And so the wheel turns towards Spring and its tentative beginnings in the West of Ireland as the sun rises tomorrow morn.
With the rising of the sun comes Imbolc!
Oftentimes it does not look or even feel like Spring, but the light has changed…something that animals see, feel and react to before we do.
The understanding of the changing seasons grew from the deep connections between us and the natural world, as can be seen in the word itself, for “Imbolc” refers to sheep’s milk in Old Irish.
During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs of Spring.
Imbolc is a Cross Quarter Day, which means it is midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
Depending on the year that’s in it, Imbolc can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February…the calculations vary, despite the best will of man to box it all up into calendars!
Celtic festivals are based on astronomical events!
Festivals like Imbolc are often claimed to be Wiccan or Pagan, but Imbolc belongs to the ancient peoples of Ireland who were neither Wiccan or Pagan!
Wicca itself is less than one hundred years old
Pagan was a term used to describe those in Ireland before Christianity…a sort of name-calling, in that it became and remains for many, a derogatory term.
My ancestors were never without spiritual beliefs!
Paganism is a term that developed among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity to describe religions other than their own, Judaism, or Islam–the three Abrahamic religions.
Imbolc (February 2) marks the lengthening days as the growing light awakens the Earth Goddess.
The warmth of the rising, growing sun fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout.
And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.
As Imbolc rises on the second day of February, the last quarter moon is in Scorpio, my birth sign.
Now is the time to secure your seeds for the Spring sowing which is now well underway in propagators and sheltered places.
You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:
I continue to clear out spaces in my cottage and renew many aspects of my life…always a good preparation for Imbolc!
Happy Imbolc to you all!
Check out Lisa Thiel’s U-tube Brighid, Imbolc songs! She has a very powerful voice.
Interesting to read this about the word ‘pagan’ I used this word in my blog write up about St.Brigid’s crosses, but now I understand that it is looked upon as derogatory I will go and change it, easily done. Learnt something. Thank you Colette.
Edna O’Brien wrote a wonderful book entitled “A Pagan Place”…Irish people in the days i was growing up, often referred to England as a pagan place…a much derogatory statement…something to do with Henry VIII I believe and part of the religious and cultural wars here until recent times!
Dear Colette, so thankful for your wonderfully informative blog. I was able to change the word ‘pagan’ in my write up and feel so much better about this. Ancient Ireland has so much interest to offer us in relation to mother earth, so close to nature.
Blessings to you Agnes on this Imbolc Eve XXX
and to you Colette, much love.
Happy Imbolc Colette! Look at that pretty snow outside your window! Just a few days ago it was sunshine and green. Or was that an older post? Happy renewal of Life! For Life truly is spiritual and perennial in nature. Most all who have grown close to nature see the stirrings and the signs long before the spring equinox. The spirituality of our Life precedes religion in whatever traditional or mystical form it calls itself though the ages. The spirituality of Life is innate. It blossoms not always because of religion but in many cases in spite of it. LOL .. It was probably easier for ancient people to connect to their spiritual being-ness prior to man defined religion. Happy reaffirmation of the Divinity and Beauty of Life. Thank you for all the cultural history that brings to light how close and spiritual the ancient people were. There is so much we are not taught. Your postings always leave us wiser and more inspired. Blessings to you.
The spirituality of life is indeed innate…Happy Imbolc Lynne!
We are celebrating our Imbolc ritual in our garden tomorrow night (Druidic) fingers crossed for a mild,dry evening ,last year it was glacial !
Have a lovely evening!
I love that you used the photo I tweeted of my seed order! I am about to start all those seeds, I shall tweet out pics as they germinate. I am very excited to see them come to full expression.
Happy Imbolc 🙂
Thanks for the photo Alana and I look forward to the updates!
Blessed Imbolc to you!
Thank you Laura and Imbolc blessings to you XXX
I love the feelings you awaken with your lyrical words and a yearning to know my ancestors…..I was born in love with our Mother Earth…..always…..Blessed Imbolc
A love that endures and nurtures…blessings X
This is so true! In the late 80s I studied with a Wiccan group and I found them to be as phony and superficial as mainstream religion! They claimed their religion was “ancient” but in trying to trace it to it’s roots it ended up with Gerald Gardner ! It also generates big $$$ for those who are “selling” it! I have a lot of Irish-Scotch blood and it seems to me that those of that ethnic makeup do NOT make good mainstream followers of ANYTHING! (too independent!)
We are the ultimate rebels! Lol!
Reblogged this on Reiki Dawn and commented:
I love learning new things. Imbolc. Even though my ancestors were from Ireland I had never heard this term before Yesterday I saw it in a post by Laura Bruno Wondering what it meant. Then beautiful synchronicity with Collette posting today about it and what it means. Thank you so much Collette for sharing and teaching. .
I’m glad to have imparted and shared some knowledge X
🌺. Checking out your seeds online too.
And the wheel turns towards Lammas for me. I can feel the change. And even though the heat will still be here for a few weeks more, the shadows are showing me that autumn is on the way.
Interesting post. Being Australian, I wasn’t bought up with the seasonal celtic wheel, even though my ancestors were from celtic countries and I learn more each year. Thanks!
Thanks for the reminder of the southern wheel of the year, Robyn, Lughnasadh seems far away yet we move inexorably towards it! Blessings X
It’s a perfect balance!