Merry meet all,
I survived the worst winter storm ever. Here, in Nova Scotia, we accumulated 40 cms of snow. I thought my house would blow down. Winter is here. But hope for spring remains. Imbolc is around the corner. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Imbolc. The ewes and cows begin to produce milk. To the ancient Celts, who survived on their stored food, this would be a relief.
Imbolc is a time of magic and the first stirrings of life in the soil. Imbolc is a holiday that was celebrated by the ancient Celts. The Irish Gaelic called it Oimelc, or “ewe’s milk”. The ewes nursed their newly born lambs. The Celts also celebrated their version of Groundhog Day, but with a serpent instead of a rodent. They sang a song:
(The serpent will come from the hole)
la donn Bride
(on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
(though there may be three feet of snow)
Air leachd an lair
(On the surface of the ground.) In the early agricultural societies, the time of Imbolc was marked with the spring lambing, when the ewes lactacted. At some Neolithic sites in Ireland, underground chambers glow with the rising sun on Imbolc.
I shall post more here about Imbolc. Stay safe and warm this winter!
* Thanks to paganwicca.about.com for information.