Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Imbolc/Candlemas


Either February 1st or 2nd (calendars vary as to which one), is the Pagan festival of Imbolc, one of four such divisions of the year. It is the beginning of the end of winter. We emerge from the darkest days and acknowledge that the tide has turned. We can see each day it is growing brighter and brighter, longer and longer. Not surprisingly this is a day to be celebrated with fire.

Right before Imbolc was the brightest full moon of the year which can be called the Wolf Moon. It is one of those that I feel has to be photographed, but it also happened to come when the Pacific Northwest was being particularly cloudy and rainy. Full moons have a way of parting the clouds, if only for a few moments, and this one was no exception.

For agrarian peoples, which I count myself among, this is also the approach to lambing when the ewes come into milk. We can see this happening with our ewes whose bellies are slung low, and who are beginning to look swollen and ready to bring forth their own new life. This is a time of readiness, of nature waiting.
"A pure, new light sparks as we emerge from winter's dark sleep. The Power Gate of Aquarius opens, releasing the Air element and heralding returning light. We recharge our psychic batteries as the entire universe begins to quiver and pulse its cosmic rhythm." Ffiona Morgan from Mother Tongue Ink 2009

10 comments:

Parapluie said...

This photo of the moon looks like the moon is so close I could just pick it up like a ball. Great pictures today.

robin andrea said...

The love the time of Imbolc, when the light starts to change and we get closer to spring, leaving winter behind.

robin andrea said...

Oh, I meant to add, That is an amazing shot of the full moon, rain. Absolutely beautful.

robin andrea said...

Funny, I had written a comment about the time of Imbolc that never made it. A grand time it is, leaving winter behind as we head towards the green of spring.

ainelivia said...

For the past few days from my kitchen window i have watched the moon has rise full and glowing from behind the trees at the back of our house and moved through the sky. It is a beautiful sight. wish I could photo it so clearly as you have Rain.

Kay Dennison said...

Great photos!!!!! I really liked the 'end of winter' part -- a nice reminder on a single digit day!!!!

Mary Lou said...

ANd I got a glimpse of the moon last night through the passing clouds! Had not seen it in a few days. I was surprised to see it was a waning gibeous! 95% full! Then it clouded over again, and the rain started anew! Warmest January on record here!

Annotated Margins said...

And this Wolf Moon will be the brightest full moon of the year! I may be mistaken, but I think the Wolf Moon also usher's in the bride, Bridghit, the daughter of Dagda, the god of the Tuatha de Danaan. Bridghit ushers in spring.

Rain said...

Yes, Imbolc is Saint Brigid's Day (her name spelled different ways) and I thought i had written about that before but if so, it's in one of the oldest blogs with no labels. I especially know it because my girls (daughter and daughter-in-law) chose goddess names for inspiration and Bridget is my daughter-in-law's. I keep trying to choose a goddess for me but nothing has seemed quite right although the closest is Isis and except for the hard part of using her name, it seems to be the right one for me also.

Wikipedia has quite a bit about Imbolc as is there elsewhere online. I have never actually celebrated it with others but I do celebrate it by keeping a fire going in the fireplace and lighting candles to bring back the sun.

I suspect this has also been one of our warmest January's after that extremely cold December (which we missed by being in Tucson). I am ready for spring but feel we haven't had a lot of winter. That could change though as certainly February and even March can have snow where I live.

Darlene said...

I believe I read that the Wolf Moon and Earth are closest during this time that at any other time during the year. I assume that's why it looks so large.