Mid Winter Turning Point
Mid-winter bleak, mid-winter womb. From darkness arises life. February 2nd brings the ancient holy day of Imbolc, honoring the gestation of life, the potent waiting in the belly of the ewe, whose infant suckles mid-winter milk in order to graze as a lamb on the lush first growth of spring.
A little too earthy for the Catholic church who converted it to Candlemas, an observance of Virgin Mary’s presentation of the Christ child at her local Jewish temple.
But the goddess wants what the goddess wants. In the British Isles and northern Europe, Candlemas returned to the honoring of feminine fecundity as a celebration of Brigit, the great mother goddess of the Celts whose Kildare shrine sheltered her eternal flame.
Imbolc and Candlemas embody the metaphor of the potent waiting of our own human potential, the gestation of the human dream, the planning and patience, but most of all, the faith in life that we as a human species are on our way.
Meanwhile in contemporary America, February 2nd is observed as Groundhog Day, the American pop culture harbinger of spring. Well, at least the rodent shadowcast has something to do with light.
Our urban and natural rhythms, our past and present, are on this date in sync with one another. Enjoy the synchronicity of life’s unfolding and feel yourself drawn to the deeper beats of our celestial dance.
A poem of Imbolc and Candlemas
by Amy Martin (c)
A flame appears, lit from within
It emerges, tender light
Upon snow and ice
Upon brown winter fields
Whose wan color hides
The busy roots beneath
On stem and branch
Buds thrust against the cold
The promise of leaf and flower
Its own warming reward
Potent waiting, energy storing
Nascent is the spring