We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

02 February 2007

St. Brigid's Day * Imbolc*

February has crept up on me and I'm glad I realised it, as I always try and make some sort of gesture for Brigid on February 2nd, which is St. Brigid's Day, or Imbolc. It is said that Brigid touches her followers on this day, and I have certainly felt her hand many times in the past. I had the worst car accident of my life on this day, except that it can't be called the worst as I walked away without a scratch..as did everyone else in the car, even though we were travelling at 60 mph, skidded off the highway and rolled over into a ditch. This I believe was Brigid's hand, taking me off the road, away from a worse fate.. I had a bad feeling when the day began, and yet I had a wedding to attend, many miles away. We didn't make the wedding, and there were many more 'serious' accidents that day, further along that highway. Other times her presence has had a more celebratory feeling.

Several years ago I visited the remains of St. Brigid's fire temple in Kildare, Ireland. A remnant of the pagan past, as the goddess was adopted by the church and made a saint, and yet the fire temple was so powerful a site that the church left the remains (albeit small) for worshippers to still visit and light a candle. I also visited St. Brigid's well. February 2nd also referred to sometimes as Candlemas, is the Christian name for the day of purification of the Virgin Mary, not really celebrated in churches now I gather, but in Ireland beeswax candles are still blessed for use in the home-- and I know Brigid is still revered.

For me, this is a good day to light candles around the home to celebrate the returning warmth and dedicate the light to the fire goddess Brigid, who rules over poetry, healing and smithcraft. Imbolc is the pagan name, pronounced im'olk, from the Old Irish imbolg, meaning "in the belly" and this along with Brigid's Day is how I like refer to the day.

No comments: