For a few days now I have been contemplating Imbolc. On the 2nd of February it is the first pagan festival of the calendar year, and the first of the spring festivals. Imbolc is also known as Candlemass or Brigid’s Day. It marks the middle of winter, when the Crone of Winter is reborn as the Maiden of Spring.
It is a time for lambs and calves to be born, and also for lactating. The first hints of Spring emerge, such as snowdrops and tiny green shoots on branches.
Brigid is the ancient Celtic goddess for health and birth, poetry, smithcraft and fire.
In the ancient days she was honoured by festivals of great bonfires. Today we are more likely to light candles and reflect quietly.
That is what I did, I lit candles around my living room and sat there, just savouring the light and the warmth. I let my mind drift and just went with it.
I found myself marvelling at the wonders of womanhood. Marvelling at how the sacred feminine, the goddess, is in each and every one of us. At how we are connected through our common experiences.
There are some things that happen to every woman, from the moment we are born until we die. Although they happen to each of us individually, they are also part of a greater mystery which we share together.
For me, Brigid is a goddess of change, of creativity, of life and rebirth. Celebrating Brigid, and Imbolc, is celebration womanhood.
Imbolc is also a time for initiations. It is a time for making vows, for stepping up and for embracing change.
I recall that it was around this time of year that I had my first menstruation. Long ago, it was frightening although not unexpected. There was so much pain, and it lasted for such a long time.
Then, womanhood felt like a burden. I didn’t have the experience to know what to do, how to manage the pain, how to understand my body. I am so thankful for the support I received from the women around me then, they gave me a wonderful initiation into womanhood.
Now, being a woman feels like a blessing.
I have a community of women who support me, a sisterhood. I have friends and loved ones around me, and most importantly, I love myself. I accept myself the way I am. But there is also plenty to work on, and I find the learning and growing absolutely delightful.
Becoming the best woman I know how to be is the most thrilling project of my life – and it will continue for the rest of my life.
My Imbolc initiation this year is about remaining in this state of growth, with intention and focus, and with love and affection. Being still and observing, absorbing and feeling is where it’s at for me. Encouraging the changes, nurturing them, growing and developing day by day.
My Imbolc initiation is also about creation. Every day I will endeavour to create something positive and loving, be it a meal, an email, time with a loved one or with a stranger. Let the change happen, let the green shoots emerge.
What changes would you like to initiate in your life? Please leave a comment and share with us!
Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild