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Imbolc, Bridget’s Day, Candlemas, or even Groundhog’s Day, whatever we may call it we are approaching the point in the year where the light shifts.  Days have been getting increasingly longer since the Winter Solstice.  By this point in the turning of the year it is noticeable that the sky is still light when we get home from the office.  We appreciate that the sun is up before the bus arrives in the morning.

February is a difficult month for a lot of people.  Eating locally becomes difficult especially in Northern climates.  The stores do not seem as abundant and we know winter has a long way to go.  Here in Minnesota we often experience the “winter thaw” at this time of year, making ice fishing a little treacherous.  This year the weather has been so very wrong.  It has been extremely pleasant, but entirely out of the ordinary.  Our “thaw” may look a lot like the rest of the winter has been.

The seed catalogues start coming in the mail in droves.  It’s helpful to be able to plan for spring while sitting through the doldrums of the cold season.  Valentine’s Day is coming soon.  That’s a little pick me up, or a little pity party depending on the circumstances.  At any rate it’s likely to involve a renewal of bounteous chocolates.  Since most of us don’t spend our days outdoors, and since most of us are dependent upon electric lighting, the shifting of the light doesn’t have the impact it would have in a hunter/gatherer culture.  Our candle supply is sure to hold out, even if we don’t spend the month rendering fat to make new ones.

Spring cleaning happens in much of the world at this time of year.  Even up here where it’s too cold to throw open the windows there is a sense of cabin fever.  Something needs to freshen up the internal atmosphere.  It is the time to clean the tools (remember that garden planning) and that goes for magical tools as well.  Perhaps this shift in light is part of my motivation to deal with some “stuff”.

This shift also is a cue to start looking for signs of spring.  A little south of us the end of the month will bring the first bulbs peaking out from under the snow.  Up here that won’t happen for another 2 months, at least in a typical year.  My daughter swears she saw a robin in the yard this last weekend.  Ordinarily it’s not robins, but cardinals and chickadees that brighten our February days.  Red and Black and White, the colors of the Goddess and the sign of her promise to return from the underworld and bring spring back from the land.

Light is returning


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