Welcome to the 1st February, Spring is stirring, and the Aromatic Year journey begins today. I am excited, apprehensive and inspired all at the same time!
Traditionally the 1st February is celebrated in the Celtic calendar as Imbolc. This date being half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox is also described as a Cross Quarter Day. It is a festival honouring the Pagan Goddess Brigid a Goddess of Fire, the Sun and of the Hearth who appears in Irish mythology in pre-Christian Ireland. Traditions to celebrate Imbolc include lighting every lamp in the house (if only briefly) at sunset to honour the Sun’s rebirth. Traditional foods to eat include dairy products along with spicy full-bodied food such as curries made with peppers, garlic and onions, sweet dishes made with raisins and spiced drinks, all to honour the fullness of the Sun.
In the Aromatic Year today is when Spring Stirs. Based on the dates of the Celtic wheel and observing the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere it is a time when plants, animals and people start to tentatively start and gently stretch, waking from a long winter rest and beginning their journey through the year. In the UK at the moment we are having a cold snap with frosts and snow, but signs of spring are appearing. The snowdrops are in flower, bulbs are poking through the ground, my Witchazel is in bloom and the hellebores are starting to unfurl out of the ground. To my fellow journey takers, it is time to start our voyage of discovery through the annulus, the seasons and venture into a world of discovery, knowledge, wisdom and nurture