Understanding what it's about gives us more insight into why the festival may have been co-opted by other traditions, for there has long since been a fear of, and subsequent repression of, the powerful arising of sexual energy, as is inherent in the mirror of nature as the earth starts to move into growth, energy of new life pushes through, and we start to feel the stirrings of new possibility.
Nature is a wonderful teacher. She holds within her all of the Universal Laws from which we can truly learn. These are the Laws of Wholeness, Flow, Balance, Limits, Cause & Effect, Planes, and Evolution. Without going into great detail here, I recommend you read Mystery Teachings From The Living Earth by Michael Greer, as recommended to me by my wonderful friend Gavin.
It's fair to say that the laws reflected in nature are wonderful teachers from which, if we pay close attention, we can truly come to understand ourselves. What, we may wonder, is the purpose of this self actualisation? Well, I'd say it's to return to love, to a state of grace and to our naturalness. The innocence of childhood, the purity of a heart seeing and feeling through eyes unencumbered by conditioning that really know the truth; that LOVE is the greatest force there is and that everything is energy in motion if we can learn to remain unattached and trusting of the flow.
So here at Imbolc, the days are beginning to lengthen and new life is starting to push through the soil. Plant your ideas and leave them to germinate in the remaining darkness, ready to burst forth with spring. This celebration is all about looking at what has been take into winter's darkness and letting it go. It's all about starting to take your visions and plant them with a strong intention ready for growth. In order to do this, now is a good time to create a small fire ceremony to burn away any lingering things that may be holding you back. Get clear! Shed the next skin so that you can move with clean energy and crystal clear clarity into your dreams for this coming year.
Last night I found myself pulled to do a shamanic drum journey for myself. In a week in which I've completed a powerful shamanic ritual, leading to a physical, mental and emotional clearing, my drum was calling to me. I rarely drum for myself and it's fair to say this was almost a compulsion! I sat on my bed and began to drum. Straight away I was journeying to the Upper World where I was given very clear images and messages. I've learnt to trust these visions and impressions now, and so sitting with it, the beat of the drum consistent and clear, I began to 'see' exactly what I needed to see, understand and release in order to move into strong Imbolc imaginings (the name of one of my workshops).
There is a wealth of resourcefulness, intuition and knowing inside us. We have all the information we need in order to give ourselves all we need in order to live in wholeness, compassion and love. Imbolc is a time for reclaiming what has been forgotten. What do you need to reclaim? What spark of fire will help you birth a new dream of yourself?
1. Build an altar to the returning light, to new growth and to divine inspiration. Ginger, coltsfoot, rowan, willow, snake, dragon, greenery from outside, seeds etc are all good items for your altar.
2. Clear out any old crap lingering in your homes, workspaces and lives (if that last one is not too tall an order! If it is, focus on your home and workspace and keep it simple)
3. Create a small fire ceremony. Write down and then burn away what no longer serves you.
4. Go sit in nature for a while. Listen and just BE.
Happy Imbolc to all!
*Steph Magenta & Sarah Rose Bright are currently working on developing a programme of sacred gatherings working with the cycle of the year - please let us know if you would like to know more by clicking here.