Imbolc, in case you aren’t already aware, is the festival that marks the dawning of Spring. It is traditionally held on 2nd of February. It is a festival of hope, of the setting of new intentions, as the year properly gets underway.
It has been uncharacteristically spring-like in my part of England. There have been periods of mild weather, the animals are losing their winter coats and there are buds on the birch tree outside my patio door. The birdsong is becoming more strident and lambs are being born. The arrival of Spring early is a little difficult to be optimistic about as it’s yet another sign that our climate is changing.
The ritual I perform every Imbolc is one of my favourites, due to it’s simplicity. I create a simple alter consisting of a white alter cloth with one large candle and three white tea candles. I light the three tea candles from the flame of the large candle. One is an intention for my own life, one to honour a friend and one in support of a community or cause.
It probably seems difficult for many of my readers to feel hope right now. With the new Omicron variant of Covid19 around, extreme weather events and scandalous governments, there seems little reason for hope. Yet I am feeling hopeful right now. One recent event that has given me hope is the opposition, by the House of Lords, of the amendments to the Police, crime, sentencing and courts bill. I mentioned this bill in my blog post, The qwerty keyboard is mightier than the nuclear bomb PT 2. It would have effectively made forms of peaceful public assembly and protest illegal in England. The only alternative to peaceful protest is violent protest. It would have set England on the path to becoming a police state. However, like I said, the amendments to this bill were defeated in the House of Lords. This isn’t the end of story as it will be bounced back to the House of Commons but it’s a very hopeful step forward.
For myself, I have many seeds, (both metaphorical and literal), to sow this year. I will share some of these with you, once they are in progress.
Imbolc blessings to you and your loved ones for 2022.