Candlemas: The Quickening Time

Blessings of this new year to you! I hope you have been able to claim some solitude and space for yourself in January and that it has been rich and deep. Contrary to our consumer-culture beliefs, the time between Winter Solstice on December 21st and Candlemas on February 2nd is not one for rushing around buying things, and then making hasty resolutions, but for dreaming and listening to our intuition. It is a time to be tender to ourselves and to tend the sacred flame of our spirit as we warm our hearts by becoming still.

Candlemas is the year's new moon. It signals the beginnings of Spring, when seeds that will later sprout and grow begin to stir from their dark winter's sleep. The goddess of Candlemas is Brigid, who has long been one of my favorites. Celtic goddess of the fire and the sacred flame, poetry and inspiration, language, the arts, crafts, and healing, midwife to the mystery, Brigid has managed to exist in the hearts of so many for thousands of years as she transformed from a goddess to a saint and back again. Both. Everything in between.

The fire that is often lit at Candlemas represents Brigid's illumination and our own as we wake up and prepare the ground for the seeds we wish to plant this cycle. As Susan Silvermarie reminds us," 'The seeds of life lie tingling' in the pluripotent moment when Winter promises to end. We shift! We step between realities and choose what our world will become."

For us, it's the time to prepare the ground for our own deliverance, a time for getting in touch with our essence, with the spark of life that we feel quickening as we commit to our path of spiritual growth. Candlemas is also a time of initiation, when women dedicate themselves to the divine feminine and meet to share the light, inspiration, and creativity that they will grow in the coming year.

At our Women's circle, Candlemas is one of my favorite rituals, and honoring Brigid is a lifelong joy. At retreat, especially Spring Equinox retreat, Brigid and the faeries join us for wildness and wonder. At this time when life lies quivering beneath the surface, I invite you to be the midwife of your own rebirth. To care, tend, and be tender your seeds and to yourself. And to, as Brigid reminds us to do, take fire in your heart and live by its illumination. Blessed Be!

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