What a powerful and enchanting week we are in the mists of! The celestial energies started and ramped everything up with the super new moon aligning in Aquarius a few days ago on Thursday, January 30th. Yesterday was the start of the New Chinese Year, welcoming in the year of the Green Wood Horse, honoring the element of wood and its child element, fire, to kindle new possibilities and success. Sunday, February 2nd, we honor the Pagan Celtic festival of Imbolc, the mid-point between winter and spring as marked on the Wheel of the Year. Imbolc is often celebrated tonight on the eve of this festival as well as tomorrow on the day of.
There is so much magic and new vitality swirling around us from above and below. As the ancient Hermetic texts state, “As above, so below.” -above with the supportive lunar cycle and the Chinese astrological shift and below as each seedling stirs in the womb of our Mother Earth during Imbolc.
A quick note: Mercury goes into retrograde for three weeks beginning February 6th. It will remain in retrograde until the 28th. For those of you who are effected by the squirrely, meddling, techno-challenging energies of mercury, you’ll want to mark these dates and be gentle with yourself and with others during this time. This is a perfect time to send out extra positive energy to encourage harmonious fluidity, healthy agreements, and compassionate grace in all dealings. ♥
So, what does the new waxing moon, the Chinese New Year and Imbolc all have in common? They each represent newness, cleansing, staring fresh and bringing in light and life in all its glorious and goddess blessed fullness.
This is a very auspicious time to cleanse, renew and redirect efforts, intentions and your health. It is a time to clear our spaces, spirits, psyches and bodies. If you’ve been meaning to organize a closet, file away a pile of paperwork, redecorate the living room or do anything to spatially shift an area of your home or work environment, go for it. Think of this as the pre-spring cleaning and a magical way to stir up the energies of the coming spring and to call in new fresh life.
This is also a wonderful time to do a little (or a big) dietary cleanse. Juicing is an excellent way to clean our bodies and revitalize our minds. I am a huge lover of juicing fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I find a 3 day juice feast is the most delicious and invigorating way to recalibrate the physical system, encouraging healthier food choices and promoting self-love. The following juice recipe is one of my favorites for the wintry months (or any time!). It is bright in color and flavor, reminding me of pure sunshine and of the sweetness of summer days. This truly is sunshine in a glass and will surely put a blissful spring in your step, hop or skip.
In honor of Imbolc, let’s call in the sun to warm these last 6 weeks of winter in our hearts and in our spirits. This juice should do the magical trick…
Sunshine in a Glass:
Juice all the ingredients together in your favorite juicer and drink immediately or at least within the same day it was made. Enjoy!
I have intentionally not included measurements, because I want you to create this juice to your taste. For myself, I like A LOT of juice, so I will juice an entire 5lb bag of organic carrots along with a whole pineapple, skin and top removed. I also like to add about ½ to 1 inch nob of fresh ginger for a little extra zing. This gives me a quart or two of sunshiny juice that I can drink throughout the day.
Imbolc and Goddess Brigid
The word Imbolc comes from the old Irish word, imbolg, meaning “in the belly.” Wildlife and Mother Earth are all pregnant with new life. The energy here is of new beginnings and to invite the light in and to sprout new possibilities and to create new openings. This is a festival, marking the cyclical Goddess transformation from Crone (winter) to Maiden (spring). It is also a time to honor Goddess Brigid.
Irish blood runs through my heart. I am a lover of mythology and folklore, so naturally, I am enchanted by ancient customs and ideology especially that of the Celts. In Irish mythology, Brigid is an Irish Goddess of healing, magic and crafts, a patroness of poets and the sister of the fae (faeries). She embodies the season of birthing energies. (I wish I knew who the artist was who created the above image. I would love to give credit, and I would love to give thanks for bringing beauty and art into our lives!)
Whether you are interested in ancient Celtic traditions or not, the pregnant energy of Mother Earth swirls around us. Honoring the festering energy of this season was the way of our ancestors, and it’s an undercurrent of our shared collective human consciousness. A wonderful way to harness the essence of this time of year and that of Imbolc is to create anything, write poetry or stories, paint, sculpt, make music, or do things like redecorate to invite in spring and vibrant color. Bring in a bouquet (or better yet a living potted plant) of daffodils or tulips or any spring flowers you love. Decorate your space with colored candles or burn a floral essential oil to awaken your senses to that of the coming spring. Creating, crafting and beautifying anything your heart desires, supports you in living a more spiritual life. It awakens your connection to your Higher Self and to that of the Divine, God, Goddess.
Imbolc is also referred to as Candlemas, a Christian holiday of old. Many Christians see the flowers of spring as a symbol of Christ and of new hope. Candles are lit during Candlemas to symbolize Christ Consciousness as the light of the world. With both Candlemas and Imbolc, this is a celebration of fire to light up our lives with love and sunshine. A wonderful way to honor this time is with a small candle ceremony and meditation.
Light a candle (or several) and meditate on what you would like to grow and nurture in your life. What seeds are you planting? What dreams and goals would you like to see bloom with the energy of the vibrant, youthful, lush, sunny spring season? Sit quietly and meditate on all of this. Breathe deeply and feel your heart open. Slowly fill your heart space with pure divine love and the energy of everything you wish for and everything you aspire to become. Infuse this energy with universal love and unconditional compassion for the entire world and everything and everyone in it. You can do this with your eyes closed in deep meditation or while gazing upon the lit candle(s). If you choose to watch the flame dance on the candle’s wick, visualize your love and your dreams as the fire that lights your inner flame and, therefore, lights the world around you. Breathe and give thanks for this sacred moment. Chant aloud, “Thank you. I love you.”
A magical note: As I type this, a giant black raven (about the size of my 14lb cat, Mitts) just landed on our porch only a few feet away from me. This is a significant event, for this has only happened once before. It seems Raven, my Spiritual Totem, is in great support of what I am writing and of the deeply sacred and loving energy I embrace as I share with you. I received Raven’s message with open eyes, joy and excitement. The message is not only for me but for us all: Share your magic, your light and your pure heart with the world! It always seems the more magic I invite into my life, the more supported I am by the natural world around me. The same is true for YOU, of course. By noticing the seasons, honoring our ancestors and elders, by caring for Mother Earth, becoming more natural and spiritual, the more magical your life will become. Try it, you’ll see. : )
If you are into health foods, as I am, this is a great and meaningful time to grow some indoor sprouts like that of alfalfa. Not only are these little greenlings packed with nutrition, they are also full of symbolism. Imagine as they grow and green, so do your dreams, positive intentions and wishes. And, as you sprinkle them on your soups and salads, you are physically taking in the spirit of new growth and bountiful possibilities.
Sprouts are easy to grow in jars any time of the year. Just soak a few tablespoons in a jar of water for 6-8 hours. Drain and let sit to gestate. Rinse a few times a day to keep moist and fresh. In just a few days they will grow tails and sprouts. I like to keep them covered with a cloth during this process, so they can do their magic in the dark as they would naturally in the earth’s belly. Once they have matured, place them in the light- a windowsill is a great place for this- and allow the sprouts to soak up all the chlorophyll and to green. Once fully developed, store them in the fridge.
Above are the alfalfa seeds that I set out yesterday to soak. I soaked them over night and drained them this morning. After just a half a day’s time, this is what they look like now…
These seeds already have tails and are in full sprout mode. It won’t be long before they will grow bigger and green, and I can add them to my favorite recipes. This is the magical essence of the coming spring!
I just snapped the photo below a few moments ago. This is our sky today- a vibrant blue gift after a cleansing and much needed rain yesterday, an auspicious sign for the Chinese New Year. If you look into this photo, you will notice today’s clouds have formed into what looks like a rabbit- another magical sign of the energies that are afoot. Seems we are being carried right into the energy of spring, which is very much symbolized by the rabbit.
For us here in the high desert, the Pussy Willows around the lakes are blossoming and awakening from their winter slumber. Our beloved pear tree in the front of our home is filled with flower buds just waiting to open. The birds are fluttering, and the sun is sparkling with new promise of warmer days to come.
I am juicing; I have my sprouts growing, and I’ll be freshening up my sacred spaces around the home with flowers, essential oils and new color. Tonight, I’ll light a candle and meditate, drawing in the energies of new life and renewal along with that of the waxing new moon. I will light a candle for YOU, for Mother Earth and for the entire animal and plant kingdom in love, peace and for beautiful new creations.
Tomorrow, I am grateful to be offering in-person Reiki and readings at the Mountain Spirit Co-Op in downtown Prescott. I have the opportunity to fill an already magical day with energy healings and spiritual guidance for anyone who wishes to partake. I’ll keep an eye out for the ravens, the rabbits, for Goddess Brigid and for that little groundhog that will pop its head out tomorrow to hopefully find a shadow cast by the sun.
Blessings to all in light, love, abundance and new fresh beginnings! ♥