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.
Today is Beltane, the day where pagans celebrate not just spring, but also the blossoming of things all throughout nature. It’s also the day of the bonfires to honour Brigid, the Celtic fire goddess. For my family, it means that we’ll have a meal that reminds us of this time- the pasturing of the lambs, the moving of the flocks to better regions to graze and also when we put out all of the fires and wait for the sacred fire on Tara to be relit and that flame to be brought to light all of the hearths. Most people don’t realize that the sacred trees of the druids are used to light that fire upon Tara hill, but they are. More importantly in my mind, is the thought that goes into our world today- what do we do that reminds us of the sacred divine to keep it alive in our daily actions and thoughts. Continue reading
Today I’m listening to an old favourite- “Jingle Bones” from the Disney Christmas album and giggling madly. Why? Because this album is from my childhood and I realized how much this album played in my psyche as I grew up. I’m a witch/druid/eclectic pagan who loves holidays and enjoys her family and friends in varying doses. (Too much and I so need solitude!) But more than that– Yule is approaching as is Mithra’s birthday and Christmas and my family will be here for the first year ever. This is the first year we’ll have been together since we were kids for the holidays. I’m excited, nervous and want everything to go according to plan– which amuses my male and my psychiatrist both. It’s even funnier to them both to know I’ve even programmed in the chaos and last minute changes that are bound to happen as well. Continue reading
Today I begin my vacation. This time of the year has always been special for me. More so because it’s a great time of the year to enjoy the bounty of the earth. Today is the time of the harvest, one of the major holidays for most pagans. It’s also a time celebrated by those who grow food. But what does it mean to celebrate Lughnassadh- the time of the harvest? Continue reading