Settle yourself. Close your eyes. Feel your body relax. Feel as the tensions drain away from your face, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, your torso, your legs. Sense the whole of your body, calm, heavy in its relaxation.
Center yourself. Feel for that calm, comfortable center in which you are whole. Ground yourself. Extend yourself into the Earth, your mother. Feel as your roots grow into the ground, as you find your connectedness with her again.
This time is the time of Imbolc, the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. The sun has begun his journey back to full strength. He was born at Yule, and progresses through his transformation from infant to young man. He is potential, waiting to be realized. The days are lengthening as the nights shorten. Each day the sun brings a little more warmth, foretelling the thaw to come. For now, however, the Earth remains in slumber, Spring still only a faint whisper.
Extend your senses beyond the walls, to the world outside. Smell in the crisp air the hard frosts that grip the land. The cold grabs the inside of your nose, and every breath is a gasp. See the dark grey skies. Sharp ice crystals bite into your cheeks as the wind whips the tops off the snow drifts. A branch breaks with a loud snap as cracks caused by summer storms finally lose their battle with the weight of heavy snows.
Foxes sleep, snug in their dens, as sparrows fight for a chance at the feeder, not always refilled. The bright flash of a cardinal contrasts starkly with the sullen white snow, a bloody gash across a barren landscape. Ice coats the twigs and chimes in the breezes. Rebirth seems remote - even the call of the goose is a distant memory.
But look into the barns and the fields and watch the teats of the cows and the ewes begin to swell. The milk is beginning to flow. Old loin-fires of bulls and rams are soon to burst forth as the first new calves and lambs. They will struggle up on unsteady limbs, symbols of the green waiting impatiently to explode from the as yet quiescent soil.
This is the time of metamorphosis, of the promise of fruition of seeds sown in seasons past. Brigid stokes these fires, inspiring the bard, the smith, the healer. Fertility and creativity begin to flow in this dormant season, as small things born at the solstice begin to manifest, heralding the full flowering to arrive when the sun reconquors his throne.
Fire. The fires in our hearths. Feel the warmth, smell the food cooking. The fires in our smithies. The clang of hammer striking anvil, shaping raw metal into tools. The fire of desire. The climax which joins cell with cell in the creation of life. The fires of creativity. Music rings and voices flow as living beauty is sculpted from idle words and actions. The fire of transformation. The season of transformation from the depths of Winter into the rebirth of Spring.
Now, slowly, gradually, come back inside. Come back to us. Begin to sense the world inside. Prepare yourself to celebrate this season of Brigid, this season of fire, this season of changes. Rouse yourself. Be ready to grab the spoke and turn the wheel past the numbing cold of winter to the seductive promise of Spring, as we join together in the celebration of Imbolc!
By: Jaguar =^^= 2/94 used with permission.