There, at the foot of the tree, belonging to no man,
A silver apple falls.
There, amongst the branches, the mother sits.
Weaver of dreams against the weft of the wood,
Insight falls like gentle rain on a moon-bathed garden.
— Song to Hecate
by Alison Jones
Now is the time to prepare for Imbolc, sometimes called Candlemas or Brigid. For in many places, the dates that roughly correspond to Feb. 1 through the 3rd are celebrated as the midpoint between the darkest night at Yule and the perfect balance of light and dark that comes at Ostara – Spring Equinox.
Now we prepare ourselves with rites of renewal, cleansing, and commitment. We celebrate the first stirrings of Spring. The days are noticeably longer, and life awakens all around us. While some of the fiercest Winter weather may still lie ahead, birds are already beginning their courtships, cold-hardy sprouts are poking from the earth, and the first lambs are being born (hence the name Imbolc, which means “ewe’s milk” for the nursing mothers)
Imbolc is a traditional time for dedication, or beginning a new path of initiation and spiritual study. The commitment that students of the Craft make to “a year and a day” traditionally begins at this time.
At Imbolc, we honor the great Triple Goddess, as She changes from Dark Mother/Crone to Maiden once more. And so on this last day of January, as on all final days of each month, we honor the Crone aspect of the Great Goddess Hecate,Goddess of Witches, She who guards the crossroads. It is Hecate, Goddess of the Night, who teaches us the ancient Mysteries. The last day of each month is sacred to Her, but especially this one, being the point of transformation and renewal.
What transformation are you in the process of creating? With this year’s Imbolc, we are especially blessed to have the Full Moon lighting our way. Use these days before Imbolc’s energy of purification and dedication to consider what you wish to give your attention to, over the next year and a day. A new skill? Has a special God or Goddess called you to service?
Listen with your heart and let this beautiful Moon illuminate your path as you consider what is next for your soul’s journey.