Candlemas, Imbolc and the Teachings of the Old Ones
FEBRUARY 2 ~WELCOME CANDLEMAS AND IMBOLC. WE CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF THE FEMININE LIGHT AND THE BLESSINGS OF BRIGIT, MOTHER OF POETRY, SMITHCRAFT , HEALING AND PROTECTOR OF THE YOUNG.
As the ice begins its melting dance, the sap rises and the Sun appears to move ever closer--we celebrate the illumination of Purpose, the ignition of Passion, the kindling of our creativity and the flame of the Soul on Fire. The creatures are gestating, the green, green light of Nature within the Earth is expanding. We are praying for Spring!
Last Imbolc, here at Wise Acre, our home in the Rockies, we fostered 2 spring fawns, 1 male and 1 female. Their mother lost a race with a pack of coyotes as she was leading them away from her fawns.
Through them we have been reminded of the promise of the Celtic Goddess Brigit, or Bride. She is the symbolic Mother of awakening consciousness, the blessings which can come from terrible loss and the embracing protection which can miraculously arrive as our old narrow, frozen ways begin to thaw.
Candlemas, literally " Mass or Gathering of Lights" is a latter-day name for the very ancient celebration of Brigid's Feast.
The Feast of Brigid is also the Feast of Light and the Sacred Feminine. She is the Midwife to our spiritual rebirthing of the Self. She is there for us, in our moments of deepest fear, and also most profound transformation. In the Celtic Mystery Tradition Brigid is the Mother of Shamanic death and rebirth.
Brigit, and as She is named in many other cultures, Kali-Ereshkigal-Hecate-Demeter-Freya, is also the Great HouseKeeper of the Soul. This may very well be why we celebrate the return of Spring when the "Groundhog sees his shadow." Because one of the most important parts of transformation is being able to "see" our shadow qualities, those unloveable, hidden, disowned parts which we try to hid in the dark and avoid.
Remember, the greater the light, the deeper the shadow. Now is the time to own all the withered, denied and darker sides of the self. Get to know them, and even befriend them so that we may more easily release them. It's time to begin the purging which can lead to a new and integrated sense of self. What I avoid will control me. The more conscious I become, the less likely I am to be manipulated or ruled by my own secret Shadow-Self.
In the midst of winter, Mercy begins to flow!
KEEP WATCH AND EXPAND YOUR MEDITATION PRACTICE
BETWEEN FEB. 2 AND MARCH 21.
NOW IS THE TIME OF SPONTANEOUS SHAMANIC PERSONAL
"DEATH" and REBIRTHING RITUALS
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THE ELDERS OF MANY TRIBES RECOGNIZE THIS ERA, THE FIRST UNFOLDINGS OF NATURE TOWARD SPRING, AS THE REBIRTHING OF OUR OWN BEINGS FROM THE FIRE OF THE PASSING YEAR. THIS IS WHAT THE NAVAJO, HOPI, SAMI OF LAPLAND AND MANY OTHER FIRST NATIONS DESCRIBE AS THE TIME OF SHAMANIC RE-BIRTHING.
The following are transmissions and teachings of the Elders and Medicine People from four continents. This shamanic ritual process was first shared during Jul/Solstice Meditations. And, during this next cycle of 13 moons, it is important to invite and face the challenges of which the Old Ones remind us :
AS WE WALK THROUGH THE PORTALS OF NEW LIFE,
Between FEB. 2--IMBOLC, AND MARCH 22, SPRING EQUINOX
WE WILL EXPERIENCE A SHAMANIC ENDING AND REBIRTH.
Teachings for this shamanic meditation practice:
1. Don't look back. Don't look back. Don't look back!
2. Hold your abused, abandoned, neglected, sorrowing body in your arms. Look down at your broken self with deep mercy and love. See it all. Now, become the Jaguar, the Mountain Lion. With your shamanic claws and teeth, rip your Old Self apart, devouring every part of it. Reabsorb the shamanically-scattered self. Engulf the old and reintegrate it into the New and Transformed Self.
3. As Brigit, Unci Maka, Pacha Mama, Gaia, Freya, Mother Earth teaches: At this moment, men, too, have the organs with which to conceive, gestate and birth the New World Being. Women and Men, know that you are pregnant with your own New Self. As you feel the beginnings of life growing within, feed this only love, valiant intention, passion and peace. As labor begins, you feel the profound waves of all Life flowing through you. When transition comes, and it is time to push, look down between your legs. See your infant face, perfectly formed being born into your own hands. Hold this perfect Golden Child in your arms. Feel the pulsing of the umbilical cord between you. Look into the loving eyes of your New Self, your True Be-ing. All is forgiven. All is forgiven.
4. As you walk through, know that on the other side of the Portal another Mystery awaits you. Wherever you walk on the Path, an antipodal energy, Spirit Kin, Ancestral being, UnderWorld Ally will be there to walk with you. Literally. This Mirror Energy is unique for each individual and has been waiting to accompany you. It will take every step with you, creating and holding a solid foundation, offering support and keeping you aligned and in balance.
This energy holds you up with Divine Harmony. Attend to its guidance and you will not take a wrong step or lose your way on the Path.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING AND LEARNING ON THIS NEW JOURNEY AND VISION QUEST.
MYSTERY SCHOOL CELEBRATION;
******FULL-MOON SACRED SAUNA -- SUNDAY. FEB. -5-5 PM AT WISEACRE FOR MYSTERY SCHOOL GODDESSHAMANS. WE WILL BRING OUR 13-MOON COUNCIL TIME TO A CLOSING SO THAT WE MAY OPEN AGAIN, ANEW, TO WELCOME THE SPRING AND THE SOUTH and WEST WINDS. WE WILL SHARE THE DISCOVERIES, RECOVERIES, ASK THE QUESTIONS AND SHARE THE INSPIRATIONS FROM THE PASSING YEAR--IMBOLC TO IMBOLC.
LIGHT A CANDLE. PLACE IT IN YOUR FRONT WINDOW. ILLUMINATE THE WAY FOR YOUR WANDERING SOUL TO RETURN HOME -- AT LAST!
Bless you -- Marcie
Marcie Telander, MA, REAT is an integrative medicine woman, ritualist, Wise Woman counselor, Earth Honoring therapist, guide and sacred arts activist.