, though I’d be curious about the more ancient roots of their story, too.
Blessings, and thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!
February 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm
Happy Solar Return Jamie and may the magick of this season be Bountiful <3
February 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm
Thank you, Linda! I hope your new year (calendar, Imbolc, or otherwise) is unfolding well, and with wellbeing, so far.
February 2, 2019 at 7:56 pm
Reblogged this on Seeds of the Path.
February 4, 2019 at 3:09 pm
Thank you for the share, Ashley! xoxo
February 3, 2019 at 2:06 am
Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.
February 4, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Thank you for sharing this with your readers, Vi-Gold (happy Imbolc-Candlemas to you!).
February 3, 2019 at 2:09 am
Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.
February 4, 2019 at 3:10 pm
Thank you for rippling this out into your sacred pool, Eliza! 🙂 Happy Imbolc-Candlemas.
February 4, 2019 at 3:36 pm
<3 to you, Jamie!
February 3, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Happy Birthday one day late on astro-Imbolc! Just saw what I think was a groundhog: something fat and brown with a very non-feline tail waddled behind our shed. I’ve never seen one so close to Groundhog’s Day. We had the polar vortex and now 47 degrees. Maybe he thought it was spring. In any case, Brigid’s blessings and all good things to you this year.
February 4, 2019 at 3:12 pm
Blessings to you as well, Laura. And yes, these temperature and weather variations may well have woken the sweet thing from her/his hibernation. We’ve got mid-40s here after polar vortex near 0 last week (and projected to be low- to mid-50s temps today and rain mid week). Wild. Be well! hope your incubations and creations are stirring and unfolding well. 🙂
February 5, 2023 at 9:52 pm
Happy Birthday! Miss you! Ashley
February 17, 2023 at 6:49 pm
Thank you, Ashley! I appreciate it. The women’s health clinic has kept me more and more busy, but the Muse (and my higher self) are calling me back to the keyboard, so I’ll be adjusting some things over the coming months so I can do that. I miss you too, and my kindred spirits blog sisters and brothers as well. Hope you’re well too! xoxo J