There’s a Tree by the Well in the Wood, that’s covered in Garlands
Imbolc, Candlemass, on or around the 1st February but for me when the land is white with Snowdrops. A festival that for all my Pagan life has been sacred to the Goddess Brighid – Goddess of Smiths, Healers and Poets, and also one of the Goddesses whose history spans both the Christian and the Pagan worlds. For many it’s the first of three Spring festivals that shows us all that even though Winter holds strong, the green is returning, albeit with a slow and stretching, slumbering yawn, rather than the thrust that happens after the Equinox
A reminder, if you will, that life always follows death.
On the wet earth, feet are falling as the Lady walks the land and, in her stead, wherever her feet fall, so white flowers grow. She reaches out her hands and touches sleeping Hazel branches, enticing catkins to grow, and Birch trees too hear her voice as she passes. Like Janus she faces both the Winter and the Spring, walking at the fulcrum of the seasons. Her Winter face, the Crone, her Spring face, the Maiden. She walks ever onward and some feel her presence and are inspired to create with the blessings of the creative forge, and her honeyed-tongue voice. Bards speak into the cold, wet air offering their words to honour her, and to welcome her back.
19 candles are lit. From the tradition of the Eternal Flame. White candles. Pure. New. Unblemished. Each light a beacon to bring her closer, to show she is honoured, to welcome her home.
As the dark, cold morning gives way to light,
And the world shows its face dazzling in her nakedness,
So the twigs and leaf-bare branches,
Bow to the passing dance
Of old Jack Frost.
His crystal breath on the earth,
And the corners of houses weep icicles of joy.
But where is the Sun’s warmth?
Where is life?
A small flower, delicate and pure-white,
Looks to the earth,
As if talking to the waiting green,
“Not yet,” it seems to whisper.
“When I fall, then you can return.”
And she nods her head,
as the Lady passes by,
Leaving more flowers in Her wake.