Wheel of the Year

Imbolc 2012 – Guidance for the Year

January 23, 2012

As a follower of a seasonal path, and someone who has developed their sensitivity to the variety and strength of the energies available throughout the year, Imbolc – February 1st – marks the opening of the new year. For me it symbolises the return of the male energies. What does this mean exactly? It means that up until the beginning of February the Sun’s light has been too weak to feed the activity of the male subtle energies that inhabit the Earth, and which are present in living things. Therefore, for me, Imbolc marks the beginning of an increase in the strength and vitality of anything that is enlivened by the influence of male (or Sun-sourced) energies.

In Britain this year there has been an exception to this general rule concerning the presence of male energy. Male ‘subtle’ energy has in fact been available, albeit in a very weakened form. This has been due to the amount of sustained sunlight that we have been receiving. You can feel it in the land – the birds are singing, the buds are appearing, there have even been flowers blooming in January – normally a time when most delicate biological entities retreat into themselves and rest. An unusual year indeed. At this exact moment the frost and cold has returned to bite, yet the sun continues to shine. It is a most unusual beginning.

The heat and height of the Summer

The unusual start makes it difficult to contemplate how the year might work itself out. Are we going to see the seasons having “unseasonal” weather? Are they going to be unrecognisable from our traditional weather patterns? What will this mean for the strength and prevalence of the Earth’s subtle energy forces, and for the living biological energy of its inhabitants? My feeling is that we are going to see a real peak in Sun energy this year. This may require some balancing out by those of us who work well with Moon energy (female), as we feed a calming influence into the land through selected node points on the energy grid. Let’s not get all hot-headed and hysterical just because the Olympics are coming to town in the height of Summer! It’s just a game, an amusement, a distraction.

As with all previous years that I have followed my spiritual path I returned to the Llangernyw Yew Tree for inspiration. Communing with this tree seems to set the spark on the year’s tinder and soon a flame of encouraging light emerges from the kindling provided by this ancient life force nestled deep in the heart of a small village in North Wales. I will talk about the visit in more detail soon, but the outcome was one word: “Renown“. I will be spending the year seeking out sources to increase my personal power. Renown is a subject that I will return to and explain more fully in subsequent posts. No doubt I have much more to learn about it as the year goes on.

Now let’s talk about specific preparations that I am making for Imbolc, and that you could make too.

Preparations for Imbolc

What can the roving druid do for Imbolc? Is it best to follow the traditional methods, or to be more ‘modern’ about the whole process? Sometimes I feel that people are searching this site for a list of instructions. Other times I feel the right message to deliver is my own message, and to hope that it resonates with you all. I don’t do traditional. I have read many rituals, poems, myths, stories – ancient and modern. I have read accounts, histories and reconstructions from guiding spirits coming through sensitive mediums. All of this information I have absorbed, and I should be in a good position to reveal to everyone reading this blog how they should conduct themselves for Imbolc. But I won’t. Rather, the message is simply for you to make your own preparations. Find your own guides. Go search them out in Nature. Let yourself be guided by those who take a direct interest in your spiritual path.

This year I am hoping to attend a ceremony dedicated to Brigid at a local megalithic site. I have bought candles for a ceremony of light. I haven’t been to such an event before, but this opportunity just fell right and everything about it seemed to be correct. I knew instantly that it was the right thing to do this year. I am reserving judgment at this time, and then I will report back once it’s finished. Kal is hoping that we can encompass some other sites in the area too that day. Let’s hope so, because we always have an interesting time at Imbolc. it seems to be a real kick-start to the year for us both.

Well, those are my preparations for Imbolc, but what should you be doing? Here are some suggestions I have for you based on my experience of the energies and entities available at this time of year:-

  1. Find a sacred site that is already dedicated to or associated with “Brigid”. The site may contain the name “Brigid”, “Bride”, “Brid” or any of the other variations of her name. Connecting to or being bathed in the energies of Brigid offers a feeling of nurturing, of well-being, and the metaphorical “light” associated with her can offer revelations as to where you may progress to in the coming year. Here’s a link to some information about Brigid.
  2. Concentrate on the symbolism of light. The first chinks of the light returning to the mornings and evenings as Spring approaches is part of the thanks that we are offering in our energetic exchanges with Nature. The nature of this light, and its connection to our inner light (our ‘divine spark’, if you will) is an important symbol of the energetic links being forged at this festival period.
  3. Make an offering or sacrifice that symbolises your dedication to progress through embracing light. From example, this year I have bought a lot of candles that I intend to offer to anyone else present at a Brigid site that I attend. In addition to the physical donation I anticipate allowing some of my own inner light to flow through the connection with the Brigid entity and to donate that part of my spirit to the site.

In your preparations I would also refer you to a chart that Kal recently drew up that listed the various proportions of how people’s energies contribute to sacred events. Maybe a good time to review that and decide on how you might want to being things into alignment for Imbolc?

Have a bright and cheery day, whatever you do!


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  1. I love Imbolg Gwas, it’s one of my favourite festivals, its such a time for hope isn’t it:-) In my old circle (which I’m glad to say is reforming for Imbolg funnily enough!) we used to light floating candles in a crystal bowl and implement our wishes for the year, like making a pax or promise with the powers while the life-giving energies are just coming in. Its curious though that in some traditions (like the Norse) the sun was seen as female, so I’m inclined to think that the solar energy is more ‘yang’ in the abstract sense, rather than being male in the gendered sense. The Australian Aboriginal peoples as far as I know, see the moon as male as did the Assyrians, so again lunar energy can be interpreted through a masculine mythology (the Aboriginals see the moon as a fertilizing aspect which works secretly with women’s mysteries, I guess as a hidden consort or animus).

    It’s also interesting what you say about ‘renown’. I’ve had many promptings this year so far, about claiming ‘sovereignty’ I’m wondering if this is what you’re referring to. I think we’re being made to see that the way we (as in collective humanity) treat the Earth and other beings, is a reflection of how we actually treat ourselves, especially in light of centuries of Pauli-Christian doctrine, which has told us we’re sinful and loathsome in the sight of God. I think by claiming our personal power and sovereignty we can go some way in improving our relations with all others that we walk with. I certainly am considering how to bring things into alignment at the moment, so it seems apt that you mention this too, again its so good to get feedback from someone else, as I tend to be a bit alone in my sacred life and sometimes wonder if I’m imagining it all!lol Incidentally, have you also found your sleep patterns very disrupted lately? Here I am at 5 AM, awake after a few hours asleep, with very busy chakras!

    Wishing you a bright Imbolg Gwas and Kal, I hope the year ahead will bring us all to the right altars as it were:-)

    Blessings Liz 🙂

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