Today is the pre-christian holiday known most commonly as Imbolc.  Imbolc means "in the belly" or "ewe's milk" from Old Irish.   It is the halfway point between Winter Solstice & Spring Equinox, one of four yearly cross-quarter days.  This ancient fire festival celebrates the first stirrings of spring and new life in the new year.

  This was an important moment honored by agrarian cultures, recognizing and welcoming the returning light and warmth of the Sun to the Earth.  Weather divination was perfomed on this day, a rite still followed in America known as Groundhog Day.  Whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow determines if there will be early spring.


  In Ireland this day is sacred to the goddess & saint Brigid.   Brigid is connected to poetry, music, dance, blacksmithing, healing & initiation.   She is honored on this day most commonly  with music, poetry, & fire.  Traditionally milk, butter & baked goodies are given to her in spiritual offering for her favor.  This is a great seasonal time to initiate new beginnings-everything from dietary cleansing to spiritual initiations.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, birds are building nests for future newborns, bluebells & daffodils are sprouting up everywhere.  The light of both sun and moon has shifted & changed since the Winter Solstice, longer days & shorter nights are now apparent.  Happy Imbolc!  

     http://www.naturalistsalmanac.com/media/imbolc.jpg