Home » wheel of the year » 2. February: Imbolc, Brighid, Candlemas, Groundhog Day
imbolc: black and white drawing of a white candle. to the right and the left are two brighid's crosses. at the biottom there are tiny grass shoots coming from the ground

2. February: Imbolc, Brighid, Candlemas, Groundhog Day

Finding the right moment

December‘s darkness is compensated for by mulled wine, candlelight, sweets and carols. Compare that to January, a month that in the Northern Hemisphere is known more for dreary weather and taking inexplicably long. Yes, the sun rises earlier each day, however that is basically it. Still, a lot of us use it to turn our New Year‘s resolution into action, getting motivated for increased amounts of exercise or tidying up our homes.

Now that January is almost over, maybe like me you step outside each day looking out for the snowdrops in your front yard, full of hope that this is the day they finally blossom. Neither plucking at them nor pleading can make them grow. Those lovely messengers of early spring will show up when they are ready. And where I live they are apparently not. In general, February is a weird time to me when everything seems to be in the starting blocks waiting for some kind of sign.

Outside, the hazelnut bushes are in bloom, several bird species have started their chirping contest and the squirrels can be seen speeding around our garden with special vigour. Sun hours have increased by 1 hour and 20 minutes since the solstice. There is quite a lot of leaves and twigs covering the ground, although I am not yet ready to jump into gardening action. This year I plan to grow some vegetables at last and every time I check the tutorials I am still too early. If I had to pick a gesture for this time of year it would be a twiddling of my thumbs.

The mood outside is reflected in some of my projects, one of them being the vegetable patch, some others having to do with redecoration but before I can get to them there is some preparation work to be done. Patience is not exactly my favourite state of mind which is why it is especially important for me. I easily get blocked by wanting to get something done quickly, installing a couple of preconditions, tripping over them and then giving up on the entire thing in a total huff. If I can‘t make it by this one point in time, then I just won‘t at all.

Myths and traditions

The snowdrops can teach me a lesson here. They do not care when anyone else expects them to bloom. They are ready when they are ready. But then they actually are ready and do not hold back the blossom and adjourn the date. This relaxed listening for a sign from within could save me a lot of energy and frustration with all of my projects. We can also see this line of thought in the tradition of Groundhog Day. If the groundhog leaves its burrow to see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If the sky is cloudy on the 2nd of February, there will be an early spring. Of course you can try and keep the animal from looking in the shadow‘s direction and crawling back, but this will not change the coming weather. What you can do is sit, wait and observe.

Candlemas is a catholic holiday celebrated by blessing candles for the future year or making St. Brigid crosses. The latter used to be a Celtic goddess and was later turned into a saint. Among other things she ruled the fire, smithing, contracts and creativity. To me it seems fitting that the signal for the right moment has to do with inspiration as well as working your iron at the right temperature, not striking it to early or too late. This might be a good image for me to keep in mind for a balance between patience and action.

What about you?

What is Nature up to where you live? How do you manage to know when the time has come to start your projects? Do you have an idea on where you receive your inspiration from? Is your inner energy level in line with the outer seasonal processes? Which contracts are you concluding right now with yourself and with the world?

Meditation and looking forward to the wheel spinning onwards

I have uploaded a short meditation about finding the right moment to start for you to try another approach to this holiday. You can find it here.

This post refers back to this main article and is part of a series on each of the eight holidays of the year. During 2020 I will write another post for every one of those date so stay tuned for the 20th of March!

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