First Light - February 2, 2010 - Welcome the Groundhog King - Protect those who Hibernate
Here is her First Light page which she calls by the old names
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Disting (Teutonic, Feb 14th)
Valentine's Day (feb 14th)
Imbolc arrives in early February in what feels like the dead of winter in much of the Northern Hemisphere -- cold and white during the days, and with long bluish shadows falling over the snow as twilight nears. Nevertheless, this day marks the first seed of springtide (whose midpoint will be celebrated later in March).
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Greenconsciousness Notes: This is not true for me, but go to the Jenks site, Mything Links, and read it because she has all the beautiful practices and ancient lore of this day from all over the globe. Jenks' site in general is breath taking. Find the home page and look at the Index.
I personally believe this day marks either the near end or the middle of winter in my climate, depending where the Sun is on the horizon (hence the Groundhog's shadow watching). The Sun is born at Yule and light is halfway to equality with the dark at First Light. One thing is constant - this is the time of the quickening. Time of The Change. The old ways say the seeds stir in the ground.
I celebrate First Light/Groundhog Day as the time we can see the light's return. Actually notice it is lighter when we get up and still light on the drive home from work. I want to learn more about the orbit position of the earth in relation to the Sun at this time of year.
Samanthasmom where are you?
It is good to know how this cross quarter day was celebrated by people in other countries in older climates. But blind following of old dogma is better left to religions. That is not for those who seek to live in harmony with the earth cycles and the sky processions in their own environment.
I find it hard to accept February as the beginning of spring in southern Wisconsin, much less further north. March tips winter into spring as far as my experience in this climate can determine. Therefore, I celebrate the last day of winter and first day of spring at the Spring Equinox.
Here at First Light, I celebrate the coming end of winter and the return of the light. If I move south, that might change.
Celebrate the cross quarter day by closely observing what it signals in your climate. To mark our observance of the earth cycles and their meaning in our lives is why we celebrate the earth holidays. So do it and find out what this day means on your part of the earth. One thing is certain. First Light is a day of transition, as are all cross quarter days. Something is shifting into another form. These times are too interesting to let go by unnoticed and unmarked. Pay attention.
Meditate on the tarot card, The Hermit. The light you seek is the one you carry, the one that is always with you.
Spiritually, it is a time to consecrate the wish we made at Yule to be accomplished in this earth cycle. At First Light, purify your wish - connect it with your Source. Surround the wish with conscious intent that it harm none, including yourself; call on those who work for your good to work with you for your wish; the wish grows in purity and power.
From Mything Links
Let the cloth of life be mended.
Let the thread be linked again,
restored, cleansed - the forests growing,
native plants in field and fen.
Let the cloth of life, in beauty,
be restored by will to be.
People with the plants and creatures,
tending earth and sky and sea."
by Rae Beth
Greenconsciousness Notes: Traditionally this day is celebrated with dairy products because in rural times, this was the time the sheep, goats and cows were preparing to give birth in the Spring. At this time their udders and teats would begin to swell in preparation for the birth of their babies. Seeds to be used at the spring planting are blessed and organized at this time. Soon they will be planted indoor so as to be ready for planting outdoor in May.
Is milk, in this age of factory farming, really a suitable offering?
The babies taken from the mother - put in veal crates - all the milk sold by profiteers - the mothers calling in their confinement for their babies - the calves in crates across the road crying in return.
Be careful what you offer on this day when we think about dairy product and the mother preparing for birth.
"Silk" is a good soy non-dairy milk product in most all food markets although manufactured by a bad company.
Still better to use Silk than products from abused animals if you must have milk. Try the Silk Nog which tastes like vanilla. Use Silk in bread.
At Imbolc, which I call First Light, for purity in your rites, your celebrations can, in the traditional way, offer to feed guests and earth spirits seeds to eat. Pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds etc., in seed muffins, cakes and scones, braided seed breads and soy milks.
This change, moving away from use of products from degraded animal pregnancies toward products made without cruelty, in honor of the sanctity of the birth process and the production of mother's milk to feed new life, in itself would be a purification at Imbolc
I am looking for poppy seed scones maybe with some fruit and honey in them?
Also when thinking about seeds remember to plant for the pollinators. I have to do this in the front yard because the cats are in the cat -fenced in back yard. But these are attractive gardens so it is fine to have them in front of the house.