In an ethereal womb we slumber, transitioning from January to February, a liminal time between clattering noise of the previous year and the held breath of what lies ahead. Although we still remain wrapped in winter’s introspective hibernation, the fire and light of a new year, a new season is beginning to stir within our souls. The ancient Celtic holiday Imbolc on February 1-2nd, marks the feast of the goddess Brigid, the end of winter and a time for ritual purification. Similarly, in ancient Roman times, February marked Februa, the month of ritual purification of body, home, and city. As our visions of this year begin to crystallize, so do our intentions, igniting our inner flames of wide-eyed desire. This time of year holds such a unique type of magic; equal parts preparation, intuition and creative realizations. There is always rush to start off a new year with a bang, yet intentions need nurturing, dreams require courage and action demand finesse. During this in between season, from winter to spring, what witches celebrate as Imbolc, we can transition the learned wisdom from winter into spells, actions and manifestations as the tender buds of spring begin to emerge.
Brigid’s fire and light, her commitment to igniting and tending to sacred eternal flames is a metaphor that can be applied to modern magicians today. First a goddess, then a saint, Brigid is a triple Goddess of fire, purification, fertility, crafts, midwifery, poetry and sacred wells. Regardless of how Brigid appears or inspires, her archetype and Imbolc, her holiday, reflects each and every one of her particular gifts. Allegedly born by the town of Kildare, in 451AD, young Brigid cared for the poor, even giving away her mother’s store of butter, her prayers miraculously replacing them. She became a nun and her monastery at Kildare called the Church of the Oak was build above a pagan shrine dedicated to the goddess Brigid. At this monastery, Brigid built a communal religious and spiritual life for other women and also created a school of art, including metalwork, which resulted in the Book of Kildare, only to be lost during the Reformation. At Kildare, nuns tended to an eternal flame, a tradition dating back to the pagan priestesses who burned an eternal flame to protect herds and bring about a plentiful harvest season.
A simple ritual to do during this time of year to invoke Brigid, or whenever steadfast bravery is needed, is to imagine a red candle inside your physical body running from your root charka up to your heart. As you breathe in, visualize the flames igniting, with beautiful shades of reds and oranges, bringing warmth and strength to your entire being. In situations when you feel overwhelmed or full of fire, imagine sending the fire down, gently and carefully, never extinguishing it. Bright blessings and never forget the internal, eternal flame that remains deep within!