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Posts Tagged ‘Imbolc’

2246534713_a4bfe39480The Full Snow Moon in Leo takes place on February 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm EST, the day after Ground Hog’s Day which marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. This cross quarter day which is really about honoring our earth’s natural cycles is more known to pagans and followers of ancient Gaellic traditions as Imbolc, while Christians also celebrate this point of the year with Candlemas. Whatever your background, most folks who live here, in the Northern Hemisphere, know February 2nd as the day to find out if the groundhog will see his shadow and give us a prediction about the coming of Spring.

Yes, we are at a turning point now…halfway through winter, halfway through the first full cycle of the moon in 2015 (with the first new moon in Aquarius on 1/20) and halfway through this current Mercury retrograde period. Retrograde periods are usually times of introspection and this is a wonderful time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go.

This Leo Full Moon has a very expansive heart opening signature connected to it, while at the same time challenging us to think in unique creative ways as we come across obstacles and limited ideas. Check-in with yourself to see if your perceptions about who you are and what you are doing with your life are changing. As I talk to the people around me about their lives, I am hearing that many are starting off in new directions, almost as if they have no choice.

Other planetary energies definitely emphasize, this is a key time to listen to your inner yearnings to see what stirs your heart. Also, while you are taking time to listen, review how you are doing with taking care of yourself and those you are in relationship to. Last year from my perspective many folks, myself included went through some “dark night of the soul” experiences that are now being integrated into our lives. 2014 was a more inner year of change. For myself, I was more focused on my own inner transformation and this year, I am so wanting to share my learnings and gifts with others. Yes, 2015 will be more a year of connection and manifestation!

However, the key for all of us, is to dance with the more intuitive side of life right now, to allow new ways of being take root that will last for many years to come. So be patient with yourself. Over the next week find a way to honor your recent learnings especially over the the last 6 weeks and believe that all that you want to accomplish for this new year is getting ready to sprout in the coming new season. If you are not sure how to use your intuition for this exercise, think of ways to connect more with your right side of the brain such as through art, music and nature. At the end of this post, I have included a video for to inspire and support your Full Snow Moon reflection time.

The groundhog who was seeking reprieve from the dark cold winter came out today and danced in the mid-winter’s sun. Yet, upon seeing his shadow he went back into his inner dwellings to continue preparing for the coming Spring season. Be like the groundhog and take time to celebrate where you are in your life — honor what brings you happiness right now and know that there maybe more work to do to integrate what you have learned from past challenges — yet by following and listening to the natural rhythms of life, you will be drawn to what best serves you and those you love. With that have a blessed Valentine’s Day in less than 2 weeks!

Here is a celebration of winter at her finest during last week’s Blizzard of 2015 in Gloucester, MA!

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Happy Groundhog’s Day! I say that happily since the ground hog didn’t see his shadow. With over 70 inches of snow in the Boston area, my back is ready for Spring! Seriously, as an interfaith peace minister, I bring the sacredness and peace of life to others through my connection with Spirit and nature. I find most people, no matter what their religion feel some connection to our natural world. So this week, I share with you some information on the mid-winter holidays that are celebrated among a few religions. For more details – GroundhogsDay.htm

Yes, we are half way through winter in the Northern Hempishere. Feb. 2 is the cross quarter date between winter and spring called “Imbolc” by those who celebrate the natural cycles of life. In the Celtic tradition, it is also known as the holy day of Bridget, the Goddess of fire, honoring the increasing power of the Sun. In the Christian tradition, this holiday was changed and reformed to remember the purification of the Virgin Mary through the lighting of candles and is called “Candlemas.” Today, most of us know it as Groundhog Day, where we wait to find out what the groundhog has to say about how much longer winter will last.

In old Gaelic customs, Imbolc is  a time of weather predicting — the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day. A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:

“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.”

Imbolc is also the day the Calleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over.

For the Gaelic folks, this holiday was, and for many still is, a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearthfires, special foods (such as butter, and milk, for example), watching for omens, and lighting candles or a bonfire if the weather permits. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc)

Have you been taking advantage of all this winter’s inward energy — cleaning out the old and making plans for new projects that you want to take off this Spring?

Mid-winter is a time to reflect on the action of nature. We are in the crisp cold dead of the season, yet there is power in the dark and limited outward movement of this time. So as the natural world is getting ready to spring back into action, it is a time to focus on small tasks that are neglected through the busy year. What of your supplies need to be replenished for Spring? Be creative and have fun putting together a symbol or ceremony to honor your intentions for yourself and for all those that are a part of your conscious community. Need some ideas — create an art project to show off your plans for bringing in the next harvest season or light a candle to inspire your new dreams. With spring approaching, get ready for the new season by cleansing your life — your body (inside and out), your home, your heart and your mind.

Blessings of mid-winter,
Rev. Annika

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