By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Today is Imbolc, a prelude to Spring, a day when the Celtic people celebrate their favourite Goddess, Bridghid/Bridget/Briget, and is a kind of festival of light because the days are growing longer. Spring proper, of course, begins on the 20th of March. Many marks the occasion by celebrating two days, overriding into the Christian celebration, Candlemas, which likewise celebrates Bridget, but as a Saint, not a Goddess, and commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple when he was a baby.
Imbolc is significant to the Pagan people because the winter has been long and dark… everyone is expectant of happy, warm days ahead. It is like a pregnancy in the first trimester, all smugly, warmly awaiting to burst forth. Depending upon where you live, you may even spy newly budding trees and some early blooming flowers peeking out here and there. For the most part, however, most things still appear dormant and grey…but don’t think for a second everything is dead. No, rebirth is on the way, never doubt that at all.
Let us speak of the Goddess, Bridghid [or Bridget, if you prefer] for a moment. She is, after all, central to all things new and fresh and of warmth. Her element is Fire. Her planet is the Sun. And her most notable “power” is Healing. She is the harbinger of all we hope for in the onset of Spring. We’re all very tired of the winter cold, the grey days…and of course, this is the time of year where people start making good on their New Year’s resolutions to get healthy…We want to start as we mean to go on. I think therefore over the last couple of weeks I have been writing blogs about how to get healthy. Perhaps I feel if I at least speak of it, I’ll do it? Ah, that would have been me a year or two ago, but I am really doing what I blogged about this year!
To get back on track about Bridghid, during Imbolc she is her Maiden aspect of the Triple Goddess. This is the time for fresh ideas, Spring cleaning, clearing away the old to make way for the new. How can we honour Bridghid in this Neo-Pagan world? Easily. One way my grown children and I plan to is by digging out every last thing we know we have no use for any longer and give it to charity. This way we can help less fortunate people and to also make more space in every room of the house. Not to be refilled with more unnecessary things, mind, but to live in a cleaner, less cluttered home environment.
We are also planning a new herb garden this year, after the freezing and cold gives way to some appreciable warmth. The old one has been neglected for a few years, considering the worsening of my arthritic back and hip, but I now have hope that these will be feeling better soon.
Then, one of our most ambitious plans is how to help clean up the environment and do more for climate change. Of course, we have always recycled and re-used as much as possible, however, I have been reading about how to recycle more properly, like those horrid supermarket carrier bags. Mind, we do have a dozen canvas bags but there is the odd time here and there where they are forgotten. And the plastic carrier bags end up in the house again. Of course, supermarkets often have collection points where you can bring back your carrier bags, however, leave it to me to forget and leave them at home half the time! So, we have drawn up our very own Climate Change Agreement and everything is detailed on what we plan to do and how to go about doing each thing in the most effective way possible. These details all aspects of daily life in which we see a need to make changes and how they can help us save money and at the same time, do our bit to help save Mother Earth.
Some ways which may sound too small to bother with can mean a lot if everyone does it. Some of the ways are:
- Turn down the thermostat one degree [minimum]. As Mum always said, put on a cardi!
- Make a list of all recyclables and find out where each must go to be recycled properly.
- As often as possible, walk or use public transportation. The less vehicles on the road that run on fossil fuels, the better. If you already own an electric car, I love you!
- Grow whatever you can to help reduce shopping costs and to have fresh produce right outside your kitchen door. You may not think you have green fingers, but I’m betting if you give it a proper go, you’ll be able to grow something besides weeds.
- Per my last blog, give up fizzy drinks and sugar. You’ll help to reduce the number of plastic bottles in the world as well as become healthier.
- Re-use everything you can. Make dusting cloths out of old tea towels, use newspaper for cleaning windows and mirrors, make cat or dog toys from old denim jeans that are too tatty to wear any longer [never thought I would be saying too tatty about jeans!]; I think you catch my drift.
- Try zero-waste living. [Zero-waste living for the beginner, UK]
- Start saving for an electric car.
- It may not be “your job” but go round picking up litter in your neighbourhood or a neighbourhood park. Take care to separate the recyclables from land-fill rubbish and dispose of all properly. You can take pride in knowing that unlike everyone else, you have properly recycled everything you collected.
- Whenever possible, buy products that are not in plastic. This means produce, dry foods, and toiletries. You will rarely, if ever, find much of anything packaged in glass these days, perhaps apart from jams and preserves, but try to at least buy loose produce and food in boxes which can be recycled [no, I’m not talking about ready meals!]
A little can go a long way. Imagine if everyone did all the above and more? It would make a significant dent in climate change. Of course, there are those who baulk at climate change being a thing. If you know of a politician where you live whom is against doing anything constructive for climate change, write letters. We can work some seriously good magick for Mother Earth if we try.
And Bridghid will be proud of us all. Happy Imbolc!
Many thanks for reading my blog. I hope everyone finds something useful to take away from it. If you have enjoyed reading, please share via the social media buttons below and give us a like? I very much enjoy comments and welcome you to write. I answer fairly promptly. Warmest blessings to all whom wander this way x