Imbolc is the day that we celebrate the passing of Winter and the return of Spring.
Imbolc marks the seasonal change, where the first signs of Spring and the return of the sun are noted.
A festival of light, to celebrate the return of the sun, now gaining power in its’ ascent from its’ low travail across the horizon.
I walked out across the gardens today, recording in image the day of Imbolc.
The rays of the sun, felt warm upon my face and as I walked away from it, warmed my back.
This renewal that is Imbolc has cast its’ energy upon the land and myself…here I am re-sculpting the beds near the veranda and creating more of a movable pot garden.
The hens in the hen-house are sitting against one wall of the building where the sunlight falls warmly upon them.
Even they are aware of Spring and have begun to lay eggs once more.
Lunaria seed-heads have finally scattered the next generation of flowers and seeds to come.
Sammy-Bear finds it is his time to be outdoors, almost invisible in the light dusting of snow on this Imbolc morning.
Many stems of shrubs and trees give off a vibrancy of colour as the sap begins to push up.
Later today, in the cottage, as the day closes, I shall light candles in each window to celebrate the return of the light and for a brief moment or two, illuminate my home with every light and lamp switched on!
It is heart warming today to realise that the snow will melt and the warm days lie ahead of us.
A time to contemplate changes and new beginnings…a time of hope.
And in tune with that hope, new wine bubbles and ferments in the warm kitchen, ready for warmer days and celebrations.
Winter projects, such as this knitted throw, are brought to a conclusion…soon to be finished off and gifted to its’ recipient.
The last days of candlelight are here.
The dark days are over.
The sun ascends…
Illumination, warmth and renewal lie ahead…
All is light and renewal…
Prayer for Imbolc
On this Imbolc day, as I kindle the flame upon my hearth,
I pray that the flame of Brigid may burn in my soul,
and the souls of all I meet today.
I pray that no envy and malice,
no hatred or fear, may smother the flame.
I pray that indifference and apathy,
contempt and pride,
may not pour like cold water on the flame.
Instead, may the spark of Brigid light the love in my soul,
that it may burn brightly through this season.
And may I warm those that are lonely,
whose hearts are cold and lifeless,
so that all may know the comfort of Brigid’s love.
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We have endured the long sleep and are ready to waken to Imbolc…
Magical days, filled to the brim with anticipation, a sense of urgency too, as the precious days of sleep and hibernation in the gardens comes to a close.
As I walk around the gardens this morning, I become increasingly aware of short time left in which to prune and cut back, clear and prepare, the gardens for Spring and Summer.
Ah, Summer, just the thought of Summer on this cold, white morning of late Winter, comforts the bones.
The days of walking barefoot in the damp grass lie ahead of me.
The promise of a warm Summer makes the cold of the day recoil.
Imbolc heralds Spring here in the West of Ireland.
It is one of the four big Celtic celebrations in Ireland.
Imbolc was also Christianized into Saint Brigid’s Day.
Imbolc is a festival of purification, hence the “Spring Cleaning” and a celebration of the first signs of Spring.
Walking along the paths that wind through the gardens, the colours of an all year round planting scheme are evident.
Here and there are stacked reminders of work to be completed, in this case, wood to be taken up to the barn, to be cut and stacked for the next winter.
As the snow melts on the upper hill of Ballyfermoyle, so the water flows through the ponds to be carried further into the mighty Shannon and beyond into the Atlantic Ocean.
Coming round once more to Imbolc, reminds one of the eternal cycle of renewal and one we are all a part of, though less understood today as by our ancestors of past millennia.
Willows, Birch and Dogwoods fill ground where once only the Rush held sway. This is the new cycle here of regeneration and renewal…a return to a fertile Earth.
And, where clean water flows, so does life!
To the ancients peoples of this sacred isle, the water was life and honoured in such a way.
The starkness of these remaining days are etched with beauty…a rare kind of ethereal beauty that is both proud and alone.
In a garden so welcoming of the sunlight, for this all faces north, each tree receives these low rays with grace.
The old name Imbolc occurs only in the very old literature, as many have forgotten it’s magic as the move towards modernity was embraced…but what is lost?
The Ancient Ways have been suppressed by all invaders and religions, and much dogma of uniformity, without thread of meaning.
For many in the western world this is now Candlemas in non-Gaelic speaking areas.
However there appears to be a revival of many traditions as people seek to understand their tribal ancestry and re-establish the threads of the tapestry to an older time.
And so we rise to Imbolc, as our faces seek out the sun and count the lengthening days.
We strain our necks to peep out onto sunsets, remarking on the time that’s in it.
Rising, from our long darkness, to Imbolc.
I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 1,000 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!
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