That is what my grandmother called what we now know as Imbolc. “You can feel it”, she would say. “Everything is trying to rush toward spring just waiting to bust out” Then she would tell me if we had 6 more weeks of winter on the way or not. Which was often accompanied by “Who needs a ground hog! I can tell the weather my damn self!” “This is when all the young ones are so darn annoying” she would go on. “They feel a potential birth in them and don’t know what to do with the energy. It’s best for them to go tend the garden and keep busy to keep out of trouble.” She was talking about heightened sexual energy in the young and it is true of the animals and plants too.
To me Imbolc has always represented the third trimester pregnancy. That pressure right before birth in the cycle of life. That is the feel of the world energy I get this time of year. Many things are about to be born. The Earth is warming, plants are quickening from that warmth and it is time to protect them and watch them carefully. There are still a few more cold storms coming before spring. It pays to be patient a bit longer with such things. So, tend the garden of your life and prepare for what you want to birth come Spring Equinox. For me the preparation for Imbolc begins with the Yule, the winter solstice and culminates on Imbolc with a birthing ritual for the new year. Following is some prose I wrote that describes that process.
THE DARK TIME, REFECTION AND BIRTH
Yule is the mother’s time to rest full of bounty and for Winters Crone to rise and tighten her grip on this, the longest night.
Winters Crone now weaves her spell, enticing the planets to tilt and dance.
With winter now fully set, cold, and still in her hand, the planets come to rest.
Her spell now cast; Winters Crone now weaves the shadows of our past.
Now her puppets too, we tilt and dance through the shadows long cast.
The Crone’s eyes gleam like the sun, showing us the deep cold shadows of our souls.
Her laughter is the cracking ice that stills the earth and our souls.
The Mother’s time wanes to the winter crone, yet the spark of life remains within her, the sun will birth once more.
The crone’s spell now spent, her grip on darkness now gone, the maiden rises with the sun.
We rise with sparks of life, as the sun warms our souls once more, winter now done.
Imbolc now birthed, with the warmth of the Earth and sun.
Many Blessings to all!