During this season of darkness we have the space to focus on inner warmth, growth, and light. For only in the dark can light be truly seen and honored. We can use the slower pace of the season to tend to our inner landscape and work to live more from our hearts. This radiance and practice of love is what brings light to the world.
From Martinmas in November, to the festival held today, we have seen and experienced the theme of growing light. Today we will share on the festivals of this day and how they are celebrated in our home. Candlemas/Imbolc/Brigid’s Day is celebrated at the mid point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. This is a time to bless the spring sowing and celebrate the growing sunlight as we move closer to the new year.
Candlemas commemorates the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple, forty days after his birth. Jesus is known as the “Bringer of Light” and this festival honors his teachings of bringing light and love to the world. It is at this time that a prediction of the weather is announced as well. “If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come winter have another fight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go winter, and come not again.” Always an exciting thing to think about! Although, today was with rain and we had hoped to see more snow.
Some of the themes associated with this day are similar to those of the winter solstice (a celebration of the returning of light), but with more focus on the hopes of spring, such as new beginnings, growth, cleansing, and cleaning to prepare for the year ahead.
In our home we refer to this holiday as Candlemas out of habit, but the stories we share are of Saint Brigid. She represents life force and the healing energy of the sun- the eternal sacred flame, and she ushers in the arrival of Spring. She is the Goddess of fire connected to vital energy, spiritual healing, creativity, hearth/home, fertility, and midwifery. Our daughters love hearing the magical stories she has given us.
This is such an exciting holiday preparing for the new beginning spring promises. In our home we start our day with pancakes to represent the returning sun. Then, we share stories and verses. After the slow morning we get busy with our first round of spring cleaning (we put away any leftover winter decorations and shift our seasonal table, clean out the fire place, wash linens, declutter our rooms, and create more light in our home by dusting surfaces). We will pull out our gardening books and take a few minutes to start dreaming of our spring plantings. Then, we make candles, many simple candles that will light our evenings until they can be lit by the sun, and we decorate one for this night. After a candlelit dinner we write our hopes and wishes down on paper. We like to burn our papers to send our wishes up. Then, we end our day with cleansing herbal baths and renewed spirits.
Ginger Tea to connect to our inner fire.
Chop a large knob of ginger, and simmer in a pot of water covered for many hours until it cooks down about a third of the way. Remove from heat. Portion into cups and add your favorite milk. Optional- sweeten with honey after it has cooled a bit. I add Five Treasures to get the benefits of the trikatu blend. A warming and delicious treat!
A Verse for your home
May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside every wall and door
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
Bless every foot that walks its portals through
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.
As we finish out this winter season we call on the energy of Brigid to utilize the slowness of this time to grow our inner creative fires. Let us find reverence and truth in nature. May we use this season to care for our homes, communities, and own hearts in a way that will reflect love and inspire others to live peacefully. Let us grow in our minds, bodies, and spirits to bring light into the darkness.