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Tuesday Theology-Imbolc

February 2nd is tomorrow.  I love February 2nd.  Even with the continuing cold, and the darkness, I find myself looking forward to it, waiting, impatient, urging the calendar to flip over and be there.  Because February 2nd was the beginning of something very special to me.

On February 2nd, 1999, I formally declared my intention to be Wiccan, after almost 2 years of studying it, practicing as much as I could on my own, and weighing whether this was the right path for me or not.

February 2nd is also known as Imbolc, which is a Celtic word that translates roughly to “In the belly of the mother”; or as it’s also known, Oimelc, which translates to “mother’s milk”. 

This holiday falls around the time when the ewes were giving birth to the lambs, when the earliest flowers would crack through the snow’s crust to bloom.  The lambs, snowdrops and crocuses were welcome signs that Mother Earth had not abandoned her children, but was promising Spring to come.

Most people now simply associate this day with Groundhog’s Day, waiting to hear what Punxsutawney Phil has to say about the remainder of time before they can go outside without longjohns and mittens.  In the past, it was a day for weather predictions as well, but the people watched the snakes and badgers for their weather news, instead of groundhogs.

“Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — 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.” Wikipedia

For Wiccans, at least for me, it is a day of renewal.  It is the day that I restate my vows to my Goddess and God, and to myself, reaffirming that I am on the path that I am meant to follow.  It is also a day for new beginnings.  It is the day of hope, of promise, that the seeds that were planted, that lay fallow for the winter, hibernating, are ready to sprout and grow. 

One of the seeds that I planted is almost ready to sprout.  It is full of promise, full of hope, and ready to grow into a lovely garden.  This seed is the idea that I was now willing to teach a class — Wicca 101.  I planted the idea last fall, letting others know that I was contemplating it, and was willing to go ahead, if there were willing students.  And they were.  I am going to be watching this seed sprout this Sunday, as my students and I get together for the first lesson.

It is a time of great promise, for the sun is returning.  Bringing light, warmth, and life.  It may be still hiding right now, not obviously visible, but it’s there.  It’s creeping up on us, slowly, stealthily, ready to burst out and surprise us with its beauty.

Get ready – it’s coming!


7 thoughts on “Tuesday Theology-Imbolc

  1. Poetically written. I have a lot of Wiccan friends who have tried to explain the meaning of this day, and I couldn’t really “get it.”

    I understand renewal, rebirth, and the cycle around it. Thank you for marrying the two so now I can understand better. Are there ways you celebrate it?

    • Oh, absolutely! The candles that are going to be used throughout the year are normally blessed at this time, as well as anything else you want blessed. There are various rituals, most of them centering around bringing back light, planting seeds (such as herbs to be used later in the year) for growing indoors, or for re-planting later in the year.

      It’s a good time also to celebrate new life, like to do a baby Wiccaning, which presents the new baby to the Goddess and the God, and asking for their blessings.

      Also something that gets done at this time of year is asking for blessings. We have something that’s called “petitions” which is a request, like “better health”, or “being able to pay the bills on time”, or what-have-you. You write it on a slip of paper, asking the Goddess and God to grant you their blessing, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone, including yourself, and then you burn the petition (safely, of course).

      Thanks for the questions! 😀 I love getting into “lecture” mode. But I’ll hush now… 😉

  2. Happy Imbolc to you!
    I have an interview for a new job tomorrow: its a massive step up for me in every sense. I have no idea why they have shortlisted me, and am scared.
    but you have reminded me of my Invincible pledge and that tomorrow is Imbolc.
    bless you!

  3. Beautifully written. Congrats on your upcoming first lesson and Happy Imbolc! 🙂 I truly respect and admire your passion. I had started reading over a decade or so ago but life got carried away and demanded too much of my attention. It has always intrigued me so I thank you for sharing this.

  4. I have a special fondness for that day as well……. (you’ll see….) Happy Wiccan Anniversary Brea! I think you chose the right path back in 99 🙂

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