Sunday, August 1, 2010

Eve of the Feast of Bridgid

Bridgid of the mantle ... encompass us
Lady of the lambs ... protect us
Keeper of the hearth ... gather us
and restore us to memory
Mother of our mothers
Foremother strong

guide our hands in yours
remind us how to kinder the hearth
to keep it bright and preserve the flame
Tonight I hung the Bridgid cross I brought home from Ireland
on my little light tree
to mark the fact that in our southern hemisphere
this is the season of Bridgid, of Imbolc...of candlemass

This is the beginning for me of living by the seasons ....
I plan for a year, to mark the year from here on, not by the calendar but by the seasons.
I have Juliet's book "Dancing With The Seasons" to help me.

Outside it is windy and wild tonight. We've had a taste of spring..warm and sunny.. but tonight it is still winter. Wet and windy and cold. My friend Josie on the farm tells me they have lambs and calves born. I thought, there, that's what it's all about..Imbolc, the time when the ewes come into milk and the lambs are born!
It is as Juliet said ... a time of transition. For me it is a time of learning.

To friends in the northern hemisphere this may seem strange ..but to live by a calendar that does not match the season is increasingly strange to me.

I have drawn my curtains, lit candles, and warmed my room. It is already dark outside at 5.30pm. I have beautiful celtic music to dance to.
Already, by doing just this small thing, there is a shift, something feels different.
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  1. Your tree and St. Bridgid's cross at the time of candlemass is so warm and lovely, Joan, as you begin to mark your year and season of transition. I know I will eagerly follow you through the year ahead of you. Penny

  2. thank you Penny. This is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I've always thought I'd love to live for a year somewhere where the seasons match the calendar. Most of my friends do not understand what I am talking about!!

  3. This is so interesting J, I have Juliet's books "Celebrating the Southern Seasons - Rituals for Aotearoa' and see that if there is bad weather on Imbolc day it means winter is almost over. So it's good then that today is wet and wild, spring must be in it's way, we are waiting. Our seasons never matched our celebrations - for instance I loved celebrating Summer Solstice in a Norwegian farming settlement where it was light throughout the night and the youngest boy and girl were dressed as bride and groom and the bride had a bouquet of wildflowers and each home presented their best baking of which everyone had to have something from each plate. Here in NZ we are focused on Christmas when it's our Summer Solstice.

  4. Isn't it exciting M. I thought that about the weather too. I wrote it into my blog and then removed it thinking did I really read that! I was reading about Imbolc and about the ewes milk..and then Josie told me about her lambs!! How amazing living by the seasons. Juliet's book is wonderful.

  5. I love the seasons, and the light - from the sun or from little lights inside.