I had the great fortune to be on the west coast last weekend for a wonderful workshop led by Nan Moss and David Corbin. What a great group of shamanic dreamers! We journeyed and explored the nature of weather on planet Earth together. Nan and David are amazing guides and teachers. It was an incredible three days.
The only down side to my ‘dreamy’ weekend was that I didn’t have a chance to celebrate Imbolc, a traditional Celtic festival day that marks the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox. For my Christian friends, the holiday (holy day) of Candlemas grew out of ancient Imbolc festivals.
My Celtic ancestors held Imbolc celebrations to honor the imminent return of spring. Ironically, when I flew back to my home in the Rockies on February 3rd, it was 11 degrees below zero. And since then, it has snowed twice and been bitterly cold, with temperatures barely creeping above zero. And yet I trust that spring will return soon, no matter how foul the weather is outside. Underneath the cover of a foot of snow, tiny seeds are stirring and Mother Earth is quietly preparing herself for spring.
This year, I decided to celebrate Imbolc with a daily fire in my fireplace. A traditional Imbolc festival would be marked by the entire village feasting and attending a big bonfire. But for me, a small fire burning in my hearth seems just perfect this year. Snow falling outside while a fire burns in my hearth; what a perfect blending of fire and ice!
I have been sitting in front of my little daily fire, dreaming up new classes, and meditating on the Goddess Brigid (AKA Brigit). Brigid is a fiery Celtic Goddess who is said to reign over the powers of poetry, inspiration and metal smithing as well as the healing arts. She has been associated with Imbolc since ancient times. And Brigid has proved to be quite a tenacious Pagan Goddess; when Christianity took hold in the Celtic world, Goddess Brigid simply morphed into the beloved Saint Brigid who continues to inspire many Catholics and non-Catholics even in this cynical modern age.
Brigid is very special to me personally; she has spontaneously appeared in my dreams many times. She seems to come whenever I need to stop, reflect and find new inspiration. This week she has shown up with messages about how I can release troubling family patterns and allow my writing to bloom in new ways. I LOVE it when Brigid shows up in my dreams! Her fiery energies seem to fill me with new insights and ideas.
As our days slowly lengthen here in the northern hemisphere, Mother Earth begins to rouse from her winter slumber and quietly prepare the ground for spring. And, if you allow it, this icy time can be a time of inner fire and inspiration. May you find a few moments to pause, reflect on your dreams and light a flame both without and within. As winter slowly melts away into spring, may you be inspired by nature’s fire and ice.