Winter and I have a complex relationship with each other. I am aware and welcoming of the gifts of Winter, very aware. And I have grown to love the gifts of Winter. Yet I sometimes struggle with the dark shade of the bitter cold…remembering the lush green that has now become dull browns and grays or covered in the blankets of snow.
I find myself turning inward, as is natural, aware of the slumbering dormant seeds nestled in my darkness. I truly become The Hermit, in my cave, with my lanterns in the dark.
I struggle sometimes with this deep-in-the-cauldron time, but I do my best to keep in mind the Wheel has not stopped, it is constantly turning. I remind myself that it is only a matter of time until I will be able to first sense the curving turn towards Spring…until about a moon cycle before the frogs start their first round of singing. This is when I find the first breath of rebirth returned to me, this is when I find myself getting out and tramping about- enjoying the waning frost on the air, the wet, wet fertility of the ground, enjoying the mild chill of the surfaces of rocks and trees as I press my warm hands on them. The creek breaks through her frozen stagnation, begins once again to sing, her song still lone in the blessed silence of the just barely slumbering woods.
This hinge-time I personally find begins right around early February, at the time of the ancient Gaelic holy day of Imbolc, celebrated on February 1st/2nd. This is the holy day and feast day of Brigid -both Goddess and Saint- of fire, smithycraft, the hearth, healing, fertility, divination, poetry and inspiration. It is about this time that I pen my best poems, receiving the touch of Brigid on my brow swiftly and vibrantly. Potent regeneration is definitely afoot, and things begin to send up their fertile shoots in many different manifestations. I find this time to be an absolute miracle and one that never loses it’s magick for me. It is a wet time, wet with fecundity; a time of sweet thaw, of birth fluids and mother’s milk, of rain’s benediction, of bubbling cauldron and blessed brews, of poetry and ideas fluent, of the stirring flow of life in all forms. Although Brigid is a Goddess of Fire, She is also the Saint of the Holy Wells, and the holy flow of the mother’s milk of the moist Earth.
womb-warm and safe, and well-fed. My winter-dreaming, visits from my guardians.
My seeds send forth the auric patterns of the shoots, the roots, the tendrils and the blossoms that are to emerge in this waxing, this growing. Oh, to be blessed such as this.
I am grateful beyond measure.
The fire-tender, the bard and the poet, the muse, the smithy of words and the elements,
the midwife, the cool hand of the healer, the water witch, the seer, the herbalist,
the wise woman and the cunning man, rootfolk and sproutstalk… bless, bless, bless!
May you find yourself abundant in your blessings, may you find yourself restored and renewed. Take in deep life-loving breath, inspire inspiration. Hail the Holy Brigid!
Nuit Moore, The Scarlet Shakti