Imbolc Awakening

Feb 6th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles

Keli Tomlin, Imbolc Awakening

For many this time of Imbolc is all about one Lady; for me, it’s about two.

 

The first you will likely have heard of. She is a Goddess of triple aspects (or a Saint if you prefer) and her gift is transformation. She uses her skills and intent to affect change; whether that be healing sickness or creating things of great beauty and inspiration. Poet, Healer and Smithy, she scatters snowdrops in her wake. Her gentle hands are incredibly powerful and her touch is said to turn the Wheel and stir the Spring into being.

Brigid of the Eternal Flame, Brigid of the creative fire, Brigid of the hearth and the burning heart; at Imbolc time hear voices say “Hail and welcome!”

 

The second is often cast as an aspect of Brigid but for me She is unique and worthy of her own tale. It is easy to forget her, particularly in the desperate rush to shuck off the darkness and the dampness of Winter and to hurl ourselves blindly into the light that we hope will bring relief. She does not hurl, or hurry, nor is She eager to leave her Winter burrow; She is comfortable in that deep, dreaming darkness… perhaps this is why so many of us struggle to sit with her for long.

Still, She is a creature of this World, this Web, as are we all; so when Brigid senses the need for change and begins to stoke the fires of Life Renewed, She feels it too and she must respond…

 

*

Awakening

 

From the darkness of Midwinter the days spin out, gradually gaining daylight even as the weather grows colder, crueller, than before. When the time is just right Brigid – Lady of Forge, of Flow and of Flame – travels deep into the Land, to the heart-centre, where the banked fire of Life is waiting. Little more than a glowing mound of embers, it seems that a single breath could displace them, scatter them too far and spoil any hope of renewal. But Brigid is a woman of great skill and delicacy; with a practised breath she coaxes the glowing heart of the fire to a pulse; red, hot and (above all) bright. With certain hands she stirs the embers giving just enough movement, just enough space to allow fledgling flames to grow. Soon the fire flickers yelloworangegold against the darkness and the heat at its core is undeniable. It leeches into the soil, echoing the growing power of the newborn Sun above, and slowly, slowly begins to stir the seeds, the bulbs, the sleeping creatures into waking.

 

*

 

Beneath the tallest mountain, in a burrow deeper than any other, She sleeps. Her dreams are vast and expansive, too detailed to be remembered, but rich enough to inspire beauty in countless forms. Her tired body has been restored by the dreaming and now, when it feels the heat of Brigid’s fire seeping through the ground beneath, the muscles and bones begin to quiver and stretch in response. Soon, without realising, She is being drawn from her slumber; the process is a long one, for She has travelled far these past months while her body has been still.

For what could be hours or days this continues, the body gathering itself and unfurling towards that warmth, that possibility, with cautious curiosity.

Soon the burrow is too small, too confining to hold it.

 

*

 

When She finally opens her eyes, she is crouched on all fours with dirt beneath her fingernails. The ground her is littered with bones and dust; her knees ache and her stomach is still rolling. The air is cold and burns her skin which is all exposed to the extremities. Her spine feels raw where it scratched against the rocky tunnel, a painful reminder of the depths She has surfaced from. Eyelids flickering in the painfully bright light She lifts her head and casts her gaze outward; something She has not done for a long, long time.

It is dawn.

Below her, spread out like a banquet, is the Land; stirring, shifting as the birds and mammals, the snowdrops and streams waken to this new day; a day that feels different because there is heat, there is fire, where for so long there has been only shadow and waiting.

She doesn’t smile (not yet) but She feels her heart beat – thump, thump, thump – and for now that is enough.

Slowly, Lady Spring climbs to her feet.

And begins.

 

Keli Tomlin, Imbolc Awakening

 

 

 

Photo credits:

1. ClifB 20180128-_DSF0580.jpg via photopin (license)

2. Keli Tomlin, 2018
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One Comment to “Imbolc Awakening”

  1. Kerry Kwiatkowska says:

    Keli, this is magical! Every word had me gripped and wanting more – it really resonated with me.. Thank you for this inspiring Springtime offering. X

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