“And thou who thinketh to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning
shall avail thee not, unless thou knoweth the mystery; that if that
which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never
find it without thee.For behold, I have been with thee from the
beginning; and I am that which is attained at the end of desire." - The Charge of the Goddess-
Brighid — Harbinger of Spring
Imbolc, though most often observed on the first of February, approximately half-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, is more than a celebration of a day. Historically it marks the season of lambing and lactation in the ewes – the old Irish Imbolg meaning in the belly, and the medieval Oimelc, meaning ewes milk. In this respect, Imbolc is a season and the heralding celebration was often observed as much as two weeks before or after the beginning of February.
Living in a cold and wintery northern region of the United States (and this year Calleach is a formidable guest, brining with her deep cold and even deeper snow), I always have some difficulty getting into the spirit of Imbolc and Oestra. With temperatures below zero and the great likelihood that I will not see the ground without snow cover until well into April, the promise of spring is still a hopeful seed, closed tight, waiting for the earth to warm and the rains to come.
This year, though, I have set up camp in the deep south where trees are in bud, native shrubs are holding forth their first, pale blossoms and my bare feet are treading on the greening grass of Mother Gaia. The muse of Brighid has come to visit. She is seeding her blessings across the land and I am joyously celebrating the rites of quickening with Her.
All wrapped up with Valentine’s Day, the Maiden is encouraging, “Sew seeds of love; grow your own.” She wears a crown of light for she reigns with the returning Sun, bringing us from the season of winter into the warmth and new life of spring.
Her companion on this visit, is a hummingbird. Hummingbird Spirit calls forth the energy of infinity in the pattern of his wings. When hovering, the little bird appears to stand still - as does the Sun at the equinoxes, making this bird a messenger of past, present and future visions. Also a harbinger of spring and summer, Hummingbird represents resiliency in his ability to fly great distances for extended periods. He is also a fierce competitor, thus invoking both the Warrior and Survivor Spirits. His jewel like colors call forth joyfulness and a sense of celebration.
If your are in the Northern Hemisphere, even more so if you feel you are still in the clutches of Calleach and you are longing for a glimmer of Brighid’s warmth, light a candle to invoke Brighid and invite her spirit into your life. Perhaps, you might even ask her to hurry along on her journey.
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