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Tomorrow, February 2nd, is Candlemas, one of the cross quarter holidays on the wheel of the year. It is also called Imbolc which in Irish Gaelic means “ewe’s milk” associated with the onset of lactation of ewes, soon to give birth to the spring lambs. In Ireland it is known as Brighid’s day, celebrating the goddess Brighid (or St. Brigid).

For those of us in the northern climates, it is especially significant because it marks the midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The daylight is getting longer: since December 21, we have added 11 minutes in the morning 43 minutes at night.

As with all holidays in earth based traditions, the holiday celebrated on February 2nd is connected to what is happening with the earth. This is the time of quickening or stirring. Pregnant animals start feeling the quickening of their unborn. Green life begins to stir under the ground.

We can still feel the winter but our memories of the warmth of the sun are starting to come back. We dream and we hope and we make plans.

One ritual suggests walking outside sky-clad to draw in the coldness for a minute or two and then visualize and remember the warmth of the sun. I personally do not recommend sky-clad when it is 16 degrees with a wind chill of 0 and in the middle of a raging blizzard. I think maybe a visualization sitting inside with a hot mug of cocoa and looking at the outdoors would work just fine. 😉

But we do need to start preparing ourselves for spring physically and mentally. Life will get busier and this may be one of our last chances to contemplate what we want for the new cycle. Goals for personal growth, new beginnings, dreams for the future and connections to each other.

Brighter Blessings to everyone on Candlemas!

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