The time between yule and imbolc can be cold, dark, and difficult in much of our country. Many of us suffer from post holiday blues, not to mention bills, which are definitely part of the blues! The days are short, and even though they’re getting longer, we haven’t really seen the difference yet. It’s just cold, through and through, and by now we’re pretty tired of it.
Many of us celebrate the Sabbats, but those are only eight days out of the year. How do we acknowledge and connect with the rest of the days of the year? And how do we transition from one to the other? The transition from Yule to Imbolc is both easy and difficult. Some transitions are subtle, but not this one. For Yule we tend to put up decorations and get together with family (whether we want to or not)–and then we take the decorations down and go back to being alone, and find ourselves plunged into the darkness of the post-holiday season.
This is why Imbolc is a truly important sabbat, even if it’s sometimes hard to relate to for those of us who live in the cities or the suburbs. We don’t see the lambs being born or the first stirrings of nature that promise Spring is coming.
Regardless, Imbolc can be viewed as sort of a waypoint on the journey to spring. It’s precisely in these dark days of transition, when it’s cold and dreary, and there’s not enough sunlight, that we need a definite signpost that we’re making our way to the light.
In the meantime, we’re sitting in front of the fire, biding our time, and waiting for that half-way point. Count your blessings, and find points of joy and hope — even in the dead of Winter this is possible.
One of our deepest loves is divination — working with tarot, oracle, runes, and anything else that helps us connect to the busy thrum of the universe. We like to joke that we don’t believe that tarot predicts the future, but it predicts the past and the present. Seriously, though, how many of us really pay attention to what goes on in our lives to the extent that we can really home in on what we might be creating for the future? Don’t ask us what’s going to happen–tell us what you WANT to happen, and we’ll help you visualize what’s going on in your life so that you can change what you need to in order to get what you want.
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Less than a week away from Spring, and we’re buried in snow. Supposedly there’s even more next week. Spring in New England is always…weird. Much of the time it doesn’t even feel like Spring until it’s close enough to be thinking of Summer and yet, despite the hesitance of nature, there’s a definite change.
The hens are laying, the roosters are louder, and the teenage boy is going out in shorts. The snow is bright with the intensity of the sun, and daylight savings makes evening karate classes a little easier to go to. It’s time to shake off the winter funk, and here’s a few ideas for how to invigorate your life for the new season ahead:
- Soak up some sun. We don’t really think about balancing masculine and feminine energies much, though many of the myths and celebrations we’ve inherited and incorporated into our practices have this as their center. We put our magical tools out to take up the moonlight, but what about us, the magician? Draw in some of that solar energy. Your vitamin D levels will love you for it.
- Pick a new, invigorating scent of essential oil and make some room mist, or make a cleaning spray and clean your counters and surfaces with it. We’re fans of geranium or grapefruit. Mrs. Meyers has a wonderful line of geranium-scented products.
- Have an “Empress day.” I’ll admit it – dusting and tidying is no fun, especially if you have way too many a lot of crystals and tarot decks and candles, and any form of pet with hair. Everyone talks about spring cleaning like it’s all or nothing, but instead, think of it as a how, not a what. Tend to your tools like nature tends to the seedlings huddled in the soil waiting to germinate. Love them up, and think of greeting them like the spring sun instead of being goal-oriented about it.
- Cleaning your house is only one aspect of spring cleaning. Think of the elements — earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. What’s even just one thing you can let go or change in these aspects of your life? Is there something about your physical body you need to work on? What about a thought, a creative block, an emotional issue, or a spiritual practice that isn’t working? Make way for the new.
- Open your spiritual windows. One of the cheapest and most effective ways to bring new life into your practice is just to let other people and ideas in.
What are some ways you like to greet the spring?
Come Spring! The Sun is near but the snow keeps falling here in New England. It is getting difficult staying indoors too much. We took a day trip to Portland Maine yesterday and that sure helped a lot.
Now more snow. Ugh. We try to take the Vitamin D to replace the lack of sunshine but it’s just not the same.
Ostara hope is very near! I will remind myself of that every day now.
Blessed Yule approaches bringing with it the shortest daylight time of the year.
This is such a special time where it is nice to reflect on our lives, what we have done, and what we will do next year. We can place an evergreen tree in our home to remind us of the beauty of summer, and to give us hope at its return. We can place lights and decorations to reflect the joy of life, and the light of the Sun which is now beginning its return.To make sense of this time of year, it can work well to combine the Winter Solstice, Xmas, and New Year’s into one holiday season of Yule. Of course, it is all about the Solstice, but in our current society, Xmas has taken over the traditions of Yule. Basically, replacing the word Sun with son, and moving the date a bit.However, we can blend the 21st into the 25th in our hearts and minds as the celebration of Yule. And since the Solstice also marks a beginning for the coming year, we can also bring our current calendars New Year’s Day into the same holiday season. It makes so much more sense when these three dates are combined into one Yule Holiday Season. And now, if someone says ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Holiday’ or whatever, you can return the greeting kindly but in your mind you will hear ‘Blessed Yule!’.