Brightest Imbolc blessings everyone!
As I have written about in the past, Imbolc - which falls at the beginning of February - is an important date in the pagan calendar. It is at this turn of the wheel that we call for the return of the sun, our warmth and light - often personified in the Goddess Brigid. You can read more information about the origins and traditions of Imbolc here and here.
In the Northern hemisphere, this is a really difficult time of year: dark and bitter cold in many places. Historically it would be the time of year when food supplies which had lasted through the winter would have been getting low. Fires would be lit to energise folk and call on the gods and goddesses who, it would be hoped, would bring warmth and life back to the Earth.
Nowadays, as most of us have central heating and a supermarket down the road, these concerns have melted away. Some of us still feel the bite of this time of year, however, with a sense of sadness and low energy which lingers from our ancestral roots. That is why I light a fire - or even a simple candle - for Imbolc. I invite Brigid to return to us, not because I need food or literal warmth, but because I need light and the internal warmth which will come from tending new growth as Spring arrives.
Love and light.