The Earth’s wisdom dictates a process, and no part of nature is immune. Not even humans.
Today is Imbolc, a pagan festival that marks the beginning of spring.
Imbolc marks the end of the Kiva time, the time for hibernation and dreaming that started on the Winter Solstice.
Imbolc celebrates the beginning of spring and the stirring beneath the surface that is a precursor to the emerging of new life.
Deep beneath winter’s surface, the earth serpent stirs, called from dreaming as subtle energies shift and earth’s longing for light, sheltered in winter dreaming, is born. — Sherri Rose-Walker
February in the Northern hemisphere is still in the heart of winter. In NYC, it’s still bitter cold. And, yet, deep beneath the surface of the earth, and deep within ourselves, things are starting to move. Just like the sap starts rising within the trees, there is a stirring within us that calls us to the light.
It calls us back to life.
The Traditions Align
It’s not a coincidence that Imbolc falls around Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees and one of four New Years days in the Jewish calendar.
Nor is it coincidence that today is Groundhog Day, the day when the groundhog comes out of hibernation to check for its shadow. (Imbolc was a pagan precursor to Groundhog Day).
Earth wisdom is eternal wisdom. It is not tied to religion or culture or creed. It belongs to all of us.
It governs all of us.
The Change of Seasons
We may wonder whether we will ever see the light of spring or experience the lightness of being that comes with the spring season.
We want the change to happen immediately. Now. Overnight. Instant results.
Mother Earth has her own schedule. She doesn’t abide by man-made constructs of time. She follows her own rhythm.
All inhabitants of the Earth follow that rhythm as well. Even humans. As much as we try to impose our own timing, we are no exception to the laws of nature.
No Instant Results
In nature, nothing happens immediately. There is no such thing as an “overnight success” or “instant results.”
Seeds lay dormant beneath the surface of the earth before sprouting up. The sap slowly thaws before it rises up in the trees. A butterfly struggles to emerge from the cocoon.
The darkness and struggle of winter is part of the process, not an obstacle on the path.
Imbolc can signify endurance in the face of adversity and scarcity: we may encounter fragility, tenuousness, uncertainty, darkness and despair beyond what we think we can endure. — Kim Duckett
On Imbolc, the invitation is to come out of hibernation and out of the shadows, into the light. But it’s not a call to immediately burst forth.
It’s a signal to start getting ready. We are entering spring training.
Where do you think baseball got the idea?
Wisdom is wisdom.
Embracing Where We Are
At this time we create space to gather together and share how we are. Even as we are still in darkness, we share what is real and true for us.
As we begin to emerge from the hibernation time, we share what we need, what is still frozen, what is thawing, what is fragile. And it is that sharing of the darkness that opens us to the light.
In the deep winter, we begin again. We say Yes again each year: Yes to returning light, to the coming outward time. We are saying Yes to the living of life again and whatever it may bring. — Kim Duckett
Seeing the Light
This time around Imbolc and Tu B’Shevat is a time for sacred pause. It is a time for seeing the light beyond the shadows, the light at the end of the dark tunnel of winter.
We pray that the light may unfold in the world and within us, and that we may be beacons of light wherever we go.
Action: Embrace the pause
This weekend, claim an hour — or more — for yourself. Disconnect from your technology, and spend some time in quiet reflection. Consider:
- What’s emerging for you right now?
- What’s calling for your energy — your life force — in the coming year, or even the coming month or the coming week?
Please share in the comments.