For me, Imbolc is a huge holiday coming up– in fact, it’s celebrated on February 2nd. On the 3rd of February, Chinese New Year begins. For me, it’s an auspicious time because I love Imbolc. It’s one of the first pagan holidays I ever celebrated as a pagan and it holds a special place in my heart because of the meaning. It’s time to clean out the things that don’t help me and to prune down the excess in my life. What does that mean for me personally? It’s declutter time! So, starting February 1st- I’m decluttering the entire house. I’m paring down my print books (the goal is to get rid of 30%), to go through my clothes of what fits, what doesn’t and what just needs to be tossed, and to pare down to essentials in the kitchen and living room as well. For me, it’s a great time to reflect on personal issues as well while I’m doing the physical.
Chinese New Year is always fun for me because I love celebrating new beginnings. Plus, the Chinese have created some beautiful practical artwork and items over the centuries. Plus, I love the story of how Chinese New Year began. Don’t know it? Check out The Holiday Spot for their tale on Chinese New Year.
I’ve created my Yule altar and I’m loving it. My covering is dark blue because I love the colour and it really makes me think of this time as the dark time of Cerridwen. On it, I’ve got my snowflake crystal ornament, a pine cone, my incense burner, my candles, and my rune and tarot holders. As I go by it, it reminds me to stop and think of the meaning of this time of year. It’s the dark half of the year to the Celts- a time of reflection and of determining what is really meaningful to me.
Yule is not just about presents and about homecoming in my eyes. It’s about family and about pruning away the things that don’t work anymore. It’s a time where I look into the ice reflections and ask myself, “Where am I going and where do I want to be?” I normally do this using a bowlful of water with a sprinkle of salt or with a hand-held mirror. I concentrate on seeing me as I am now and how I want to be once springtime arrives. I see what is surrounding me– what things clinging to me that are holding me back and what things would move me forward– but aren’t because of those clinging vines.
During this time, I also start putting together my recipes for the holiday. One of my faves is my apple cranberry sauce. This sauce is great for Thanksgiving or anytime of the year when you can get fresh cranberries and apples. I’ll post it later next week.