MidWinter Convergence of Light’s Return

by Amy Martin (c)


An interesting convergence is upon us. Today is the 2nd of February, known on U.S. calendars as Groundhog Day, our pop culture harbinger of spring.


Starting centuries prior, this date was celebrated as Candlemas, a Christian observance of Virgin Mary’s presentation of the Christ child at her local Jewish temple.


Candlemas came to be observed with candlelighting and the honoring of feminine fecundity, both beautiful reflections of Brigit, also honored on this date, the great mother goddess of the Celts whose Kildare shrine sheltered her eternal flame.


But our need to connect with rhythms and archetypes of nature long preceded our feeble attempts to confine time with calendars.


Ancients knew that when the second New Moon after Winter Solstice came around, the days had lengthened enough that the light’s return was evident to our senses.


With this mid-winter New Moon in Europe they celebrated Imbolc, honoring the gestation of life, the potent waiting in the belly of the ewe, whose infant lamb suckles milk in mid-winter in order to graze on the lush first growth of spring.


Imbolc embodies 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.


This emergent New Moon, arising from mid-winter darkness, is such a natural surge of energy that many in the eastern half of the world peg their new year to it, popularly known as the Chinese New Year.


On this date in 2011, all these converge, with Groundhog Day and Candlemas falling on the New Moon of Imbolc and Chinese New Year.


Our urban and natural rhythms are for this brief moment in sync with one another. Enjoy the synchronicity of life’s unfolding and feel yourself drawn to the deeper beats


February 4, 2011