The change from January to February is subtle, but noticeable, at least here in New England. The weather outside isn't any darned better, but the days are getting longer and we know that we're moving closer to Spring. Yule seems a long time ago, but Spring is still a long way away.
This is the energetic feel of Imbolc, the nadir of the wheel of the year--the depth of winter, where we stoke the fires and keep our hope for the future warm.
As a reminder, our intent is to provide you with some examples of possible "ingredients" for your altar.
On this month's altar we will include some of the elements from January's altar with some warmer elements added for February. The color purple reminds us of certain early flowers that can sometimes appear in February. We found some purple-hued sea-urchin shells at the local craft store, as well as some colored glass shapes. The candies are from our January altar, but these come in all sorts of colors and add a fun pop of color to an altar. Ironically, even though we'd thought of this set-up as just a photo shoot of "ingredients," we decided that we like this as a simple altar by itself. You may also want to add some Imbolc items that are personal to you.
Again, it's worth reminding you that an altar doesn't have to be complicated or perfect. You may have the grandest intentions for a Martha-Stewart-style altar that takes a whole shelf and impresses everyone, but keep in mind that reality always wins. Last year, we had the intention of making an Imbolc altar to celebrate new growth and the warming fire of the sacral chakra. We had a wonderful blue bowl, and a gorgeous short yellow pillar beeswax candle (the "Sex" candle purchased online from Sage Goddess). We went to the site of our new house, which wasn't ready to live in yet and collected dirt, then went to the garden store to buy bulbs. The idea was to fill the bowl with the dirt, put the candle in the middle, and plant the bulbs around it, to be replanted later as gorgeous flowers in our home soil.
Then--reality. There were no bulbs at the garden store, so we bought lavender. The soil was clay-like, and kind of wet. Nothing came up, or maybe something did, a few ridiculous little anemic shoots that were probably either bittersweet or poison ivy. So basically our February altar for 2016 was just the candle in a bowl of dirt or, as it was affectionately called, "Sex in the Dirt."
The Universe has a sense of humor, so we may as well, too.