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When winter feels interminable and the cold has settled unmoving in our bones, at Imbolc we are reminded that spring will return once more.
Here in the northern hemisphere on or around February 1, when the land is frozen and snow blankets the ground, deep within the earth new life is stirring. Life is quickening. It's barely perceptible, but if you open your senses and tune in to the quiet hum within the earth you can begin to feel the warmth rising and the light returning.
Imbolc is the first of three Spring festivals celebrated in the Celtic tradition. Associated with the element of fire, Imbolc occurs during the time of year when we begin to become aware of what new life is stirring.
It's a time of quiet excitement within deep dark stillness.
Snowdrops are a beautiful symbol of this early Spring festival. Their delicate wax blossoms peaking out above the snow, braving the cold temperatures, seem to defy logic. In their tenacity we are shown the beauty and grace of overcoming obstacles and succeeding against overwhelming odds. Snowdrops give us hope and fill us with strength and a sense of renewed vitality.
At Imbolc our bodies begin to soften just a little against winter's harsh grasp and we allow the promise of newness to reawaken something deep within. Hope arises and we're shown a glimpse of what is to come.