To those who celebrate the pagan Wheel of the Year, February 1st-2nd marks the Celtic fire festival of Imbolc, which heralds the returning of the light and the beginning of Spring.
So named after the Celtic word 'oimelc', which is believed to mean 'in the belly' or 'ewe's milk', it refers to the life-giving milk of lactation recommencing. It is at this time of year that the lambing cycle begins and the earth warms up to allow new life to grow.
Ancient celebrations fell on this day to honour the powerful bringer of light - the goddess Brigid (Brid, Bride, Brigit) - who would breathe life, warmth and fertility back into the dead, cold lands and begin a new season of growth and fruition.
Today, people still celebrate this important turn of the wheel, by lighting fires and candles to reflect the light returning and inviting Brigid to warm their hearths and the Earth itself. As it is a time to prepare for new growth, ask Brigid for her assistance in bringing your hopes and dreams to being. Prepare the ground for the planting of seeds which will flower in the coming seasons - both literally and metaphorically.
Brightest Imbolc blessings to you all.