I love marigolds! They’re so pretty with their full heads and fall colors, and they smell divine. My mother hates marigolds, but I plant them anyway. I was so delighted today when I checked on my seedlings to find this!
This morning, when the first tingles of a new day drew me out of the dreamworld, I savored the feeling of being half-awake and half-aware. I was just beginning to come to consciousness, and everything felt new. The sun through the window fell on my face and its warmth welcomed me to February. I had a few cognitive thoughts as I began to feel out my body. It was a slow awakening, and it was incredibly perfect. I didn’t remember what I had dreamt from the night before, but it didn’t matter. It was a new day.
It stands to reason that my body was celebrating Imbolc before I even realized what day it was. Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day, or Candlemas, or Oembolg, is a festival of lights and rebirth. The maiden emerges from the earth to gently wake up all her living things. Mother Earth is preparing for Spring today. True, Spring doesn’t come for another six weeks or so, but its not an instantaneous arrival, just like with every other season. The earth must awaken from her wintery slumber and realize that a new cycle is emerging.
This day marks new beginnings; winter allows for no new growth, no time to spend outdoors, and at least in New England where I am, the Sun is almost in a state of hibernation. Imbolc is the beginning of Winter’s end; the earth is preparing to wake up again.
Traditional ways to honor the day of Imbolc are unavailable to me today; I have no candles in my house to light, no corn stalks and husks to craft with, and due to a foot injury from yesterday, I can’t even go for a walk through my nearby park to look for signs of spring. Instead, I sat in quiet contemplation this morning over what Imbolc means, what it means to me, and how I can incorporate it into my day of sitting on the couch with my foot propped up. And then I realized.
This year, 2012, is a very important year for us. If you know anything of the Mayans (and not just what you see on TV), you know that their calendar ends this year. While some people are going crazy thinking the world is going to end, the Mayans were simply trying to tell us that a shift in global consciousness is coming. For anyone sensitive enough to see it, we know this has been coming for a while.
But even if prophecies and energies are beyond your understanding, 2012 is still an important year. Look at all that happened last year to lead up to this one; the Occupy Movement made a call to citizens to stand up against our country’s injustice, other governments around the world fell under much higher scrutiny from its own people and in some cases even fell apart, and an alarming number of natural disasters caused people around the world to come together in solidarity to help our worldly brothers and sisters. We go into 2012 with all of this and more, fresh in our minds and on our consciousness. In America, 2012 is an election year, and if the GOP primaries are any indication, this is going to be a very rocky year indeed for the Democratic system. There is so much weighing down the world right now, and with the knowledge of something coming, something happening, its really no wonder that apocalypse-toting crazies are growing in numbers.
What does all of this mean together? Lets recap: Last year was crazy. This year will probably be even crazier. Imbolc reminds us that things need to end to allow for new life to emerge. Our world is going through a period of purging and renewal. Spend today thinking about how our society, and others around the world, are doing much the same thing. If we look beyond the material to what’s really going on, what really matters, we can be prepared for the shift that’s upon us. This is natural, this is normal, and this is needed. Embrace change today. Just as a snake sheds its old skin to make room for the tender, growing layer underneath, so must we shed old ways and old energies. This is what Imbolc is about, and this message is especially powerful now.
Happy Imbolc, everyone. May the sun bless you with new growth and new beginnings.