Today is Imbolc the second stop on the wheel of the year and the day dedicated to the Celtic triple Goddess Brigid, in her maiden form, symbolizing purification, new beginnings, healing and fire. She is the Goddess of craft and creativity so working with her to bring dormant passion back into our creative endeavors is a wonderful thing to do.
It is also the time the Goddess of the underworld, Persephone, starts to prepare to come back to the earth, ready to put all of her insights gained during the long winter months into action and be of service to the world.
While for many early February is still in the dead of winter and the lands are covered with snow, and icy winds pluck at our faces and coats, causing us to scurry inside, it also a time where the sun is growing stronger by the day, bringing noticeable longer daylight hours and even some warmth if we do venture out into the sunlight.
It is the time where we might find snowdrops peeking their fragile heads through the snow, early messengers of spring. This was truly a time of hope for the ancient people as winters were very harsh with food storage dwindling and many not surviving the bitter cold.
While January is clearly a time for introspection; about connecting to our dreams and desires, pondering, purging, planning and preparing, February is THE month to purge and prepare, to make sure you are equipped with everything you will need to bring your plans to fruition.
Now, here I do want to clarify: This is not about knowing every little detail or even knowing the whole plan, the bigger picture. I’m talking about gathering the tools you have at your disposal right now, preparing for the action steps you are clear on and aligning your intentions with your actions.
A great metaphor for this is the tarot card “The Chariot”.
The guy sitting in the chariot is all dressed up, he’s not in his yoga pants; he has put on his street clothes, taken the chariot out of the garage, gathered his 4 draft animals representing the 4 elements, and installed them in front of the chariot, and he has taken his seat.
However you will notice that he has not yet taken to the reigns, his visor is still pulled over his face. He is sitting in a meditative position holding a rotating disc at the level of his lower chakras, representing the human aspects. The crab sitting on his helmet represents his emotions that he needs to purge and align with his intention in order to have a successful journey. He is ready to shift from the rigid pattern of either or, of worldly needs or spirituality to the empowering and flowing this and that which is centered in the intention of service while honoring his own needs both rooted in his center, his heart.
But, his animals are not yet aligned, ready to move forward together, they are yet focusing in different directions. Would they take off in this state, it would end badly, the chariot would be pulled apart.
The Chariot is the seventh card in the tarot deck. 7 is made up of the numbers 3 and 4, standing for the feminine and masculine aspects which need to be integrated. Interestingly enough the year 2014 is also a 7 year, a year of intuition and inspiration. And while the new year of the horse which has just ended a longer period of emotional turmoil promises lots of action and forward movement I personally think it is crucial that we act with the feminine and masculine forming an empowered force and not with the outdated, disempowered old model of power struggles and overachievement. Especially for us as Super Sensitive Souls this is of utmost importance if we don’t want to burn out and spin on the merry-go-round of more and better. It is so easy to fall back onto these well trodden paths and get caught up in the well worn habit of pressing ourselves until we crash.
February offers us a chance to purge and prepare so that we can move forward swiftly (the chariot as well as the horse symbolize speed and power) once the time to move is ripe.
Jason Mankey from www.patheos.com writes:
„Wash your hands, and your spirit. The word “February” comes from the Roman “februa” which translates roughly as “purification.” The Romans even celebrated a Februa Ritual, dedicated to the idea of purification. Imbolc is a wonderful opportunity to return to the original meaning of February and engage in some spiritual housecleaning.“
He further suggests asking the gods to take something away instead of adding something.
This so resonated with me! We, or should I say I, often get so caught up in the things we want, which is a good thing if these are based in our truth – that we forget to look at what needs to leave, what has become outdated, doesn’t serve or reflect us and where we are at with our lives anymore.
So, we know we need to move, to travel down a different road, and we end up stuffing everything we belief is indispensable into our chariot, leaving no room for inspiration and intuition to ride with us. This definitely applies to our spiritual practices and beliefs, as well. As we evolve and grow our beliefs and priorities shift. Yet we sometimes feel bad about releasing what was once a beloved ritual or a way of being even. There’s guilt attached, and it confuses us. So we hang on, compromise and tolerate. We lie to ourselves.
A great way to let go of whatever needs letting go is to light a black candle.
Oh, and please center yourself first, breath and connect with your core. Set the intention of release and open up to whatever wants to show up. Make a list of the things you would like to let go of NOT because you think you need to fix anything, but because these things don’t serve you, and you would rather use that space for other things.
Here are some ideas of things you might like to let go off:
- resentment towards someone, yourself or a situation or thing
- a poor eating habit
- bickering and complaining
- heaviness and droopiness
- shiny object syndrome
- distraction and procrastination
- a past hurt
- a mistake you made
- cinderella syndrome
- an idea
- a belief
- the need to be right
What do all of these have to do with spirituality you ask?
Well, pretty much everything! Our physical expression and environment, our habits, thought patterns, priorities all have to do with how we express our spirituality, our beliefs, our convictions, our knowing.
- So we might say we believe in divine right timing, but in our everyday we freak out every time something goes awry.
- We might say that our highest spiritual value is compassion and kindness but we bicker and complain a lot.
- We hold on to the belief that money is unspiritual yet we secretly resent your financial situation or have even raked up debt.
So, whatever it is for you, dear one, right it down. Don’t judge it, don’t resent it, just write it down.
And then bless it.
I’ll repeat that, BLESS IT.
It was part of your life for a reason; it fulfilled a purpose or you would not have had it in your space. Doesn’t this make beating ourselves up over things obsolete? How wonderful!
Then just state in simple words that you are ready to let this (name it) go. Leave the candle burning for a while.
Now light a green candle for what you want instead. By letting go you have created space, like a hole in the ground ready for a flower bulb and you get to plant your new flower now by stating what you would like instead.
So instead of bickering and complaining you might want more contentment and gratitude or instead of the heaviness you desire more play and pleasure. Leave the candle burning for a while, as well.
Oh, and please, don‘t leave your candles unattended! An if you don‘t have the suggested colors use what you have. You could write „black“ or „green“ with the corresponding color pencil or paint on them.
You might find that you need to come back to this ritual time and time again. I do it all the time. Some things are easier to let go of than others. Sometimes there’s lots of layers to a specific topic. Be gentle with yourself and know that every time you do this you create space for the you that wants to be expressed, one step at a time.
However, don’t linger, don’t over analyze. Just do it and trust that it is done. Then attune yourself to the horse energy and prepare to move forward with the guidance and support of the Goddess Brigid or Persephone. (Yes, there will be more on both in the future.)