In the Northern Hemisphere, Imbolc is the celebration of mid-winter - we are at the half-way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Astrologically, Aquarius Season is the middle of the Winter Quadrant (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) and Imbolc is celebrated at the Middle of Aquarius Season - when the sun is at 15° Aquarius. With our modern Calendars, we celebrate this on or around February 1. (If you prefer astrological precision, you can always find out when the Sun will be at 15° Aquarius; in 2023 this falls on February 4)
At this time of year, we collectively experience a feeling of starting over again - starting fresh. On New Year's Day we set Resolutions, and for many pagans at Imbolc - it is a time of making wishes and setting our goals for the coming year. Spring is beginning in about 6 weeks - but any gardener knows that a successful garden begins before the seeds are even planted in the soil! There is some planning that happens; what kind of seeds do we want to get? How do we need to prepare the soil? Some plants need to be started indoors, and some need to be planted while it is still cold. But before all this comes one important thing - the decision to plant a garden or seed! The choice to try something new, or to have a goal is where we begin. The choice is a process of awakening; feeling a new hope stirring within you that longs for something new. This awakening and stirring of hope for a better future is the essence of Aquarius energy and lessons.
Aquarius is the sign of unique individuality - it teaches us how each unique individual offers something valuable to the collective; when one person thrives, the whole community is uplifted. When one person holds hope for something better, that inspiration can spread like wildfire through a community. While the sun is in Aquarius, we ask ourselves; "what makes me unique, and how can I support others with my unique gifts? How can I serve to make the world a better place, not just for myself, but for everyone?"
Starhawk on Imbolc: "This is a time of individuation: Within the measure of the spiral, we each light our own light, and become uniquely ourselves. It is a time of initiation, of beginning, when seeds that will later sprout and grow begin to stir from their dark sleep. We meet to share the light of inspiration, which will grow with the growing year." [The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, 1979]
Whether we are lighting candles to represent the spark of inspiration awakening within us, or planting seeds to represent potential growth of our wishes for the coming year, Imbolc is a time to celebrate that YOU are the light, YOU are the seed. Within you is a unique and creative life force that can bring forth hope or joy or healing. How do you wish to bring forth your potential in the year ahead?
Wishing you a very happy Mid-Winter Celebration! If you wish, you can join The Ever Green Hearth for our online Imbolc Ritual: Saturday, January 28, 2023 7:00 pm PST (Please view our Events page or Facebook page for the Link to join Ritual!)