Many of us know and understand the seasons and equinox’s these days – but perhaps don’t realise that many celebrate “THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR”.
As we have just celebrated Yule, originally midwinter solstice. Imbolc is the next pagan festival, also known as Candlemas, it occurs at the beginning of February. It marks the middle of Winter and holds the promise of Spring when the Goddess manifests as the Maiden and Brigid. Imbolc Coming from the hearth she is the goddess of fire and gives birth to the sun.
It is said that deep in the earth, seeds are “quickening” – turning over, stirring as light starts to return.
Symbols of Bridie, Brigid, or Brigit are many, most popular being the Brigid’s cross, made out of corn. Traditionally woven for Imbolc and placed above the door or fireplace.
Her colours are white, yellow, black and red, candles of these colours were lit on the evening of the 1st of February to light us into the 2nd. Flowers included dandelion, snowdrops, crocus, chamomile, through to bramble, blackberry, acorns and the oak tree. whistling, embroidery, thresholds, doorways, and sandstone rock formations.
Goddess of old Ireland she looked after springs and wells where material, or wool, crosses and dollies are still left on 1st and 2nd of February.
Involving herself in our lives as well as the world around us she was goddess of poetry, music, lost children, smithies, theatre, healing the sick, and, revolutionary of her time, created the first women’s convent and fought for the education of women.
There will be an Imbolc gathering at Bridie’s well in St James Gardens at midday on Saturday 1st February – everyone’s welcome.