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Imbolc: Festival of Light

February 2
Sun 15 degrees Aquarius

Imbolc marks the now-noticable return of daylight; since the
Solstice, the days have been growing longer, and Spring is
approaching rapidly. The first domesticated animals
to give birth, usually the sheep & goats, have started
having babies; the word 'Imbolc' comes from two words meaning
"Ewe's Milk." This holiday is also known as 'Bride's Day,' or
'Brighid's Day,' both showing respect to a favorite
Celtic Goddess (who was also later canonized
by the Catholic Church at St. Brigid.)
As Brighid's day, Imbolc is dedicated to fire, poetry and
cleansing; the year's supply of candles is often made, or
at least consecrated, on this day, leading to yet another
title, 'Candlemas.' It is appropriate to begin Spring cleaning
on this day, as this is one of those magical days of the year that
is said to foretell one's activities for the rest of the year;
prognostications about one's career, one's love
life, even the weather, are made today...one modern
acknowledgement of this is the observation
of Groundhog Day, also observed February 2.
One ritual observance that is still practiced
among modern Pagans is the Imbolc custom of blessing
the seeds to be planted in the upcoming seasons. Even if you
do not have a garden, you can still participate in the
wonder of Spring by blessing some herb seeds and
planting them in a pot, placed upon your windowsill. As the
seeds sprout & grow, so will the Light Half of the Year!
Traditional colors include white and green, and
red or yellow for fire; important symbols include
candles and evergreens.

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