Tomorrow, February 2nd, is the cross-quarter day known in the pagan religions as Imbolc. Imbolc marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. I have heard that Imbolc derives from words meaning "ewes milk" or "in the belly" and in the pagan religions it refers to Spring being "in the belly" of the Mother - earth. Lactating, gestating, preparing to burst forth with the lengthening hours of sun.
Imbolc is important to me because it was the first holiday I learned about when I began studying pagan religions. Also, for some reason, it has always felt like the beginning of the year to me. It feels like it "in my belly" and I don't care when you call the year over - this is my New Year's Eve.
To celebrate, I'll be visiting the Arctic Mermaid, which is what the cowboy calls the house he's building on a mountanside in Montana. I love going there because I actually rest while I'm there. When I'm home I'm always doing something. Always! Well, unless, of course, I can't walk. But when I visit him I feel free to just lie on the couch and watch movies if I want to. I don't feel compelled to be loading the washing machine or sweeping the floor or feeding the kitties.
I will cook us venison steaks with a salad and sauteed portabello mushrooms. He will keep the fire going in the old woodstove and it will be warm inside while the snow and cold await just on the other side of the wall. We will drink wine and make love and for a few hours, all will be right with the world.
Hey! I'm thinking I'm not depressed anymore! Have a great weekend. Here's an Imbolc blessing for everyone:
Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.
We give thanks for the season now departing from us,
For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,
And upon those with whom we share this world.
Blessed be the new season.
We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,
With abundance, with prosperity,
Blessed be all who share this feast.
Let us now prepare for the time ahead
By opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.