We in the VanU Earth Spirituality group celebrate the “turning of the wheel” – i.e. seasonal shifts marked by the equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarter days (those are the days halfway between a solstice and equinox.)
The next cross-quarter day, between winter solstice and spring equinox, is called Imbolc which is a derivative of “in belly” or “in milk”. The sheep are giving birth to their lambs and their milk is flowing.
It’s also celebrated as Brigid’s Day. Brigid is a pagan goddess and also a Christian saint. There are similarities–and many differences. Brigid’s flower is the snowdrop and you’ll be seeing a lot of snowdrops emerge on the VanU labyrinth over the next while.
And, lest we forget, it’s Groundhog Day which means Banyen Books’ annual sale.
Here are some ways you can celebrate this early spring turning the wheel from winter to spring.
- Light five white candles representing earth, air, water, fire and spirit.
- Go for a walk and notice signs of spring – buds and bulbs are emerging
- Make a Brigid’s cross using reeds or long grasses
- Bless the tools of your trade. Traditionally this would be a time to bring out the garden tools, clean them up in readiness for the coming planting season. If you’re a gardener, you could follow suit and bring out your secaturs and trowels, clean and oil and sharpen. You can also clean up and bless the other tools you use in your work and play, maybe your computer, art supplies, cookware or whatever…
- Toast Brigid with a glass of beer. There’s an Irish story that says Brigid changed bathwater into beer. (May it be so and Blessed be!)
I’m particularly fond of this time of year and the rituals to celebrate it. In Vancouver, signs of spring are easy to spot. As Denise Levertov says, “so much is in bud.”
Our VanU Earth Spirituality group hosts two rituals each year that we open to everyone. If you’d like to receive invitations or have other questions about our group, send me a note: Mary Bennett unitarianmary[at]gmail[dot]com