"Weave together your heart's desire on the last snowflake of Winter and await the promise of Spring"
After the revels of Yule I am prone to The Great Slump. Despite the days growing longer and brighter after the Winter Solstice, January, for me, is the darkest month. Whilst other people are earnestly penning their New Year's resolutions and hotfooting it to the gym, I am at my lowest ebb.
After the joys and creative highs of Yule – I spend my days writing, making art, reading, studying, listening to music – I experience this overwhelming feeling of emptiness, desolation. I feel spiritually weary.
Just the old January Blues, I guess.
On the surface, life goes on. Only it hasn’t really started yet, this new year.
I am in limbo, counting down the days until Imbolc.
This “feast of flames” (celebrated at the beginning of February), heralds the returning light, the warmth of the sun, the coming of Spring, new life.
Of course, an Imbolc snowfall is not unknown, even here in the SE of England, but it’s what I always call an “ironic snowfall”. It’s Winter’s last grand hurrah, we shan’t be held in its grip. The snowdrops that push their way up out of the cold earth under the Silver Birch at the bottom of my garden, are testimony to that.
There is a quickening.
This is a time of quiet reflection, deep contemplation, illumination. In a way, it’s one long, gentle meditation all the way up to Ostara at the Vernal Equinox and I find that I restore myself to myself every season. Now is the time I lay my plans and re-order my life and my surroundings.
I honour Imbolc in different ways depending on whether I’m alone or with other people. There have been fabulous gatherings over the years and equally joyous lone ceremonies at my altar.
There is one tradition I keep, regardless, though and that is – at sundown – I walk through my home lighting up every room as I go until the house is ablaze. The dark days and thoughts of January are banished! Then I give thanks to the Goddess for all that has been and all that is to come. And so my new year begins at last. In hope. Above all, hope.
With love and all blessings for Imbolc, Liss.