January is one of my favorite months, probably because it’s my birthday month. But I also love the sense of potential that permeates the month, and is reflected in the pristine snowfall (if we’re lucky enough to experience snow).
If you’re like me, you’ve completed your year-end review, done a tarot reading (or two or three) for the New Year, and figured out your tarot Year Card. Perhaps you’ve chosen a word or theme song to guide you through the year.
Or perhaps you’re still deeply listening, like the woman in the Two of Air, so you can “proceed at the pace of guidance.”*
The holy-day of Candlemas, or Imbolc, will be here in just a couple of weeks. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the time when Spring begins to emerge — oh so slowly! — from the belly of Winter.
The Celts saw the beginning of this tide, February 1st, as the first day of the season of Spring. This may or may not resonate for you, depending on where you live. We may see signs of spring here in the Pacific Northwest, although February often brings the worst snowstorms and floods of the season. Elsewhere, Winter may be holding fast and fierce, and for some, Winter may not have even yet arrived.
Still, no matter the weather, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere the hours of daylight are growing. The metaphorical babe born at Winter Solstice is now a child, stretching her arms and standing on wobbly legs like a young fawn.
It is the early morning of the year, and we are beginning to awaken from our long winter’s sleep. It’s time for us to emerge from the dreamtime, just as our animal friends are cautiously emerging from hibernation or dormancy.
The awakening of the land from its winter sleep is, of course, a metaphor for the awakening of our own souls.
We will celebrate full-blown resurrection and renewal at Spring Equinox, but this midway point between Solstice and Equinox is a bit more tender. It’s a time when we cleanse and purify ourselves in preparation for renewal. We consider our commitment to our own True Paths, and prepare to make vows and pledges when the holy-day arrives on February 1st.
If you’d like to do some deep work to prepare for Candlemas/Imbolc this year, here are some questions I offer in the first week of my Candlemas ecourse. Consider these questions, and answer them in your journal. (Remember: First thought, best thought. Write without stopping, and without editing or censoring yourself.)
You might like to turn up a tarot card for each question, to ignite and inspire your answers.
• What is it that I am meant to do in this lifetime?
• How can I come into alignment with my soul’s calling?
• What new hope or seed is emerging for me, out of the depths of winter?
• What is my own True Path, and how can I make a commitment to it?
• What kind of a pledge can I make to help with the healing of Mama Gaia?
*(From “The Seven Whispers” by Christina Baldwin)
Gentle Reminder: Last Call for Early Bird Price
Just a reminder that the next 5-week session of my Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices, Candlemas: Prelude to Spring, starts next Sunday, January 20, and tomorrow January 16th, is the last day for the Early Bird Price.
During this course, we will honor Brigid, the triple goddess of smithcraft (think transformation), healing and creative inspiration. We’ll cleanse ourselves in her holy well, and we’ll be set ablaze by her creative fire. We’ll renew our vows and dedicate ourselves to our own True Paths.
Nature activities, art & photography projects, and — oh yes! — there will be tarot exercises too!
I hope you’ll consider joining me and a group of lovely folks already gathering for this Candlemas circle.