Thursday, January 31, 2019

For Imbolc/Candlemas

Here we are on the last day of January and the eve of Candlemas or Imbolc. Strange to relate, this festival day in the depths of winter celebrates light and warmth, the stirring of green things within the earth, the burgeoning of new life and the beginning of springtime.

The first day of February is also called the Féile Bride (Festival of St. Brigid) or "Bride's Day", and it is consecrated to Brigid, now honored as an Irish saint, but hallowed as a Tuatha Dé Danann goddess long centuries before she was canonized. Brigid is a deity of fire and creativity, wisdom, eloquence and craftsmanship.  She is patroness of the forge and the smithy, poetry, fertility and the healing arts, especially midwifery. Light is her special province. Hers are the candle, the hearth and the blacksmith's shop.

We are made of light ourselves, and that makes us Brigid's children - creatures forged from the dust of stars which once lighted the heavens and ceased to exist billions of years ago. Within the radiant motes of our being are encoded the wisdoms of the ancient earth and all its cultures, the star knowledge of unknown constellations and "The Big Bang" which created not just our own precious world, but the whole cosmic sea in which it floats.

We are recycled matter, our dancing particles having assembled spontaneously into diverse life forms over and over again, lived and expired as those life forms, then dissolved back into the stream of existence. In our time, “we” have been many things, worn many shapes and answered to many names. In this lifetime I exist as a tatterdemalion, specific and perhaps unique collection of wandering molecules called Catherine or Cate, but in previous incarnations, I was someone or something altogether different.

Buddhist teacher and deep ecologist Joanna Macy has written that since every particle in our being goes back to the first flaring of space and time, we are as old as the universe itself, about fifteen billion years. In other words, we are the universe, and it is us.

Happy Imbolc to you and your clan, happy Candlemas and St. Brigid's Day. May warmth and the manifold blessings of Light be yours.

4 comments:

Tabor said...

Happy Imbolic to you as well.

Rain Trueax said...

Happy Imbolc. The farm has had its first lambs :)

Barbara R. said...

Happy Imbolc to you too. I am thrilled and inspired by your reminder of our eternal beingness this day. I was thinking how much my existence is defined by my brain functions, and that each of us walks around with all that electrical energy going from brain to nerves and muscles. So when sitting in an audience and looking at all those heads, I imagined I could see the energy of their brains just zooming away, like a bunch of little generators. We are surely amazing creatures. I love Brigid and will be doing a ritual with friends on Sunday in her honor.

Mystic Meandering said...

Yes - I am inspired as well by your reminder of our eternal Beingness :) "forged from the dust of stars"... Thank you...