Thursday, 1 February 2018

Imbolc

My last year's Brigid's Cross

Lá Fhéile Bhríde  

Happy St Brigid's Day  

Blessings of Imbolc to you







 What a lovely way to finish this first month of the year with a blue moon and very big tides.  

The almost full moon and low tide at sunset - Monday 29th -Newcastle,Co. Down

I've always loved, and felt it was very right, that the 1st February marks the beginning of Spring.   I know that the astrological Spring doesn't actually start until 21st March, and the meteorological spring is different again, but today still feels like the beginning of the year.   Perhaps it just makes me feel more hopeful that the darker days of winter are nearly gone and brighter, warmer days are just around the corner.   It seems very long to have to wait another 7 weeks to feel like that!!.   
The snowdrops are already in bloom - have been since Christmas - I spotted some daffodils today, and already the days are a good bit longer.  




Imbolg (also Imbolc) is a time of transition and initiation, both a gateway and a celebration. The word 'Imbolg' translates from Gaelic as 'in the belly' after the swollen abdomen's of the pregnant ewe's. The Festival of Brigid is celebrated on 1st February all across Ireland and increasingly in countries where Celtic soul beats strongly in the hearts of many. Imbolg heralds days growing longer and buds starting to open as our sap rises too. 

Brigid is renowned both as a pagan goddess and a Christian saint.   She was born in Faughart in Co. Louth, just a few miles from here.  And although she is one of the patron saints of Ireland, she also has deep associations with Wales and Glastonbury.  

Here are some links you might like to follow to find out more about this archetype of the divine feminine in Celtic culture.  

The annual Brigid of Faughart Festival happens over this weekend and ties in with a summer festival
Brigid's Way - links to the place most associated with her in Kildare.  
The Newgrange website has more great information about the origins of Imbolc and about the passage tombs at the hill of Tara where the sun lights up the altar on both Samhain and Brigid's Day.  




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This lovely poem by Kieran Murray can be read in its entirety on the Brigid's Way website.

Brigid

For our Pagan Goddess
The Flame it burned bright
As nineteen priestesses
Tended it every night.

And the other St Brigid
Her Christian counterpart
When accused of being wicked
Held hot coal to her heart.

So we honour both Brigids
On their Feast Day the same
As we craft a reed cross
At Imbolc in their name.

3 comments:

  1. Lovely post Fil & I'm not sure I've really known anything about St. Brigid. Thank you for the info on her. We missed the blue moon, as it was both cloudy when we went to bed & a bit late for us oldies to wait up till midnight, when it should have been at it's best here. Saw plenty of pics on our T.V. News. Take care.

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  2. Imbolc greetings. Spring is definitely on the way...I'm noticing blossom starting and leaf buds everywhere.
    Arilx

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  3. I loved to know about Imbolc, dear Fil! For me, I understand the feeling of beginning f everything or spirng because it marks the beginning of my astrological year, and so I identified myself a lot with the tradition! Hope you have a lovely weekend, dear Fil! Hugs!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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